They may be small and not look like much, however kettlebells provide a seriously good workout. The workout that they provide is so good that the military likes to use kettlebells as part of the fitness training given to their personnel. So why should you integrate the kettlebell into your regular workout routine? In this article, we’ll tell you why.
Reasons to add kettlebell training to your workout routine
You don’t need a lot of equipment
To get a very effective workout, you don’t need a lot of fancy equipment in addition to the kettlebells. All you need is a kettlebell of the weight that you want to use and a good space surrounding you. This is so that you can freely move the kettlebells without being afraid of bumping into something.
In terms of surfaces to do your kettlebell workout on, we suggest that you opt for a hard surface – such as a carpet or wooden floor – and always wear closed training shoes so that your feet have a good grip on the floor. Accidents do happen so if you happen to drop the kettlebell onto your foot during the movement, if you’re wearing closed shoes the damage to your toes will be much less than if you had been wearing open shoes.
Kettlebells provide a great total-body workout
When you work out with kettlebells, you train different muscle groups in your body at the same time. This is both in your upper and lower body.
Take, for example, a foundational kettlebell swing exercise. This exercise works and strengthens your hips, glutes, hamstrings, lats as well as your abdominals, shoulders and pecs. And remember that the more muscles that you work the more calories you’ll burn even when you’re at rest.
Here’s how to perform this exercise:
- Start in the rack position with your wrists in neutral. Your thumbs must be in the midline of your body.
- Tighten your core and let the kettlebell swing between your legs. Don’t resist the drop of the kettlebell. It’s vital that you move with the momentum it creates as if you don’t, you’ll injure your lower back.
- As the kettlebell swings back, push your bum back to absorb the shock. When the kettlebell is at its lowest point of the drop, reverse the movement and swing the kettlebell aggressively to fire it back up. Make sure to triple extend. This means that you should forcefully extend/straighten your ankles, knees and hip joints.
- As the kettlebell comes up to your chest, allow your hand to travel around it to catch it softly with your thumb in the midline of your body. Repeat as many times as necessary so that you can achieve the results that you want. However, while you’re perfecting your form in the exercise, rather opt for lower reps and lower weights so that you don’t end up hurting yourself.
Here’s a video to demonstrate how to perform the kettlebell swing:
Kettlebells are not that costly
All good gyms will have a variety of kettlebells to suit your needs. However, should you prefer working out at home, the good news is that kettlebells aren’t that costly to purchase. The benefit is that you’ll always have some on hand when you want to exercise and maintain your fitness.
A kettlebell workout incinerates calories
A kettlebell workout – in particular the kettlebell swing – is great cardiovascular exercise that raises your heartrate quite significantly. If you increase your heart rate you up your fitness levels, slowly but surely. The fitter you are, the more strenuous exercises you’ll be able to handle and – as a by-product – will be able to burn more calories. In fact the American Council on Exercise (ACE) estimates that when you work out with kettlebells you can burn on average up to 400 calories! (ACE performed another interesting study on suspension training which we chatted about in another one of our articles. Read it here.)
Having knowledge of how to teach kettlebell training is an invaluable resource for personal trainers as they are able to offer their clients a variety in their training routines. Trifocus Fitness Academy’s Kettlebell Course instructs students in how to teach kettlebell training effectively. This fitness course is endorsed by the Register of Exercise Professionals South Africa (REPPSA) for 12 CPD points which means that you can be assured that your course is well recognised. So if you’re wanting to take your personal training business to the next level, sign up for our Kettlebell Course today!