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Are Kettlebell Swings Cardio Or Strength

Today I’d like to help answer a question I’ve been getting asked a lot recently, Are Kettle bell Workouts Cardio or Strength ? All activities that keep the heart rate elevated and make you breathe hard for long periods of time.

author
Ellen Grant
• Monday, 26 October, 2020
• 16 min read
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Strength based exercise involves developing the muscular system so you can jump higher, run faster, punch harder, lift heavier etc. However, if you use a challenging weight and put together a selection of kettle bell exercises into a circuit then you will raise your heart rate and keep it elevated for a long period of time.

A kettle bell circuit like the one above will not only build strength but also keep the heart rate elevated making it a cardio workout too. Here’s a video showing how kettle bell exercises can flow keeping your heart rate elevated for great cardio :

Kettle bell workouts are inherently strength based because you are lifting a weight that challenges the muscular system. As most kettle bell exercises involve the use of hundreds of muscles at a time they require a great deal of energy produced by the heart and lungs.

It is due to this fact that kettle bell training is becoming more and more popular as a tool for saving time while generating some great results. Or you’re looking for quick ways to give your fitness a boost, kettle bells are an amazing tool to add strength and cardio in one fell swoop!

Not only does the offset weight of the bell get your stabilizer muscles in gear, the dynamic nature of the kettle bell revs your heart rate too. Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, holding a kettle bell in both hands at chest height.

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Lower your booty straight down until your thighs are as close to parallel to the ground as possible. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, holding the kettle bell with both hands.

Hinging at the hips, swing the kettle bell straight back in between your legs. Driving the hips forward, swing the kettle bell up to chest level, keeping the arms straight.

Start seated with your knees bent and feet lifted off the ground, holding a kettle bell by the horns at chest height. Merry Christmas From KKK + Your Trainers!5 Lunge Variations to Turn Up the Burn on Your Lower BodyEverything You Need To Know About Your Tone It Up 2021 Challenge

Touted as the perfect exercise, kettlebellswings provide a full-body workout while burning massive calories. This explosive movement engages nearly every muscle, including the glutes, hamstrings, adductors, quads and calves.

Due to its explosive nature, the kettle bell swing is ideal for both cardio and resistance training. The key is to use proper form and avoid common mistakes, such as bending your knees excessively.

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This compound movement hits multiple muscles and joints, leading to greater strength and power. The initial phase of the swing engages your back muscles, namely the erector spinal and latissimus Doris.

The core muscles come into play at the halfway point, while your glutes are activated during the second phase of the movement. Over time, the kettle bell swing boosts posterior chain power development and physical performance.

This total body movement is intense and fast-paced, which helps increase your heart rate and energy expenditure. How many calories you'll burn depends on a number of factors, such as your weight, training style and the size of your kettle bell.

According to the American Council on Exercise, the average person following a standard kettle bell training program will burn approximately 20 calories per minute. Additionally, your growth hormone and testosterone levels will go up, which further increases your metabolic rate and energy expenditure.

On top of that, it's safer for your back compared to the squat, dead lift, good mornings and other traditional posterior chain exercises. This tendency is strong enough that Steve Cotter — a well-known kettle bell instructor — attempted to curb the urge in one of his DVD sets.

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Rate of perceived exertion (RPE) is one important factor because it modulates the actual likelihood of performing an exercise. In this study, the researchers compared thirty minutes of kettle bell work (specifically, they combined swings and dead lifts) to treadmill walking at a slight incline.

They looked at how each workout affected respiration, heart rate, calories burned, and RPE. The kettlebellcardio and treadmill cardio had similar VO2, blood pressure, and calorie burn markers, but the kettle bell workout had a higher RPE and heart rate.

The researchers concluded that kettle bell exercise shows promise as a method for developing cardio. This means we have no idea if the treadmill cardio was altered by the kettle bell work in an important way.

The researchers altered the treadmill speed so that the participants would have the same VO2 max that they had for the kettlebellcardio, making the results the same. Traditional means of cardio tend to give the greatest benefit relative to how hard they feel, especially running.

If you’d love to do low-intensity kettle bell work for thirty minutes straight, you can rest assured that you’ll get at least a modest cardio benefit. In today’s world we spend the majority of our days doing things in front of us with terrible posture.

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Cubicles) for hours at a time not moving and making the front of our body even tighter. If You’re Not Doing The Kettle bell Swing, You’re Destined To Stay Fat, Tight & Weak For The Rest Of Your Life!

This overuse of the muscles on the front side of our bodies is called “anterior dominance” and it is plaguing our society. Anterior dominance results in imbalances in our muscles causing us to move and perform at sub-optimal levels.

And because of our terrible posture — because our anterior muscles are shortened and tight pulling us forward — we give the illusion of being weak and unconfident as opposed to standing erect with our chins up. It’s no wonder that we’re generally unhealthy compared to previous generations that didn’t live a convenience lifestyle in this information age.

And there is one exercise — that if you incorporate it into your daily routine — can easily combat the ill effects of anterior dominance and the Western Lifestyle. FrequencyExercise TypeIntensityRepetitionsRest up to 7x per week strength training high intensity varies by workout varies by workout Once labelled “hard core”, kettle bells are now popping up in every gym, garage and backyard because of their portability and reputation for fast results.

Go into any gym and you’ll see inexperienced exercisers turning a swing into a front squat and shoulder raise exercise further tightening our hips, quads, chest and shoulders and just adding to the anterior dominance issue that I told you about above. A hip hinge — like a dead lift movement — forces you to use those posterior chain muscles to move the kettle bell.

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It will allow you to loosen your tight hips and strengthen your butt so that you’ll develop the rear end of an athlete. It will bulletproof your low back by creating an armored brace around your midsection, and it will get rid of that paunchy gut.

“If You’re Not Doing The Hard style Kettle bell Swing, You’re Destined To Stay Fat, Tight & Weak For The Rest Of Your Life!” As opposed to starting your set of swings from the standing position like how you see most amateurs do it, the hike pass allows you to overstretch your lats — a powerful muscle in your upper body with a direct relationship with your glutes — and get more “juice” out of your swing.

Push your hips back keeping your butt high and bend your knees slightly. Always making sure your shoulders stay above the level of your hips, “hike pass” the kettle bell through your knees by contracting your lats.

When you push your hips back keeping your butt high and your shins vertical, you are hinging. This is good because most people today are hip flexor and quad dominant (your anterior muscles), so learning how to load and use your posterior chain creates a natural balance between front and back that will help in preventing knee and hip issues.

When you go from HINGE to ROOT, the harder you contract your glutes, the higher the kettle bell will FLOAT. Getting proper instruction from an expert so that you can MASTER THE KETTLEBELL SWING is the best thing that you can do for your training regardless of your goal.

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If you want to build strength, kettlebellswings will forge a grip of steel and will add pounds to your dead lift & squat. If you want to boost your athleticism, kettlebellswings will make you more powerful and add height to your jump and shave seconds off your sprints.

If you want to pack on muscle, swinging a heavy kettle bell will build an intimidating upper back & set of shoulders. And if you want to shed body fat, swings will incinerate blubber like butter melting in an iron pan.

Kettle bells are a great tool to build back strength and muscle. Given that their center of gravity is constantly changing, kettle bells replicate the forces that you might find in real-life activities, improving not only your performance but also your daily life.

Protection against chronic back pain Protection against back injury Maintain optimal posture Increased overall strength Better performance in lower and upper body lifts Prevention against strains and sprains that can occur during sports and daily chores Positive body image Creating a balance between both pushing and pulling exercises is important to avoid any postural or overly dominate movement patterns.

Make sure your kettle bell training includes both pulling and pushing workouts to reap all the benefits of a strong back. The kettle bell dead lift movement pattern mirrors all daily life exercises where you have to pick something up from the floor.

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No matter what your goals are, the dead lift should be one of your main exercises to strengthen your back. A singe arm kettle bell dead lift works your posterior chain, including your glutes, hamstrings and lower, mid and upper back muscles.

As a dynamic movement, the kettle bell swing works both your strength and cardio, and will help you develop great explosive power. Recently, a number of athletes on the forum stated that kettlebellswings aren't cardio training.

That’s the versatility of the kettle bell : light, long sets with brief rest periods can mimic tempo runs that get the blood pumping for an extended period of time. Or an AGT protocol allows one to go heavy, stay fresh, and get strong.

Personal opinion incoming: There is cardio “, and other activities that have great cardiovascular benefit. This includes KB ballistics, 15-20 minute dynamic warm ups, circuits, complexes.... the list goes on.

Hell, raking grass for 25 minutes is going to have cardiovascular benefit. Society has decided that cardio refers exclusively to long duration, low intensity, etc.

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Level 9 Valued Member Elite Certified Instructor The ACM Definition of Cardiovascular Exercise “Any sport or activity that works large groups of muscles, is continually maintained and performed rhythmically, is defined as an aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercise by the American College of Sports Medicine.”

Therefore, many definitions look for steady state activity that raises the heart rate such as walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, skiing, rowing... etc. SAS I think is better than running, because it gets my whole body involved and gets my heart pumping very hard!

The ACM Definition of Cardiovascular Exercise “Any sport or activity that works large groups of muscles, is continually maintained and performed rhythmically, is defined as an aerobic, or cardiovascular, exercise by the American College of Sports Medicine.” Therefore, many definitions look for steady state activity that raises the heart rate such as walking, swimming, jogging, cycling, skiing, rowing... etc.

When doing Group III activities, your cardiovascular benefit will depend on how hard you work and how well you perform in these sports. For example, if you play tennis, when you practice more and improve your skills, you'll swing more at the ball with greater intensity.

If you're not really in area of concern medically, and I'm guessing you're not, then it's a matter of whether your training supports your life. If you feel like you're gassing out in your judo practice, you might want to build your aerobic base.

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My gut feeling is, your training is keeping you in good shape and well-rounded in both strength and conditioning, and that includes heart health. When doing Group III activities, your cardiovascular benefit will depend on how hard you work and how well you perform in these sports.

For example, if you play tennis, when you practice more and improve your skills, you'll swing more at the ball with greater intensity. If someone had a lot of health issues as mentioned above they might not want to rely upon this entirely, but that's best discussed with their doctor.

If you feel like you're gassing out in your judo practice, you might want to build your aerobic base. My gut feeling is, your training is keeping you in good shape and well-rounded in both strength and conditioning, and that includes heart health.

If someone had a lot of health issues as mentioned above they might not want to rely upon this entirely, but that's best discussed with their doctor. This “level III” cardio training sure sounds a lot like an SAS session (or judo session) to me — if tennis is one of their examples, you certainly are not constantly moving during a tennis match — lots of start and stop.

The average Joe (who is a couch potato) thinks that cardio is just levels I and II cardio and forgets about level III. Indeed, no family history of heart problems. My dad used to do human flags, pistols and chin ups back in the proverbial day, and he still lifts weights daily at the gym and is very strong for his age of 76.

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Level 6 Valued Member Team Leader Certified Instructor Cardio and aerobic training are NOT the same, although many people mistakenly use them interchangeably.

We all know that kettle bell training can be used to benefit the aerobic system, so there is no question there. Producing training adaptations for the heart (cardiac muscle) directly is not interchangeable with adaptations to the aerobic system. For example, the most common protocol to increase the size of the left ventricle of the heart is 30-90 minutes of light continuous activity with the heart rate typically 120-150 BPM; this is commonly known as the “cardiac output method” of training.

If the heart is beating too fast then it doesn't have time to fill the ventricle sufficiently. Likewise, if there is too much resistance in the muscles, then the correlated vasoconstriction can result in reduced the blood flow back into the heart, again reducing the amount of stretch the ventricle gets.

This is why for the cardiac output method you typically need activities like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc. From that perspective... the 10 minutes (give or take) of swings in SAS do not constitute cardio when viewed through my lens.

It may all come down to semantics, definitions, individual perspectives, and training purposes. Cardio and aerobic training are NOT the same, although many people mistakenly use them interchangeably.

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Producing training adaptations for the heart (cardiac muscle) directly is not interchangeable with adaptations to the aerobic system. For example, the most common protocol to increase the size of the left ventricle of the heart is 30-90 minutes of light continuous activity with the heart rate typically 120-150 BPM; this is commonly known as the “cardiac output method” of training. If the heart is beating too fast then it doesn't have time to fill the ventricle sufficiently.

Likewise, if there is too much resistance in the muscles, then the correlated vasoconstriction can result in reduced the blood flow back into the heart, again reducing the amount of stretch the ventricle gets. This is why for the cardiac output method you typically need activities like walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc.

It may all come down to semantics, definitions, individual perspectives, and training purposes. @offwidth Agreed! I really like characterizing training based on the predominant energy system used (galactic, glycolysis, aerobic).

That way when someone asks you if kettle bells swing are cardio or power or strength endurance... you say “Yes.” I find when I'm getting in the weeds too deep, I just need to focus on doing the work and listen to my body.

Kettle bell workout for cardio, strength, and power for max fat burn : Kettlebell_trainingPress J to jump to the feed. Press question mark to learn the rest of the keyboard shortcuts

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Ragnarök High-Intensity Tough Fat Burning Workout Half is with one bell whereas the original UK combo is performed with double kettle bells.

10 minutes for 3 attempts max total double bell snatch Replace double bell work with single and repeat the sequence on both sides

Replace double bell work with single and repeat the sequence on both sides View Entire Discussion (0 Comments)More posts from the Kettle bell _training community

Having lower back pain when I do swing any advice how to correct it? This is the Iron Man Workout which consists of a 100 kettle bell swing buy-in followed by a 30-minute AMQ RAP of military press, hang clean, and squat with two kettle bells.

Yes, 30 minutes is a lot, so, pick your weight wisely, these are thirty minutes of quality work, we want as many quality reps as possible (AMQ RAP). This workout is truly a full-body workout but in particular, it will hit your Delta, the whole area around the shoulder blades, the hip abductors and adductors, obliques, quadrats lumber, and so much more.

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Endurance, proprioception, strength, agility, general fitness, cardio, you name it, the kettle bell can provide it to you, and safely, as long as you ask questions and keep an open mind. If your cardio routine is feeling stale, you may want to ditch the treadmill and grab some kettle bells instead.

Since most of us are familiar with the kettle bell swing, we asked Finn for some additional moves to get your heart rate up and build strength (because who doesn’t love an efficient workout? Finn recommends training with competition-style kettle bells (prices vary, available on amazon.com) like the ones featured here.

For experienced kettle bell users, a good starting weight is whatever you would use for a single-hand swing, according to Finn. “With ballistic movements such as snatches and cleans, it’s hard to think about the action while you’re doing it,” Finn says.

How to use this list : Warm up by foam rolling and performing a few dynamic exercises (found here). Or scroll to the bottom of the article to check out the Deep 6 workout Finn put together for us.

For a cardio burn, perform as much reps as possible as fast as you can without compromising your form. For a strength -focused workout, perform each exercise with the heaviest kettle bell you can manage without compromising form.

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At the top of the clean, your wrist should be rotated, so the palm faces in to midline of the body (point your thumb at your shoulder). Perform 10 to 20 reps and repeat on other side. Make it easier: Start with a lighter kettle bell to master the movement.

Once you’ve perfected it, increase the weight. Make it harder: Add a second kettle bell and perform the clean with both arms at the same time. Drive fist up and straighten elbow to press the weight overhead.

As you do this, your wrist should rotate, so palm faces forward at the top of the move. Keep chest lifted and lower to at least 90 degrees. Your back should stay straight through the entire movement.

Keeping your back straight, hinge at hips and slightly bend knees to grab the kettle bell with both hands. Check that back is straight and that you don’t lean to the left or backward as you perform this move.

Stand tall and engage core as you move the bell to the right, behind your head, and to the left in a circular motion. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the kettle bell by horns at chest height.

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Step right foot back and bend knees to 90 degrees to lower into a lunge. Perform 10 to 20 reps and repeat on left leg. Make it harder: Hold a kettle bell in each hand by your sides.

In one fluid motion, drive through your legs to swing the kettle bell up, flip grip (so palm is facing away and knuckles punch up), and press weight overhead. Start standing and hold the kettle bell by horns at chest height.

Extend right leg out in front of you, then sit hips back and bend left knee to lower down into a single-leg squat, keeping right foot off the floor. Perform 5 to 10 reps and repeat on other side. Make it easier: Make your range of motion smaller by sitting back onto a box or bench.

The Turkish get up is a complicated move, so you want to be comfortable with the basic technique before adding the kettle bell. “The idea is that the arm holding the kettle bell is directly up in the air the entire time, because if it’s not directly over your head and your skeleton isn’t taking the weight, the shoulder is placed in a compromising position,” he says.

If you can get all the way up and back down without dropping the water bottle and losing alignment, you know you’re ready to try it with the kettle bell. Start lying face up. Bend right knee and place right foot on floor and left arm straight out to the side.

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Extend right arm directly over shoulder and balance a half-filled water bottle on top of fist. Lie face up with knees bent and two kettle bells racked at chest height.

Lie face up with knees bent, feet on floor, holding the kettle bell on hips. Start in a plank position, wrists under shoulders with each hand on a kettle bell, palms facing in, core engaged.

Keep a long line from head to toe through the entire movement.

Related Videos

Sources
1 kettlebellsworkouts.com - https://kettlebellsworkouts.com/are-kettlebell-workouts-cardio-or-strength/
2 my.toneitup.com - https://my.toneitup.com/blogs/latest/quick-kettlebell-workout-strength-cardio
3 livehealthy.chron.com - https://livehealthy.chron.com/kettlebell-swing-good-cardio-5437.html
4 breakingmuscle.com - https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/kettlebells-as-a-cardio-tool-yay-or-nay
5 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/1-exercise-that-fixes-99-problems/
6 www.boxrox.com - https://www.boxrox.com/8-unforgiving-kettlebell-back-exercises-for-stability-strength-and-aesthetics-rx/
7 www.strongfirst.com - https://www.strongfirst.com/community/threads/how-are-kettlebell-swings-not-cardio.11847/
8 www.reddit.com - https://www.reddit.com/r/Kettlebell_training/comments/koaxcj/kettlebell_workout_for_cardio_strength_and_power/
9 greatist.com - https://greatist.com/fitness/kettlebell-exercises-cardio-moves-that-arent-just-swings