Kettlebell training has recently gained popularity in the fitness community as a powerful workout tool. However, some people still view the kettlebell as a fad item. Originally from Russia, a kettlebell is a deceptively simple cast-iron orb with a handle that can deliver an incredible workout in just minutes. While kettlebell exercises can come in a variety of forms. The swing is the most basic and arguably the most beneficial of them all.
Best Kettlebell Exercise
Regarded as the king of posterior chain exercises, the swing works almost every muscle in the back of your body. This full-body involvement results in almost unparalleled calorie burn. The American Council on Exercise tested the kettlebell snatch, a movement similar to the swing, and determined that it burns a comparable amount of calories to what is burned by running a six-minute mile or cross-country skiing uphill. If you need to burn more calories during your workouts, kettlebell exercises are an efficient way to accomplish that.
Why Use Kettlebells?
Along with torching calories, you will also give your heart and lungs a taxing workout. Especially when done in interval training formats, swings provide incredible cardiovascular benefits. Some people use swings to replace high-intensity sprint training on days where the weather prevents safe sprinting outside. Because of the intense nature of the kettlebell workout, most swing workouts are over in a matter of minutes. Still, packing quite a punch in a short period of time.
If you use a heavy enough kettlebell, you might be surprised at the amount of muscle you can pack on doing this seemingly cardio-oriented exercise. Kettlebell swings necessitate a lot of muscular control to do safely and therefore result in muscle being built to accommodate the new challenge. Swings are famous for lifting and toning the glutes. Famous enough that some kettlebell fans refer to their toned backsides as “kettle booties.”
With lighter weights, kettlebell training is invaluable during therapy for some lower back injuries. Physical therapists often introduce supervised light-weight swings into patients’ routines to add core stability and strengthen muscles that help support the damaged tissue. Be sure to visit a physical therapist before adding swings to your workouts if you have history of back injuries. The correct form helps eliminate back pain, but improper form could make the problem worse.
Kettlebells for Beginners
Beginners to the kettlebell workout are taught the swing because of its basic form elements and excellent efficiency. The more advanced kettlebell snatch may command a lead over the swing in terms of calorie burn and muscle building. This is a more complicated form and a higher risk of injury are the reasons the swing reigns as the safest and most effective kettlebell training movement for all-around fitness.