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Are Kettlebell Workouts Good

author
Ava Flores
• Sunday, 11 October, 2020
• 19 min read

Kettle bells can help you lose weight because exercises can use up to 600 muscles at a time increasing calorie burn, raising your metabolic rate and challenging your cardio. Active muscles require constant supplies of energy in order to maintain their size and performance and so increase demands on the metabolic system.

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Contents

Exercising with kettle bells adds tonicity to 100’s of muscles at a time which in turn raises the metabolic system meaning you burn more calories throughout the day and night. Yet another reason why kettle bell training is so great for weight loss is that not only does it work on your muscles but it improves your cardio as well.

The kettle bell exercises are put together in flowing circuits which keep the heart rate up burning even more calories per workout. One of the important things about exercising and weight loss is that you don’t want to just burn calories while you are performing your workout.

Luckily, kettle bell training, when programmed correctly, creates a large imbalance in homeostasis throughout the body. Once the workout is over the body needs to work very hard in order to restore balance which in turn means the use of even more energy or calories.

After burn or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (Epic) is the more technical term for this and is yet another reason why kettle bell training is so effective for weight loss. No type of exercise would be good for weight loss if it couldn’t be maintained for periods of time.

Each kettle bell exercise can be performed at home and in only a very small amount of space (6ft x 3ft) because you don’t need to move your feet very far. The kettle bell movements are fun to perform and require skill development which takes the emphasis away from just working out.

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Not only do kettlebellworkouts work 100’s of muscles at a time, but they also improve your cardio, increase your metabolism and continue to burn calories after your workout. Kettle bell training is an efficient way to burn calories but should also be accompanied by a balanced diet for accelerated fat loss.

These kettle bells come in different weights and you can make use of these equipments as you do lunges, shoulder presses, and lifts. The kettlebellworkouts get your heart pumping and are quite beneficial in burning calories, offering body flexibility and many other things.

Kettle bell exercises mostly targets areas like the core, arms, glutes, legs, and back. These kettle bells come in weights that range from 5-100 pounds and you can purchase them from sporting goods stores or from online retailers.

There is a short review of research on kettle bell exercises that teaches about some workouts and its benefits. Kettle bell exercises stimulate an incredible amount of abdominal contraction because of their explosive conditioning movements.

The abdominal contraction along with coordinated breathing offers quite a high level of conditioning that actually has made kettle bells popular among athletes and fighters. In one study there was absolutely clear evidence of some effective positive changes in cardiovascular health from kettle bell exercises.

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Since there are several kettle bell exercises which we do with our arms in an overhead position, the muscles that are responsible for assisting our breathing process are pretty engaged in the muscular activity; thus not allowing them to assist in the process of respiratory. This in turn forces the muscles that are most responsible for the breathing process to play an even higher role in the cardiovascular health.

They also enable you for increasing your strength and building up speed and also your endurance levels simultaneously. The first thing that must be kept in mind is that your entire back and abs remain absolutely straight.

Most physical therapists value these exercises because they teach us to move in a better, stronger, and a safer way. Kettle bell exercises help you build powerful forearms and also improves your grip.

Moreover, such exercises also allow you to devote your attention towards your skill, strategy, rest and recovery. We've all turned up to the gym, short on time and motivation, only to find every piece of equipment we need for our workout isn't free.

Faced with this scenario, you have two options: ditch the workout and go home or find a piece of versatile equipment that is underused and undervalued by most of the gym-going community. Packing the same weighty punch as dumbbells, kettle bells are likely to be found in a dusty corner of the gym.

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Much like the humble rowing machine and versa climber, most gym bros steer clear of the cast-iron 'bells, helping you get an effective, time-efficient workout in, without having to worry about your kit getting pinched. This and the growing popularity of sports such as CrossFit and Strongman have helped drive kettle bell training and workouts into the mainstream.

On top of this, owing to their design, kettle bells are one of the easiest weights to move around during your workout in a short timeframe and can be stored away easily, from your car boot to your garden shed or garage. “Kettle bells give you the opportunity to move athletically with additional resistance from a variety of angles and more challenging positions,” explains Jon Lewis, a personal trainer with fitness outlet Industrial Strength.

Not only that, but exercises such as kettle bell swings can help increase your heart rate, burn extra fat and tone muscle, but where they really come into their own is in building strength throughout your posterior chain. As these are your body’s biggest muscles, you’ll also torch calories,” says Rob Blair, PT at The Commando Temple.

Additionally, kettle bells are an incredibly useful tool for those looking to build their base of strength and mobility, so if you're struggling with your barbell back squat, for example, utilizing the kettle bell goblet squat is a good way of practicing proper form with a safer exercise that can then be upgraded as your strength increases. Well-suited for swings, presses and carries, kettle bells also lend themselves to more dynamic movements, where a dumbbell or barbell may be more difficult to use.

Usually, kettlebellworkouts are built on a high-rep range, meaning that several muscles are worked at once and, if kept at a consistent pace, can offer similar aerobic benefits to HIIT training. Similarly, by performing kettle bell circuits three times a week, you’ll pump up your VO2 max by 6 per cent in just under a month, according to the NSA’s Sac Report.

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The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research also found that kettle bell training contributes to a healthier lower back, owing to the loading and movement patterns. “Kettle bells are arguably one of the most versatile bits of equipment you can find in a gym,” says Sam Wrigley, a London Bridge-based PT.

“This exaggerated flexion and extension at the hip puts a lot of force through the lower back.” When it comes to getting injuries from poor form, the “arching of the back and not engaging the glutes in an overhead press or folding in a goblet position” can put you at risk of busting your lower back. Stand with feet set wider than shoulder-width and bend your knees to grab the kettle bell with both hands.

Drive your hips, keep your back flat swing the weight up to shoulder height. Initiated by a powerful hip thrust from your hamstring and glutes, opting for heavier weights (once the move is mastered, of course) for up to 90 seconds a set will vastly improve your anaerobic fitness, accelerating your heart-rate and ignite a fat-burn that the bench press can only dream of.

Instead, by combining a front squat with an overhead press, you're transforming a drab move into a compound, multi-joint exercise that demands full-body power. In one swift movement, slightly jump off the ground and raise your arms to extend above your head.

Land softly on your feet with your knees bent as though you're doing a squat and extend your arms straight above you shoulder-width apart. Powerlifting moves needn't be restricted to barbells bending under crippling weight loads.

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Instead, the kettle bell clean and press offers the opportunity to increase grip strength, become stronger in overhead movements (your shoulder press will thank you) and will help you learn the lesson of maintaining a rigid core during all lifts. Plus, the researchers found that participants performing the kettle bell snatch usually maintained 86 to 99 per cent of their maximum heart rate, making it an essential move for easy weightless.

Drive through the heel and bring yourself back up to standing position, without letting your leg touch the floor. Functional and an easy gym brag, the kettle bell pistol squat is the king of mobility moves.

Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, clasping a kettle bell in each hand in front of your chest with palms facing each other. Bend your knees and lower yourself into a squat, keeping the kettle bells in the same position and ensuring you don't round your back by tensing your glutes throughout.

Keep your arms strong and walk short, quick steps as fast as possible. Ideal for building grip and plugging onto the end of a tough workout, farmer's walks also pack heavy-duty muscle onto your upper-back while fighting lower-back pain and being a useful conditioning tool and fat-loss.

Drive your hips, keep your back flat swing the weight up to shoulder height. Increase the demand you place on the shoulder stabilizing muscles by doing kettle bell swings with one arm.

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Kettle bells, which look like cannonballs with handles, have become a popular strength training alternative to traditional barbells, dumbbells, and resistance machines. Kettle bell exercises often involve several muscle groups at once, making them a highly effective way to give your arms, legs, and abs a great workout in a short amount of time.

Kettle bells can be used for a variety of exercises that improve both your strength and cardiovascular fitness. Russian strongmen in the 1700s developed kettle bells as implements to build strength and endurance.

You’ve probably seen depictions of bare-chested carnival strongmen hoisting them over their heads. Using lighter kettle bells at first allows you to focus on using the proper form and technique for the different exercises.

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Aim to add more reps each week, then work toward adding more sets as you build strength. Push your hips backward, and bend your knees to reach the kettle bell handles.

Firmly grip the kettle bells, keeping your arms and back straight. This is an excellent exercise to boost both your muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.

While your shoulders and arms will do a lot of the work, most of the effort should come from the hips and legs. Engage your abdominal muscles and set your shoulders back.

Exhale as you make an explosive upward movement to swing the kettle bell out in front of you. Squats are an excellent lower-body exercise that work your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, as well as your abdominal muscles.

Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out slightly. Using your leg muscles, with your upper body still, straighten up to your starting position.

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With both hands around the handle, hold the kettle bell close to your chest. Alternatively, you can hold a kettle bell by the handle in one or both hands, with your arms at your sides.

Slowly step forward with your left leg, bending your knee while keeping your right foot in place. A great exercise for working your abs and obliques (the muscles on the sides of your abdomen that run from your hips to your ribs), the Russian twist can also be done with a weighted medicine ball or barbell plate.

When using a kettle bell, be sure to keep a firm grip so that you don’t drop it on your lap. Holding the kettle bell handle with both hands, lean back so that your torso is at about a 45-degree angle to the floor.

With your heels a few inches above the floor, rotate your torso from right to left, swinging the kettle bell slightly across your body. When you’ve completed your repetitions, return to your starting position.

When your chest is even with the kettle bell handles, exhale and push your body back up to its starting position. Hold a kettle bell by the handle so that it rests against the outside part of your shoulder.

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There are many benefits to working out with kettle bells, for both men and women, across all age groups. According to a 2019 study, a kettle bell workout is a highly effective way to improve your strength, aerobic power, and overall physical fitness.

Compared to resistance circuit-based training, the same study found that a regular kettle bell workout is just as effective at improving cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength. A 2013 study reported that participants who completed an 8-week kettle bell training session saw noticeable improvements in their aerobic capacity.

Kettle bell exercises have the ability to restore muscle mass and improve grip strength in older adults, according to a 2018 study. According to Harvard Health, kettle bell exercises can also help improve your posture and balance.

You typically use your core muscles more with kettle bell exercises than with dumbbells or barbells. If possible, ask a certified personal trainer at your local gym or fitness center to show you the proper form for kettle bell exercises.

Stop immediately if you feel sudden or sharp pain. A little mild soreness after a workout is normal, but you shouldn’t feel sudden, sharp pain while working out.

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Kettle bells can take a little getting used to, but working out with them is a highly effective way of improving your muscle strength and cardio fitness. The key is to start slow and, if possible, with the help of a certified personal trainer.

Our patented Dark Iron Fitness lifting straps are made of durable cowhide suede and are the perfect accompaniment to kettle bells. Their numerous benefits include strength gain, endurance, flexibility and weight loss.

Many of the movements and skills required in CrossFit focus on learning to have fast and effective hips. Dumbbells have a tight center of gravity and mainly utilize the major muscle groups.

A kettle bell ’s odd shape and off-center mass forces you to use muscles that mimic real-life activities. Its odd center of gravity forces you to do more work involving your stabilizing muscles to create explosive movements with the bell.

Enjoy the ease of use and appreciate that such a unique weight can help streamline other exercises you already do. Always practice correct form and safety in all exercises, but be content in the fact the kettle bell is one of the safer weights to work with.

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If you have previously been avoiding barbell exercises due to safety concerns, look into the kettle bell alternatives. The kettle bell alternates periods of intense contraction and controlled relaxation, to give you a superior workout that combines strength, as well as endurance.

Other exercises such as the windmill, and single leg dead lift, also build flexible strength. The kettle bell stimulates tremendous abdominal contraction because of the explosive conditioning movements.

The fact you can work your core indirectly, just through the dynamic aspect of kettle bells, is truly amazing. Kettle bells are so effective because they stimulate the muscles and surpass standard cardio exercises.

They enable you to increase your strength, build up speed as well as your endurance level at the same time. This gives you a great strength and endurance workout in a shorter amount of time.

So rather than moving on to a heavier kettle bell you simply complete more reps or change the exercise to a more difficult option. Killer strength and endurance work can be achieved without necessarily having to use the heaviest weight you can find.

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Unfortunately, many of us today lose some of our basic movements as a result of sedentary occupations and lifestyles. That’s what happens when we don’t move our bodies with the full range of motion or become used to certain unhealthy postures (like sitting in front of a computer all day).

They are terrific for overall fat loss, improving lean body mass, and helping teach proper use of the hips (important for speed and power sports). They are so effective that serious lifters should definitely consider them as a way to enhance and supplement their barbell or dumbbell workouts.

But like dumbbells, kettle bells are pieces of equipment that also help you with unilateral movements, i.e. single arm presses, split squats, lunges, Turkish get-ups, etc. Kettlebellworkouts are especially good at improving your grip, back, and shoulders, which is why Kettle bells are very popular in the Russian military.

Russian Special Forces personnel pride themselves on their “wiry strength, lethal agility” and consistent staying power. There is no better way to burn fat than with sets of Kettle bell Swings, Snatches and Clean and Jerks.

High rep Snatches work more muscle groups and will build strength in the lower back, shoulders, and hip flexors. For twenty minutes straight perform as many rounds as possible of the above exercises.

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That was certainly true for kettle bells, the cannonball-with-a-handle training tools that started showing up on lists of fitness trends about three years ago. The results are generally positive, but also serve as a reminder of an important training principle: The more benefits you try to squeeze from a single workout, the less effective it will be for each individual goal.

One explanation for the difference is that kettle bell movements emphasize speed and explosiveness, but are less suited to dealing with very heavy weights, Dr. Co burn says: “My advice would be to incorporate them into a training program alongside more traditional methods, not as a permanent replacement.” In order to get a fair comparison, they had their volunteers repeatedly estimate their perceived exertion during the kettle bell routine on a standard numerical scale from 6 to 20.

On the surface, the results were clear: The treadmill workout burned more calories and consumed more oxygen than the kettle bells, by 25 to 39 per cent. Still, the kettle bell routine maintained heart rates up above 85 per cent of maximum, enough to produce gains in cardiovascular fitness.

“If it's a heavier kettle bell that's lifted only a few times, it's probably a strength workout,” says Jerry Mayhew, the senior author of the Truman State study. Kettle bells put less compression but more lateral force on your vertebrae compared to conventional barbells, according to research by the University of Waterloo's Stuart McGill.

Dr. McGill recommends starting with the “shortstop squat” to practice keeping the spine in a neutral position: hands on knees, bending with the hips and looking straight ahead. If you want to build muscle fast and naturally, you want to mix up your workout routine and include some more out-of-the-box kettle bell exercises now and then to get you out of that rut you're stuck in.

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The softer neoprene cover makes these 'bells less likely to chip hard floor and also more quiet to work out with. Unlike more traditional bodybuilding methods, kettle bell workout classifies as 'functional' training and is considered to build functional muscle mass as opposed to mainly the aesthetically pleasing variety the former does.

Since you are moving your arm around your head, kettle bell halo also improves shoulder mobility, something not many people pay attention to. When performing kettle bell halos, make sure you keep your core tight and focus on rotating the shoulders as opposed to your hips and upper body.

By keeping your core tight, you can reduce swaying and isolate the upper back and shoulder more efficiently. Sometimes also called the kettle bell high pull, this exercise works the same muscles as the standard kettle bell swing but by adding the horizontal pull movement, it also adds a bit more resistance to the movement and works the core, the shoulders and the upper back a bit more.

Turkish get ups are great full body exercises that work the core, the glutes, hips and shoulders the most. It's a real mystery why thrusters are not super popular: they combine two awesome exercises, the squat and the overhead press, into one perfectly smooth flow and work both the lower and the upper part of the body, not to mention the core which works twice as hard to stabilize the body.

An open space filled with heavy iron, benches, cable setups, and if you're in a big box, plenty of cardio stations and machines. Most of the weights are probably barbells, both on squat platforms and benches, or dumbbells, sitting stacked along the wall on a rack.

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Using either one or two kettle bells, you'll hold the load in such a way (demonstrated above) that you'll be forced to engage your core to prevent your torso from tipping over. This simple, incredibly effective movement is a great way to build shoulder stability while working the core.

Try the exercise for 10 to 20 reps per side to start before adding extra features, like the kneeling position in the video or even a squat, for more of a metabolic impact. Goblet Pulse Squat Crush your legs with a little bounce with this dynamic exercise.

Your upper body will get a challenge, too, since you'll be using your arms and bracing your core to keep the kettle bells in the racked position. Try 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps, lowering down into position slowly and pausing at the bottom to create a ton of tension.

Turkish Getup This multi-part movement takes some time and coordination to master, but it's an effective full body exercise once you nail every step. Keep the weight light to start (run through the first few times without any), then add heavier loads as you progress.

Make sure to keep the weight controlled as you clean into the racked position before pressing straight up. If you're bold, set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes, then alternate 5 reps per arm for the whole period.

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Since you can easily hold and maneuver the implement, you can use it as a load for some traditionally body weight movements. Perform 4 sets of 12 reps of all or any of the moves individually, or hit them back-to-back as a circuit with no rest as a workout that will torch your whole body.

Brett Williams, NASA Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men's Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.

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Sources
1 www.nbcnews.com - https://www.nbcnews.com/shopping/fitness/best-kettlebells-n1246049
2 heavy.com - https://heavy.com/sports/2020/02/best-kettlebells/
3 fitterliving.com - https://fitterliving.com/best-adjustable-kettlebells/