01 Dec Why Kettlebell Workouts Aren’t Just A Training Fad (The Ultimate List Of Benefits)
Are kettlebells just a training fad?
And here’s why.
There are several major benefits of kettlebell training.
Here’s a comprehensive list to describe the ways that kettlebells are an effective way train.
It’s important to understand that kettlebells are a different type of training tool.
Never before have I experienced such incredible workouts in such a short, powerful training session.
When I discovered kettlebell training, I honestly didn’t really understand the outstanding benefits that this tool offers.
That’s because I didn’t fully understand how to use the tools, yet.
I’ve been training for many years, but nothing is quite like training with kettlebells.
They aren’t a fad and I believe they’ll continue to increase in popularity, based on these reasons.
Builds strength. Kettlebells build strength quickly. We all want to be stronger and kettlebells help us do that. While the barbell is still the king in terms of maximum strength, kettlebells build full body, explosive strength very effectively.
Improves flexibility. As you move the kettlebell through various ranges of motion, your muscles and joints are being moved in an elastic way, allowing for improvement in overall muscular flexibility and joint health. Swinging a kettlebell makes you more flexible without working directly on “flexibility.”
Improves functional strength. Functional strength improvement is what we want. The strength you build with kettlebell training translates to improvement in your day to day activities or specific athletic movements. True functional strength improves function and performance. Again, swinging a kettlebell seems to translate into many other important activities. This is known as the “what the hell effect.”
Enhances athletic performance. As just mentioned, the nature of the movements allows you to perform better with most athletic events. You will develop more power, strength, and explosiveness in your movements. This isn’t a question as explosive strength and power is required in many sports.
Uses combination movements. All kettlebell movements require multiple muscle contractions and the activation of many different muscle groups. Instead of just isolating one muscle group (ex. chest), you are using many muscle groups for one exercise. Multiple planes of motion and multiple joints and muscle groups are required with nearly all kettlebell exercises. Each exercise is essentially full body.
Portable. You can take a kettlebell anywhere. You simply cannot beat the portability of a kettlebell. One bell can be a total training system.
Saves time. Highly time-efficient workouts. Most of my workouts are 30 minutes or less.
Burns Fat. Depending on the type of training program and variables, kettlebells can be a wonderfully effective fat-burning tool when combined with a solid nutrition plan. Forget the long, boring cardio routines and opt for kettlebell intervals instead. Kettlebell training burns fat!
Improves Posture. Over time, your posture may improve. Why is this? Because of the dynamic strengthening and flexibility improvement benefits when using a kettlbell correctly. For example, when performing a kettlebell swing, you “get tall” at the top of the swing. Is there carryover to everyday life? Possibly. In my case, I seem to have better posture since working with kettlebells.
Great for the Cardiovascular System. There are many exercises (ex. the swing) that can improve cardiovascular performance, and possibly very significantly. Again, this is depending on the training protocol. There has been emerging data to support the benefits of kettlbells for improving cardiovascular performance from the NSCA and other research organizations.
Helps to Correct Muscle Imbalances. Weak glutes are a common muscle imbalance or muscle problem. Performing a technically sound kettlebell swing will activate the glutes (and other muscles) at a potentially high level. Over time and with consistent training, muscular imbalances can be restored.
Are a good thing for many different populations. Anyone can benefit from kettlebells. Young, old, men, and women. Exercise programs can be designed to fit the appropriate population. Everyone and anyone can benefit from kettlebells when they are used correctly.
Builds an exceptionally strong back and shoulders. This is a big one. As a former physical therapist, I have seen how this type of training can build exceptional back and shoulder strength. Kettlebell swings and get-ups can do miraculous things for each of these areas. There’s a lot to say about this, but in general, kettlebells are outstanding for shoulder and spine health.
Improves body composition. Again, with proper diet and nutrition, then properly programmed kettlebell training will almost certainly improve body composition (build muscle and burn fat). An obvious benefit that was worth confirming.
Can perform them virtually anywhere. Inside, outside, home office, hotel room, garage, family room, backyard, wherever. (Providing it is a safe environment).
Can combine with other training modalities. You can combine with barbells and free weights, bodyweight training, sport conditioning programs, plyometrics, or just about anything else. You don’t have to be totally exclusive to kettlebells, as kettlebells can be combined with any other effective training tool. But, keep the goal the goal and only do what is necessary.
Requires skill and proficiency. As you will discover, this training requires skill. This is a benefit because you will develop strength and movement skills as your practice. You don’t just pick up a kettlebell and master it, it takes time, practice, and repetition – as well as qualified instruction. It’s always great to learn a new skill you can use for the rest of your life, don’t you think?
Becomes a positive addiction. I say this because this type of training can be addictive. Benefit or limitation? Considering the outcomes, I’d say it’s a benefit as long as you don’t push past the edge.
Surprisingly Safe. Surprise, surprise. Kettlebell training is safe with appropriate and qualified instruction. Safe training is the hallmark of effective training. I want to say that again – safe training is the hallmark of effective training. Got it? Cool.
Combines many exercise benefits in one modality. Train with kettlebells and you improve strength, flexibility, endurance, body composition, cardiovascular performance, etc. There are many benefits that can be addressed with ONE modality. Enough said.
Improvement over time. Over time, your skill and performance will improve. You will get stronger, you will be able to train with improved endurance, and you can move closer to the specfic fitness goals you set out to achieve over time. And maybe, much less time than you think.
Improves peak performance. This is improving to the point that you achieved your set goals, then reaching new ones. For me, I had a certain goal in mind that I wanted to attain with my training. I have achieved that performance goal, so now on to the new goals. That is improving peak performance.
Paves the way for new challenges. As I just mentioned, once you have accomplished one challenge, then it’s time to set out on a new challenge. This way you’ll always be improving. I like to think of this as “kaizen” which is Japanese for “constant and never ending improvement”. A good philosophy to live by.
Improves confidence and self esteem. Well, if all of the above improve, all I’ll say here is that your confidence and self esteem, may go through the roof! In a humble way, of course.
Is the perfect “at home workout.” This is the perfect home workout. Portable, you can do anywhere, don’t need a lot of space for the equipment, and highly time efficient. A recent survey stated that the majority of people that use kettlebells train at home and it’s a huge advantage.
Builds a strong “core”. Forget the crunches, train with kettlebells. Your “core” strength will improve dramatically. You probably even get the 6 pack abs or flat stomach you’d like (with the proper nutrition). Remember, if you are training the right way, you will be engaging your core effortlessly throughout the exercises. You will surely develop a strong midsection, back, and hips with this training.
Fun. Kettlebell training is incredibly fun. It’s challenging, rewarding, and highly satisfying. You will be having a lot of fun training with kettlebells because the options are unlimited with what you can do.
Aren’t just a Fad. Yes, I repeat, no fad. Fads are things that come and go. It is my personal belief that as more people learn about the effectiveness of the tool, the popularity will continue to grow. Kettlebells are the real deal. And the best way to discover that for yourself is to get with certified instructor who can show you how to use the tool the right way. It’s as simple as that.
To be honest, I could name more benefits here.
This is close to 30 benefits I just listed out, so that’s probably enough.
And, if you don’t think kettlebells are a great training option by now, another few benefits probably wouldn’t convince you of that.
I hope this list has helped in better understanding how kettebells can help you achieve many different goals.
I’m not saying kettlebells are the only thing we should use.
They are not.
And, frankly, my real passion is the barbell.
Kettlebell are just a tool, but a very effective training tool when used appropriately.
Discover the applications and benefits for yourself.
That’s the only way to determine if what I say here is true for you.
Please feel free share this article on twitter, facebook, or anywhere that will benefit other readers. I appreciate it.
Scott’s background as a strength coach, athlete, and former clinician are the basis for his one-of-a-kind approach to teaching strength, human movement, and peak performance. Scott is dedicated to helping serious fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and lifters all over the world, regardless of age, background, or training experience, become the best version of themselves through improved strength and skill development for a lifetime of health, happiness, and high-performance. Scott is the passionate host of The Rdella Training Podcast, a leading weekly fitness podcast in Apple Podcasts where he interviews the most brilliant minds in the industry. Finally, he is the author of The Edge of Strength, available in Amazon and currently working on his follow-up book. To learn more about Scott, please visit our About Page. Get stronger, perform better, and evolve into the athlete you were meant to be.
Scott’s background as a strength coach, athlete, and former clinician are the basis for his one-of-a-kind approach to teaching strength, human movement, and peak performance. Scott is dedicated to helping serious fitness enthusiasts, athletes, and lifters all over the world, regardless of age, background, or training experience, become the best version of themselves through improved strength and skill development for a lifetime of health, happiness, and high-performance.
Scott is the passionate host of The Rdella Training Podcast, a leading weekly fitness podcast in Apple Podcasts where he interviews the most brilliant minds in the industry. Finally, he is the author of The Edge of Strength, available in Amazon and currently working on his follow-up book. To learn more about Scott, please visit our About Page.
Get stronger, perform better, and evolve into the athlete you were meant to be.