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16 Kettlebell Benefits for Mobility and Explosiveness

kettlebell benefits for combat sports

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Training your functional strength is key to ensuring longevity in your fitness journey. Training flexibility, mobility, and explosive strength will make sure you get the most out of your vigorous exercise. Without functional training, your muscles will be just for show.

Whether your goal is to carry all the groceries in one trip, the boats and logs or become a pro at boxing, kettlebells have got you covered! Training with kettlebells will have you as mobile, flexible, and explosive as never before.

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What is a Kettlebell?

A kettlebell is a piece of exercise equipment that is shaped with a weighted part on the bottom, connected to a thick handle on the top. The handle usually has some form of knurling to aid with grip strength. Kettlebells come in many different sizes, commonly from 1 to over 45 lbs.

How to Incorporate Kettlebell Movements Into Your Training

In essence, you can form a full-body workout with kettlebells in a short period of time. A full-body kettlebell workout just three times a week will provide excellent results and benefits. With kettlebells, less is more as you do not need to train every single day for long hours.

You can easily incorporate kettlebells into your daily fitness routine, without needing to take out long hours to achieve your fitness goals. A short 20-minute workout with one pair of kettlebells will surely have you gassed out by the end of it and allow you to gain all the benefits of kettlebell training.

Kettlebells are truly a feat of engineering because of how versatile and easy to use they are. You can achieve your fitness goals without breaking the bank or having to pour in hours of your day to go to the gym.

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16 Kettlebell Benefits of Kettlebell Training

Kettlebell training provides numerous benefits that can cater to whatever goal you have, whether you just want to lose some weight, gain some muscle or you want to maximize your athletic potential on the mats, you need to be training using kettlebells.

  • Provides a Full-body workout
  • Builds Cardio and Endurance
  • Fat Burning
  • Improves strength and stability
  • A new way to exercise
  • Get lean
  • Better coordination
  • Improve muscular weaknesses
  • Posterior chain muscle activation
  • Develops explosiveness (great for athletes)
  • Non-running cardio exercise (good on knees)
  • Builds grip strength
  • Improves flexibility and promotes athletic movement
  • Safe and effective
  • Increase range of motion 
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Provides a Full-Body Workout

Kettlebells are known for how versatile they are; you do not need a whole gym’s worth of equipment or a large space to get a decent workout in. All you need is one or two kettlebells and you are set for months of benefits and gains.

A 20-minute full-body workout thrice a week is more than enough to set you on track for months of muscle gains and progress. Kettlebell exercises are high-velocity movements that have long ranges of motion, meaning multiple muscle groups are exercised at different parts of the exercise.

Exercises like the Turkish get-ups and kettlebell swings exercise your core strength and stability, shoulders, legs, and also your back. These make kettlebells great for beginners looking to get into fitness.

Builds Cardiovascular Endurance

Kettlebell training comprises fast-paced exercises that need a lot of movement. These intense workouts have you gassed out within minutes and help you push your cardiovascular endurance. Cardio training is essential for making sure you do not get tired during sports or just during day-to-day vigorous tasks.

Whether you build your cardiovascular endurance with kettlebells or some other equipment, you should make it a priority. Strengthening your cardiovascular endurance reduces the risk of heart disease, increases blood flow throughout your body and it also cleanses and strengthens your lungs.

Serious Fat-Burning Workouts

The average person burns around 700 to 1000 calories an hour from kettlebell training, depending on the intensity of the workout. This makes kettlebell training a great tool for losing fat in a healthy and quick manner.

Burning 2500 calories is the equivalent of burning a pound of fat. Three kettlebell workouts of a decent intensity are enough to lose a pound of fat every week. Although this may not seem like much, over a period of a few months, this will accumulate into a serious body transformation.

Kettlebells make fat loss much easier than mainstream influencers and trainers make it seem. Keep it simple, train hard, eat clean, and be patient to achieve your goals and enjoy the journey as there is no overnight solution to fat loss.

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Improves core strength and stability

One of the most functional reasons to use kettlebells is to develop core strength and stability in the trunk region. The core has an important role in keeping the body grounded especially during intense movements.

Kettlebell movements are high-velocity movements with large ranges of motion that challenge the core muscles to stop the body from falling over. Almost every exercise with kettlebells is a core exercise if done with proper form.

Whether you aspire to be an athlete or just want to have a beautiful set of abs for a beach day, training your core strength and stability will go a long way toward your core goals.

A Perfect Cardio Workout

Cardio is an essential part of our lives, especially for fitness enthusiasts. While there are many ways to get your cardio in, kettlebell training is one of the most enjoyable. This is because of their versatility and the amount of movement patterns you can perform which is virtually unlimited.

Kettlebell training not only trains your cardiovascular endurance but is also great for burning calories making it a great option instead of running or cycling etc.

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Builds Lean Muscle

Any form of weight training will over time, build muscle and help you develop an admirable physique. The same goes for kettlebell training, whether you prefer swinging full-body movements like single kettlebell swings or if you prefer isolating movement patterns like kettlebell bicep curls.

Kettlebell training has got your muscle-building goals covered as it exercises all the muscle groups needed to help build lean muscle mass, like your shoulders, legs, back, core, and chest.

Betters coordination and mobility

Kettlebell training is a great way to increase coordination and mobility. This helps especially if you are training for a combat sport, where your coordination, reflexes, and mobility are key to winning you over your opponent.

Exercises like the kettlebell halo where you have to switch the weight from each hand increase your mind-muscle connection, other high-velocity movements like kettlebell clean and swings also require your complete focus which betters your coordination and mobility.

Greatly improves muscular weaknesses and imbalances

Kettlebell workouts are an excellent option for fixing and reducing muscle imbalances. This is because many kettlebell exercises can be done unilaterally, in other words with one hand.

This helps stimulate and stabilize muscles. Using kettlebells will work these small muscles in rhythmic coordination, setting out stability and balance for the entire movement. As a result, reducing the risk of injury and improving athletic performance, or even helping with everyday house chores.

Posterior Chain Muscle Activation

The posterior chain or the muscles at the back of your body, like your lower back, hamstrings, and glutes are arguably the most important muscle group in your body. The reason is that these muscles are responsible for all hinging and explosive movements.

Training your posterior chain is quite simple. You can train your glutes, hamstrings, and lower back with just kettlebell swings and kettlebell deadlifts. Practice these regularly to a high intensity and you will become stronger than ever in no time!

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Develops explosive power in the hips

Kettlebells are great for developing explosive power in your hips. Your backside is one of the most important muscles in your body, especially for explosiveness and speed. Training it with kettlebells could help you jump higher, run faster, kick harder, and much much more.

Practice and progress at hinge movements with kettlebells and watch your athletic progress soar. Some great options for developing explosive strength in the hips are kettlebell swings, cleans, and snatches.

Great Non-Running Cardio Alternative

Running is not everyone’s piece of cake, it can be tiring and at times become boring. However, kettlebells have you covered. Kettlebell training is an excellent form of exercise and an even better form of cardio, not only does it have more benefits than age-old running but it is also very entertaining.

With limitless exercises and variations, kettlebells will make sure you do not get bored, all while building muscle, fixing muscle imbalances, losing fat, increasing life expectancy, and also getting your cardio in.

Builds grip strength

Doing normal grip work by exercises like farmer’s walks is out of the range of most people. However, every gym has a few cast iron kettlebells you can train with to give the most respect-commanding handshakes ever. A strong grip is a great asset for all your pulling desires.

It can translate to better deadlifts, better grappling, and much more. Even if you cannot go to a gym, kettlebell training with swinging exercises is more than enough to indirectly increase your grip strength over time allowing you to give unforgettable handshakes.

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Improves Balance and Flexibility

Exercises like the single leg kettlebell deadlift and kettlebell Turkish get-up are great exercises if you want to improve your balance and flexibility. To improve your balance you must have a strong core and lower body, these exercises train both, very well.

These are challenging movements that push your core stability and strength to failure. The lack of stability in these movements slowly decreases as you progress, improving your balance and flexibility. This is just one of the benefits of kettlebell training that help with balance in mixed martial arts.

Low Risk, High Reward (Safer and More Effective)

Kettlebell training is essentially one of the safest options you have for weight training. Although it is not impossible to injure yourself with kettlebells, you can certainly easily avoid any major injuries by just maintaining good form. Fortunately, most kettlebell exercises have to easy to follow techniques.

Alongside the benefit of low risk of injury, there are many other benefits of kettlebell training. These are versatile, cheap, and excellent tools for beginners and even professionals. They provide numerous health benefits like increased muscular and cardiovascular endurance, explosive power, and much more.

Kettlebells are much safer than dumbbells and barbells because of the free movement patterns and they also have many more variations that can cater to the level of experience.

Develops a Stronger Posterior Chain and Improves Posture

Having a strong posterior chain is essential to maintaining a good posture over time. Having a good posture helps you become and look more confident, it can also make you look taller when your spine decompresses.

Your spine is what keeps your upper and lower body upright in a strong manner, if you strengthen your posterior chain, you will notice an increase in strength in the overhead position allowing you to train your shoulders and the rest of your upper body strength in a better manner.

Kettlebell exercises like kettlebell swings, deadlifts, and cleans all strengthen your posterior chain. This also includes your back which is responsible for keeping a straight and confident posture.

Increases Range of Motion

Anything that increases mobility or stability in your body will allow you to increase your range of motion for many exercises. For example, you might be able to squat deeper. Training with lighter weights and high movement is an excellent way to increase the range of motion.

Kettlebell training does just that, it puts your body into unfamiliar positions which develops strength in those unknown areas. Exercises like Turkish get-ups and overhead kettlebell squats create immense strength in your core strength and stability.

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Who should take advantage of the benefits of kettlebells?

Anyone who is looking to become a more explosive athlete needs to be training using kettlebells. The main benefit of training with kettlebells is the fact that you are actively working on functional movements. Anyone who is training crossfit, martial arts, or some other form of exercise that involves real athleticism should be using kettlebells in their routine.

As a combat sport athlete you should be running towards training in dynamic ways that can help elevate your game on the mats or in the cage. Training with kettlebells, sandbags, and hammers has a big impact on the way you are able to perform.

Have trouble with finding ways to work out functionally? No problem we have you covered!

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People Also Ask

Can you really build muscle with kettlebells?

Any form of weight training will help you build muscle over time. Kettlebell weight training is an exceptional option if you want to put on some muscle mass to your frame. Just three full-body workouts every week will allow you to build an aesthetic physique in a matter of mere months.

Kettlebell training will also give you countless other health benefits like increasing your blood flow, and life expectancy, lose fat, and increasing cardiovascular endurance.

Is it OK to do kettlebell exercises every day?

Body awareness is essential to growth, the human body is not capable of extracting benefits from vigorous exercise every day and needs rest. It is recommended to get at least 48 hours of rest in between workouts to allow for complete recovery.

Three intense workouts with kettlebells are more than enough to efficiently support and pursue whatever fitness goals you may have. Training every day would be overkill and would cause more harm than good, make recovery and sleep a priority and you will make unbelievable gains!

Will kettlebells get you in shape?

Kettlebells will surely get you in shape, all you will need is a good training plan, a decent diet, and a priority set on recovery especially if you are a beginner. Kettlebells are great for building muscle as the weighted movements allow for hypertrophy which builds muscle mass over time.

They are also good for fat loss as they burn anywhere from 700 to 1000 calories an hour meaning you can easily lose one pound every week by just exercising thrice a week. This may not seem like much but over time it accumulates to over 50 pounds a year which would be a major body transformation.

Are kettlebell workouts good for athletes?

Kettlebell training is amazing for producing and increasing explosive power in the body. This is a very important part of almost every sport as you are required to produce a large amount of force in a short period of time.

Whether you aspire to be a golf player or boxer, kettlebells will definitely benefit you in your sport. Movements like Kettlebell swings and cleans are excellent explosive movements that will help you punch harder, swing quicker or jump higher.

What is the best kettlebell weight for athletes?

To be athletic, you must push yourself in your training routines to maximize efficiency and make sure your body does not fail you on game day. To train to this intensity you will most likely need heavy weights. The sweet spot for most kettlebell workouts for most women is 10-25-lb kettlebells, and for men, it’s 25-45 lbs.

However, this is for the average person and fitness enthusiast. For athletes, these numbers could be significantly higher like 25-45 lbs for women and 45-65 lbs for men.

Should athletes do kettlebell swings?

Kettlebell swings are one of the best athletic movements that should be incorporated into every athlete’s training plan. The reason for this is that swings are a full-body movement that increases explosive power and cardiovascular endurance both of which are detrimental to any sport.

This movement is also great for developing stability and flexibility in the core area. Core strength training is an important part of any sport whether it is football or boxing.

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Do NFL players use kettlebells?

Although kettlebell training provides the benefits needed to soar at football, NFL athletes rarely use kettlebells in their training routines, because other equipment is more suited to cater to their goals. Players in the National Football League take their training very seriously and use a lot of equipment

This includes machines, dumbells, and barbells. Although kettlebell movements are based on developing explosive power, football also requires athletes to have serious full-body strength which allows them to wrestle, push and tackle their opponents allowing them to progress on the field.

However, very few NFL athletes take advantage of this exceptional fitness equipment. Movements like the kettlebell clean, snatch, and swings are great exercises for developing explosive power and should all be incorporated into your kettlebell exercise circuits.

How do I pick the right size kettlebell?

More often than not people assume that 5 or 10-lb kettlebells are good enough for a beginner kettlebell workout. However, this is not at all the case if you go too light you are simply wasting your time going through the movements. If you go too heavy, you risk getting injured as you sacrifice form.

It is very important to safely challenge yourself; to do so you must pick a decent weight to work out with. The sweet spot for most kettlebell workouts for most women is 10-25-lb kettlebells, and for men, it’s 25-45 lbs. Anything under this, and you probably won’t break a sweat using them and you’ll just be doing the movements with no real benefits.

The right size for you may also depend on your age, weight, and fitness experience. However, it should be noted that if you choose the right size for you, you will gain all the benefits in the quickest and most efficient manner, that too with the lowest risk of injury.

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  • Cameron

    Cameron is the Founder of Grapplers Graveyard. He is an athlete, a life-long learner, and a combat sports enthusiast. His goal is to build websites that help people become smarter, healthier, and happier.

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