With Kettlebell workouts getting claims like that my old friend the dumbell might be experiencing a bit of an inferiority complex. But I can confirm that they do kick butt. Not only did a Kettlebell workout kick my butt (and it was just an introductory class), but new research from the American Council on Exercise (ACE) confirms that the recent hype about kettlebell workouts is warranted.
The American Council on Exercise (ACE) recently demonstrated:
Shorter duration workouts required
Study participants burned approximately 20 calories per minute during a typical kettle bell workout. That is aproximately 400 calories in a 20 minute workout which an incredible amount of calories. This suggests that the use of kettlebells provides a much higher-intensity workout than standard weightlifting. A 200 pound person would have to spend approximately 1 hour on a treadmill or 30 minutes of intense weight training to achieve the same caloric expenditure. In terms of calorie burning, these results are equivalent to running a six-minute mile pace, or cross-country skiing uphill at a fast pace.
More bang for your buck
The average heart rate for study participants was 93 percent of heart rate max. This is an extremely high heart rate meaning that kettlebells provide a vigourous workout that taxes the aerobic system as well as the anaerobic system. Participants can expect cardiovascular benefits, strength gains as well as weight loss from the same workout.
The kettlebell snatch movement is a total-body movement. Both the upper and lower body work in a linked fashion to execute the movement, with necessary reliance on the core musculature and stabilization muscles around all joints.
Learn from a pro
I found working with kettle-bells to be a vigourous workout with enough technical requirements that I would not have tried to learn myself or from a book or video. I don’t recommend starting without a knowledgeable Kettlebell instructor, and keep to a small group when learning so you get lots of instructor attention.
New to fitness?
If you are new to fitness you should consider having a fitness and or posture assessment to identify any joint or mobility restrictions, and consider working one-on-one with a trainer to build a strength base before you advance to the more explosive movements or a group setting.
Image: Ajamu Bernard, Founder of KettleBell Academy
Have you experienced notable changes in your physique or performance from training with kettlebells?
Did you find the kettlebell movements simple to learn?