There are many kettlebell before and after benefits that you can achieve by embracing this exciting form of resistance training.
Many of these before and after results can be achieved within 30 days of starting your kettlebell journey.
6 Kettlebell Before and After Benefits
When many people think of cardio they imagine running marathons, spin or aerobic classes but kettlebell training is seriously cardiovascular too.
Using full body kettlebell exercises like the swing, high pull, snatch or thruster will seriously challenge your heart and lungs in a very short space of time. Plus, these highly cardiovascular kettlebell exercises do not even require the moving of your feet or any jumping or bouncing around.
A highly effective form of cardio training is HIIT or High Intensity Interval Training and this fits perfectly into a kettlebell training format.
“Continuous kettlebell swings can impart a metabolic challenge of sufficient intensity to increase Vo2max”
Here’s a really simple interval training workout using one kettlebell:
- Two handed kettlebell swings
- Rest 10 seconds
- Repeat 8 times
The above workout is a classic Tabata training protocol that will improve your cardiovascular health in only 4 minutes.
All types of resistance training have the ability to increase your strength but kettlebells in particular put your joints in positions that improve your functional strength.
Due to the design of kettlebells and the off-centre handle they demand more from your joint stability while at the same time enabling great holding and pressing positions.
Kettlebells can be lifted either with one hand or two allowing for muscle imbalances to be corrected unlike when performing barbell exercises.
Consider the kettlebell clean and press an excellent exercise for developing strength, as a kettlebell is held in each hand the shoulder joints have more freedom to move independently as the kettlebells are lifted and pressed overhead.
One excellent advantage of kettlebell training is the ability of the exercises to connect the upper and lower body together via the core muscles.
Most traditional bodybuilding type exercises focus on isolating muscles groups whereas kettlebell training integrates the complete body. The ultimate result of full body integration is a greater dependance on the core muscles with every exercise.
You will therefore find that when using kettlebell exercises you are strengthening your core, abs and back muscles consistently and practically during every workout.
Developing good core integration through kettlebell training will also result in stronger and more efficient movement during sports and daily life with a reduced risk of injury.
“The most dramatic increase in strength came in abdominal core strength, which was boosted by 70 percent”
The Turkish get up is a typical example of how kettlebell training will improve your strength, mobility and core all in one fluid movement.
4 Pain Free Mobility
One of the worst consequences of sitting and desk bound work is the reduction in our joint mobility and ultimately chronic postural positions.
Kettlebell training helps take your joints through their full range opening up the joints and nourishing them with synovial fluid. Consistent kettlebell training over time will help restore your original mobility and prevent poor posture and tightness throughout the body.
“Working out with kettlebells reduced lower back pain by 57 percent and cut neck and shoulder pain by 46 percent”
Kettlebell training is also unique in that it focuses many of its exercises on the posterior chain or muscles running up the back of the body. Strengthening the posterior chain will help pull you upright and counterbalance all the forward bending that is so prevalent in daily life.
So rather than closing the body down like many of the classic weight training exercises (eg. bench press) kettlebell training actually opens up and frees the body.
5 Fat Loss
Fat loss is the main objective for many people starting kettlebell training and with good reason. Kettlebell training is highly effective at burning fat due to a number of reasons.
“a pre-determined 20-minute kettlebell snatch workout typical of a common kettlebell routine … [burned] approximately 20.2 calories per minute! That’s equivalent to running at a 6-minute mile pace”
Firstly, most kettlebell exercises activate hundreds of muscles with every movement so you burn more calories in less time.
Secondly, as you are activating your entire body during your workouts your muscles become more metabolically active resulting in a desire for more energy even when you are not exercising. A higher metabolic rate means you burn fat even when you are not exercising.
Finally, kettlebell training is very dynamic and cardiovascular meaning you will elevate your heart rate quickly resulting in further calorie expenditure during each workout.
Add to your workouts the ability to use kettlebells for fat loss intervals and you have a strong recipe for fat loss in only a short amount of time.
As mentioned earlier kettlebell training actives hundreds of muscles during every exercise so the consequence is a development of full body conditioning in less time.
Unlike bodybuilding kettlebell athletes tend to have less bulk and bigger engines meaning they can move more efficiently. Consider a mixed martial artist as an example of the body you can achieve.
“an undeniable advantage of kettlebell training over conventional resistance training is that it stimulates nearly the entire body at once”
It is also important to realise that kettlebell training doesn’t just strengthen the big mirror muscles but also works intensely on the smaller stabilising muscles. Strong stabilising muscles mean less chance of injury and a stronger platform for your larger muscles to operate off.
Grind based exercises such as the clean and press or regular row will offer better muscle development than the more dynamic exercises of the swing, snatch or high pull. So depending on your muscle development goals you can alter exercises for the perfect results.
Conclusion to kettlebell before and after benefits
Kettlebell training offers a considerable amount of benefits from a rather short investment of time.
You can improve your cardio, core, posture, muscles and strength along with preventing future injuries and burning fat.
Kettlebell training requires very little space and can be performed just as easily at home as at a local gym.
So with all these benefits isn’t it time you started your kettlebell journey?
Farrar RE, Mayhew JL, Koch AJ., “Oxygen cost of kettlebell swings”, J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr;24(4):1034-6
Nick Beltz, M.S., Dustin Erbes, M.S., John P. Porcari, Ph.D., Ray Martinez, Ph.D., Scott Doberstein, M.S., and Carl Foster, Ph.D., “Kettlebells Kick Butt”, funded by the American Council on Exercise
Kenneth Jay, Dennis Frisch, Klaus Hansen, Mette K Zebis, Christoffer H Andersen, Ole S Mortensen and Lars L Andersen, “Kettlebell training for musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health: a randomized controlled trial”, Scandinavian Journal of Work, Environment & Health, Vol. 37, No. 3 (May 2011), pp. 196-203
Schnettler C, Porcari JP, Foster C, Anders M., 2010. Kettlebells: Twice the results in half the time. ACE Fitness Matters pp 6-10.
Mortara A, Michael A D, Kaitlynn E R. (2017) “A Review of Kettlebell Research and its Implications for Exercise Programming.” Res Inves Sports Med.
Have you experienced any of these kettlebell before and after benefits? Let me know below….