Kettlebell training combines the benefits of weight lifting, calisthenics, and circuit training. This training method offers an efficient combination of strength training and cardiovascular exercise.
Kettlebell training is a low impact yet vigorous workout. According to the American Council on Exercise (ACE), kettlebell training is a strength training workout that also has aerobic benefits—a perfect combination for anyone wanting to take their health more seriously.
Within 20 minutes, a few times a week, you can improve your fitness with kettlebell training.
What Is Kettlebell Training?
Kettlebell lifting is a competitive sport in Russia dating back to the 1960s, but kettlebell training is even older. The Kettlebell looks kind of like a small bowling ball attached to a handle.
A traditional barbell or dumbbell is more stable. The weights are evenly distributed on both sides of the bar while your grip is inside the weight. The kettlebell handle is outside of the mass so it is less stable and requires you to exert more power and to engage more muscle groups to move and control the weight.
The unevenly distributed weight adds an extra balance challenge to kettlebell training. As a result, every exercise requires core engagement and most kettlebell exercises are full body exercises.
Individual kettlebell exercises are also popular in Crossfit workouts and bootcamp classes. For example, the Kettlebell swing is a modern classic that raises the heart rate, challenges the core, and works the posterior chain (glutes, hamstrings, calf and back muscles). Crossfit fans often include a series of Kettlebell swings within their Workout of the Day.
Many kettlebell workouts start with a mobility warm up. Trainers typically arrange the exercises into circuits using a combination of kettlebell exercises and calisthenics. Due to the full body engagement and circuit training structure many workouts have an aerobic affect.
With any exercise, safe technique is essential to avoid injury and to see results. To ensure good technique, consider hiring a kettlebell trainer to teach you the basics and offer feedback on your technique. Some trainers offer small classes, so that is also an option for safe instruction if a personal trainer is outside your budget.
Benefits of Kettlebell Training
- Full body strength training workout
- Kettlebell circuits can serve as a high intensity interval training workout
- According to the ACE study, kettlebell workouts offer a vigorous workout and a high calorie burn
- According to ACE participants often burn more than 20 calories per minute (depending on size, age, fitness and other factors)
- Improved core strength and balance
Your Biostrap’s activity classification can track your Kettlebell swings while the heart rate monitor tracks the intensity of your kettlebell workout. Don’t forget to track your other biometrics such as heart rate variability (HRV) and resting heart rate.
Sources and Resources
ACE Sponsored Research Study: Kettlebells Kick Butt, American Council on Exercise (ACE) and Full text of the ACE Study
Kettlebell Workout, ACE