The Kettlebell Advantage:
8 Benefits of Kettlebell Training
Since my teenage years, I have been Constantly trying to find new and better ways to get more fit, more healthy, and increase athletic performance. I’ve tried so many different fitness modalities- some great in their own right (like the ab wheel), and some terrible (like most of the random stuff you see pop up). I remember when I first encountered a kettlebell- it’s odd shape, it relatively light weight compared to other fitness implements. I wasn’t sure if it would be worthwhile. However, over the years I have grown to respect and love kettlebell training, not only because of its novelty, but because of the benefits of kettlebell training.
Kettlebell training isn’t just another fad—it’s a tried-and-true method that has yielded results and transformed bodies over hundreds of years. If you’re searching for a workout modality that offers reliable and consistent results, you can trust that kettlebell training is backed by evidence that supports its widespread acceptance within the fitness community. Let’s take a look at 8 benefits of kettlebell training. I’m sure by the end of this, you’ll be eager to incorporate the kettlebell into your own training!
1. Get Some Total-Body Conditioning
Kettlebell training is unique, in that it focuses on moving our entire body as a unit. Biomechanically speaking, our muscles are built to move in tandem with each other, working together to produce efficient and powerful movement, so in “real life” it is rare that we would seek to isolate individual muscle groups. Kettlebell training engages and sculpts muscles from head to toe. Unlike traditional isolated exercises, kettlebell movements are dynamic and involve multiple muscle groups simultaneously. Studies show that exercises like kettlebell swings, snatches, and Turkish get-ups are remarkably effective at engaging the upper and lower body together. This teaches our bodies how to transition force output from our base towards our extremities, resulting in holistic strength, improved endurance, and enhanced functional fitness.
2. Burn Fat Efficiently
Is burning fat is high on your priority list when you workout? Kettlebell training at the right intensities can help boost fat loss in a couple different ways. High-intensity kettlebell workouts elevate your heart rate, which is directly correlated to burning more calories in a shorter time frame during each workout. What a better way to burn fat than that long, arduous trudge on the treadmill! A number of studies have found that participants who integrated kettlebell exercises into their routines experienced a substantial increase in calorie expenditure and cardiovascular fitness. Kettlebell swings, in particular, are incredibly efficient at targeting fat loss, as they target both upper and lower body muscles together to promote calorie expenditure. Further research has shown engaging in HIIT workouts using a kettlebell to be particularly beneficial. Try out some of our kettlebell training for fat loss and see for yourself!
3. Develop Functional Strength
Functional strength (that is, strength that promotes healthy and efficient movement patterns for overall performance) is the cornerstone of everyday movements. Kettlebell training hones your body into a well-coordinated machine, enhancing your ability to perform daily tasks with more safety and less effort, relatively speaking. Since kettlebell training requires that your body function as a unit, your nervous system will grow more adept at activating the proper muscle to generate the power and express your strength safely. As a result, you develop functional efficiency that translates directly into real-world activities. Whether it’s lifting groceries, picking up your child, moving furniture, or even engaging in other movements at the gym, you’ll notice the benefits of kettlebell training in your everyday life.
4. Improve Posture and Core Strength
Our current 9-5 desk jobs promote hunched over, rolled-shoulder, non-ergonomic positions. Because of widespread sedentary lifestyles, poor posture is a common issue. Kettlebell training can go a long way for those striving to correct their posture. Many times, people find muscles in their posterior chain (such as the spinal erectors, glutes, and hamstrings) particularly weak from lack of use. Exercises like the Turkish get-up and goblet squat activate the core, glutes, and back muscles, and promote improved alignment and reduced risk of back pain over the long-term. A strong core (we’re not just talking abs here, but your entire core musculature) not only supports better posture but also enhances overall stability and balance. (If you’re all about building some functional core strength, try out some focused kettlebell core training!)
5. Increase Flexibility and Mobility
Many kettlebell exercises (like the curtsy lunge, goblet squat, lateral lunge, halo, and more!) encompass a wide range of motion, making them ideal for enhancing flexibility (passive range of motion) and especially mobility (strength expressed in the end range of motion). Many kettlebell exercises require you to move through various planes and ranges of motion, promoting joint health, reducing the risk of injury, and increasing flexibility and end-range strength. Studies published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research have demonstrated that kettlebell training can improve both flexibility and mobility, particularly in the hips and shoulders. (Try out these mobility-focused kettlebell workouts!)
6. Do Time-Efficient Workouts
Don’t let your busy schedule hinder you from getting in your workouts anymore. With our increasingly pinched time for exercise, finding a workout that is time-efficient can be particularly stressful. Kettlebell training offers a viable solution with its time-efficient workouts. With just 20-30 minutes of kettlebell exercises, you can achieve a full-body workout that maximizes your time at the gym, tackling intensity, time under tension, cardiovascular exercises, and hypertrophy (at the right volumes). The high intensity of kettlebell workouts ensures that you get the most out of every minute, making it an ideal option for individuals looking to optimize their workout schedules. As long as you organize your workout well (and it doesn’t have to be complicated), you will reap the benefits, while saving time in the gym! (Check out this article for some time-saving kettlebell workouts!)
7. Reduce Stress and Build Mental Resilience
Exercise goes beyond physical well-being; it’s a vital component of mental health. Think about it: you probably started at the gym with a particular goal in mind, but it has become a staple in your self-care over time. Kettlebell training pushes your mental and physical limits, fostering mental resilience, allowing you the opportunity to work through stressful input (like a tough workout) with focus. As you progressively increase the weight and intensity of your workouts, you’ll develop a determination that extends far beyond the gym. All these “small wins” collectively add up to promote your psychological well-being. Additionally, research has consistently shown that exercise, such as kettlebell training, reduces stress, boosts endorphin production, and enhances overall mood and well-being.
8. Engage in Versatile Workouts
One of the distinguishing features of kettlebell training lies in its unparalleled versatility and the myriad of workout variations it offers. kettlebells can be wielded in diverse ways, allowing for an ever-evolving workout routine that keeps both body and mind engaged. Whether it’s the classic swings, snatches, Turkish get-ups, or innovative moves like the kettlebell windmill or bottoms-up press, the range of exercises keeps novel stimulus throughout your workout program and diminishes the feeling of “staleness”, further promoting consistency in the long-term. This versatility not only adds an element of excitement to your workouts but also prevents plateaus by constantly challenging different muscle groups and movement patterns.
Kettlebell training has gained popularity because it isn’t just another fitness fad; it’s a scientifically validated method for achieving a stronger, fitter, and healthier body. With its capacity for total-body conditioning, efficient fat burning, functional strength development, posture improvement, enhanced flexibility/mobility, time-efficiency, and psychological benefits, the kettlebell serves as a versatile and powerful fitness tool. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced athlete, kettlebell training offers something for everyone. Take a look through our website for more kettlebell education and workouts (and our library is always growing)! Our resources are designed to support your fitness goals and help you love the kettlebell as much as we do!