25 Aug A New Study: More Benefits With Kettlebell Training?

Red KettlebellA new study in the Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research (Vol, 26, No.8, August 2012, p. 2228-2233) demonstrated more benefits of kettlebell training, specifically, the kettlebell swing.

It’s really exciting to see more data showing the benefits of kettlebells.  But, to be very honest, all this does is simply confirm what I already know.

Kettlebells are the real deal.  I’ve said it over and over.

The truth is, I don’t need a study to tell me that kettlebells are effective.

That’s because after 30 years of training, I’d like to believe I have enough experience, at this point, to determine what is effective and what isn’t.

All that aside, it’s still great to see the positive data!

Here’s the overview of the study.  I’ll keep it simple, but provide the specifics you should to know about.

The study’s objective was to compare the kettlebell swing vs. the jump squat power training exercise.

The goal was to evaluate the effects on maximum strength with the squat and also explosive power with the vertical jump.

There were 21 subjects in the study and they were randomly selected to one of the two groups (the kettlebell swing group or the jump squat group).

Each group trained twice per week for 6 weeks.

The training protocols for each group were as follows.  The kettlebell group (KB) performed just a 12 minute exercise session with 30 seconds of work followed by 30 seconds of rest for 12 minutes total.

The jump squat training group performed jump squat specific training twice per week for 6 weeks.

Here’s what’s interesting, the weight used in the study for a kettlebell swing was a 12 kg kettlebell (if the subject weighed 70kg or less) or a 16 kg kettlebell (if the subject weighed over 70kg).

This is interesting because it’s a light weight for a kettlebell swing.  Keep this in mind.

What were the study results?  What exactly did the study find?

The study found that the kettlebell swing was as effective for improving maximal strength and explosive strength as jump squat power training.

Both methods produced improvements in max strength and explosive strength.

You might be thinking this isn’t ‘groundbreaking’ data, but the truth is that it’s very encouraging because it shows more of the benefits of kettlebell training.

Why?  While, there were not statistical differences between the groups, the study clearly demonstrates a benefit for improving max strength and explosive strength.

And, what makes this even better is that this is done with a considerable “light” load, a 16 kg or 12 kg kettlebell, which is quite light to perform a kettlebell swing.

And, one of the methods for training (the jump squat) was specific to one of the parameters being measured (vertical jump height).

Kettlebell training produced a comparable result.  Impressive.

Another important point to note in the training method is the strict adherence to performing a proper kettlebell swing.

This was achieved by following the the guidelines as outlined by Pavel Tsatsouline in Enter the Kettlebell and subjects were supervised by a certified kettlebell instructor.

The point is proper technique is critical.

For the best results, learn the best technique.

In summary, the trial stated:

it would appear that the kettlebell swing exercise provides a stimulus that can simultaneously improve cardiorespiratory fitness, maximum strength, and explosive strength

Good news for kettlebells.  I love to see clinical studies demonstrating benefit.

Again, for me, it just confirmed what I already know.

I’m not sure why some of these studies use a light weight to improve max strength though.

In a previous study this year, the same weight was used to compare kettlebells vs barbells, but a 16 kg was used in the study to improve strength.

This is not a apples to apples comparison and a flaw of that particular study.

Personally, I think it’s very exciting to see more data come out about the benefits of kettlebells.

I’ve always felt that the popularity of kettlebells will continue to grow as more people discover the benefits, whether for body composition changes, total body strengthening and conditioning, or performance enhancement.

If you haven’t discovered kettlebell yet, then check out KettlebellsForBeginners.com to find out how you can get started the right way.

Kettlebells have been game changing for me.

If you learn how to use them properly, you can get better results in less time.  That’s a fact.

It will be exciting to see more studies in the future, but there is certainly strong support right now showing the benefits.

As always, if you like this, please share it!

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