Benefits Of Kettlebell Training

by James Kerrison on January 25, 2011

Kettlebell training has become a bit more popular over the last few years and rightfully so. But they have been around for hundreds of years with a lot of their history coming from Russia. Back in the day the kettlebell came in one size, roughly 16 kilos, which was called a 1 pood. Don’t believe me, check it out here.

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Luckily today there are kettlebells ranging from 4 kilograms and up, and we don’t have to use officially abolished ‘pood’ scale! There are also some good adjustable kettlebells available which is quite cost effective when you are starting out.

Typically speaking a relatively fit female should be able to work with a 12-16kg kettlebell initially and relatively fit blokes can start with a 16-20kg bell. This of course depends on what exercises you will be doing with it, but in general it is a good starting point. With an adjustable kettlebell you should be able to go from 12kg through to 32kg. This is what I started with and we still use them today in the gym.

Now what makes using kettlebells so good?

First of all they are relatively simple to use. As with any exercise, there are finer points and little techniques that you will learn with time, but you can get the basics of a kettlebell swing learnt in a few minutes.

Secondly they burn a whole heap of calories! There are a number of studies coming through showing the effects short, simple kettlebell workouts have on the body. One of the latest studies shows that one simple kettlebell workout burns as much as 20.2 calories per minute! That’s equal to the workload of running 6 minute miles or fast (uphill) cross country skiing! (Check out that study here –> PDF)

Kettlebells also make you use a number of your postural muscles (think upper back, lower back, abdominals) as well as you backside muscles (the glutes) which are so often weakened or underused or both in todays society.

So a quick check of the benefits of kettlebell training shows us that they are simple to learn and use, they burn a whole heap of calories and they improve your posture. Sounds pretty good to me!

What’s even better than this is that the added core strength, grip strength, leg strength, back strength and conditioning you have from your kettlebell workouts will all transfer into your other exercise. For example if you do any form of squat or deadlift (which you should be doing!) your numbers will go up on these exercises. If you goal if for fat loss then you will be able to take this strength into your fat loss and conditioning circuits to do more reps in less time!

It’s all good. If you haven’t tried using a kettlebell then now is the time!

Lance lifts kettlebells, so should you!

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