If you already have a kettlebell, you don’t need to read this – you already know how wonderful they are.
If you don’t, it’s time. Time to bring one of the most useful and versatile pieces of exercise equipment into your home and exploit that little chunk of iron to get into really fantastic shape. If you need more convincing, read on.
1. They Target Everything
Arms, shoulders, back, chest, core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, calves – you can work every single muscle in that little body of yours with this one simple tool. Whether you’re lifting it like a weight or swinging for all you’re worth, you can be sure you’re going to feel it later. Aside from the fact they’ll give you a workout head-to-toe, there are a ton of different movements you can do with kettlebells, making it nearly impossible to get bored with your workouts.
2. Strength + Cardio
Need I say more? You know how easy it is to blow a couple hours trying to fit in your cardio and strength training. That’s why kettlebells are so great – you get two for the price of one, more bang for your buck. Not only will kettlebells cut your workout time, they’ll also do their part to help you get that body you’ve been chasing. In fact, a study performed by the American Council on Exercise found that between the aerobic and anaerobic calorie burn created by a 20-minute kettlebell workout, subjects burned around 20 calories per minute – that’s pretty amazing (think a 6-minute mile pace while running).
3. Improve Range of Motion and Joint Stability
No matter what part of your body you’re working, kettlebells allow you to move your joints through their full range of motion, which can be difficult to do with a loaded barbell. Some kettlebell exercises, such as swings and snatches, are very effective for increasing shoulder stability – a huge plus since the shoulder joint can often times be temperamental.
4. Take it Anywhere
Aside from the fact that they’re dense little suckers, kettlebells can go just about anywhere. While you may not want to pack one on your next flight (unless you’re willing to pay a little extra for your ridiculously heavy luggage), you can easily throw a couple in your car for a week at the lake. With a kettlebell, you can take full advantage of the next sunny day – take your workout outside instead of being stuck inside.
5. Build Grip Strength
The nature of kettlebell workouts offers a unique opportunity to build some pretty impressive grip strength. While, at first, you may not see this as an asset, I’m pretty sure we could all benefit from a stronger grip. How often do you have to have one of the men in your life open a jar or carry a heavy bag? Not anymore. A kid in each arm and a gallon of milk in each hand, no problem, man!
6. They’re Affordable
You probably know by now, or at least have an idea, how expensive a monthly gym membership can be. If you’ve ever looked into investing into a home gym, you’re still probably picking your jaw off the floor – fitness is a lucrative business, just not for you. That’s one of the biggest reasons I love kettlebells, they’re totally affordable. Even if you’re on a super tight budget you can still scrape together enough change. Depending on the weight (the heavier they are, the more expensive they are), you can bring one, or several, home for under $75. If you’re buying online, be sure to use a site that offers free shipping!
Read more about kettlebells at acefitness.org