Kettlebell Series Part 2: 10 Undeniable Benefits of Kettlebell Training

Kettlebell Series Part 2: 10 Undeniable Benefits of Kettlebell Training

This article is the second in our three part series exploring Kettlebells, Kettlebell training and the benefits of this simple but potent piece of training equipment. The benefits of training using kettlebells are endless and definitely too many to mention. However, these ten undeniable benefits prove that kettlebells should form part of every strength & conditioning program.

Kettlebell Series Part 1: A Brief History of the Kettlebell

1. A Great Cardio Alternative

Classic kettlebell movements, such as the Snatch and Clean & Jerk, are high-speed dynamic movements that demand accuracy in execution. This means you are training your muscles to generate explosive power. Traditionally, Olympic style weightlifting focused on moving the heaviest weight for a single repetition. Nowadays, kettlebells can be used at lower weights and higher rep ranges with single arm variations to develop a massive cardiovascular response, in addition to building strength and explosive power. This will boost your metabolic rate which will help build your cardiovascular health.

2. Increases Core Strength

Exercising using a kettlebell incorporates compound exercises such as the Kettlebell Swing and Turkish Get Up. Controlling the kettlebell during these compound exercises engages the core muscles helping you to build well-rounded core strength.

3. Improves Balance and Coordination

A kettlebell’s weight is not evenly distributed as its centre of gravity is aimed away from your grip, making the handle more difficult to control.  This means that any exercises you do will require the engagement of muscles to control the weight and the changing centre of gravity in order to remain stable.

4. Serious Fat-Burning Workout

Kettlebells have an incredible capacity for burning calories. A study in 2010 by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) showed that during a kettlebell workout, the average person burned 20 calories per minute. This equates to a whopping 400 calories per 20-minute workout! This is comparable to running a mile (1.6km) in six minutes.

5. Improves Joint Health

Not only are the fluid swinging movements in kettlebell workouts easier on the joints, but starting off with lighter weights will help you to build your strength more gradually, protecting and reinforcing the muscles around these joints. As kettlebells work the stabilising muscles in our bodies, our joints such as our knees, elbows and shoulders will be better supported.

6. Develops Hip Strength and Speed

Hip strength and the correct movement of the hips are important as it ensures stability and aids in the prevention of injuries. The use of kettlebells in movements such as the kettlebell swing means that every time you flex and aggressively extend your hips, you are developing better hip strength and speed – an important foundation for almost all sports. This change in your hips is fundamental for basic tasks, such as bending over to pick something up or even in athletic movements such as jumping and sprinting.

7. Builds grip strength

Grip strength has been proven to correlate to increased strength which is great when it comes to deadlifting. This isn’t only important in the gym but in everyday life, whether we are opening a particularly tight jar or having to hold onto a heavy box whilst moving. Kettlebell training helps with all this. It is due to the basic design of a kettlebell: their handles are thicker than those of barbells and dumbbells, and they require a stronger grip and forearm strength when using them. The centre of gravity of the kettlebell is typically moving during exercises, so your fingers and wrists have to work harder to manage the kettlebell, which improves your grip. The stronger your grip, the stronger you are.

8. Identifies muscle weaknesses

It is crucial to work on your weaknesses and imbalances if you want to avoid injury. By using kettlebells in your workouts, you can identify areas of weakness in your strength, movement, and coordination. This means you can target specific areas of weakness and perform movements to strengthen and rebalance your body.

9. Gives you a full-body workout

Most kettlebell exercises work multiple muscle groups and joints at the same time creating an effective full-body workout. Pair that with what we mentioned earlier about kettlebells being serious fat-burning tools and you have yourself a winning combination.

10. Cost-effective

Kettlebells are a versatile, affordable piece of equipment that is simple to add to most training programmes, yet incredibly effective. With a set of kettlebells, you can build strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility while enjoying the added health benefits of improving cardiovascular, joint, and respiratory health.

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