So kettlebell training benefits, what are they and why should you choose them over traditional forms of resistance training?
19 reasons why you should incorporate kettlebell training into your regular workouts!!
Develop Muscular Strength, Power and Endurance
Kettlebell training can be specifically utilised to target muscular strength, power or endurance gains. For power training will involve dynamic, high-speed moves, strength training will involve lower reps with heavier weight. Endurance training will mean higher reps with less weight.
Improve motor skills, coordination balance and agility
Someone once described kettlebells to me a ‘Yoga with weight’, which could be true. Kettlebell training requires great concentration to achieve the correct technique with the transitions between movements. The flexibility, agility and coordination required to undertake each move can take a great deal of time and practice. However, the benefits to these key areas continue to grow and grow once the correct technique has been learned and greater weights are used.
Kettlebells are also extremely versatile in that they allow you can chain moves together into ‘kettlebell flows’. A flow is basically three or more kettlebell exercises, performed one after another in a continuous fluid sequence.
Additionally, you can simply just experiment with movement patterns in a way that other resistance training cannot. The multi-planar movements involving weight whilst maintaining balance improve the body neuromuscular coordination and proprioception over time.
Develop stronger leg and hip muscles
Many of the movements with kettlebells involve ‘ballistic’ movement that challenges your leg and hips muscles and joints by using explosive movement.
This will result in improvement in virtually every activity in daily life including running, jumping, kicking, climbing and improved posture.
Train In Different Planes
Much of resistance training is undertaken with trunk flexion and extension and in the sagittal plane. However, since human movement patterns are much more complex (we move in three planes sagittal, coronal and transverse). Using kettlebells allows transitioning from a variety of different movements seamlessly including movements that take you out of the sagittal plane. There is greater variety in building strength in different planes and using different ranges of motion. This method of training allows you to target muscles from different angles as opposed to traditional resistance training methods.
Core strength and stability
The core is essentially the foundation of all the body movement. It provides stability to the spine and helps resist movement during flexion, extension and rotation movements. With kettlebell moves such as swings and deadlifts, the core muscles have to stabilise the spine throughout the entire movement. Regular training with these type of movements will result in great improvements overall to core strength and stability. This, in turn, will mean vast improvements in activities in everyday living (carrying, lifting, sitting, standing etc).
Functional movement patterns
These are movements that we undertake in everyday life that are important to us acting as independent, active human beings. Kettlebell training movements simulate many of the movement patterns we will undertake on a daily basis (but in a more extreme fashion!) For example, hip hinges, overhead lifts and sidewards movement can be used to improve everyday function.
Calorie Burn Potential
Swinging kettlebells can burn up to 20 calories per minute. Therefore a 20-minute workout could have you burning up to 400 calories!
Develop an Iron Grip
Grip strength is a vastly underrated component of athletics as well as most everyday tasks. In today’s, Instagram dominated world, where great emphasis is placed on washboard abs and bulging biceps, grip might not sound important. However, a strong grip has far more real-world value than many realise.
For example, having a strong grip enables you to lift heavier weights in the gym (deadlifts, rows, pull-ups, and chin-ups). Using kettlebells to develop a solid grip will mean greater returns in your overall strength training.
Furthermore, training your grip with kettlebells will improve daily activities, holding suitcases, opening bottles etc. They may also reduce the likelihood of severe conditions of the wrist and forearm (such as tennis elbow and carpal tunnel syndrome).
Improve in many different areas of exercise at once
Kettlebells support other forms of training be they barbell lifts (they target and strengthen muscle groups from different angles); cardiovascular training (try 300 kettlebell swings and tell me your heart isn’t racing!) and flexibility (using weight during movement will strengthen your core and the supporting muscles of joints involved).
The beauty with kettlebells in their simplicity. The exercises (once mastered) are simple and straightforward. Furthermore, you get to train multiple fitness components in the same session including cardio, strength, balance, stability, power, and endurance.
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Improved performance in sports
Kettlebell training benefits can transfer to a myriad of sports from MMA to athletics to football. Kettlebell training can be specifically focussed to assist in the improvement of a component of fitness (see above). Additionally, training can be adapted to use specific movement patterns used in a particular sport, improving neuromuscular coordination and proprioception.
Plenty of injuries happen when you’re moving fast and suddenly have to come to a stop. Kettlebells can strengthen and train the body in dealing with ‘eccentric deceleration’. In everyday life, you’ll be able to deal with sudden tram stops. On the sports field, you’ll be better equipped physically to deal with jarring sudden contact.
Assists with lower back pain
Kettlebell training provides some unique loading patterns not associated with traditional strength training. Since the lower back is activated during swings, it enhances the functioning and health of the lower back.
Osteoporosis is a debilitating condition that involves the reduction of bone density. This is due to the removal of calcium and other bone minerals from age and/or poor nutrition. Kettlebells like other forms of resistance training can help improve bone density and strength. This will keep the body strong for daily tasks and help prevent Osteoporosis.
Improved posture and alignment
Posture relies heavily on strong posterior muscles. Many Kettlebell exercises work the postural muscles in a functional way (especially the kettlebell swing).
You will look like a Bad Ass
The first time I watched someone undertake a Turkish Get Up I stood watching in awe! A true WTF moment. It looked awesome and I thought the guy might be training for some strongman contest. He wasn’t, just a normal part of his weekly training 😀
Over time as you progress and develop the skills to do kettlebell moves such as the get-up, swings, and windmills you will feel eyes on you in the gym.Either because it looks badass and they want to know what you are doing, or they are jealous and want you to drop that weight on your head. Initially, the majority of kettlebell moves look tricky, but like anything, with time and practice comes improvement.
You only need a Single Bell
For a lot of resistance training, you require…various machines, weights, racks, dumbbells etc…. With kettlebells training, a single kettlebell only can be used for a workout. This can be beneficial in that it saves money and space in your home.
Shake up boring training methods
Traditional workout routines can get old and stale real fast! Kettlebell training is always interesting and fun in a way that traditional methods never can be. They can be tailored into creative forms such as flows or as part of a HIIT workout session such AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible), EMOM (Every Minute on the Minute) or TABATA circuits.
The Ultimate Training Tool
Ok ok, I know I am biased!! However, let me use my closing statement! In terms of muscular strength and endurance training, cardio and flexibility Kettlebells have it all! No other training method can develop them to the same degree all at once in the same session! I am sure they may be some dispute over that! Whatever floats your boat, but for me Kettlebells are king!
So there you have it, 19 Reasons why you should be using kettlebells. Indeed, kettlebell training is now one of the most popular ways to lose weight, maintain a high level of cardiovascular fitness, become stronger and improve your physique. Proper kettlebell training can undoubtedly improve your life and increase your life span. Furthermore, with correct kettlebell technique, mobility and flexibility can be improved.
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