Kettlebells are one of the new ways to blast away fat while building strength and endurance. These cast-iron balls with handles range in size from 4 pound up to 175 pounds. There are even kettlebells that allow you to quickly change the weight by adding more plates. Kettlebells make getting a fat-blasting, metabolic workout easy – and they work more muscle groups simultaneously than free weights and weight machines.
Metabolic weight training has become popular, because it boosts levels of fat-burning hormones more than traditional weight training does. Metabolic weight workouts consist of strength training exercises performed rapidly with little rest between sets. The short rest periods between sets, which are usually less than a minute in length, keep the heart-rate up and increase metabolism for hours after a workout.
The Benefits of Kettlebells for Metabolic Training
Kettlebells are the perfect vehicle for doing metabolic workouts, because they engage the entire body, which means you burn more calories. The first order of business is to master the kettlebell swing. This move involves holding the kettlebell with both hands with your legs spread apart. Bend your knees and swing the kettlebell back between your legs. Then swing it back through your legs while straightening your knees.
The basic kettlebell swing works the muscles in the upper and lower body as well as the core muscles. The dynamic swinging movement increases your heart rate and gets your fat-burning engines going, which is the whole idea behind a metabolic workout. There are other more advanced kettlebell movements, but they all involve dynamic moves that tone muscles while boosting metabolism.
The benefits of kettlebells extend to the heart too. According to a study carried out at Truman State University, swinging a kettlebell vigorously for 12 minutes or more boosts heart rate and maximal oxygen consumption (V02 max) making it an effective cardiovascular workout. In addition, you’re working multiple muscle groups at the same time. How’s that for maximizing your workout?
Kettlebell Advantages: How to Get the Benefits of Kettlebells
To learn the art of working out with kettlebells, take a class in your local area, if at all possible, before investing in kettlebells, which aren’t cheap. You can also get DVDs that show you the basic exercises. Begin by buying a single kettlebell - you can always add more over time. Most women start with an 8 kilogram kettlebell, while men choose the 16 kilogram weight. If you can buy them locally, so much the better since it can be costly to ship something so heavy. Choose a quality, cast-iron one that will hold up to your workouts.
Metabolic Training with Kettlebells: The Bottom Line?
Get the kettlebell advantage. It’s a good change of pace and a fun way to firm up while burning more fat.
J Strength Cond Res. 2010 Apr; 24(4):1034-6.Exercise Physiology. Fifth edition. McArdle, Katch and Katch.