Looking to lose weight? Try our FREE Calorie Counter »  |  Log In
Articles Fitness Nutrition

Why Add Kettlebells to Your Workout?

A lot of us who work out regularly haven't even heard of kettlebells, but in the popular magazines and periodicals perused by trainers, and in many fitness communities, these tools are hot item. The kettlebell, a simple free weight with a handle, is used in a variety of moves for some very versatile free weight exercises that aren't possible with simpler tools like dumbbells. Kettlebells add some specific benefits to a fitness routine, and those who are looking at every avenue for increasing overall body capacity might want to look into what they can do.

Versatile Free Weights

The most basic use of the kettlebell is as a resistance tool. There are many of these on the market, from simple free weights like dumbbells to new and fashionable items like resistance bands, harnesses and much more. All of these are in some way geared toward the same goal: to provide various levels of resistance.

Resistance is a pressure that you put on a specific part of your body. This pressure makes your muscles work harder, and therefore tones and strengthens them according to how much resistance you use and how much you work. Some tools have a lighter resistance, such as those in Pilates or yoga. Kettlebells, dumbbells and the like have a lot more resistance, and that means they can provide more workout power in a shorter period of time. Using kettlebells can be a great way to introduce more resistance into your routine.

Plyometrics

Plyometrics has to do with the specific benefits of kettlebells. Plyometrics is generally the idea of using resistance and a positional way to make the body respond forcefully. To understand how this works with kettlebells, take a look at some of the general activities, such as squats, lifts, cleans and jerks, where the user positions the kettlebell away from the body and adjusts to the weight interaction. You can see that kettlebells are designed to provide for plyometric responses that can ramp up physical ability pretty quickly.

Another side effect of kettlebell work is that while these explosive movements are turning and strangling muscles, they can also stimulate the metabolism. While the body is hard at work, things are moving at a faster pace, and this can have a positive effect on the body as a whole.

Core Work

Core muscle groups are located mainly in the torso and similar areas of the body. They provide a lot of support for basic functions like sitting, standing and walking. The core muscles support the spine. Other core muscle groups, like the abs, are prominent, and some like to develop them in order to show them off.

Regardless of whether you want to develop the core for function or for show, kettlebells can provide a unique workout for core muscles. When you do the routine activities associated with kettlebell work, and throw all that weight toward a certain position of imbalance, your core gets a lot of use, and that's another main reason that so many people add kettlebells to their fitness schedule.

These are just some of the main reasons why kettlebell use has become so popular, and what was once a traditional set of exercises for military or law enforcement and first responder professionals has become something that the public often enjoys.

Article Comments