7 of the Best Kettlebell Exercises to Build Muscle, According to Experts

Benefits of Kettlebell Training

Usually, kettlebell workouts are built on a high-rep range, meaning that several muscles are worked at once and, if kept at a consistent pace, can offer similar aerobic benefits to HIIT training. During a 2010 study, participants performed a 20-minute kettlebell snatch workout and were found to burn 13.6 calories a minute during the entirety of the workout, equating to “running a 6-minute mile pace”.

Similarly, by performing kettlebell circuits three times a week, you’ll pump up your VO2 max by 6% in just under a month, according to the NSCA’s TSAC Report. Using kettlebells, you can also improve your strength, cardio, stability, power, endurance and balance.

The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research also found that kettlebell training contributes to a healthier lower back, owing to the loading and movement patterns.

Kettlebell Training: An Expert’s Opinion

“Kettlebells are arguably one of the most versatile bits of equipment you can find in a gym,” says Sam Wardingley, a London Bridge-based PT. “They’re great tools for metabolic conditioning and can be used for resistance work too, if you can’t access dumbbells or barbells.”

Injury Risk

“The most common injury that occurs using a kettlebell is in the lower back,” explains Wardingley. “Typically, it’s with the kettlebell swing, because of its dynamic nature – moving back and forth quickly at the hip joint”. It doesn’t end there.

“This exaggerated flexion and extension at the hip puts a lot of force through the lower back.” When it comes to getting injuries from poor form, the “arching of the back and not engaging the glutes in an overhead press or folding in a goblet position” can put you at risk of busting your lower back.

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