Some people start working out because they want to lose weight. I started working out, and continue to work out, because I wanted smaller pants sizes. I wasn't ready to move into the double-digit category (I know, a 10 is fine, but not for my body), so I did something about it. Now I'm a 4 (depending on the pants). This is probably where I should be, so I'm going to stick with it for a while. How did I get here?
A kettlebell. This is even the weight I use - 35 pounds - or 1 pood if you like Russians. We swing them overhead. It's a good time. Before I started Crossfit, I used to play around with some kettlebells at home. They were only about 10 pounds. That seems like such a long time ago. Anyway, I'm sure there were a lot of factors that led to size 4 jeans, but I think kettlebells play a big part of it.
A successful kettlebell swing needs strong hips. If you're letting your arms do all the work, they're going to get tired pretty quick. If you're doing a workout like Helen, which we did yesterday, that calls for 63 total kettlebell swings, your arms are going to give out if you don't use your hips. I felt like my arms were going numb during Helen yesterday (running in the cold rain was also involved), but I managed to get those three sets of kettlebell swings unbroken. I used my hips! (On a side note, I almost got my pull-ups unbroken too. Almost) I found a great video last week that shows the proper hip thrust for kettlebells.
That's a lot of work for your hips. And the more the hips get some good work, the smaller they get. I'm convinced of this.
And here are some kettlebells in action at Eugene Crossfit. I'm totally in control of that swing.