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Is Kettlebell Cardio

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
Maria Garcia
• Tuesday, 24 November, 2020
• 12 min read
amy kettlebell bodyfit cardio workout play
(Source: www.youtube.com)

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. 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.

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.

cardio kettlebell workout workouts minute exercises amrap nourishmovelove min kettlebells kb training exercise move fitness minutes challenge hiit health nourish
(Source: www.nourishmovelove.com)

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. But it still plays an important role in your fitness, so the question isn’t whether to skip it, but rather how do you make it challenging, motivating, and fun?

One, it’s got you lifting weights, which is always more fun than jogging on a treadmill to nowhere, and it strengthens your muscles too (particularly your core and your grip, since this workout uses only kettle bells). And three, research from the University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse shows that kettle bell training is about as effective for increasing aerobic capacity as a cycling program.

cardio kettlebell workout minute nourishmovelove amrap workouts exercises nourish move min kb routines cardiovascular training comments keep read amy thank
(Source: www.nourishmovelove.com)

Stand with feet between hip and shoulder-width apart and hold the kettle bell by its horns, pulling the bottom of the bell into your lower sternum. Draw your shoulder blades together and down (“proud chest”) and cast your eyes on a spot on the floor approximately 15 feet in front of you.

When you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, extend your hips and squeeze your glutes, tucking your tailbone under as you lock out. Take a deep belly breath and, keeping your shoulders down and back with a long spine, drive through your heels to lift the bells and extend your hips to lockout.

Now walk as quickly as you can, keeping your shoulders back (think “proud chest”) and head neutrally aligned. Stand with feet between hip and shoulder-width apart and hold the kettle bell by its horns, pulling the bottom of the bell into your lower sternum.

Draw your shoulder blades together and down (“proud chest”) and cast your eyes on a spot on the floor approximately 15 feet in front of you. When you feel a stretch in your hamstrings, extend your hips and squeeze your glutes, tucking your tailbone under as you lock out.

Extend your hips as if coming up to stand tall and then bring your left foot in front of you again and plant it on the floor with the knee bent 90 degrees. Turn your rear leg so the foot points straight behind you and you finish in a lunge position.

cardio kettlebell training
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Touted as the perfect exercise, kettle bell swings 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.

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.

kettlebell cardio workout workouts exercises circuit body kettle routine circuits feel change way flow complex weight heart swing
(Source: kettlebellsworkouts.com)

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. What's your opinion on using kettle bell swings for cardio alongside a strength training program ?

Strength gains and being leaner is my long term goal for this year. So yeah, just burn some calories and have the added benefits from the swings, it wouldn't take as long as being on the treadmill or something either.

But I don't see 2 or 3 high rep swing sessions with a light bell interfering with that. In some respects it can enhance your strength program by acting as active recovery.

Most of my SAS time is waiting for my heart rate to go down a bit in order to do the next set of swings, and then of Thus. Most of my SAS time is waiting for my heart rate to go down a bit in order to do the next set of swings, and then of Thus.

kettlebell workout fat loss weight cardio workouts routine kettlebells routines body fitness exercises arm exercise burning training mens squat clean
(Source: www.slideshare.net)

To me, MAF locomotion is pretty much unbeatable at that: it's sustainable, it doesn't stress the body too much and can't be beaten for health purposes. 100 swings a day are great, and I believe more volume can be sustained every other day without much stress, if done in multiple sets of five swings and adequate recovery between them (basically, A+A), but they just can't replace or held the same benefits of steady state, low heart rate frequency locomotion done for a long period of time (one full hour with occasional two/three sessions would be great, but if you're already beating the legs with Strong lifts, I guess 45 minutes and one hour stints will suffice).

I'll add that a lot of trainers of any kind, from Elliott Pulse to Andrew Read, strongly recommend walking. It will obviously stop being enough soon, but just diving into rucking or even worse running without a base of locomotion is a terrible idea.

I'm not even saying it does apply to you, @scottienomad, but consider one month or so of uphill walking at a fastened pace using an HR monitor, if you feel your joints and tendons aren't prepared for running/rucking for any reason. I'd jump rope instead, tho long sets of lighter swings not a bad alternative.

Most of my SAS time is waiting for my heart rate to go down a bit in order to do the next set of swings, and then of Thus. The cardio effect from swings would be excellent of course for mimicking the heart work needed for combat sports such as judo, or Kendo.

Strength gains and being leaner is my long term goal for this year. KettlebellCardio This method will absolutely work, providing the program is well written and executed. High Intensity Interval Resistance Cardio Training.

cardio kettlebell
(Source: br.pinterest.com)

Performing Kettle bell Swing under the same High Intensity Interval Cardio Training, virtually produces the same effect. So yeah, just burn some calories and have the added benefits from the swings, it wouldn't take as long as being on the treadmill or something either.

Epic is like overcharging your “Metabolic Credit Card”, you are change interest. An inexpensive device that you can make yourself that will allow you to preform Swing with heavier loads is the “Hungarian Core Blaster”.

High Repetition Swings This method is effective as a means of increasing endurance and for hypertrophy. This allows the Strength/Power/Speed Type IIA and IIT/x Muscle Fiber to recover so that you elicit greater force production (increase Strength/Power/Speed).

Research (DRS Jonathan Oliver, Greg Half, Mike Stone, etc) demonstrated that Strength/Power/Speed were increased via Clusters. Research found that this Cluster Sets, when the program is written and performed correctly, increase muscle mass.

You walk for over an hour a day, you're keeping healthy and reasonably fit. I'll have to rethink things if I'm the only guy here who thinks that SAS counts as cardio — I must be wrong. Body weight exercises give me the strength to out grip and dominate my opponents.

kettlebell cardio
(Source: www.youtube.com)

You walk for over an hour a day, you're keeping healthy and reasonably fit. I'll have to rethink things if I'm the only guy here who thinks that SAS counts as cardio — I must be wrong. Body weight exercises give me the strength to out grip and dominate my opponents.

Sushi, you're not wrong, for my understanding of things. S&S (like any other physical endeavor, really) does have an endurance component. A top tire bodybuilder, costumed to incline bench considerable weight many times and with limited rest periods, will have a very easy time moving less weight with a similar motor pattern before fatiguing (read having too much lactic acid on his tissues) himself so much he can't do that anymore.

That's because I laugh ad those who look at bodybuilders and think they are air balloons — but that's another matter. In fact, once you go to a heavier bell, lighter weights can go for much longer in time.

But there is a problem, if classic cardio gains are the goal: the heart elevation is just a recovery from the peaks induced by the work periods. Cardiovascular conditioning, on the other hand, is trained with activities that put the energy system involved (aerobic) into light/medium-light stress for a prolong period of time (how much is debatable, the general guidelines are no less than 30 minutes, hence the vast majority of beginners' running program tend to build up to half an hour and then proceed from there).

To do so, you have to choose exercises that limit them two absolute minimum the production of lactic acid and therefore muscle fatigue. That's why walking is a considerable stress for absolute beginners: calves tend to go first in fastened locomotion, not the heart nor the lungs.

cardio kettlebell
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Once the muscles are trained enough, the cardiovascular system can be targeted through constant heart elevation, that has to be mild (the well known MAF formula being an excellent indicator, i.e.), for a prolonged period of time. I suspect you are fit for Judo with just SAS because the sport is much more strength endurance oriented.

That doesn't mean cardiovascular training can be taken out completely from the plans of a judo, but a peaking period has to be considered. That's how, if I understand correctly, prizefighters train: low stress for most o the camp, peaking near the end.

Doing so, you have built up a base of conditioning in the first place, and prepared the body to gather energy from every possible source in the end. Although unrelated to your post, that's also the reason why HIIT, met con and Tabatha methods are very good in the later stages of preparation to strength endurance event, because they train the body to sustain high intensity for a period of time really similar for said event with minimal recovery breaks in it (a 30-36 minutes title fight, for example).

There is no way on Earth, though, that this type of training alone can prepare an athlete to a long effort event (classic example being a marathon). So, to conclude this tragedy I just wrote (I really need to be more concise): SAS is indeed keeping you fit for Judo, and it might very well be keeping you as fit for day to day activities or other sports, but, for cardiovascular purposes only, it isn't doing nearly as well as conventional cardio activities.

KettlebellCardio This method will absolutely work, providing the program is well written and executed. High Intensity Interval Resistance Cardio Training. Performing Kettle bell Swing under the same High Intensity Interval Cardio Training, virtually produces the same effect.

kettlebell cardio workouts kettlebellsworkouts
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

Epic is like overcharging your “Metabolic Credit Card”, you are change interest. An inexpensive device that you can make yourself that will allow you to preform Swing with heavier loads is the “Hungarian Core Blaster”.

High Repetition Swings This method is effective as a means of increasing endurance and for hypertrophy. This allows the Strength/Power/Speed Type IIA and IIT/x Muscle Fiber to recover so that you elicit greater force production (increase Strength/Power/Speed).

Research (DRS Jonathan Oliver, Greg Half, Mike Stone, etc) demonstrated that Strength/Power/Speed were increased via Clusters. Research found that this Cluster Sets, when the program is written and performed correctly, increase muscle mass.

Sushi, you're not wrong, for my understanding of things. S&S (like any other physical endeavor, really) does have an endurance component. A top tire bodybuilder, costumed to incline bench considerable weight many times and with limited rest periods, will have a very easy time moving less weight with a similar motor pattern before fatiguing (read having too much lactic acid on his tissues) himself so much he can't do that anymore.

That's because I laugh ad those who look at bodybuilders and think they are air balloons — but that's another matter. But there is a problem, if classic cardio gains are the goal: the heart elevation is just a recovery from the peaks induced by the work periods.

cardio kettlebell workouts burning fat blast strength enlarge
(Source: fitbodybuzz.com)

Cardiovascular conditioning, on the other hand, is trained with activities that put the energy system involved (aerobic) into light/medium-light stress for a prolong period of time (how much is debatable, the general guidelines are no less than 30 minutes, hence the vast majority of beginners' running program tend to build up to half an hour and then proceed from there). To do so, you have to choose exercises that limit them two absolute minimum the production of lactic acid and therefore muscle fatigue.

That's why walking is a considerable stress for absolute beginners: calves tend to go first in fastened locomotion, not the heart nor the lungs. Once the muscles are trained enough, the cardiovascular system can be targeted through constant heart elevation, that has to be mild (the well known MAF formula being an excellent indicator, i.e.), for a prolonged period of time.

I suspect you are fit for Judo with just SAS because the sport is much more strength endurance oriented. That doesn't mean cardiovascular training can be taken out completely from the plans of a judo, but a peaking period has to be considered.

That's how, if I understand correctly, prizefighters train: low stress for most o the camp, peaking near the end. Doing so, you have built up a base of conditioning in the first place, and prepared the body to gather energy from every possible source in the end.

Although unrelated to your post, that's also the reason why HIIT, met con and Tabatha methods are very good in the later stages of preparation to strength endurance event, because they train the body to sustain high intensity for a period of time really similar for said event with minimal recovery breaks in it (a 30-36 minutes title fight, for example). There is no way on Earth, though, that this type of training alone can prepare an athlete to a long effort event (classic example being a marathon).

kettlebell cardio workout quick body ultimate fearless fitness blender burn fat entire workouts kelli segars kettle bell fitnessblender training
(Source: www.fitnessblender.com)

So, to conclude this tragedy I just wrote (I really need to be more concise): SAS is indeed keeping you fit for Judo, and it might very well be keeping you as fit for day to day activities or other sports, but, for cardiovascular purposes only, it isn't doing nearly as well as conventional cardio activities. If it weren't for people like you on this website, I would have neglected proper cardio training to the detriment of my health.

Now I think differently and I'll be making a lot of efforts to get out, and to therefore live longer and better. I'm just giving back a little of what I constantly gather from every person on this place, you included. I'll cite Andrew Read (although not literally, but it will suffice): I've seen powerlifters one burger away from a heart stroke, and triathlon athletes who looked like they could live forever “.

That is a little over the top, probably, but since Al Camp introduced me to the magic of LSD (long-slow-distance) I haven't looked back since. I must admit weight training is still my favorite, but I don't neglect cardiovascular activity anymore.

My uncle will turn 58 this year and is a multiple marathon runner at amateur levels, never touched serious iron in his life and no body weight either, yet his current fitness level is comparable to people very, very younger than him (proven by the fact that after just two years of boxing classes — which are now four — he could already mop the floor with most of his sparring partners). A couple of important books I think you might find interesting are Run Strong by Andrew Read himself (which also is a high caliber kettle bell instructor and BJJ practitioner, by the way), which I unfortunately haven't read, and PT Manual by Albert Camp.

I'm just giving back a little of what I constantly gather from every person on this place, you included. I'll cite Andrew Read (although not literally, but it will suffice): I've seen powerlifters one burger away from a heart stroke, and triathlon athletes who looked like they could live forever “. That is a little over the top, probably, but since Al Camp introduced me to the magic of LSD (long-slow-distance) I haven't looked back since.

kettlebell circuit cardio workout workouts routines training tabata class fat intensity swings bodyweight burn burning dumbbell exercises hiit strength exercise
(Source: fitbodybuzz.com)

I must admit weight training is still my favorite, but I don't neglect cardiovascular activity anymore. My uncle will turn 58 this year and is a multiple marathon runner at amateur levels, never touched serious iron in his life and no body weight either, yet his current fitness level is comparable to people very, very younger than him (proven by the fact that after just two years of boxing classes — which are now four — he could already mop the floor with most of his sparring partners).

A couple of important books I think you might find interesting are Run Strong by Andrew Read himself (which also is a high caliber kettle bell instructor and BJJ practitioner, by the way), which I unfortunately haven't read, and PT Manual by Albert Camp. Again, it goes to validate instincts that I had through the years about exercise but never understood scientifically and constantly doubted myself even though I did them — 1. That walking long distances is wonderful for you, and 2. That chin ups and dips (body weight training) are excellent exercises.

Do you run the clusters by time, HR max, % of AMAP? I'd like to incorporate this once/week in my routine but don't know what my working load or reps should be.

Related Videos

Sources
1 kettlebellsworkouts.com - https://kettlebellsworkouts.com/are-kettlebell-workouts-cardio-or-strength/
2 breakingmuscle.com - https://breakingmuscle.com/fitness/kettlebells-as-a-cardio-tool-yay-or-nay
3 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/kettlebell-cardio-for-cardio-haters/
4 livehealthy.chron.com - https://livehealthy.chron.com/kettlebell-swing-good-cardio-5437.html
5 www.strongfirst.com - https://www.strongfirst.com/community/threads/kettlebell-for-cardio.11808/