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How to Burn More Fat Using Kettlebells in 3 Simple Steps

By Greg Brookes

How to Burn More Fat Using Kettlebells

Kettlebells are a very diverse training tool. They can be used to increase strength, add muscle, improve posture, develop better movement skills, increase cardio, improve on sports and burn more fat.

However, one of the most common reasons why so many people choose to use kettlebells is for their excellent fat burning capabilities.

If fat loss is your goal then following the 3 step fat loss method outlined below will help you burn more fat using kettlebells.

Step 1: Use Full Body Kettlebell Exercises

Most kettlebell exercises use big movements that use hundreds of muscles at a time.

The more muscles that you use with each exercise the more calories you burn.

Plus you have the added bonus of getting more done in less time meaning much shorter workouts.

To get the most muscle activation you want to use full body kettlebell exercises including:

  1. Kettlebell Deadlifts (beginners)
  2. Kettlebell Goblet Squats (beginners)
  3. Kettlebell Swings (intermediate)
  4. Kettlebell Rows (intermediate)
  5. Kettlebell Lunges (intermediate)
  6. Kettlebell Clean and Presses (intermediate)
  7. Kettlebell Snatch (advanced)

You should not be wasting your time using exercises that only focus on a few muscles like bicep curls or tricep extensions.

Depending on your skill and experience level will determine which kettlebell exercises you should start with.

Full body kettlebell exercises will also activate and condition more muscle mass meaning an increase in your metabolic rate.

Increasing your metabolism is one of the key secrets to fat loss

The more muscle tone you have the more energy (calories) your body uses just to fuel your muscles.

A faster metabolism will burn more fat even when you are watching TV or sleeping. Bonus!

Related: 52 Kettlebell Exercises to Try Right Now

Kettlebell Goblet Squat Exercise
Kettlebell goblet squat exercise

Step 2: Use Intervals and Active Recovery

So you’ve started using full body kettlebell exercises to burn more calories and increase your metabolic rate which is a great start.

But you can increase your fat loss potential even more.

Research shows that by elevating and then reducing your heart rate repeatedly you will burn even more fat.

Interval training involves short bursts of harder exercise followed by short rest periods.

An example of interval training would be:

  1. Kettlebell Swings x 10 reps
  2. Rest 20 seconds
  3. Repeat 5 – 10 times
Kettlebell two handed swing
Kettlebell two handed swing

Related: Ultimate Guide to the Kettlebell Swing

As the heart rate goes up and then is allowed to come back down again the body has to work even harder to supply oxygen and fuel to the body.

Intervals are more demanding than steady cardio based exercises where you slowly increase intensity levels and then slowly reduce them back down again.

So Interval Training is tough but it’s highly effective.

During your intervals you will not only improve your cardio, by increasing your threshold levels, but also disrupt the homeostasis within your body.

As your body struggles with the imbalances caused by interval training it has to work very hard after each workout to regain balance or homeostasis.

More commonly known as Afterburn or EPOC, more energy (calories) and resources are required for hours following your workout.

Steady cardio that doesn’t involve interval training does not have this profound afterburn effect on the body.

Want to get even more results?

Rather than just resting in between your intervals you can use an active recovery exercise.

Active recovery exercises allow the heart rate to slowly recover but not completely.

Some examples of active recovery exercises include:

  1. Kettlebell Slingshots
  2. Kettlebell Halos

You can also use active recovery periods to work on your weakness so perhaps improving shoulder or hip mobility.

Active recovery exercises are an excellent way to get lots more done in less workout time.

kettlebell slingshot exercise
kettlebell slingshot exercise

Related: Why I love Kettlebell Slingshots

Step 3: Change Exercises Using Movement Patterns

So far you should be using full body exercises and intervals in order to get more fat burning from your kettlebell workouts.

To get even more fat loss results you should start to mix in different exercises based on our fundamental movement patterns.

The human body only moves in a small number of natural ways:

  1. Deadlift
  2. Squat
  3. Lunge
  4. Push
  5. Pull

When you sit down on a chair or get into your car you are using a squat movement pattern.

If you pick up a heavy object from the floor you are using the deadlift movement pattern.

And when you climb stairs you use the lunge movement pattern.

Kettlebell exercises can neatly be divided up into these movement patterns so you can ensure that you cover the whole body from all angles and with natural exercises.

Using movement pattern based exercises means less chance of injury and much more full body muscle activation.

You also condition your body in a more practical way so all the daily activities you usually perform become much easier.

So not only do you burn fat but daily movement gets easier too. Bonus!

Related: 7 Kettlebell Squats You Need to Know

Related: 16 Kettlebell Lunge Variations from Beginner to Pro

Kettlebell Racked Reverse Lunge Exercise
Kettlebell Racked Reverse Lunge Exercise

Related: 7 Kettlebell Deadlift Variations

Putting it all together

Now you know that full body exercises, along with intervals and using movement patterns is the best way to burn fat with kettlebells, lets put it all together.

The most effective way to combine the 3 step fat loss method outlined above is by using kettlebell circuits.

Here’s a 4 minute circuit that is No. 1 of my 21 follow along workout series:

Kettlebell Circuit No. 1

  • Slingshot – clockwise x 20 reps
  • Single Arm Deadlift – left x 15 reps
  • Slingshot – anti-clockwise x 20 reps
  • Single Arm Deadlift – right x 15 reps
  • Slingshot – clockwise x 20 reps
  • Halo – alternating directions x 10 reps
  • Slingshot – anti-clockwise x 20 reps
  • Bodyweight Squats x 10 reps

Watch the follow along 4 minute kettlebell circuit below:

You can see how the kettlebell circuit uses all 3 of the above steps.

  1. Full Body Kettlebell Exercises –  the Deadlift and the Squat
  2. Intervals and Active Recovery – see the use of the Slingshot and Halo after 1 or 2 exercises
  3. Change Exercises with Movement Patterns – the Deadlift and the Squat

The above workout is for pure beginners and is a great starting point for both men and women.

As your strength and experience improves then more advanced exercises would be used along with shorter rest periods in between exercises.

The kettlebell circuit only lasts 4 minutes but can be repeated 2-3 times for a very effective fat loss workout.

How to Burn More Fat Conclusions

Kettlebell training is a very effective tool for increasing strength, developing movement skills, improving posture, gaining an edge in sports and of course fat loss.

If you want to really increase your fat burning potential then using full body kettlebell exercises,  organised as intervals and using your natural movement patterns is the the way to go.

Using kettlebell circuits is a time efficient way to get great fat burning results in only 4 – 12 minutes per day.

I hope you have found this useful.

For more information on 4 minute kettlebell circuits then see my latest workout programs here.

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