A study from ACE revealed that swinging a kettlebell around can blast up to 20 calories per minute. To put that into perspective, that’s about how many calories you burn per minute if running a 6-minute mile. HUGE!
Just think, a 20 minute workout could have you burning up to 400 calories!
2. Increase Your Range Of Motion
We all want to be able to move freely and without pain, right? I’m not getting any younger, and things seem to stiffen up on a daily basis. Kettlebells can help keep the body loose and moving in all plans of motion to help decrease risk of injuries and aches/pains. Large moves performed with kettlebells like swings, cleans, snatches and beloved Turkish Get-ups are amazing for joint health and flexibility.
3. It’s The Total Package
When you think of strength, you think lifting weights. When you think cardio, you think running/biking/swimming. And when you think flexibility, you think yoga. Well, now you can have all three of those classes in one workout.
The ballistic nature of kettlebell training incorporates all forms of fitness. I know that Lindsay and I are both all about being efficient with our workouts.
4. They Are Functional
Yes, functional is a word that gets thrown around a lot in the fitness world. However, when it comes to kettlebells, they really are functional. Basically, they help you handle every day life movements with ease. For example… what’s a shopping bag? A kettlebell!
5. They’re Not Balanced Like A Traditional Weight
Because of the unique shape of the kettlebell, the center of gravity isn’t the center (like with a dumbbell or plate).
To keep stable, your core and glutes have to work harder. What does this mean for you? A stronger core can help reduce back pain, help to make you a faster runner, help to eliminate risk of injuries and increase your overall calorie burn (because more muscles are activated during the workout).
6. Improved Awareness Of Your Own Body
Exercise can be mindless. You get into a habit and before you know it you’re just going through the motions.
You really can’t do that with kettlebells. You have to keep focused on your body and think about the muscles and moves you’re working on to ensure you don’t end up with a stupid gym injury. Trust me, you’ll learn how to move your body in ways you didn’t know possible and those moves will carry over into other forms of your fitness life.
7. You Feel Like A Bad Mamma Jamma
Have you ever watched someone workout with kettlebells? It looks intimidating, it looks a little frightening, but most of all, it looks awesome. When you acquire the skills to do kettlebell specific skills like the get-up, swings, and windmills, you feel like a fitness rock star. Of course you workout for yourself, but when you see eyes on you at the gym, there is that secret inside voice that thinks: “Yup, I rock.” And I promise, even though they look intimidating and hard, with practice and proper training, you can easily master the moves!
8. You Only Need One
Strength training is extremely beneficial for body composition, joint and bone health, metabolism, strength… you get it. For most weighted moves you need two… a pair of dumbbells or multiple plates to go on a bar.
With kettlebells, you just need one. Saves money and space in your home.
9. They Are Fun!
If a workout is boring, what’s going to keep you invested? If you hate it, after a week, may two, you’ll give up. At least, I would. But the challenge of the kettlebell paired with the fact that it’s fun to swing heavy caveman-like toys around makes them fun. Don’t believe me? Grab one, take it outside (in the grass) and see how far you can throw it… 10 times. Throwing things is always a good time (especially on stressful days) and you’ll be amazed at how sore you wake up the next morning.
10. It’s A Change
And finally… it’s an awesome way to change up a static workout program.
If you’ve hit a plateau, or you just feel like the spark is out between you and your regular workout program, then grabbing for a kettlebell can help. You should never fall victim to a stagnant workout, and I recommend changing things up regularly. You will break out of a plateau. And you will realize that you not only love this new challenge, but you will likely start to fall back in love with your old training as well. Absent makes the heart grow fonder.