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Benefits of Kettlebells

Here's why you should consider a kettlebell workout.

First off, I think kettlebells are amazing, they are a hugely versatile piece of equipment. They can be used for a range of different exercises and support the progression of many goals. If you don't know already, a kettlebell is what is in the picture above. It's cannonball shaped with a handle and has become very popular for resistance training. 

Kettlebells can be used as replacements for dumbbells providing a new kind of grip, or they can be used for their own specific exercises.

Dumbbell Replacements

Using a kettlebell as a replacement for dumbbells recruits the same muscles as the normal exercise, however, there is more emphasis on the stabilising muscles. This is due to the kettlebell's shape causing an offset in weight distribution.

There are also many benefits to including a kettlebell based workout in your fitness regime. Here are some of the top benefits:

Core Strength and Stability

Like all free weight exercises, because the weight isn't fixed, the body must stabilise itself and the core is used to do this. This is no different for kettlebell exercises. During kettlebell lifts and swings, the core has to stabilise the spine at all times. An article by Artamin foundation et al showed that kettlebell training can reduce lower back and neck pain.

Muscular Improvements

Using kettlebells can benefit muscular strength, endurance, and power. By using high-speed movements with the kettlebells you can build power. If looking to improve muscular strength then a higher load and lower reps are needed, and finally, for endurance, use low load and high reps. The majority of kettlebell exercises provide benefits mainly to the back and legs as well as the core. Like other weight training exercises, kettlebells stimulate muscle growth by stimulating muscle repair and regrowth.

Functional Movement Patterns

In my opinion, this is the best reason to train using kettlebells. As I've said in my previous article on free weights, functional movements are patterns that are performed in everyday life. Exercises using the kettlebells develop many movements commonly used in everyday life. Hence training with kettlebells can improve your quality of life, making everyday tasks like lifting, pushing and twisting much easier.

Coordination and Balance

Kettlebell movements are pretty complex in the sense that there is a lot of different movement in one exercise. Because of this, the body is challenged with moving in different planes of movement whilst maintaining balance. This can help improve coordination skills as well as muscular strength. It can also be linked to functional training and specific sports training.

It's super fun!

It's nothing like any other piece of fitness equipment. Because a kettlebell is so versatile and unique there is so much you can do with it. This means constantly changing up your work out plan which stops you from getting bored. Many exercises can be found online from professionals in the kettlebell industry. Its adaptability also prevents any plateau in your progression!

Overall, I think kettlebells are a great piece of equipment and a worthy investment. They can be purchased all over the internet and come in many sizes so you can constantly progress with them. However, like all things fitness, it's important to have the correct form. I won't go into too much detail and if you do plan on using kettlebells I would recommend finding some books on how to use them or information online that's from a reliable source.

But here are a couple of pointers for technique:

  • Try not to overcompensate with additional muscle groups. For example, bending your back when you do kettlebell swings.
  • Ensure the alignment of your spine is correct throughout any exercise.
  • Make sure you have a strong grip and wrist when performing the exercise.
  • If bringing the kettlebell above the head, for example, Turkish getups, make sure you keep your eye on it at all times.

Hope you found this article interesting and helpful. If you enjoyed it check out the others I've posted and if you have any fitness questions please email me at [email protected] or check out my website. Thanks for reading!

Read next: Falling Water
Josh Pt
Josh Pt

I have fascinated by fitness ever since I was a kid, especially martial arts. After training for years I decided to turn my passion into a career and am now a qualified personal trainer  

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Benefits of Kettlebells
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