Full-body workout routine with kettlebell.
If you’re tired of the daily gym grind of spending an hour on the treadmill and mind numbingly boring resistance training machines then it’s time to switch things up.
The great news is you can cut your workout time in half whilst developing muscle tone, strength and burning calories and fat.
It might sound too good to be true, but all you have to do is replace your traditional cardio workout and weights routine with a 30 minute full body kettlebell workout.
Kettlebells have actually been around a long time, first appearing in Russia in the early 1700s.
Recently though they are making a big comeback in the fitness scene with the rise of popularity probably due to CrossFit, but you don’t have to CrossFit to use kettlebells.
The great thing about kettlebell workouts is that they promote many of physical training including strength, endurance, cardio, mobility, flexibility, power and balance.
They are relatively small pieces of equipment, so they are great for workouts at home.
Plus you don’t need a lot of space, and the exercises are versatile in that they work all body parts, build strength and burn fat.
Research by John Porcari Ph.D., from the University of Wisconsin, shows that you can burn 270 calories with just 20 minutes of kettlebell exercises.
This wasn’t even counting the post-exercise calorie burn from the increase in metabolism, so the fat-burning potential is through the roof for kettlebell workouts.
From his research Porcari found that the subjects in his study burned over 20 calories per minute.
Great news for women interested in losing weight, burning fat and getting in shape:
you can get better results in less time with a kettlebell workout.
Yes this really does mean you can combine both cardio and strength training in one full body kettlebell workout routine.
Most kettlebell exercises are compound exercises meaning they incorporate multi-joint movements using large muscle groups but the added cardio element means you can ditch the treadmill.
Research from Robert Kraemer, Professor of Exercise Physiology at Southern Louisiana University showed that a kettlebell interval workout routine produces the same metabolic response to a similar interval-style cardio workout on the treadmill.
The research compared kettlebell training workout with brisk walking on a treadmill at 4mph at a 4% incline.
Kraemer’s research shows that you can workout better with kettlebells for more strength, and get the same cardio benefits of the treadmill, plus a higher calorie burn.
So you get more bang for your buck, strength and cardio in the same workout!
However, you can also improve your flexibility, coordination, strength, core strength and power with kettlebell workout.
As most kettlebell exercises requires you perform the move in full range of motion this can enhance flexibility and mobility.
Imagine a cardio yoga workout with weights and that’s a kettlebell workout.
No long static poses, or boring cardio here.
A kettlebell workout is not only strength and cardio but now we’re also talking benefits you can get in yoga class, all in one workout!
Kettlebells workouts not only have the strength, cardio and flexibility of a fitness program but balance and coordination too.
Just picking up a kettlebell you can feel it’s different to holding a dumbbell or barbell. The weight distributes differently and one swing and you can feel the power, the mobility and the balance required to perform movements.
Balance and reaction training are extremely important parts of fitness, and often neglected.
With the kettlebell many of the exercises require more balance and stabilization which means more muscle recruitment and higher calorie burn.
The core is used continuously also giving the abs an added workout. Balance training is especially important as we get older, as the risk of falls increases.
However balance training transfers to other aspects of our fitness program and means a better grip, stronger muscles, better form and more flexibility.
The great thing about kettlebells is they can benefit everybody.
Even if weight loss and fat loss isn’t your goal the exercises are based on functional movements so they improve your strength and mobility in everyday life.
Research from Lars Andersen Ph.D. from the National Research Centre for the Working Environment, Denmark has shown that when compared to control groups, those subjects exercising with kettlebells showed a decrease in pain at the neck, shoulders, and low back as well as improving strength in the lower back.
Other research from the National Research Centre for the Working Environment by Jorgen Skotte PhD, has showed that posture improved in subjects that trained with kettlebells, as did jump height.
The study also showed a marked improvement in balance and reaction compared to control groups.
If weight loss, fat loss or functional fitness isn’t enough to convince you of the benefits of kettlebell training, maybe research on improved sports performance will.
Dr Mike Lauder from the University of Chichester, United Kingdom showed that maximum and explosive strength improved when kettlebell training.
Other studies have also shown a marked improvement in jump height and speed due to the explosive power nature of the kettlebell exercises.
When choosing a kettlebell, as a beginner, it’s best to start light and focus on form before moving onto the heavier weights.
Begin with a 10lb kettlebell to master the move then work up to 25lb kettlebell or more.
The weight needed will also depend on the movement performed. A double arm kettlebell swing will be heavier weight than an overhead press for example.
Kettlebells work best when done as interval-style workouts. For the metabolic training, effect performs 8-12 repetitions of each exercise with 30 seconds recovery between exercises.
Repeat the circuit for three sets initially, working up to more sets as fitness levels allow.
Remember that cross-training is the key to any successful fitness program so kettlebell workouts should be done two to three times per week with other forms of exercise on the off days.
Full-Body Kettlebell Workout Routine
6 Kettlebell Exercises:
- Kettlebell Russian Swing
- Kettlebell Squats to Upright Rows
- Kettlebell Split Lunge
- Kettlebell RDL
- Kettlebell Russian Twists
- Kettlebell One-Arm Rows
The bottom line is that kettlebell workouts are a great workout for women as they tone, the legs, hips and thighs whilst whittling the waist and burning fat.
It’s a double whammy of cardio and strength in the same workout which means you can burn fat in less time. This makes kettlebells great for women with busy schedules.