What kettlebell training can do for your body
Revamp your workout and build strong and toned muscles with kettlebell training. Here’s what this workout could do for you
Source: Excerpted from Kettlebells for Women, and reprinted with permission from Ulysses Press
The benefits of kettlebell training are endless and are proving to far outshine the conventional dumbbells and fancy machines found inside gyms and health clubs. This all-around tool can actually replace almost every piece of equipment you have. The dynamic nature of the kettlebell will give you an all-in-one workout of a lifetime, combining both strength and cardio aspects.
The kettlebell’s unique shape (the handle, the bulk of the weight massed into a dense ball) is obviously different than that of a dumbbell. This shape allows the body to perform a multitude of ballistic and grind exercises in a natural, fluid motion. Although most kettlebell exercises can be performed with a dumbbell, performing a snatch or a swing is much more cumbersome with a dumbbell. The dumbbell doesn’t become an extension of your arm like the kettlebell since it doesn’t have a handle. The kettlebell handle lets the hand hold it loosely so that the bell can float and swing outward due to the hip thrust, providing more momentum for both the upward and downward swings. With dumbbell swings, the arms are forced to be used more since the bulk of the weight is on the sides and not massed into a ball. In addition to providing incredible grip, the kettlebell handle allows for the bell to be easily passed back and forth between hands, which can keep an exercise set going for longer periods, providing an intense cardio session. The offset weight of the ball forces more muscles to stabilize and allows for the body to take each exercise through a longer range of motion. The increased range of motion will improve flexibility as well as improve the strength of deeper stabilizing muscles.
The benefits of a kettlebell workout:
‘ Increased endurance
‘ Rapid fat loss
‘ Muscular strength without the added bulk
‘ Increased core stability
‘ Full-body workout
‘ Stronger back
‘ Rehabilitated shoulders
‘ Mental toughness
‘ Decreased musculoskeletal pain
‘ Twice the results in half the time you would spend at the gym
A study done by the American Council on Exercise showed the effectiveness of kettlebell training for burning calories. According to the study, doing kettlebell snatches for intervals of 15 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest was equivalent to the calorie burn of running at a six-minute-mile pace. Since most people are unable to run that fast, this is extraordinary. The actual study had the subjects perform about 6 snatches every 15 seconds of work for 20 minutes’the calorie burn averaged out to 20.2 calories per minute! This didn’t even calculate the after-burn effect on the metabolism that the body experiences after intense interval training such as this one. This quick, full-body movement proves to give the body one of the most efficient calorie-burning workouts found other than cross-country skiing.
A recent study performed in Scandinavia investigated the effects of using kettlebells to improve musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health. The study found that kettlebell training reduces pain in the neck, shoulders, and lower back. The study also showed that kettlebell training improves strength of the lower back among adults with a high prevalence of reported musculoskeletal pain.
Some of the reasons why I personally like using kettlebells:
‘ It decreases workout time by half.
‘ It saves money. No gym membership is required and you can get your entire workout done with just one bell.
‘ It’s a full-body and very balanced workout.
‘ It’s never boring and super fun.
‘ It makes your rear very strong and firm.
‘ It’s easily transportable and can be used almost everywhere.
‘ It can be shared in a group setting, making it a social activity.
‘ It can target every single muscle group in your entire body.
‘ Did I say it’s quick and gets to the point?
The benefits of using them are quite remarkable’it’d be silly not to implement this tool in a balanced training program.
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