Modern gyms are now varying their classes more than ever, and one trend that seems to stand out is that of kettlebell training. Why is this activity so popular? In this article, we will explore its main benefits on the body, so that anyone who wants to join a course or take it up on their own knows what to expect.
Words by Katherine Roberts.
The Benefits of Kettlebell Training
The main appeal behind training with kettlebells is represented by their portable and compact nature. You can easily take them along with you anywhere, which means that your workouts are not location-dependent in any way. Yet in spite of their reduced size, they help you engage in intensive physical exercise that is meant to enhance your form and figure.
In addition to this, new models can be tailored specifically for your goals. Just like in the case of the best adjustable dumbbells, the weight of your kettlebells can also be attuned through a simple pin-based mechanism so that your fitness needs are met by this single piece of equipment. But what about the benefits for the body? Here are the five most notable ones.
Cardio and Strength Combined
Kettlebells are where cardio and strength training meet, forming one super-exercise that benefits the entire body. As explained by Miami-based kettlebell instructor Michael Shade, working out with these tiny, yet versatile pieces of equipment for 20 minutes deliver similar results to a combined one-hour session of weightlifting and hitting the treadmill.
Sustainable Weight Loss
As detailed above, whipping out your kettlebells for a quick routine is bound to make you break a sweat. But did you know that you are also dropping significant weight in the process as well? A 2010 study conducted by the American Council on Exercise, or ACE for short, has shown that just 20 minutes of training with these special weights will burn off 272 calories.
In case you don’t want to do the math by yourself, that means 13.6 calories per minute. In addition to this, after measuring blood lactate levels, researchers have found that an addition 6.6 calories per minute were being dropped anaerobically by participants. This means that, with the right approach to the workout, you will shed as much as 20.2 calories each minute.
Any other type of cardio exercise would waste up to an hour of your time for the same results. The reason why kettlebells are much more efficient than other pieces of gym equipment is that they are built in such a way as to stimulate full body movement at an accelerated pace that resembles high-intensity interval training.
Functional Fitness Training
In case you haven’t heard, functional fitness is all the rage nowadays. As opposed to traditional workouts such as cycling or bodybuilding, this type of routine encourages those who pursue it to develop motor abilities and strength that will come in handy in real life situations, not just at the gym. Kettlebells are a great way to do just that.
Not only do they build muscular endurance which is valuable for your overall performance, but they also support you to improve your coordination and mobility skills. Because the routine is varied and challenging, they utilize a wider spectrum of your aptitudes than traditional weightlifting would, and they encourage you to be present and clear-headed as well.
Low Impact Physical Exercise
Although a lot of effort goes into performing a kettlebell routine, this type of exercise is actually a lot more low impact on the body’s musculoskeletal system than other types of weight training. If you’ve ever performed a session before, you might have noticed that the flow of the movements is similar to that in yoga.
This is extremely advantageous, as it aids you to break a sweat without damaging your muscles and bones. The research backs it up. A 2012 study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research has uncovered that the fluid swing motion that is the basis of all kettlebell exercises tends to be a lot easier on the joints.
Improved Posture and Stability
The same 2012 study cited in the previous section has also shown that those who have improper postures tend to find the action of kettlebells corrective. Unlike other exercises, you can’t perform these with a poor stance and get away with it. Kettlebells force you to adopt a position that is adequate for the health of your spine.
The Bottom Line
Kettlebells are the perfect middle ground between cardio and strength training, as they offer an intense workout is a short amount of time. This leads to efficient weight loss, as well as improved motor skills. Still, this activity won’t strain your musculoskeletal system, and it will enhance the health of your spine as well. So, what are you waiting for? Grab some gear and start swinging!
As a prestigious member of The Fitness Trainer Academy in Houston, with a vast experience in fitness coaching, nutritional advice, as well as wellness knowledge, Katherine Roberts is behind the Top Fitness Review blog. She’s a guru of everything related to active lifestyle and personal development, especially when it comes to keeping up to date with the latest industry’s trends. More of Kathy’s work is available on Facebook and Twitter.