Five Benefits to Adding a Kettlebell to Your Workout
A kettlebell is a small but heavy weight with a thick handle. They were the secret training weapon of choice of Russian weightlifters more than a century ago, and now have arrived on the fitness scene here in the States. If you haven’t used one before, you may be surprised to learn how effective the kettlebell is at improving your grip, burning extra calories, working your core, and promoting fat loss. You may wonder how you can get all that from one little weight. It’s surprisingly easy to use and easy to add to your existing routine. You’ll quickly notice the difference in your body!
1. Improve your grip. Because of a kettlebell’s design, with all the weight suspended below the thick handle, you have to work harder to hold onto it and control the weight. So while you are using the kettlebell to perform various exercises, you are also working to strengthen your grip.
2. Work your core, heart and lungs. What sets the kettlebell apart from other weights and dumbbells is the offset center of gravity, which helps your body work harder to maintain balance. This works many different muscle groups, plus gets your heart rate up. It’s important to work on increasing your core stability, especially the abdominal and back muscles, and a kettlebell can help you do this.
3. Burn calories and fat. Using the kettlebell as part of your training routine allows you to combine cardio and strength training. Most kettlebell workouts involve a circuit that gets your heart pumping while it strengthens muscles. The movements involve “swinging” the kettlebell to different positions with little to no stopping or resting in between, which boosts the cardio portion of the workout.
4. Build strength but not bulk. Especially for women, this is a big plus. A kettlebell, when used properly, will help tone and strengthen muscles without the “bulking up” that could occur with lifting weights the traditional way. You will achieve a leaner, more defined look with the kettlebell workout.
5. An efficient and economic workout. A kettlebell workout is great because you can target all your major muscle groups in a workout that is often less than 30 minutes. So if you are pressed for time, you can still get an effective, beneficial workout using just one kettlebell, without having to go to the gym or purchase lots of fancy equipment.
There are many resources available to someone who wants to learn to effectively incorporate a kettlebell into a workout routine to improve fitness and enhance performance. One session with a certified kettlebell instructor can help you learn proper technique, while numerous web resources give tips and exercises that are sure to help you achieve the look you want.