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.
Fitness experts suggest using kettle bells with the following weights if you’re at an intermediate to advanced level with your strength training: 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. Slowly bend both knees so that your thighs are almost parallel to the floor.
Using your leg muscles, with your upper body still, straighten up to your starting position. 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. Make sure your left knee doesn’t extend over your toes.
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. 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. Kettle bells tend to swing, so get used to the feel and movement in your hands before using one.
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.
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.
Kettle bell workouts are excellent for strengthening and conditioning major muscle groups. Free weights received an upgrade when kettle bells were introduced in fitness circles around the world.
What makes kettle bell exercises special compared with other programs is the total-body workout you achieve in just one short session. One of the major advantages to using kettle bells is the fact that they engage groups of muscles in one exercise.
It's important to always use the proper form in order to fully engage the entire group of muscles and to avoid injury. A study reported in 2011 in the “Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health” showed that strength training can reduce a person's back pain while also preventing rein jury.
A workout that engages the core muscles as well as the upper back is the kettle bell row. To perform the kettle bell row, hold a bell in each hand and stand with knees bent and your butt in a seated position.
The chest, shoulders and arms are a group of muscles that specific kettle bell exercises engage together. The lower-body kettle bell workouts will engage these muscle groups and also improve posture and strength.
Hold the kettle bell handle with both hands at eye level while keeping your back straight. Squat down to the floor and go as low as your body will allow without your knees extending past your toes.
The workout gets your heart pumping and uses up to 20 calories per minute: about as much as running a 6-minute mile. Buy a DVD or sign up for a kettle bell class at the gym to learn how to do the moves safely.
It won’t take long to understand why celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Biel, and Katherine Hall are huge fans of kettle bell workouts. You’ll work up a sweat doing a series of fast-paced cardio and strength-training moves like kettle bell swings, lunges, shoulder presses, and push-ups.
Most kettle bell workouts include squats, lunges, crunches, and other moves that work your abs and other core muscles. The kettle bell is used as a weight for arm exercises like single-arm rows and shoulder presses.
Lunges and squats are among the most popular moves in a kettle bell workout. Your tush will be toned by using the kettle bell for added weight during lunges and squats.
Using a kettle bell for a dead lift helps tone your back muscles. The kettle bell is an effective weight that will build muscle strength.
You may want to buy DVDs or sign up for classes to learn the basics of a kettle bell workout. Yes, if you take a class or pick a DVD that's for beginners and use a lighter kettle bell.
Depending on the program, you may be getting both your strength training and your aerobic workout at the same time. If you choose a kettle bell that is too heavy or if you have poor form, you are likely to lose control of it.
Start out with an experienced trainer who can correct your technique before you hurt something. Adding a kettle bell to your existing workout is great if you want to burn more calories in less time.
This type of high-intensity workout is not for you if you would rather do a more meditative approach to body sculpting, or if sweating isn’t your thing. With your doctor’s OK, you can include kettle bells in your fitness routine if you have diabetes.
Muscle burns energy more efficiently, so your blood sugar levels will go down. Depending on the workout, you may also get some cardio to help prevent heart disease.
Using kettle bells in your workout puts some serious demands on your hips and back, as well as your knees, neck, and shoulders. If you have arthritis or pain in your knees or back, then look for a less risky strength-training program.
If you have other physical limitations, ask an experienced instructor for advice on how to modify your workout. If you worked out with kettle bells before becoming pregnant and are not having any problems with your pregnancy, then you will likely be able to continue using them -- at least for a while.
Talk to your instructor and your doctor; they might suggest switching out your kettle bells during your last trimester. Sources American Council on Exercise: “Exclusive ACE research examines the benefits of kettle bells.”
Build a Better Butt: Workouts for Slim and Shapely Glutes Fitness Dos and Don'ts: Test Your Knowledge on Getting in Shape
Quiz Test Your Sports Injury Savvy The kettle bell swing is a great exercise because it burns fat like few workouts can without any impact on your body.
The kettle bell swing works different parts of the body like your shoulders, hips, your core, legs, and upper back. This exercise is one of the best ways to incorporate different types of movements in one workout to burn calories.
Muscle strengthening is one of the most significant benefits that kettle bell swings provide your body. With stronger muscles, your body can improve its injury resilience, overall fitness, coordination, and balance.
Kettle bell swings start with a powerful thrust that requires your hamstring and glutes to use more energy. Like any other weight training equipment, you need to have a specific number of sets to perform to avoid overworking your body.
According to fitness experts, the recommended number of sets for the kettle bell swing is three with five to ten reps. This movement will help create momentum to aid in pushing the kettle bell upwards.
Over the years, the kettle bell swing has proved to be an effective exercise for fitness enthusiasts across the world. However, to reap the benefits this workout has to offer, it is essential to learn proper technique and form.
Once you accomplish that, it becomes quite easy to fall in love with kettle bell swings and attain the results you desire.