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4 Reasons Why You Should Be Using Kettlebells In Your Workout

Fitness • November 14, 2015

When you enter the Fhitting Room studios, you are greeted with bursts of green, rows of colorful kettlebells, shelves stacked with dumbbells, sweat-inducing cardio machines like rowers and ski ergs, suspension training straps, and other cues that tell your body ‘WAKE UP’. You know that our program delivers killer full-body high-intensity training using all the equipment in our studios. However, what you may not realize is that the kettlebell, despite its simple appearance, is one of our most lethal weapons.

There’s a chance that you’ve seen a kettlebell before, even if you don’t know the name of it. If you’ve never heard of a kettlebell, imagine a cast-iron weight that resembles a cannonball with a handle. The kettlebell is used to perform ballistic exercises that combine cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training. The basic movements are inherently holistic, working several muscles simultaneously and engaging the entire body at once in a way that mimics real-world activities. Needless to say, all of these factors work together to make exercises that use the kettlebell a ridiculously effective fat burner and muscle builder. The kettlebell is not only one of our most treasured tools, but it is also our brand mark symbolizing more things we love: energy, movement, and fun.

The kettlebell is a core component of The Fhitting Room’s brand and program because the benefits of kettlebell training are limitless and prove that it can far outshine the effects of stationary machines found in gyms. This versatile tool can actually replace almost every piece of equipment. We sat down with our head instructor a.k.a. El Capitán, Eric Salvador, who gave us the low down on why kettlebell training is so effective.

“The dynamic nature of the kettlebell combines both strength and cardio properties. A kettlebell workout increases endurance, ignites rapid fat loss, builds muscular strength without added bulk, increases core stability, leads to a stronger back, enhances flexibility, and delivers results in half the time you would spend at the gym.”

Why I use kettlebells:
1. Kettlebells build stability. Unlike dumbbells – which have symmetrical mass on each side of the weight – kettlebells have an off-center mass below their handle, challenging your stabilizer muscles, coordination, and motor control. Kettlebell exercises uncover and fix misalignments, irregularities, and weaknesses in the body, relieving you of muscle stiffness and joint pain. They also make you more aware of your body and how well you are coordinated as it is a controlled way to work out that requires focus. Kinesthetics play a big part in both your fitness and your day-to-day life, so imagine if you had a really strong grasp on your own kinesthetics.

2. The biggest benefit of implementing kettlebells into your workouts is that all of the exercises are essentially total body exercises, meaning total body strengthening and conditioning. These are also largely fat-burning workouts, and a study has even shown that up to 400 calories can be burned in the span of only a 20-minute workout. If that doesn’t sound like a lot to you, allow me to remind you that you would have to run a mile in 6 minutes to achieve the same numbers. That being said, these workouts are intense and leave your body in a state where it continues to burn calories after the workout is over. This effect is called excess post-exercise oxygen consumption, also referred to as EPOC. This effect can last for as long as up to 24 hours. 

3. Kettlebells take up very little floor space but can be utilized in a variety of different exercises.

4. Kettlebells are used for dynamic speed and power movements that develop a special quality known as power endurance. Power endurance is your ability to produce movements and sustain fast muscular contractions over an extended period of time.  That means major calorie burning. I love incorporating classic kettlebell moves like swings, cleans, and snatches.

Kettlebells bridge the gap between strength training and cardio. By combining aerobic and anaerobic, movements, you’re building muscle, increasing power, improving endurance, and getting lean all at once. So many people dread cardio workouts, but this checks off that cardio box without having to do traditional grueling cardio.

For HIIT workouts, the goal is to use light weights but do a higher number of reps at a greater intensity. These workouts can also be done at your own pace, which means so long as you keep your heart rate up for the duration of the workout, you’re doing great. These workouts will be beneficial for improving your short-distance endurance, but not for long-distance endurance. If you’re training for a marathon, make sure to continue your regular cardio routine.

When you’re at the gym or simply looking at all of the possible workout equipment, it’s easy to get overwhelmed, especially if you don’t know what you’re looking at. Rather than getting some large machine that can be incredibly expensive, kettlebells are smaller, way more cost-efficient, and truly do work out your entire body. With some machines, you may be stuck doing the same workouts and movements, but with kettlebells, you can choose the way that you use them and which workouts you enjoy more. 

Studies have shown that when people perform kettlebell workouts, they are burning more calories and they are consuming more oxygen. Kettlebell workouts are also known to prevent injury and help lower the frequency of back pain and neck pain, especially for those who are involved in frequent heavy lifting. 

The Fhitting Room integrates unexpected equipment for functional full-body movements. We don’t flock to the traditional treadmill and familiar “muscle-isolating” machines. We focus on efficient exercises you may not do on your own. Switching up your standard workout routine will challenge your muscles in new ways and help you break through fitness plateaus, leading to better results and newfound motivation. So, if you catch yourself on the elliptical for hours on end or doing crunches until your neck gives out, we’re here to intervene!