Well, let’s be honest. I have a love/hate relationship with kettlebells ever since a trainer I had years ago asked me to do 500 kettlebell swings (5 sets of the following – 10 swings, 15 swings, 25 swings, 50 swings). Long story short – I almost threw up. But I loved the challenge and kept coming back for more.
So, what is a kettlebell?
A kettlebell is a cast-iron or steel ball with a handle. The ball portion and non-circular handle allow you to perform a variety of swinging, lifting and twisting movements.
Kettlebells typically range from 8 kg/17 lbs up to 48 kg/105 lbs for men and 32 kg/70 lbs for women. The weight you choose depends on your fitness level and goals. I currently only own a 35 pound KB and, for me, it’s perfect for swings, deadlifts, etc. but is a bit too heavy for upper body exercises. If you don’t have access to a gym with kettlebells, you may want to invest in a couple of different weights to make sure you have the variety you need for your workouts.
Benefits of non-symmetrical weight
The offset center of mass of the kettlebell challenges your core and stabilizer muscles more than a dumbbell. This makes exercises more effective at building strength and power. Try one arm kettlebell rows or alternating deadlifts with two different weights of kettlebells (one lighter in one hand, heavier in the other) for even more benefit of this aspect.
The kettlebell’s handle allows you to perform natural, full-range-of-motion movements. The movements mimic the swinging and lifting patterns used in everyday life and sports.
Because kettlebell exercises involve hinging at the hips, twisting, pressing and pulling movements, they work multiple muscle groups at once in a short amount of time. This makes them a versatile training tool.
Kettlebell workouts are a highly effective and efficient way to improve your strength, endurance, mobility and overall fitness. They offer many benefits:
Full body workout – A single kettlebell can target all major muscle groups. Kettlebell exercises like swings, cleans, snatches and presses engage your legs, glutes, back, shoulders and arms at the same time.
Increased strength – Kettlebell training helps build muscular strength, especially in your core muscles that stabilize the spine. It also improves grip strength.
Improved cardio fitness – The ballistic nature of kettlebell exercises like swings and snatches elevate your heart rate and improve your cardio fitness and endurance.
Enhanced mobility – Kettlebell exercises like the windmill, goblet squat and overhead press can help improve flexibility and range of motion in your hips, shoulders and spine.
Fat loss – The high-intensity interval training (HIIT) nature of kettlebell workouts can boost your metabolism and help burn body fat.
Here’s a Sample 15-Minute Kettlebell Workout:
10 x Kettlebell Swings
10 x Goblet Squats
10 x Suitcase Deadlifts (each side)
10 x Overhead Presses
10 x Bent-Over Rows (each side)
Perform the workout as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes. Take short breaks as needed between exercises. Start with a lighter kettlebell weight that you can lift for 10-15 repetitions.
I hope you enjoyed this post! Are you also a fan of kettlebell workouts? Do you have a favorite workout you care to share? Thanks for reading and be sure to subscribe to my page for more health and wellness posts!