What are the benefits of kettlebell workouts?
A kettlebell is a weight that was originally used by the Russian army. What are the benefits of kettlebell workouts? Kettlebells combine cardio and strength training and can give you a full workout in just twenty minutes. Kettlebells are easily affordable and don’t take up much space so it is easy to see why some people prefer kettlebell workouts to going to the gym. Some of the benefits of Kettlebell workouts are:
- Improved Functional Strength
- Decreased body fat
- Improved stamina
- Improved Cardiovascular Fitness
- Reduced Risk of Injury
- Improved flexibility
- You can spend less time working out
- They’re fun!
Improved Functional Strength
Western strength training methods focus on training muscles in isolation, although individual muscles are strengthened this doesn’t mean you have better functional strength. Kettlebell workouts will give you more energy and day to day tasks will be easier. The swings and lifts in Kettlebell training involve using muscles together and training the movements this results in better functional strength. The increased strength will improve your performance in sports or athletics.
The high intensity nature of kettlebell workouts greatly improves general fitness and functional strength, this means you will have improved stamina.
Improved Cardiovascular Fitness
To improve cardiovascular fitness you need to do vigorous, high intensity exercises. Kettlebell training is ideal for this, it can improve your cardiovascular fitness in much less time than traditional methods such as distance training.
Reduced Risk of Injury
Kettlebell training can often look dangerous to an outsider, people think that swinging a heavy weight could easily damage muscles or that there is a danger of dropping the kettlebell and injuring yourself that way. However because you are training the muscles together instead of in isolation there are fewer imbalances between muscles and muscle groups. In kettlebell training you are optimizing certain movements, strengthening your joints and the muscles as a group which actually reduces your risk of injury. Kettlebells actually have a much lower incidence of injury compared to other exercise types. Another huge benefit that most kettlebell enthusiasts notice is relief from chronic aches and pains. People with back pain often find it disappears completely, this is due to strengthening the back muscles and improving how they work together.
Decreased body fat
Kettlebell workouts are great for burning body fat. The combination of high intensity cardiovascular exercise and strength training are very energy demanding. Kettlebell exercises can burn twice as many calories per minute than traditional aerobic exercises. Kettlebells also have a very high after burn effect. After any type of exercise you continue to burn calories at a faster rate, this effect lasts much longer with kettlebell workouts compared to other types of exercise. Exercising regularly with kettlebells will give you a lean body with toned muscles. Kettlebells won’t bulk you up. If you are skinny you will put on just the right amount of muscle.
A nice side effect of exercising with kettlebell is improved flexibility without having to spend time stretching. Since kettlebell workouts use nearly all your muscles, any weak muscles will be strengthed and tight muscles will be loosened and strengthened. There will be greater balance between the muscles and muscle groups will work together better.
Less time working out
Kettlebell workouts combine strength training with cardio and exercise muscle groups together. This means you need to spend considerably less time exercising. Kettlebells are often known for getting ‘twice the results in half the time’. It would be difficult to find a type of exercise that has as many benefits as kettlebell workouts. The other major benefit of course is that it is easy to stick with a kettlebell workout program. The workouts are short so they are easy to fit in, kettlebells are small and cheap so they can be used anywhere and the exercises are more interesting and engaging than traditional exercises so you won’t get bored. This is probably the most important benefit. If you isn’t easy to stick with an exercise routine you will not see any of the benefits.