WHOLE NEW BALL GAME
THIS LITTLE BALL WITH A HANDLE MIGHT BE THE SINGLE BEST PIECE OF WORKOUT EQUIPMENT FOR THOSE WHO HAVE NO TIME AND GET BORED EASILY
We’ve all heard of barbells and dumbbells, but it’s the kettlebell that probably deserves the award for most valuable player. Don’t believe me? Take a look at the workout routine of any of the world’s top actors. More often than not, the kettlebell will be involved in some form or another. If people being paid millions and millions of dollars to look good on screen are using them often, who are we to argue? The kettlebell can be used for a number of fitness goals and can be made to fit a variety of training protocols. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits:
GREAT FOR HIIT
High-intensity interval training (HIIT) is popular for one reason — it works. When we push ourselves into bursts of intense exercise we get a host of benefits, including increased metabolism and long-term fat loss. Kettlebells are the perfect companion to HIIT because they are compact and can be used anywhere. Can’t get to the gym? Buy a set for your home and work outside. They can be used to perform a variety of functional movements that will get your heart pumping and your muscles working in a way they are perhaps not used to.
Kettlebells are fantastic for all-round muscle building because they force you to use your whole body. Many of the best kettlebell exercises incorporate the entire body in a combination of stretching, contracting and stabilising the extra load, making them ideal for people interested in functional fitness rather than just “showy” muscles. An added benefit of this, of course, is that compound multi-joint movements build more lean tissue and burn more fat than isolation exercises, meaning we are getting more bang for our buck in all areas.
“PUTTING A SET IN YOUR CAR COULD MAKE MAINTAINING YOUR FITNESS DURING THE WORKING WEEK EASIER.”
REDUCED RISK OF PAIN AND INJURY
Another benefit of being forced to use whole-body compound exercises is that they require good form and perfect range of motion. This requires a level of flexibility and joint strength that is sometimes beyond the average weightlifter. By shifting your focus to kettlebells you will naturally find yourself working on exercises that enhance your joint and ligament health. Consequently, you may experience a reduction in pain or inflammation.
PERFECT FOR BUSY PEOPLE
The world is chaotic and our calendars are busier than ever. How is it possible to get and stay in shape when we have so many other things to do and only so many hours in a day? Perhaps the best thing about kettlebells is that you can get a great workout in a relatively short amount of time. Also, they are small and portable. Putting a set in your car could make maintaining your fitness during the working week easier. Likewise, putting a set beneath your bed when you can’t get to the gym makes it almost impossible to excuse yourself from working out.