Taking the time to exercise is one of the best ways to look after your body. Walking, running and cycling are all great ways to improve both your physical and mental health, but most experts agree some form of resistance training is also important. Working out with free weights increases strength, improves balance and reduces body fat.
Kettlebells are one of the most versatile free weights, and they are ideal for anyone new to weight training. They come in a range of sizes, so you can start with a lighter kettlebell of around eight pounds and work up as your strength and technique improves.
Check out our top reasons for why you should include kettlebell routines in your fitness training:
1. Perfect for a home gym
Cheap to buy and easy to store, kettlebells are ideal equipment for a home gym. If you don’t have the time or money to join a gym, or don’t like working out in company, a couple of kettlebells are all you need for a total body workout. They’re small enough to store in a cupboard and don’t need any setting up as some items of portable home gym equipment do.
2. Allows you to reduce overall training time
A kettlebell workout of as little as twenty minutes is enough to get your heart pumping and kick your body into fat burning mode. It’s advisable to start with a comfortable weight at first, but you can build up the intensity with heavier kettlebells as you become more experienced. There are plenty of great kettlebell routines on YouTube, and you can tailor a workout to the amount of time you have available.
3. Intense calorie burning
Weight management is one of the main reasons people exercise. Cardio exercises like running are often assumed to be the best way to burn calories, but using weights and resistance machines can be more effective. Kettlebell routines can work all the major muscle groups in the body, so calories are burned at a concentrated rate. Research also indicates the calorie burning continues for hours after a high-intensity workout.
4. Joint protection
It’s a common myth that lifting weights is bad for your joints and can lead to osteoarthritis. The opposite is actually true if you lift sensibly and correctly. Resistance training helps to increase bone quality and strength and reduces strain on ligaments by keeping muscles around joints healthy. Exercises like kettlebell military presses are great for working joints in the shoulders and arms.
5. Variety of exercises
Many people think of Russian swings when they pick up a kettlebell, but there are a wide range of exercises you can use them for. Kettlebell rows, squats, lunge presses and slingshots are just some of the options. The versatility of this one piece of gym equipment means you can use it to work the legs, glutes, back, abs, hips, shoulders, chest and core.
6. Increasing muscular endurance
Muscular endurance allows you to perform physical activities for longer periods without feeling fatigue. Marathon runners, combat athletes and football players are examples of people who can perform better with increased endurance. Kettlebell exercise routines engage several muscle groups at the same time, and this improves overall strength and cardiovascular stamina efficiently. In particular, building core strength allows athletes to train harder and for longer.
7. Don’t need a gym
The simplicity of kettlebell workouts means you can perform them almost anywhere. On a sunny day, you can train outside in a local park or head to the beach.
Featured photo by Maria Fernanda Gonzalez on Unsplash
Melody Rose Rowan is the Director of Content & Strategy for Blender Networks, Inc. When she’s not managing blogs for FitMinutes, The-E-Tailer, Cartageous, InStyleRooms, NurturedPaws & Shoelistic, she’s rearranging her bookcase at home in Culver City, CA, getting her fix of breakfast tacos and Topo Chicos in her hometown of Austin, TX with her husband and rescue dog and attempting to keep up with her own blog, Mustache Melrose.