Did you know that 15 minutes on an elliptical machine burns between 50-125 calories while 15 minutes of kettlebells can burn 300 calories?
Efficient, powerful and extremely versatile, kettlebells offer an endless array of workouts for fitness goers of all levels.
5 Benefits of Kettlebells
Full-Body Workout The simple kettlebell swing alone works the hips, glutes, hamstrings, lats, shoulders, pecs, grip and core in a single motion. The two general categories of kettlebells are ballistic and grinds. Ballistic motions refer to more dynamic and explosive exercises that work multiple joints such as a swing, snatch and clean. They offer a wide range of motion and work a larger number of muscles while also working the heart and lungs. Grinds are based on more on slow and controlled movements on targeted areas such as a squat, deadlift, or overhead press. They focus on the ability to smoothly transition muscle groups while maintaining tension and challenge posture and alignment. By combining these two techniques you are also able to create hybrid combos to accentuate the most challenging of both methods. A good way to do this is by creating a superset first targeting a controlled grind, followed by an explosive ballistic movement for a few sets.
Stabilization Because of their unique design with resistance positioned away from the handle, kettlebell workouts initiate the use of your stabilizer muscles. This therefore adds the element of stabilization and balance to your workouts in order to perform the exercise appropriately. More specifically, in addition to the primary muscle you would initially think of when performing the exercise, there are other smaller muscles performing to reciprocate the needed stability to execute the movement. An easy way to increase balance and stabilization by using kettlebells is to perform the action with one arm or stand on one leg to engage core and other stabilizer muscles.
Amplify Power and Intensity Kettlebells provide a higher-intensity workout than standard weight-training routines. According to a study by ACE, men and women between ages of 29-46 had a heart rate that ranged between 86-99% of max heart rate and 67-91% of max oxygen uptake - substantially higher than standard weightlifting. Twenty minutes of kettlebells was equivalent to running a six-minute mile pace, or cross-country skiing uphill at a fast pace. The fast motions required for exercises like a snatch or swing require an ability to produce movements and fast muscular contractions over an extended period of time creating a power-endurance. This combination is a prime reason why kettlebells are a great way to train for fat loss and conditioning.
Function While a cannonball with a handle at the end is not a typical functional tool, the training around it is in fact functional. It helps to provide strength, stability and mobility needed to thrive in every day life as well as exceed in performance areas. By using basic functional movement patterns of pushing, pulling, hinging, squatting, rotating, and carrying, you are able to improve your movement proficiency.
Posture Because kettlebells are intended to focus on the posterior chain, many exercises strengthen the back of the body to improve posture. With many of us all sitting at a desk all day, it is important to fight a deteriorating body alignment and unengaged posture. The two most common strengthening issues are Upper Crossed Syndrome and Lower Crossed Syndrome. Upper Crossed Syndrome is identified by rounding of the upper back, elevated shoulders and a forward head leaning posture. Lower Crossed Syndrome is identified by an excessive curve or arch in the lower back which indicate that abs and glutes are underactive and a tightness in lower back down and across hip flexors and quads. For a full list of posture-improving exercises, visit