Those of you who’ve spent any amount of time in a gym will no doubt have spotted some funny looking weights lying around. You know the ones with the big round metal balls with arched handles over the top. These guys are called kettlebells, and they could be just what you need to inject new life into your workouts.
The kettlebell is a Russian invention that was originally used to weigh crops in the 18th century. It quickly found its way into strongman events in the 19th century before eventually becoming more widespread for recreational use towards the end of the 19th century.
Kettlebells offer a range of benefits over the barbells and dumbbells you are probably more familiar with. The most basic of these benefits is the fact that kettlebells combine cardio and strength training for a far more well-rounded and holistic approach to exercise. They are also incredibly varied in their application with dozens of exercises possible, all of which can be performed in a variety of different manners depending on your personal goals.
If you are serious about getting into great shape, but don’t have the time needed to get through endless hours of bodybuilding workouts and cardio sessions then consider trying kettlebells workouts like the one below.
This style of workout can easily be completed in under half an hour and, once you’re up to speed, you should be able to bang out an effective intense metabolic workout in 20 minutes or less. If you are already fairly experienced and have been using barbells and dumbbells then there is an additional benefit to kettlebells in that they can help you to mix things up and stimulate your body in a new way.
Because of their shape, kettlebells offer various angles of resistance in order to work your muscles and joints differently and provide some much-needed variation in your workouts. This is particularly relevant to those of you who have hit a plateau in your fat loss or muscle building and want to shape your body with a different approach.
Of course, the advantages of kettlebells training don’t stop there.
Beat the Boredom
The beauty of kettlebells is that they enable you to perform serious cardio workouts free of the boredom and monotony of the treadmill. Performing endless hours of hamster wheel cardio is no one’s idea of a good time, so you’ll be pleased to know that you can use kettlebells to achieve much the same results in a fraction of the time. In fact, one could argue that you can build a far leaner and more toned physique by opting for kettlebells over low-intensity cardio. You can supplement your existing cardio or interval training routine with some kettlebell work by performing an exercise such as kettlebell swings. This can provide you with an all-in-one workout that will train your cardiovascular system, your core, and the muscles in your arms, shoulders, and legs. This kind of holistic approach to your training works your body in its entirety and provides a massive stimulus to your metabolism, helping you to burn fat and tone your physique in an effective and efficient manner.
Full Body Kettlebell Workout
The following is a simple yet, incredibly effective kettlebell workout that you can use to increase your strength and greatly ramp up your metabolism to burn fat more easily:
A1) Kettlebell Goblet Squat x 10
A2) Kettlebell Upright Row x 20
Rest 30-60 seconds
B1) Kettlebell Stiff-Legged Deadlift x 10
B2) Kettlebell Swing x 20
Rest 30-60 seconds
C1) Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up x 10 each side
C2) Kettlebell Renegade Row x 10 each side
Rest 30-60 seconds
Repeat for 3 – 6 rounds
It’s recommended that beginners start on the lower end of the range for rest periods and total rounds performed. If you are still struggling then you might want to consider cutting the number of reps for each exercise in half.
However you choose to approach this workout, you will probably want to start with a lighter weight than you think is necessary. Trust me, this kind of full body workout can kick your butt quicker than you think!
A workout like this is little more than a sequence of exercises, so as you gain experience and become stronger be sure to continue challenging yourself by altering the sequence, reducing the duration of rest periods, and especially by increasing the amount of weight you use.
In fact, the only limitation to the ways in which you can vary your workouts is your own imagination.
If there is a take-home message from this article other than the workout itself, it is that there are countless ways for you to continue stimulating your body in new and unique workouts. By keeping an open mind and applying tools such as kettlebells, you can keep the results coming month after month to build the incredible physique that you want.