Read on to learn the many benefits of incorporating kettle bells into your fitness routine, from increased functional strength to a stronger posterior chain. Many popular forms of exercise like walking and running don’t target the posterior chain muscles, but luckily kettle bell workouts do.
After a few weeks of using the kettle bell, you may notice that lifting your groceries and hauling your laundry basket up the stairs is easier, which will motivate you to stick with your workouts. If you don’t have a lot of time to spend at the gym and are looking for a way to combine resistance training and cardio, kettle bells may be the answer.
Kettle bell workouts involve lots of swinging, lunges, and dynamic movements, so they get your heart rate up just as much as regular cardio. A recent study showed that using a kettle bell burns as many calories as walking on the treadmill at a moderate pace, and raises your heart rate even more.
A recent study by the American Council on Exercise showed that using kettle bells for just eight weeks can increase your grip strength significantly. Most exercises will challenge the muscles in your hand because they require you to hold onto the kettle bell ’s thick handle.
Because many kettle bell moves require you to swing the weight at a high speed, they may cause injuries if they aren’t performed properly. If you use improper form and rely on your upper body strength, then you could end up injuring your shoulders and back.
They’ll be able to teach you exercises that are appropriate for your skill level and keep an eye on your form so you don’t get hurt. A recent study showed that lifting weights for six weeks leads to greater strength gains than using kettle bells for the same period of time.
Loading your muscles with the heaviest weight you can handle is important for building strength, which explains why the weightlifting group experienced bigger gains. Barbells and dumbbells typically come in larger sizes than kettle bells, so you’ll also be able to add more resistance to your workouts and continue to challenge your muscles over time.
This makes it difficult to gradually increase the load on your muscles, which is important if you want to build up your strength without injuring yourself. But buying a set for your home gym can get pretty costly, especially if you want to purchase kettle bells in multiple sizes.
To save money, you can find a set that you like from a local store so you don’t need to have them shipped, or get a used pair. Incorporating kettle bells into your fitness routine is a great way to target underutilized muscles in your posterior chain, burn calories, and increase your functional strength, which will make performing everyday tasks easier.
Over the years the kettle bell has established itself as one of the most versatile and beneficial exercise equipment’s out there. With the amount of hype surrounding it, it’s very easy for one to feel curious about whether it is worth picking up or if it is just another product of fitness experts trying to make money.
In this post, I have put together both the pros and cons of the kettle bell to help you decide for yourself whether it is worth your time and money. You need to have proper form when using one for it is the only way you can safely experience the full benefits of the exercise.
Having a poor form when doing any type of kettle bell exercise can increase the risk of you having an injury. Although it looks like a very simple exercise equipment, it can target almost all the muscles in the body when used correctly.
Over the years there was a term coined together to describe the incredible improvements people had in other exercises after a while using kettle bells. From heavier dead lifts to higher verticals, Kettle bell workouts tend to help you become stronger in other exercises.
Yeah, you read that right, and to be more specific, it helps your “soldier” stand up straight when it is time for duty Earlier when I stated that the kettle bell targets almost all the muscles in your body, I wasn’t lying.
It’s clear that kettle bells have become a staple training tool for the entire fitness industry. However, there are still some people, potentially yourself included, who are skeptical about whether they should incorporate kettle bells into their training plan.
All-In-One Total Body Conditioning Tool Kettle bells can be used for strength, endurance, flexibility and balance training…the four main aspects of fitness. In a fast-paced complex world, the ability to do total body conditioning with one tool is a nice change of pace.
In fact, we’d go out on a limb and say kettle bells are one of the best tools in existence for truly effective, result-achieving, safe, full-body conditioning. Ballistic training works on explosive power through maximizing acceleration and minimizing deceleration.
These explosive movements stimulate the abdominal muscles tremendously well. They require core contraction and coordinated breathing as the movements are intense.
Second, kettle bell movements are multi planar, so you will be working your core from all directions. When moving the kettle bell around on one side, you will be working your core stability and strength big time.
Athletes need core power to explode through opponents, quickly change/move in multiple directions without risking injury (twisting, turning, accelerating/decelerating), and handle loads and pressure from one side while remaining upright (think a running back taking a hit on one side during a play). Kettle bell training offers a dynamic way to accomplish these important physical capabilities.
Remember, your core generates and controls force, so having a powerful trunk is essential to kicking ass at life. Enhances Body Awareness & Coordination Kettle bell movements are very dynamic.
This focus and mind to muscle connection will develop, leading you to improved proprioception (coordination; the sense of movement of the body and its parts). This is very different from conventional training with barbells or machines because the movements are linear and less dynamic.
It’s very important to develop your sense of movement (aka proprioception or kinesthetic). This ability will carry over into improvements in your fitness and life, and it’s certainly a very important aspect of athleticism.
Improves Balance & Stabilizer Muscles When training with machines, you are producing force and moving in a predetermined path. This requires you to double down on strengthening the stabilizer muscles for each particular movement.
Having strong stabilizer muscles in all ranges of movement, coupled with increased core power as we discussed in one of the benefits of kettle bells above, means your balance will be exceptional. Serious Fat-Burning Workouts Kettle bells offer crazy calorie-burning potential, which means FAT LOSS.
ACE did a study that showed swinging a kettle bell burns as many as 20 calories per minute. What’s more, kettle bell training for losing fat is often high intensity, so you have the after-burn effect as well.
For those who don't know, this means you will be burning calories at a higher rate long after your workout has finished. If you are looking to burn calories in a short space of time, a lightweight kettle bell HIIT or metabolic workout (low weight, high rep, high intensity based workouts) will do the job incredibly well.
In fact, many think it is more effective than steady-state cardio for burning fat, boosting metabolism, muscular endurance, and improving cardiovascular health. The key is to maintain a high heart rate for the entire workout.
As mentioned in the benefit above, kettle bell cardio training induces Epic, which means you will be burning fat long after your workout is completed. So, if your goal is to have long-distance endurance, for say a marathon, don’t stop doing your typical cardio.
Moreover, kettle bell cardio workouts are not as boring (sorry runners) as running on a treadmill is, so that’s another plus. The benefits of kettle bell swings are that they train the hips to produce force in both strength and speed.
The reason hip strength is so important is because it ensures stability and helps prevent injuries. Also, the hips play a very important role in many athletic movements, such as jumping, sprinting and coming out of a sports stance explosively.
Knowing how to maximize hip force is essential in power and speed sports. Naturally, you will be improving your mobility by slowly increasing your limits.
When it comes to sports and the real world, this is crucial as it will decrease the chance of injury in your joints, ligaments, and muscles. They have lean muscle mass, not big bulky bodybuilding type bodies.
Kettle bells can build dense muscle, which is achieved by higher repetitions and shorter yet intense workouts. Note: if you are new to fitness, you will surely be able to put on some serious muscle mass with kettle bells if you know what you are doing.
Exercises like the Kettle bell Swings are ballistic movements done from a hinge position, which will make your glutes, hamstrings, lower back, middle back, and traps exceptionally powerful. This translates to jumping higher, running faster, and kicking harder.
By regularly doing kettle bell workouts, you will rapidly develop the major muscles of your hips, core, shoulders, and neck too...and these are all vital aspects of having good posture and a strong backside. Well, many people in the mainstream fitness world don’t think grip strength is that important.
If you do kettle bell workouts consistently, you will develop supremely powerful grip strength. Kettle bells have an offset center of gravity, usually about 6 to 8 inches away from your grip on the handle, so it is harder to control.
You may notice that you lack mobility in the overhead position or that your right side is stronger than your left. When you notice this, you can easily target specific areas and perform movements that will help you even things out.
It is said that kettle bells get you comfortable in uncomfortable positions, and this is very true for those who have been training with barbells and machines for a long time. Low Risk, High Reward (Safer and More Effective) Kettle bell training is generally safer than traditional lifts like heavy barbell squats, dead lifts and bench press.
In the end, both heavyweight lifts and intense kettle bell workouts are effective. However, the risk to reward ratio is far better with kettle bells than heavy barbell lifts.
Moreover, dynamic kettle bell routines will improve joint flexibility and mobility, as we have already mentioned above. As you develop more elasticity in the tendons and ligaments of your joints, you will become more resilient to injury.
What’s more, lightweight kettle bell exercises can help to reduce inflammation and swelling. So, if long term joint health is important to you, which it should be for all of us, you should definitely take on kettle bell training.
Simplifies Your Training You don’t need tons of equipment or to overcomplicate your workouts for them to be effective. So, if you are overwhelmed with all the equipment out there, simplify your life by attacking kettle bell training.
If you want to have a little more versatility in terms of your training tools, we’d add steel maces, resistance bands, and potentially a suspension trainer into the mix. Compact and Portable You really only need one or two kettle bells to get a killer full body workout in.
If you are looking for home gym equipment that will truly train you for strength, endurance, balance and flexibility (the 4 key components of fitness) then kettle bells are the most cost-effective, space-saving option. Instead of getting a squat rack, barbell, weighted plates, dumbbells, a bench, etc., all you really need is a set of kettle bells.
You could leave them in your living room or garage without cluttering it, which is definitely not possible with a conventional gym set up. Comparing to simply moving through the motions with machines and typical conventional training, kettle bell exercises require you to be more mindful.
Lastly, but most importantly, kettle bell training methods are extremely versatile. The best way to keep your body guessing is by throwing new methods of training at it, and when it comes to kettle bells, the options are extensive.
They can be implemented into your current training program as a supplemental tool for achieving specific goals and changes in physique and performance, AND, kettle bells can be used as the main training tool, basing an entire fitness program around them. Individuals with back injuries who don’t want to put a lot of stress on their spine (i.e. barbell squats/dead) but still want to train for strength and muscle growth.
The kettle bell swing is a tremendously effective exercise for building serious hip power. This movement will burn fat, build lower body strength and powerful glutes, and improve your mobility.
It’s a total body juggernaut of a movement and it is very simple to learn and do with proper form. The Turkish Get Up is a slow, deliberate exercise that’s extremely effective for building impressive trunk and hip strength, mobility, and strong resilient shoulders.
The Kettle bell Clean & Press is one of the best full body, compound movements without a doubt. This movement is very physically demanding and technical but it’s worth learning as it is outstanding for total body strength and conditioning.
If you want to build explosive strength, especially in the hips, and strong, powerful shoulders, this is the movement. In any case, it’s best to keep your body guessing, so switch it up from single to doubles.
How to Create the Perfect Budget & Space Friendly Home Gym November 26, 2021 It’s unclear exactly when someone decided it was a good idea to attach a handle to a cannonball but my research suggests that it was over 350 years ago and probably in Russia.
This Russian origin is reinforced by the standard unit of measure traditionally used when describing the weight of a kettle bell ; the Food. Modern kettle bells are not really that different to the original Russian cannonballs with handles from 300+ years ago.
They are generally sold in fixed weights but some manufacturers have designed adjustable kettle bells to save you having to buy a lot of different ‘bells. Most kettle bell exercises have a strong core emphasis as holding a single weight means that you have to use your deep abdominal muscles to stabilize your torso and keep yourself upright.
Kettle bell exercises can build strength, encourage core stability, improve your run form, and challenge your range of motion all with a full body workout. Common body weight exercises like lunges, dead lifts, bent rows, and shoulder presses can all use a kettle bell to add weight to the movement, getting progressively heavier as you develop strength.
For example, the kettle bell swing finishes each repetition with the weight extended in front of you. Your hips are pushed forward and your glutes are squeezed for that second before the weight falls back for the next set up.
Kettle bell exercises offer awesome opportunities to work on core engagement and stability. In fact, running is a unilateral movement, meaning one side at a time.
To develop the core stability all runners need, kettle bell exercises like the swing, lunge, single arm shoulder press, or goblet squat are all excellent options. Each exercise mentioned demands that you keep your core engaged and stable through the movement to maintain your balance and upright position.
Imagine yourself holding a kettle bell in both hands at chest height, right in front of your body. By doing so, you’re encouraging a solid arm swing that moves straight forward and back.
To counteract this, using kettle bells in exercises to engage the glutes and extend the hip flexors can significantly improve your running form. That hip forward position is the same one that should be seen at the end of every single running stride, right before your leg snaps back to take the next step.
Dynamic movements like the kettle bell swing can do wonders to challenge our range of motion under load. Rather than passively stretching the lats and shoulders, use the weight of the kettle bell at the top of the swing to create a little more range with each repetition.
If your shoulders or pecs are tight and don’t allow your arms to travel up as far as you’d expect, then you know you’ve got some work to do on your upper body mobility. As mentioned in the previous section, your hips also get a great dose of extension in many of our favorite kettle bell movements like the lunge, swing, and dead lift.
Every time you lunge forward, your rear leg gets to hit end range of motion. Each time you hinge forward in a kettle bell swing, your hamstrings get a stretch through their full range of motion as well.
Being able to use a single piece of equipment for a workout that will challenge your whole body is pretty handy. You can use the same kettle bell for a circuit of the swing, a lunge, a squat, and maybe even a push press.
Many of the most popular kettle bell exercises are also compound movements, meaning they work multiple muscles at once. For example, a kettle bell dead lift recruits your hamstrings, glutes, and lats throughout the movement.
From injury prevention to full race distance plans, check out the running training program, our subscription service to a full library of tools and plans to help you become the runner you want to be. Yes, I’m still sore from a 20-minute kettle bell workout I did Sunday.
You see, I’ve taken on some new responsibilities (more on that later), and in the midst of my running around trying to “adjust” my own schedule, I totally forgot my husband was racing this weekend. That being said, I recruited my very good friend and super knowledgeable trainer Taylor to write for me today, that way I can tend to a main PRIORITY today (helping the Kiwi get race ready).
Lindsay is running around like a mad woman, and asked if I wouldn’t mind sharing my passion for kettle bells with you. I am a NASA certified personal trainer, I own an 8-location boot camp and gym in Charleston, SC, and I am kettle bell certified through Kettle bell Athletics.
I know that I am in Lindsay’s house, where balls (amazing healthy bites) are all the rage but please for the sake of the sport, call them kettle bells. A study from ACE revealed that swinging a kettle bell around can blast up to 20 calories per minute.
I’m not getting any younger, and things seem to stiffen up on a daily basis. Kettle bells can help keep the body loose and moving in all plans of motion to help decrease risk of injuries and aches/pains.
The ballistic nature of kettle bell training incorporates all forms of fitness. Yes, functional is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the fitness world.
Basically, they help you handle every day life movements with ease. To keep stable, your core and glutes have to work harder.
A stronger core can help reduce back pain, help to make you a faster runner, help to eliminate risk of injuries and increase your overall calorie burn (because more muscles are activated during the workout). You have to keep focused on your body and think about the muscles and moves you’re working on to ensure you don’t end up with a stupid gym injury.
Trust me, you’ll learn how to move your body in ways you didn’t know possible and those moves will carry over into other forms of your fitness life. When you acquire the skills to do kettle bell specific skills like the get-up, swings, and windmills, you feel like a fitness rock star.
Strength training is extremely beneficial for body composition, joint and bone health, metabolism, strength… you get it. For most weighted moves you need two… a pair of dumbbells or multiple plates to go on a bar.
Throwing things is always a good time (especially on stressful days) and you’ll be amazed at how sore you wake up the next morning. And finally… it’s an awesome way to change up a static workout program.
If you’ve hit a plateau, or you just feel like the spark is out between you and your regular workout program, then grabbing for a kettle bell can help. You should never fall victim to a stagnant workout, and I recommend changing things up regularly.
And if you’re ready to give them a go, or if you already love kettle bells and need a workout or two make sure to check out LiftingRevolution.