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Do Kettlebell Exercises Really Work

But many people are still clueless about how to properly use a kettle bell, and that includes many certified personal trainers. If you are wanting to lose weight, you have to focus on a program that has a lot of cardio built into it.

author
Paul Gonzalez
• Saturday, 02 January, 2021
• 8 min read
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If you’d rather sculpt muscle, you’ll want to find a program that focuses on lifting the weight more than moving around. We’ve taken a long look at many of the best-selling kettle bell workouts out there right not and have assembled our list of ones we think deserve more attention, or ones that we recommend avoiding.

We also like that they’ve tried to make the kettle bells as user-friendly as they can be by smoothing them out, and painting them with a nice finish, you don’t get the feeling like you’re working out with a piece of scrap metal. Go to our full review of KettleWorx Kettlenetics Recap We recommend this kettle bell workout for those that are already pretty active, as they start off at a level that might leave some behind.

The draw here is twofold: you don’t have to buy a bunch of different sized kettle bells, and you also won’t have to find a place to put all of them once you get them. They’ve designed it so that it functions like a few different pieces of equipment so you can be seamless flip between dumbbell exercises, kettlebellexercises, and even medicine ball routines.

A lot of the exercises they show are unique to this piece of equipment, and get your body moving in many positions you may have never tried before. The program itself is pretty solid, but with kettle bells it can be hard to stay motivated, and you might need someone that’s a little better at getting you ready for the workout ahead.

You can give this a try if you want, as it is pretty comprehensive and you might pick up a few good exercises from it that you’ve never tried before, but other systems are better. You might find yourself more inclined to do the workout when you can grab a nice looking weight instead of something that looks like a cannonball with a handle.

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Go to our full review of CAP Barbell Kettle bell Jillian Michael's Shred-It With Weights Recap Most of us are familiar with Jillian from The Biggest Loser, but she’s also one of the busiest people in the fitness industry, coming up with several programs and attaching her name to lots of different diet foods and programs. It will provide you with a system that is easy to follow, and that will show you a lot of different exercises, each with their own muscle groups that they work out, so you always know what you’re doing and why.

With kettle bells there’s a steep learning curve that will separate the tire kickers from those that are serious, so if you’re not ready to jump on board, then avoid them altogether and save your time and money. Many kettlebellexercises incorporate both lifting and more of a full-bodied motion, so you will find that you get short of breath pretty quickly, and the sweat starts showing up before you know it.

By getting your heart rate up into the target heart rate zone, and getting your muscles flexing and stabilizing the weight, you end up using lots of little stabilizer muscles that don’t get engaged when you use weight lifting machines. You’ll need to bring your A game and expect to be pushed to your limits when you take on this sort of challenge.

They didn’t win any design awards when they made it, and it’s just a 10, 20, 30 or more pounds of unyielding dead weight that you’re trying to move around and manipulate. By forcing you to control a swinging weight, the kettle bell produces quite the challenge that can prove to really take it out of you in a hurry.

Kettle bells can provide the answer because if you use them at a light weight, say 5 or 10 pounds max, you will get a nice toning effect, and also produce the elevated heart rate that you need to get the fat to go away. The muscle that you do build shouldn’t be bulky like a male bodybuilder, because many of the exercises you are going to dodo not involve a concentrated lift on one body part.

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For example, the kettle bell swing, even with a heavier weight, is going to engage your leg muscles, your core, and your arms, but it is not concentrated the way that a bench press works directly on your pectoral muscles, or a curl works specifically on your biceps. Since you are engaging so many muscle groups all in one fluid swing, you end up with a nice toned look, and not like you’re ready to win an arm wrestling contest.

Once you have enough muscle built up you will have effectively increased your metabolism so that you’re burning more calories even when you do mundane things like watch TV and even sleep. This means that as long as you keep eating the same foods and getting the same calories in, you will naturally and effortless lose weight because you’ll have more and more of a caloric deficit the longer you go along.

You need to have this dual system in place so that you get excited by the results in the now, and things get easier as you go along so it’s easy to stay motivated. Give Yourself Room to Grow At first you might not be too adept with the kettle bell, even if you’ve lifted weights for years.

So be sure to budget some time for learning, so that you don’t get frustrated and feel like moving on to the next thing. If you’re a guy, don’t be all macho and think that you need a huge weight in order for this to be effective.

That’s why starting off with a lighter weight is best, because you can get the form down properly and then feel good about upgrading later. It can be hard at first incorporating it into the exercises, so don’t be afraid to get the proper form down first before adding weight to the mix.

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They will definitely get your heart rate up and your muscles straining, so it’s only a matter of you sticking with the kettle bell workout you choose. 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. For strength and power, exercise physiologist Jared Co burn and his colleagues at California State University in Fullerton chose three standard kettle bell moves — the kettle bell swing, accelerated swing and goblet squat — and matched them to three traditional weight-lifting exercises : the high dead lift, power clean and back squat.

The researchers randomly assigned 30 volunteers to follow identical programs using either kettle bells or barbells for six weeks, then measured their strength and power. 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.

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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.

While there are some ways in which a dumbbell could be used instead, usually the kettlebellexercises involve slightly different movements so it is safer if you have someone show you how to do them rather than make a painful mistake in their misuse. However, there is an argument about how effective they are compared to traditional weights for getting the maximum size and strength gains.

Straight to the facts, studies have shown that kettle bell routines cannot compare to using traditional barbell and dumbbell exercises for gaining muscle size and strength. Other compound exercises like the bench press, dead lift, and barbell row are not going to be recreated with a kettle bell.

You typically perform single exercises that activate multiple muscles along a specific motion that the shape of the bell accentuates. If you just want bigger muscles as quickly as possible along with brute strength then you should stick to a standard barbell and dumbbell regimen that mimics powerlifting and bodybuilding.

But, if you are looking to burn fat, develop more lean muscle, add coordination, and generally build a more athletic body than kettlebellexercises are for you. For example, if you are really into being a weekend sports warrior and playing things like softball or basketball then you will benefit from a bell workout.

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It is not that standard weightlifting can’t do these things like working on core strength and muscles used in these activities; it is just the kettlebellexercisesdo it better along with improving speed and flexibility which are vital components in athletics. Kettle bells are the cannonball-shaped workout tools you should add to your routine if you want to get a leaner, tighter figure without spending much time.

You’ll have an easier time performing daily activities Working out with a kettle bell is the definition of what fitness pros call a “functional” workout. We bet your purse or work bag will feel a lot of lighter after a few kettle bell sessions anyway!

You’ll fire up more muscles One of the biggest mistakes novices make with kettle bell training is not taking a session or two with a certified trainer. Sure, you can hold the weight in front of your chest as you do squats or lunges or use it to do arm curls, but if that’s all you do, you’ll be missing out on all the incredible three-dimensional movements it’s made for—and the effects those exercises can have on your body.

Seaman recommends going beyond walking or jogging to get your cardiovascular system and your muscles and joints loosened up. She recommends doing some shoulder rolls, squats, lunges, plank holds or push-ups (on knees, if necessary), and jumping jacks before starting the kettle bell portion of your workout.

You’ll lose more weight in less time Kettle bell workouts can tighten and tone your whole body, but the dynamic all-muscles-on-deck movements also burn a heck of a lot of calories—on par with running a 6-minute mile, according to researchers at the University of Wisconsin La Crosse, who evaluated the energy output of a typical kettle bell session. You’ll realize you’re stronger than you thought You might have never reached for a dumbbell heavier than 5 pounds before, but Seaman suggests women start with a 15-pounder and a 25- to 30-pounder when you switch to kettle bells.

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Your posture will improve Using so many muscle groups in conjunction means your core has to stay engaged 360 degrees to stabilize each and every movement. Good form is essential in kettle bell workouts, so stop and rest if you feel like yours is deteriorating.

The number one thing to keep in mind is that the whole structure of your back and abs should unconsciously stay straight, as though you’re wearing a stiff corset. Signals that you need to stop your workout include feeling like you can’t hold onto the kettle bell securely (hint: skip the hand lotion preworkout) or your arm shaking excessively in an over-the-head position.

You’ll boost your rear in one move The kettle bell swing is the foundation for many other kettlebellexercises, and it simultaneously firms your butt and your abs. Here’s how to do it: Standing with your feet hip-width apart, your hips and knees slightly bent, and your back and arms straight, pick up the kettle bell by the handle with both hands, knuckles facing forward.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Most of the workouts progress from one exercise to the next in circuit format without the need to put the kettle bell down or even change the weight.

Good joint stability will prevent injury occurring from unexpected movements during sports and from daily life. The Kettle bell Turkish Get Up, shown below, is the perfect exercise to improve joint stability as well as condition the full body.

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Most of the dynamic kettlebellexercises are based around the hips and the buttocks where the majority of power is generated for most sports. There are also explosive upper body based movements to that will assist any throwers or martial artists.

Watch a video of the kettle bell snatch below to see both explosive hips and upper body movement in action: As the kettle bell is swung down and in between the legs the body has to decelerate the weight in order to reverse its momentum and send it back up to the top of the swing again.

Eccentric exercises develop large amounts of strength in the body because the muscles are always stronger lengthening than they are shortening (concentrically). You also get a double conditioning effect as the body is required to work twice as hard both concentrically and eccentrically during movements.

Watch a video of the kettle bell swing to see how the muscles are loaded and unloaded at the bottom of the movement: Once you have mastered the basic movements you can flow from one exercise to the next keeping your heart rate elevated and using 100’s of muscles at a time.

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Sources
1 doesitreallywork.org - https://doesitreallywork.org/kettlebell-workout-reviews/
2 www.theglobeandmail.com - https://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/fitness/how-effective-are-kettlebell-workouts/article4242932/
3 blog.garagegym.net - http://blog.garagegym.net/2017/01/14/kettlebell-exercises-really-work/
4 www.prevention.com - https://www.prevention.com/fitness/workouts/a20437040/7-reasons-women-should-try-kettlebells/
5 kettlebellsworkouts.com - https://kettlebellsworkouts.com/why-does-kettlebell-training-work/