13 Reasons Why You Should Train with Kettlebells as Told by Certified Kettlebell Coach of Burlington
I have been utilizing kettlebell training consistently for five years now. Before that I was extremely into cardio (like running - I HATE running) and using dumbbells. But I've never experienced as much enjoyment, sustainable energy, improves performance, and a bunch of other positive effects as I have with kettlebell workouts.
This is what enticed me to write this post and share 13 reasons why you should train with kettlebells right from the mouth of a certified kettlebell coach based out of Burlington, NC.
13 Reasons Why You Should Train with Kettlebells as Told by Certified Kettlebell Coach of Burlington
Next time you're on the fence about buying that kettlebell, consider these 13 reasons why you should train with kettlebells:
Kettlebells are a full-body workout
Kettlebells are considered a full-body workout because they engage multiple muscle groups and require coordination and stability throughout the body.
Many kettlebell exercises involve compound movements, which means they target multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Exercises like the kettlebell swing, clean and press, and snatch require the coordination and activation of muscles in the legs, hips, core, back, shoulders, and arms.
The swinging, ballistic nature of exercises like swings and snatches engages the muscles in your legs and hips, while also challenging your core, back, and shoulders to stabilize and control the movement.
Kettlebell exercises heavily emphasize core engagement. The offset weight of the kettlebell creates an unstable load, forcing your core muscles to work harder to maintain balance and control. Movements like Turkish get-ups, windmills, and Russian twists specifically target the core muscles, improving stability, strength, and overall functional fitness.
Many kettlebell exercises are performed with high intensity and involve continuous movement, which can elevate your heart rate and provide a cardiovascular challenge. Swings, snatches, and other ballistic exercises can improve your cardiovascular endurance, helping you burn calories and build stamina.
Movements like the kettlebell goblet squat, lunge, and overhead press can increase joint mobility and enhance overall functional movement patterns.
They mimic natural movements making them a go-to for functional strength
Kettlebells are often praised for their ability to mimic natural movements, making them an effective tool for developing functional strength. They are often used unilaterally, meaning you perform exercises with one arm or one side of the body at a time. This helps to correct muscle imbalances and improves functional strength by replicating real-life movements that involve asymmetrical loads, such as carrying groceries or picking up a child. The offset nature of the kettlebell's weight distribution also challenges your core muscles to stabilize and maintain balance, enhancing functional strength and stability.
Many kettlebell exercises, such as swings, snatches, and cleans, are hip-dominant movements. These exercises target the posterior chain, including the glutes, hamstrings, and lower back, which are key muscle groups involved in lifting, bending, and propelling movements in daily life. By strengthening these muscles through kettlebell exercises, you can improve your ability to perform functional activities like lifting objects from the ground, pushing, and jumping.
Kettlebell exercises often involve multi-joint movements that integrate multiple muscle groups simultaneously. This reflects the way our bodies naturally function in everyday activities. For example, exercises like the kettlebell squat and overhead press engage the lower body, core, and upper body muscles all at once, promoting coordinated movement patterns and functional strength development.
Kettlebell exercises are often dynamic and ballistic in nature, requiring explosive power and force production. This type of training trains your muscles to generate power quickly, which is beneficial for activities that require sudden bursts of strength and speed, such as jumping, sprinting, or lifting heavy objects.
Kettlebell exercises are high-intensity
Many kettlebell exercises are high-intensity and require continuous movement. This leads to an elevated heart rate, promoting cardiovascular endurance and fat burning. By incorporating kettlebell exercises into a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) format, where you alternate between periods of intense exercise and short recovery periods, you can elevate your heart rate and stimulate cardiovascular adaptation. This type of training challenges your cardiovascular system, improving its ability to deliver oxygen and nutrients to working muscles efficiently.
Kettlebell exercises often involve continuous movement patterns, such as kettlebell swings, snatches, or cleans. These exercises require rhythmic swinging or lifting motions, engaging large muscle groups and creating a cardiovascular demand. Performing these exercises for an extended duration can increase your heart rate and provide an aerobic workout.
Kettlebell exercises performed with high intensity and involving compound movements can significantly increase your oxygen consumption. This leads to an elevated heart rate and improved cardiovascular fitness over time. As your cardiovascular system adapts to the demands of kettlebell training, your body becomes more efficient at utilizing oxygen, resulting in enhanced endurance.
Especially when performed with high intensity, can burn a significant number of calories. The combination of cardiovascular exertion and engagement of multiple muscle groups contributes to increased energy expenditure. This calorie-burning effect can support weight loss goals and improve overall body composition.
Kettlebells increase power and explosiveness
Kettlebell training involves quick and explosive movements, such as swings and snatches. These exercises develop power and explosiveness, enhancing athletic performance. Many kettlebell exercises, including swings and snatches, promote triple extension. Triple extension refers to the coordinated extension of the hips, knees, and ankles, generating force through the lower body. This movement pattern closely resembles activities that require explosive power, such as jumping or sprinting. By training triple extension with kettlebells, you develop the ability to generate power from the lower body and transfer it efficiently to other movements. The eccentric phase of a movement is essential for developing power and explosiveness. By controlling the descent of the kettlebell during exercises like snatches or cleans, you train your muscles to absorb and store energy, leading to a more forceful and explosive concentric phase.
Kettlebells can be used to add a plyometric element to certain exercises. For example, you can incorporate kettlebell swings into jump training, where you explosively jump while swinging the kettlebell. This combination of explosive jumping and kettlebell swinging can further enhance power and explosiveness by training the fast-twitch muscle fibers responsible for explosive movements.
They offer a killer core workout
You should train with kettlebells to improve your core stability. Kettlebell exercises heavily engage the core muscles, including the abs, obliques, and lower back. The off-center weight distribution of the kettlebell challenges your stability, improving core strength and control.
Many kettlebell exercises, such as the kettlebell squat, lunge, or deadlift, engage the core as a stabilizer during compound movements. The core muscles are recruited to maintain proper posture and stability throughout these exercises, improving overall core strength.
You should train with kettlebells to improve grip strength
The thick handle of a kettlebell forces your grip to work harder compared to traditional dumbbells or barbells. Regular kettlebell training can lead to significant gains in grip strength, which is beneficial for various activities and sports.
Grip strength is crucial for performing everyday activities. Whether it's carrying groceries, opening jars, or gripping tools, a strong grip allows you to have better control and dexterity in your hands, making these tasks easier and more efficient.
A strong grip helps to stabilize the wrists, hands, and forearms during various exercises and physical activities. It reduces the risk of slipping or losing control of objects, which can lead to accidents or injuries. A weak grip can make you more prone to strains, sprains, and other hand and wrist injuries.
Kettlebells are dynamic
Kettlebell exercises often involve dynamic movements requiring multiple joint stability and mobility. This can improve joint health, flexibility, and range of motion.
You should train with kettlebells to correct muscular imbalances between sides and promotes joint stability by requiring each joint to stabilize independently. Asymmetrical exercises, such as single-arm or single-leg kettlebell exercises, challenge the joints even further, as they require additional stabilization to maintain balance and control.
They are efficient
Kettlebell workouts can be intense and efficient, allowing you to achieve a full-body workout in a relatively short amount of time. The combination of strength and cardiovascular training makes it an effective option for those with limited time.
Kettlebell training is versatile
Kettlebells offer a wide range of exercises and movement patterns. From swings and cleans to Turkish get-ups and snatches, there are numerous variations to challenge different muscle groups and fitness levels.
Kettlebell training is creative either through the exercises or through structuring your workouts. For example, EMOMs, AMRAPs, and circuit and HIIT training can all be done utilizing kettlebells.
Train with kettlebells to promote fat loss
Kettlebell training is known for its ability to burn calories and promote fat loss. The high-intensity nature of the exercises, coupled with full-body engagement, creates an effective calorie-burning workout.
After a high-intensity kettlebell session, your body continues to burn calories at an elevated rate as it recovers and restores oxygen levels, contributing to additional fat burning even after the workout has ended.
Kettlebell training can help improve body composition by reducing body fat percentage while preserving or increasing lean muscle mass. This results in a more toned and defined physique.
Reduce the risk of injuries with kettlebell training
Kettlebell exercises improve overall strength, stability, and mobility, reducing the risk of injuries. The focus on functional movements can also help correct imbalances and weaknesses that may lead to injuries.
Kettlebell exercises are based on natural movement patterns like bending, squatting, and twisting, which are relevant to daily activities and sports. By training these functional movement patterns with kettlebells, you can enhance movement efficiency, coordination, and body awareness, reducing the risk of injury during daily tasks or athletic endeavors.
Effective kettlebell training involves starting with appropriate weights, focusing on proper form, and gradually progressing the intensity and volume of the workouts. This gradual progression helps prevent overexertion, reduces the risk of acute injuries, and allows for adequate adaptation and recovery.
Bells are convenient and affordable
Hear me out, compared to large gym equipment, kettlebells are more affordable.
Kettlebells are relatively compact and portable, making them suitable for home workouts or traveling.
Kettlebell training requires a certain mindfulness
Kettlebell training requires concentration and focus, as you need to maintain proper form and control throughout the movements. This can help improve mental clarity and promote mindfulness during workouts. When you move into kettlebell flows, it's also a tool to exercise your mind to muscle connection to remember what comes next in the flow and train the body to know the next exercise.,