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.
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. A dull workout or one that a client doesn’t enjoy quickly diminishes motivation and progress.
And cardio often falls into that category of boring and disliked workouts. How fun can it be for a client to walk or run on a treadmill for 30 minutes straight?
As a personal trainer, getting creative in these situations can help client retention. When performing a set of bench presses, you can only do so many reps before hitting muscular fatigue.
The metabolic conditioning aspect of the kettlebellcardio workout comes from those last few forced reps. Kettle bell swings incorporate many muscle groups. With a full-body approach in performing kettle bell exercises, you can expect an increase in cardio.
Your client will burn more calories and likely experience greater fat loss. The positioning allows a client to keep good form while continuing to increase their heart rate.
Jump squats are another great way to increase cardiovascular intensity. This mimics high intensity interval training or cardio on a treadmill.
Cardio on a treadmill, bike, or elliptical is generally assigned for a length of time, right? This will help steady-state cardio and improve a client’s metabolic rate.
Clients experience more calorie burn because of lifting with a kettle bell. As a personal trainer, you know building muscle mass is vital to improve fitness levels.
The functional movement kettle bells promote allows for activation of more muscle groups. The legs plus the entire body work together as one through a kettle bell clean or dead lift.
If you compare exercises like these to a biceps curl, you will notice that one produces more muscle action. The explosiveness and force development it requires leads to an increased heart rate.
The ability to perform quick reps and for long-duration sets also helps. Holding the kettle bell in a goblet position, ensure your client’s feet are shoulder-width apart.
A lateral lunge to a goblet squat combines two compound movements. The exertion a client needs to produce will be greater than a treadmill cardio session.
With the elbows remaining close to the body, squat down to parallel and drive through the heels to stand back up. As the client approaches the starting position cue them to press the kettle bell over their head.
Consider these techniques when putting together a kettlebellcardio workout in place of cardio. For each exercise set a goal rep range of 10 reps. Have them perform as many rounds as possible in eight minutes.
You can perform this at a lesser intensity if your client needs to mimic steady-state cardio. If you need to create a HIIT environment, then have your client complete a full round before resting and moving on.
This makes it more enjoyable for clients while they work on improving their fitness. You can change the time intervals depending on the client's fitness level.
If the cardio you prescribe a client is HIIT, then this is a good technique to use. If your client prefers using rep ranges instead of time counting, then use this technique.
Increasing the rep ranges for clients creates a longer set. It helps improve creativity within each workout and keeps clients excited.
It produces optimal weight loss results, muscle mass building, and flexibility improvements. You’ll learn how to design a program customized according to a client's unique health and fitness needs.
My column in this week's Globe and Mail takes a look at a few recent studies assessing the effectiveness of kettle bell workouts: 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. But, eventually, the evidence catches up.
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.