What do you think about kettlebells? Are they more or less effective then regular weights? Lorna, 39

Kettlebells are used in resistance training and have become very popular recently. However, there are pros and cons to using them. The pros are that they’re easy to use and exercise lots of muscles at one time. The cons are that a lot of the movements are done at speed and so are much harder to control and co-ordinate. This increases the chances of strains and injuries, especially in the wrists and shoulders. Also, you’ll never get the maximum from your workout as with a kettlebell move, for example, letting it swing down to the floor just uses gravity. This means you’re missing out on the deceleration phase of the movement which would help to tone your muscles.