I Swing… You Swing! Ten Ballistic Benefits of Kettlebell Training

kettlebell swing

You’ve seen them. Those intimidating hunks of black iron in the corner of the weight room. So menacing, so mysterious, so… heavy. The mighty kettlebell: gauntlet of the gym rats, crux of Crossfit, talisman of the toughies. Ok, ok, maybe that’s going a bit far. But the truth is, many people tend to avoid using some gym equipment out of fear or ignorance — and the kettlebell is no different. But the ironic thing is, part of why this little weight causes such heavy confusion, is that it’s just so simple: it sits there, it’s got a handle, it doesn’t do much else. But there’s absolutely no reason you shouldn’t be picking up (and putting down, and picking up again) your nearest kettlebell ASAP.

And when you hear about the many benefits of kettlebell training, you’ll see that there’s nothing really to be afraid of. It’s named after a tea kettle for gosh sakes — how scary can it really be?

  1. Low Impact, Maximum Intensity

As we get older, we all have to take care of our body’s little creaky corners, our joints, ligaments and such — the parts of us that tend to just kind of rot (sorry to get so real, but, ya know). And as we start to hit those years, we wanna take care of ourselves with low-impact exercises. That’s where the kettlebell shines through, because you can do most of the workouts without hopping, skipping, or jumping, with your feet firmly planted in place.

  1. Compound Workouts for Every Muscle

As you may well know by now, compound workouts are basically the holy grail of strength training. Compound workouts are those that employ a couple simple movements that happen to work out multiple muscle groups at the same time. Talk about workout efficiency!

  1. Power Up Your Posterior Chain 

kettlebell workout

Your posterior chain is a big group of muscles that include the hamstrings, glutes, trapezius, and delts — basically your entire backside. And amplifying your posterior chain has tons of benefits, such as improving your posture, helping you run faster, and move more smoothly, and kettlebells happen to be spectacular for working these muscles.

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  1. Endless Endurance 

Another benefit of doing those kettlebell swings everyday is better endurance. Now, endurance is a factor that a lot of fitness fanatics tend to overlook, at great peril. Endurance is the key to working out longer, harder, and more effectively. So when you bust through those Turkish Get-Ups and Romanian Deadlifts (or any other Eastern European workouts you can find), you’re actually building up your body’s endurance for all your other workouts.

  1. Crush That Cardio

Want some killer cardio? Look no further than the kettlebell! Again, why would you spend hours on the elliptical, when you can just get down and dirty, iron-style? Research shows that if you’re working out hard with kettlebells, you can actually burn up to 20 calories a minute, which equals 1,200 calories an hour… and that equals running 6-minute miles over that same hour! Talk about a time-saver!

  1. Freedom Through Flexibility

kettlebell row

Another reason why the kettlebell is so effective is that all those twists, turns, and lifts actually make you much more flexible. Guess what? That means you don’t actually have to do 18 years of intense hatha yoga to limber up. But you can if you still want to, of course.

  1. Complete Core Activation

Instead of augmenting your workouts with hundreds of crunches, why not just pick up your kettles? Because they fall under the category of ballistic training, kettlebell workouts use the core muscles to stabilize your body, while you accelerate and decelerate your movements.

  1. Bring Balance to the Muscles

Here’s a fun one! Though we might not know it, most of us have one dominant side of our bodies, and we tend to favor that side in all of our workouts. After enough of these imbalanced lifts, that dominant side will get stronger faster, which could lead to injuries in the future. The beauty of kettlebells is that they’re designed to put the mass of the weight off-center, forcing you to continuously work on your balance.

  1. Reducing Pesky Upper Body Pain

Ever experience those annoying cramps in your head, neck, shoulders, and upper back? Sleep just a little bit off and you’ll be feeling it the whole day through. Another benefit of kettlebell workouts is that they naturally strengthen these areas of your body, leading to less pain in the future. You’ll be high-fiving, pop-and-locking, and dabbing (are the kids still doing this? How old are we?) to your heart’s content!

  1. Great for Small Spaces

Unlike a lot of other full-body workouts, your entire kettlebell training system takes up about as much space as a pair of boots, albeit, big heavy boots. There’s no need to deck out your garage gym with expensive equipment, giant squat racks, or unwieldy bars or weights. All you need are a couple different sizes of kettlebells (plus a whole lot of oomph, but that doesn’t take up that much room).

Well then! We hope these ballistic benefits of kettlebell training have got you itching to pick some up (and put some down, and pick them up again – you know the drill). Now, maybe you want a little guidance, motivation, and a whole host of kettlebell inspo. Check out some of our onDemand kettlebell workouts. Once you’ve tried a few (and fallen deeply in love), sign up for a Free 7-Day Trial with Studio SWEAT onDemand. You’ll get access to our endless library of streaming workouts that you can do from your living room, gym, anywhere! Not only that, you’ll get the benefit of having a worldwide community of members pushing you on. Sound like a deal?

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