Are Kettlebells a Good Workout?

Hey it’s Chris. Some of the links on this page may be sponsored - it helps keep the blog going. Cool? Onto the article...

Suppose you’re looking for a way to reinvigorate your workout and add a little flare to a monotonous training regimen. In that case, incorporating kettlebells into your workout may be the answer for you.

Depending on your training style, it is entirely possible to strength train and get your aerobic training at the same time. Kettlebells are uniquely effective at stimulating the muscles while at the same time surpassing standard cardio exercises.

Areas Targeted When Using Kettlebells

Arms: The kettlebell is great for training the arms through exercises such as shoulder presses and single-arm rows.

Legs: Composed of some of the largest muscle groups, the legs get full engagement through kettlebell use. Exercises such as kettlebell squats and lunges are prevalent when using kettlebells.

Core: Most kettlebell workouts target the abs and other core muscles somehow, either through shape, or form.

Back: You can perform a deadlift while using the kettlebell to sculpt your back.

Glutes: Squats and lunges will do wonders to target your glutes during your training sessions with the kettlebell.

Kettlebells for Strength Training

Kettlebells are a versatile training tool that, in many cases, can take the place of a dumbbell in a particular workout or movement. However, when it comes to explosive movements and training the muscles involved in these movements, no other piece of equipment does it quite like kettlebells.

Although kettlebells are commonly found in HIIT and cardio routines, they can also add bulk to your stature.

Due to the kettlebell’s unique design and shape, it engages your small stabilizing muscles to perform the movements correctly. As a result, kettlebells train places where dumbbells are incapable of reaching.

Kettlebells for Aerobics

Kettlebell exercises can make for an intense training exercise capable of burning lots of calories. Due to the nature of the movements involving the kettlebell, many different muscle groups are engaged at once, which gives a different meaning to what is understood when someone says “full-body workout”. 

Up to 600 muscles can be in use during a single kettlebell routine, which raises your metabolic rate and increases the burning calories. Kettlebells can produce an after-burn effect leading to more calorie burns for up to 24 hours.

Health Conditions to Consider Before Using Kettlebells

While kettlebell workouts are good to add to your health and fitness regimen, some physical limitations and health conditions don’t quite suit these exercise tools. You should be aware of these limitations before you start using your kettlebells.

Arthritis and Back Pain

It is essential to take the appropriate precautions during training, and something as demanding as kettlebells is no exception to this rule. Using kettlebells will require a lot of your knees, hips, back, neck, and shoulders.

It is the definition of a high impact program. Due to this, experts recommend that those with arthritis or pain in their back and knees should look for a more suitable training program.

Quick Kettlebell Workouts

Sets: 4

When training with a kettlebell, it is vital to use one that is perfect for your strength level. There is no need to use a kettlebell that is too heavy for you at the expense of form. With that said, a 12kg bell is suitable for beginners — you can push it to 16kg if you are a bit more advanced.

See this article to find out which size kettlebell you should buy.

The following program is designed to be done for the number of specified reps for a total of four circuits. The entire workout takes about 12 to 15 minutes to complete.

Remember you can always use a heavier weight if you’re seeking more of a challenge, but if you can’t complete the set without rest, you may need to use a lower amount of weight and work your way up.

One-Arm Kettlebell Swing

Reps: 10

This is a simple exercise. While using one hand, swing the kettlebell to eye level. Use the momentum generated from your hips. Do all the reps with one arm and switch sides during the very next circuit.

Goblet Squat with a Kettlebell

Reps: 20

Taking the kettlebell with both hands, position it in front of your body with your elbows tucked close to your body. Be sure to keep your chest up as you lower into the squatting position and drive up to stand.

Kettlebell Swing

Reps: 20

With the kettlebell resting between your legs, drive your hips forward to get the kettlebell into a forward swinging motion. When you begin to feel a stretch in your hamstrings, drive your hips forward, carrying the momentum of the kettlebell to the height of your head.

New to kettlebells? See this article on kettlebell swings for beginners.

Kettlebell Alternating Chest Press with Lunge

Reps: 10 on each side

While holding the kettlebell by its handle bring it close to your chest, then begin to take a giant stride into a lunge. Be sure to lower the back knee until it’s on the verge of hitting the floor. Simultaneously start to press the bell forwards so that your arms are parallel with the floor. Alternate the legs and perform the movement again for another rep.

Kettlebell Clean and Press

Reps: 10

With the kettlebell in one hand, swing the bell upward, and as it passes eye level on the way up, place your elbows into your body, bend your legs and catch the weight on the top of your forearms. At this point, drive the bell up and punch the bell overhead. Complete each rep with one arm and alternate sides during the next circuit.

Perform each of these exercises for two sets, with the recommended number of reps. For best results, incorporate this workout into your regimen at least twice a week, and adjust as necessary, depending on your goals.

Final Thoughts

Kettlebells offer an array of fitness benefits and versatility. Additionally, these exercises can be performed in the comfort of your own home as opposed to strictly in the gym.

Kettlebell training significantly reduces the time needed to do an effective workout for strength training or weight loss. Whether you’re a beginner or intermediate, there’s a kettlebell workout regimen with your name on it!