Anyone who’s keen to get fit and lose weight is always on the look-out for the perfect exercise – One that works all the main areas of the body, burns fat and kicks their cardio fitness levels into top gear. Sounds too good to be true? Well, actually, there is one exercise that does all of that and you don’t have to be a six-day-a-week gym rat to reap the benefits.
It’s the kettlebell swing.
Kettlebells are one of the best individual pieces of fitness equipment you can invest in. Training with a kettlebell involves using multiple muscle groups at once, which means your body gets a full workout. They also build strength without building mass so that after several sessions you’ll be looking lean and lovely rather than big and bulky.
For those aiming to make their time at the gym a long-term goal, the kettlebell can help you perfect all the main workout movements such as the deadlift, the squat and the shoulder press. They are also great for power lifting, and for helping you to a progress onto the barbell.
Of course, there are numerous different exercises you can do with a kettlebell but one of the most effective, as I said, is the basic kettlebell swing. Why? Well, I’ll tell you:
Doing three sets of 30 seconds swings can really get the heart rate up. What could be even more effective? Four sets of 30 seconds swings. Or maybe four sets of 45 seconds swings. (I think you get the idea!)
Swinging a kettlebell needs a great deal of strength especially through your trunk, and engaging your core correctly will enable you to lift a heavier kettlebell and in a safe manner. Additionally, the more you engage your core, the tighter your stomach muscles and the stronger your spine will become.
Much of modern life revolves around sitting – at work, in the car or on your sofa. Yet numerous studies have shown that sitting hunched over our computers or slouched on the couch can greatly weaken and tighten a lot of muscles in the back, shoulders, neck and elsewhere, eventually causing grave pain and bad posture. However, because the swing works your entire body it helps to balance and strengthen those weaker muscles over time.
A kettlebell swing is a high intensity exercise, allowing you to do a great workout in a short space of time and so burn off a lot of unwanted body fat. In a study by the American Council on Exercise (ACE), participants who followed a 20-minute kettlebell swing workout burned an astonishing 20.2 calories per minute – the equivalent of running a 6-minute mile!
So, is the kettlebell swing really the perfect exercise? Well, if you’ve never tried a kettlebell now may be the time to pick one up and judge for yourself. You won’t regret it and you may just find you reach the fitness levels or the body weight you’ve been dreaming of along the way.
Remember, though, if you need guidance, work with a professional trainer and feel free to drop us a line here at Pursuit Fitness should you need any tips on trying out a kettlebell in the gym or at home.