When you’re looking for a new workout accessory or piece of equipment to add to your home gym, you want something that’s going to give you its money’s worth. A device that can be used for strength and cardio, and one that’s going to be a whole lot of fun to work out with.
The kettlebell is one such accessory, but most people assume these heavy pieces of gear are better suited to strength workouts. On the contrary, kettlebell cardio is a very effective and enjoyable style of workout and one that can garner great results no matter how fit you are.
Investing in a kettlebell is affordable and the sheer versatility they offer makes them great value for money. People end up loving their kettlebells so much that they want more than one size, and mixing and matching with different weights and trying new exercises is half of the fun that these accessories offer.
If you’ve got a kettlebell handy or have been thinking about adding one to your repertoire but weren’t sure about kettlebell cardio training, this is the post for you. We’ll show you why it works so well and how you can incorporate it into your cardio routine to get the heart racing, blood pumping, and fat melting away from your body.
People often have misconceptions about cardio workouts and that they should only be simple movements. Running, cycling, aerobics, or anything straightforward that doesn’t need any gear are usually the go-to cardio workouts but if you’re feeling these are a little stale, this is where your kettlebell can come in.
Swings are the most common movement performed with a kettlebell and these are surprisingly good at getting your heart rate pumping. In a recent study that looked at the difference between kettlebells and treadmills, the findings that were published by the US Government’s Institute of Health were surprising.
Spending 30 minutes walking continuously on a treadmill for cardio or three 10-minute sets of kettlebell workouts of sumo deadlifts and swings with 3 minute rest periods in between showed the same results in areas like blood pressure, VO2, and calories burned. However, the kettlebells performed better in RPE and heart rate. Therefore, using kettlebells can be a very effective cardio workout that could easily rival walking.
High-intensity interval training is an easy way to shift fat fast and it helps to keep the body working even after you’ve finished the exercises. A high-intensity interval training workout has the participant doing one intense and fast set of exercises, followed up by a shorter rest period where you’re still exercising but just more gently.
If you have a kettlebell you’ve probably wondered about whether it’s even possible to use this accessory in HIIT training, and the good news is that you can. You need to ensure that if you’re using kettlebells for HIIT, you’re really giving it your all during the intense period and making sure your entire body is engaged in the workout.
As you slow down and enter the rest period, you might want to switch weights to something lighter or slow your movements down altogether. Aim for the traditional three minutes intense and one minute rest periods, but you can adjust this as needed to whatever works for your fitness levels and goals.
The most obvious cardio exercise to do with a kettlebell is a swing, and it’s effective at working out most of the body at the same time. If you’re sick of the swing and want to try something new with this accessory, check out these exercises to get the heart pumping.
Take one kettlebell in each arm and choose a weight that you can hold for a while. Stand with feet hip-width apart, shoulders down and back, and lock hips out. Walk quickly with your head aligned and chest pushed out for 60 seconds, turning around if needed.
Lay on your back and hold the kettlebell by the handle resting on your chest. Pull your feet in at 90-degree angles and plant firmly on the floor. Perform quick sit-ups while keeping your kettlebell steadily on your chest.
Take a heavy kettlebell in each hand and flip your hand around so that your wrist is slightly cocked. Grab hold of the kettlebells and lift up your arms until your triceps are parallel with the floor. Continue the movement without stopping for a solid cardio workout.
Kettlebells are one of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment you can own, and you can virtually use them anywhere. Having at least one kettlebell in your set of gear means you can perform both cardio and strength workouts without having to change through too many pieces of equipment.
Most people start with just one size of weight when investing in kettlebells but if you want to try HIIT workouts or those that offer varying levels of challenge, having two varying weights is ideal. There are even complete sets that come in different sizes, allowing you to move up or down depending on the exercise and the challenge you want to set for yourself.
Kettlebells are a cardio dream and as you can see by the studies, they are just as effective as other forms of aerobic workout. Whether you want to warm up, do a solid cardio routine, implement a few moves into your regime or try a HIIT workout, this one device can help you achieve it all.