Kettlebell Exercises: Effective Types and Practical Evidence-based Benefits
Are you searching for the most effective kind of exercise or workout tool that you can use? If yes, then the answer might depend on what your body specifically needs. Nevertheless, it is good to look into pieces of evidence first before concluding that an instrument or type of exercise would be genuinely effective to your or not.
In this regard, among the most recommended types of workouts are those that use kettlebell. The following sections will explain to you some of the benefits of using this tool on your workout, according to evidence-based literature. Also, the specific types of exercises that you can do will be shared here as well.
Benefits according to Studies
There are already studies supporting and proving the benefits of using kettlebell in exercises. One of these is the research in 2011 of Jonathan Asher Falatic of San Jose State University entitled “The Effects of Kettlebell Training on Aerobic Capacity.” This study performed circuit workouts that consist free and body weight exercises for three (3) sessions in a week, for a total duration of four (4) weeks. The participants were divided into two (2) groups, namely: circuit weight training (CWT) control group and kettlebell (KB) intervention group. After the sessions, the following are the main findings:
– Higher aerobic capacity: the increase in the maximal aerobic capacity of those in the KB group was higher by 6.4 percent compared with those in the CWT group;
– Weight loss: those in KB group lost 0.9 kilograms (kgs), on the average, from their body weight; while the weight of those in the CWT remained the same;
– Better oxidative capacity: the oxidative capacity of the muscles of those in the KB group has increased by 4.7 percent; and
– Improved endurance: the intervention for those in KB group was more effective in improving the VO2max, which is an indicator of the capacity of a person to do a sustained exercise. This is linked to endurance.
Aside from the above study, Nicholas M. Beltz extended the duration of kettlebell training to eight (8) weeks. In his 2012 research entitled “Training Benefits Consequent to 8-weeks of Kettlebell Training,” the effects of kettlebell training to a person’s aerobic capacity and strength of muscles were examined. The following are the main findings of the study:
– Kettlebell training elicits higher percentage HRmax of the subjects compared with CWT;
– The study confirms the result of Falatic’s research with regard to higher oxidative capacity of the subjects who underwent KB training; and
– This training also improves the lower back condition of the subjects.
So, in general, according to the foregoing scientific literature above, the main benefits of kettlebell training are:
- Weight loss;
- Better endurance; and
- Improved posture, especially of the lower back.
Aside from those benefits mentioned above, there are other practical benefits of exercises that use kettlebell. Some of these are:
- It could be a better alternative for cardio exercise, instead of using treadmill;
- It elicits functional strength without doing the monotony of the isolated repetitions;
- It makes you more flexible without those long poses;
- It is more fun to do since the training can be done in many varieties;
- You will only be using a compact and portable tool. Therefore, storage will not be a problem at all. Aside from that, it will incur you minimal cost since you only need to purchase that tool;
- It is absolutely safe for all ages, shapes and sizes;
- Using it makes you do both cardio and strength trainings at the same time;
- You can do it at home or anywhere! This is perfect for busy people like you. This is also ideal if you want some privacy;
- It is a holistic strength training. Compared with dumbells and barbells, ketllebell training strengthens the muscles from your head to toe;
- You do not want to be too buff? This is for you. It is a training for your endurance and training, rather than more of a bodybuilding workout; and
- The exercises using kettlebell are very easy to do and learn.
What kinds of exercises can you do?
Five (5) of the most common kettlebell exercises that you can do are the following:
Considered as the most basic, this is the one that you must learn. This can effectively work out your hamstrings, abdominals, glutes, lower back, as well as your middle and upper back body parts.
This is an effective exercise to burn some fats. Aside from that, it also works out your stabilizer muscles located in your hand and forearms because of the moves that this exercises will require you to do.
- Clean and Press
This is a more advanced modification of the snatch kettlebell exercise. This is because it will involve relatively more technical moves, specifically when flicking your wrist. As a result, this will work your shoulders, triceps and biceps out. It is also a good exercise for your entire back.
- Front Squat
Do you want to work out the posterior chain of your muscles along the quads and core? If yes, then this particular exercise is the perfect one for you. This is much better than squatting using a heavy barbell because unnecessary stress on your back and traps will be prevented.
- Turkish Getup
Lastly, but not the least, a more intense kettlebell exercise is this Turkish Getup. If you think that it is a petty exercise, then you are so wrong. This is because it is, in fact, a high-impact exercise since it works out your muscles from head to toes. It specifically strengthens your core, as well as legs and even shoulders. After this training, you will surely have an improved flexibility and balance.
IMPORTANT: The types of exercises in this book only discussed their benefits. However, you might not be able to enjoy those if you will do them in the wrong way. Therefore, it is very crucial to know the correct and proper way of doing each of those exercises using kettlebell. Otherwise, you might end up sustaining unnecessary muscle injuries.