Kettlebells Part 2 - What's so good about them?
Firstly, if you aren't sure what kettlebells are then check out my previous blog post Kettlebells Part 1.
Secondly, I'm going to discuss what is so good about them. I love them because with just one kettlebell I can get a super effective, full body workout in a relatively short space of time. They are great for improving endurance, cardio and strength and work multiple muscles at once. Kettlebell exercises are also good for balance and core strength. Even when you aren't doing a move which you think is targeting your core, you are likely to be working it anyway, due to the explosive movements which they incorporate.
With barbells or machines, these are very linear and not very dynamic, whereas a lot of kettlebell moves are the opposite of this, the user must control the way it moves and they work in multiple planes of movement, rather than a fixed single plane. Sport scientists have found that multi-planar moves strengthen the body's connection between the brain and muscles which enhances the nervous system. If you focus on moves which only incorporate one plane of movement then you can end up causing muscle imbalances, a weakness in the planes you ignore or joint dysfunction and injury. The body was made to move in three dimensions to keep our joints and muscles strong.
Another bonus of the kettlebell is they can burn more calories faster than a more traditional workout. A study has shown that swinging a kettlebell can burn as many as 20 calories per minute, this equals 400 calories in 20 minutes, which would be like running a 6 minute mile. With regard to cardiovascular health you can get the same results as cycling or running but in half the time, as kettlebells are so efficient.
Kettlebells are versatile, you don't need a huge rack and barbells at home taking up space and money, you just need one or two kettlebells which take up barely any room and you are set. There are so many variants of workouts you can do with a kb, from HIIT to circuits, flow or tabata training to name a few. This keeps the workouts new and fun so you don't get bored of traditional repetitive gym workouts. The more fun you find it, the more likely you are to keep exercising.
These are just a few reasons why kettlebells are so effective, there are many more. To sum up they are great for overall fat loss, flexibility, strength gain and improving lean body mass. You can workout in half the time of a traditional workout for twice the results!
It is important that you learn how to carry out kettlebell exercises correctly and with good form, to help prevent injury and also to ensure you get the most from your workout. I am a certified kettlebell instructor and can help you if you are looking to incorporate this awesome tool into your fitness plan.