There is perhaps no other type of training equipment as versatile as kettlebells. Their unique shape makes them a powerful tool in an exerciser’s program for dramatic gains in strength, muscularity, strength endurance, and fat loss. Find out exactly how they improve the above abilities.
1. Increase in strength and speed
The shape of a kettlebell makes it ideal for strength training. The thickness of the handle and the way it counterbalances most of the weight of the kettlebell instead of being perfectly balanced like a simple dumbbell creates the right climate for huge gains in functional strength.
When it comes to strength development, swings and snatches are undoubtedly the best exercises for really developing your overall strength. Kettlebell swings and kettlebell snatches create a special centrifugal acceleration with relatively few pounds, which is the main stimulus for strength development.
Take some time to learn the kettlebell swing first before moving on to the snatch – although we would recommend learning the hard-style Kettlebell swing which is much more effective. The videos we provide are quite explanatory.
Once you’ve mastered the above moves, we’d recommend adding them to the start of your day by doing legs or back in 5 sets x 10 rep style
2. Lines and fat loss
A study by the La Crosse University of Wisconsin showed that an intense snatch session can burn up to 20 calories per minute! This is the equivalent of a treadmill at a speed of 9km/h. An impressive find for those who avoid the aisle like hell with incense.
For fat loss, it is recommended to use very high repetitions with moderate to light weights. The goal here is to use the momentum of the movements performed with kettlebells as a dynamic aerobic session. The usual rep range is 25 or more per set.
Training with kettlebells is not something we can put in boxes. You should, after learning the movements, get creative with them and make your own 20 minute fat burning circuit that includes a combination of movements such as swings, grabs, goblet squats, one-arm shoulder presses, etc.
3. Muscle coordination and functionality
Training with kettlebells is all about dynamic and functional movements. So, regardless of the goal, you will develop very efficient muscle coordination, while improving your strength in weights or in whatever sport you do.
But one of the extra benefits of kettlebells is that they “force” you to work unilaterally (ie one limb at a time) which eliminates any muscle imbalances in strength, thus improving not only your performance as mentioned but also your ability to avoid any injuries.
In addition, unilateral training causes the body to activate a series of stabilizing muscles to balance the movements. And especially the muscles of the waist (abdominal/back) to stabilize the trunk. Which means… you got it. No need to do boring abs exercises!
As a bonus, your grip gets incredibly stronger and your forearms work overtime with every snatch or swing exercise. And as we have said before: all the power is in the forearms.
Don’t see kettlebells as an alternative for times when you’re out of the gym. Include them in your program now, whether you’re bulking or toning, the benefits you’ll reap in strength, function, flexibility, and muscle coordination will reward you in your every goal.