Depending on the weight of the kettlebell you select, you can target any number of fitness components when you work out with this particular exercise tool. Light to moderate weights can be used to develop a high degree of muscular endurance and power endurance. Exercises such as swings and snatches make fantastic metabolic conditioners and fat burners when performed for high rep sets. Conversely, low rep, heavy weight kettlebell training can help develop muscle strength and power.
Kettlebells are also an excellent tool for use in circuit training type workouts as there is nothing fiddly to adjust – you just have to grip it and rip it!
Kettlebell training also tends to place an emphasis on the posterior chain – specifically the erector spinae, glutes and hamstrings. These muscles can be collectively thought of as your “power zone” as they are largely responsible for your ability to run, jump and lift objects off the ground. Spending long periods sat down tends to make this muscles weak so if you want to really build your butt – for performance or aesthetic reasons – kettlebell swings, snatches and cleans could be just what you are looking for.
Like Olympic lifting, most kettlebell exercises integrate your upper and lower body which helps develop whole body strength and inter-muscular coordination. Isolation exercises like leg extensions and side lateral raises are okay but the reality is that these exercises are not representative of how your body really moves. The action of jumping, for example, is the culmination of effort from the muscles in your ankles, knees, hips, core, back and arms. Like no man is an island, no muscle works in isolation – at least when it comes to everyday activities.
Kettlebell exercises can be thought of as athletic or functional although that term is commonly misused. Many dumbbell and barbell exercises are performed in what is called the sagittal plane. The sagittal plane is an imaginary line that divides your body into two vertical halves and movement in this plane is forwards and backwards only. Many kettlebell exercises take your limbs though multiple planes of movement; frequently simultaneously. This has a great carryover to both sports and many common daily physical tasks.