What’s up lifting fans? Today we’re going to be looking at a few awesome kettlebell benefits that you probably hadn’t heard of before now. Kettlebells once upon a time, were rarely seen in gyms. Nowadays they’re virtually as common as regular ole’ dumbbells.
Kettlebells have been used for fitness purposes for many decades now, perhaps centuries in fact. Despite this, it’s only been quite recently that they’ve emerged as such popular choices for fitness fanatics all over the globe who happen to be looking to get in shape.
This is thanks in part to the popularity of CrossFit and circuit training. If you’ve never used kettlebells before, you’re certainly missing out. Here’s a look at 6 awesome kettlebell benefits you probably hadn’t heard of until right now.
Thought that the only way to burn calories and lose weight was to hop on a treadmill and jog endlessly until you get bored? Think again! It turns out that kettlebells are fantastic for people looking to burn calories and lose weight.
Any form of physical activity and exertion is going to burn calories, but kettlebells take calorie-burning to a whole new level entirely. Experts have found that exercises such as Kettlebell swings, can burn off a substantial amount of calories.
One minute of kettlebell swings will burn off an average of 20 calories. Other similar exercises will burn off a similar amount of calories in the process. That means that a 30 minute kettlebell workout could potentially burn off more than 600 calories. If you want to lose weight, kettlebells are ideal.
Increase your strength – Kettlebells are a type of weight, so as you can probably imagine, they’ll be great for increasing your strength.
What many people fail to realize however, is that it is mainly due to the mechanics of the movement as the main reason why kettlebells build strength, rather than their weight.
Because of their unusual shape and the way the weight is distributed, you recruit far more core stabilizer muscles than if you were training with dumbbells or barbells. Many powerlifters and strongmen train with kettlebells as part of their strength-building routines, and the results speak for themselves.
Strong core – If you want to strengthen your core, tone your abs, and increase your strength in general, you’ll need to ensure that you do plenty of kettlebell exercises.
Some of the best kettlebell benefits that we’re going to look at today are based upon the fact that kettlebells help to strengthen your core. Your core is what keeps you grounded, it is where you generate the majority of your power, and it is where you generate your functional fitness from.
By working on your core stabilizer muscles you can tone the abs, strengthen your abdominal muscles and obliques, and generally increase the strength of your core.
Increase your functional strength – As mentioned on astralnutrition.com, Kettlebells are very popular in CrossFit workouts, and if there’s one thing that CrossFit workouts do well, it’s increasing your functional strength. In terms of kettlebell benefits, functional strength is a benefit that all kettlebell lifters will enjoy.
But what is functional strength? Well, functional strength is strength that will benefit you in other aspects of everyday life outside of the gym. Say for example, a bodybuilder can bicep curl 180lbs for reps, that is a very impressive feat of strength in the gym.
Now, while he could bicep curl a lot of weight, if he was required to move a bulky and unusually shaped object at home that was fairly heavy, he may struggle. A functionally strong individual would pick it up and move it like it was nothing.
Kettlebells distribute their weight unevenly, they strengthen your core, and they increase muscle strength in general. Combine all of these elements together, and it’s easy to see why kettlebells are so great for increasing functional strength and power.
Kettlebell training is something different – If you’re fed up of going through the same exercises and training regimes week in and week out, you’ll probably be looking for something new to try.
If so, another example of one of the awesome kettlebell benefits that we’re looking at today, is the fact that kettlebell training offers you something different. Instead of the same barbell and dumbbell exercises, you can do variations of your favourite exercises with kettlebells.
Rather than dumbbell shoulder presses, why not perform kettlebell shoulder presses instead? Just be warned, you will need to use much lighter kettlebells than you’d use with dumbbells, and the exercise will be tough the master at first. Once you have the hang of each exercise however, you’ll wish you’d tried kettlebell training years ago.
Improved flexibility – If your flexibility could use some improvement, be sure to do more kettlebell training the next time you hit the gym. Kettlebells require you to execute the movements in a slow and controlled manner.
The exercises are similar to what you’d expect with plyometric training. As each movement has to be so slow, controlled, and methodical, it gently helps to stretch out your muscles and improve muscle elasticity.
This in turn means that you become a lot more flexible and agile. Again, it is why athletes often incorporate kettlebells into their training regimes.
As you can see, kettlebells offer you so much more than simply being an alternative to dumbbells. The kettlebell benefits we’ve listed today are only a fraction of what you can expect if you incorporate kettlebells into your training routine. So, what are you waiting for? Grab a set and start swinging them today!