Regular Kettlebell workouts can help you achieve the best cardiovascular fitness you’ve ever had. If you are new to kettlebells this might seem like an unlikely, over the top claim but many people have found it to be true, everyone from the russian army to hollywood stars.
Kettlebells have the added bonus of allowing you to do a full workout with limited equipment, time, space and money. Kettlebells also combine strength training with cardio, kettlebell workouts are very time efficient!
The most important aspect of any cardiovascular training is intensity. Intensity is the main thing to keep in mind when trying to improve cardiovascular fitness. Kettlebell workouts by their nature are very intense.
Kettlebells are very effective for cardio because of the number of exercises you can do with a single piece of equipment. When training with a kettlebell you can move through different sets, intervals and circuits without interruption. This means you can keep both the level of exertion and your heart rate up for the duration of the set or interval. This is hugely valuable for cardiovascular fitness. An exercise such as the kettlebell swing is very intense which makes for a great cardio workout. Kettlebell exercises utilize eighty percent of muscles so you can get a great full body workout in a realivly short space of time. You can structure you ketllebell cardio workouts so that you repeat a single exercise for a number of minutes or you can do multiple kettlebell lifts for a full body workout.
All you need to keep in mind for cardio fitness is the harder you work and the longer you work the better. Training with kettlebells will really improve your level of cardio and overall fitness.
Kettlebell Cardio Workouts
The kettlebell swing
To do the kettlebell swing place the kettlebell just in front of you and stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Squat down and pick up the kettlebell with both hands with your palms facing the ground. Your feet should be flat and your back should be straight but not vertical. Swing the kettlebell up so that your arms are horizontal and out in front of you, then swing the kettlebell down between your legs, squatting as you do so. You should inhale as you swing upwards and exhale on the downward swing. The power for the swing should come from your hips, upper thighs and abs.
The kettlebell snatch
In this exercise you swing the kettlebell from the ground to above your head in on clean motion. The strength for this exercise needs to come from the hips. The hips need to snap forward and your knee and hip joints need to extend. The first step of this exercise is to get the kettlebell about level with your head then you need to punch upwards so that your arm is vertical. You should then ‘lock’ your arm in that position for a few moments.
The kettlebell jerk
This is similar to the kettlbell snatch except you use your legs twice. Stand with your legs slightly bent and hold the kettlbell. Now do a quarter squat and then quickly stand back up. As you stand up the kettlbell should be pressed upwards and over your head. Now instead of finishing the press here like the snatch you should squat down slightly again and as you quickly stand up again you should use your legs to push the kettlebell up to the position where you can lock your arm.