Working out at home can become somewhat repetitive or boring after a while. Don’t worry, though, you don’t need to go all out and buy a lot of expensive equipment. All you need to get a good workout is a mat and one thing: a kettlebell. This piece of equipment is popular for a reason – it works, it’s inexpensive, and it doesn’t take up much space. Not to mention, it won’t require you to clear out a room to have the space to exercise with it – it works in small apartments too. You might be wondering what makes kettlebells so special – why are they different than dumbbells? Aren’t they just weights? The answer is no – they’re different than dumbbells. They provide the happy medium between using weights and exercising with just your bodyweight. The reason is that the weight of kettlebells is not distributed evenly the way dumbbells are. Meaning that we need to counterbalance and stabilize our bodies when using kettlebells while exercising. As you’d expect, this is great for core strength, balance, and coordination. What benefits are they to using kettlebells?
They Improve Core Strength
There are many reasons that kettlebells are great for improving core strength and stability. Kettlebell exercises tend to require sudden force. These movements stimulate the abdominal muscles very well and require core coordinated breathing since the movements can be intense. This in turn leads to significant improvement in core strength – even when you aren’t targeting your core the same way you would when doing crunches.
They Improve Balance and Stability
Kettlebell exercises are typically very dynamic. Even if it’s just raising it in front of you, this movement requires your core to stabilize your body enough not to fall over or move in a way you don’t want to. Additionally, when an exercise involves you using one kettlebell and moving to one side or another, it will cause you to tense your core to use your stabilizer muscles to keep you from falling. Doing this will increase your balance and strengthen your stabilizer muscles.
They Make for Great Cardio Workouts
If you’re someone who wants to do more cardio but hates running, consider using a kettlebell to work out instead. A kettlebell conditions the entire body and is so versatile. You can do a powerful cardio session with nothing but a kettlebell. The explosive movements increase your heart rate and improve your cardiovascular health the same way running would. The key is maintaining a high heart rate the entire workout to really increase your endurance.
They Help Burn Fat and Build Lean Muscle
Kettlebells are an excellent choice for people looking to lose weight and build muscle. Kettlebell workouts may not build as much muscle as heavy barbell exercises would, but they still increase the amount of lean muscle tissue in the body. Coupled with the fact that these workouts have high calorie-burning potential, kettlebells make for a great way to lose fat. One study showed that kettlebell swings can burn as many as 20 calories a minute. That’s about 400 calories for a 20-minute workout! If you were running, you would need to be running at a 6-minute mile pace to achieve the same results