We’re Krazy About Kettlebells
Stop by any class of ours and you’re sure to see—we’re cuckoo for Kettlebells. And we’re not the only ones. Many in the fitness community simply can’t get enough of those heavy handlebars; the internet is full of trainers raving about the ultimate exercise: the kettlebell swing.
So with the holidays on the horizon, we only thought it only right to explain why we’re hoping Santa puts a Kettlebell under our tree.
Working out with kettlebells can be a phenomenal alternative to traditional steady-state cardio, both in increasing aerobic capacity and achieving a similar calorie burn. In a study conducted by ACE, it was found that kettlebell swings can burn up to 20 calories per minute. Extend that out to 20 minutes and you could burn the same amount of calories as you would running a 6-minute mile for 20 minutes. Plus, high-intensity kettlebell workouts—like the ones you’ll find here at Dynamic Souls—have an after-burn effect, which means you’ll keep burning calories at a higher-than-average rate after your workout.
But calories aren’t everything (and certainly shouldn’t be the main reason to do cardio). The big benefit to cardio, whether HIIT or steady-state options like running, is increased cardiovascular health. And kettlebells do just that. A study analyzing 16 kg kettlebell snatches found that the exercise required enough aerobic work to improve cardiorespiratory health.
“Functional fitness” is a term frequently circulating the exercise community, so much so it may sometimes lose its meaning. But it’s not a worthless concept. It draws the distinction between exercises that train your body in natural, everyday-use patterns or artificial movement patterns.
Exercise equipment found at typical big box gyms—think, a hamstring curl machine—can build strength and grow muscles, but they confine the body to a set track and train muscles in isolation, which is rarely how they function in non-gym settings. In contrast, kettlebells allow for a full
range of motion and activate the full body. This means even if you’re doing strict presses with a kettlebell, it will require your legs and core to not only be engaged but actually be working at the same time.
Full-body also means constant core work. And the core is especially engaged in kettlebell exercises because it’s needed to stabilize your body. Unlike dumbbells where the weight is centered in your hands, kettlebells’ center of mass is a few inches out from the handle, which means your core has to work a little harder to control the kettlebell’s movement. It’s for this reason that kettlebells are a one-stop fix-it shop when it comes to core development. In fact, research has found that kettlebell exercises increased core strength by as much as 70%. And this core work—core improvement—also means kettlebell exercises are developing your stability and balance. The same research found kettlebells significantly improved dynamic balance as well.
Dying to try out a kettlebell swing or two? Good news, our circuit-based workouts at Dynamic Souls always feature kettlebells. So come in and start reaping the better-core, better-cardio, better-movement benefits of kettlebell exercises today!