You’ve seen them on the supermarket shelf, or stacked up in the corner of the gym: we’re talking about kettlebells. They may look intimidating, but they really aren’t. This odd shaped piece of equipment is all about strength training without lifting dumbells – perfect for women and easy to do at home. Yet…it gets left out of the weight loss equation.
Kettlebell training has been proven to burn upward of 20 kcals per minute – that’s like running a 6-minute mile! That’s because of the shorter, high-intensity burn that kettlebells provide!
In our #WednesdayWorkout blog we look at what you need to know about kettlebell workouts for women, benefits for weight loss, the most common myths about lifting weights and the mistakes you could make when using them. To make it even easier and give you an informative breakdown of what you need to know, we’ve separated this guide into four simple sections:
- Kettlebells for women
- Kettlebells for weight loss + workout
- Kettlebell myths busted
- Top mistakes you could be making
Kettlebells for women
Busy women want to workout, but feel like their lives don’t allow for 1-hour gyms sessions. If that sounds like you, kettlebells could be the solution. Because of the intensity of kettlebell workouts, the duration must be kept short to around 15-20 minutes – so you can squeeze cardio, strength AND flexibility training into your busy schedule.
Kettlebell training is a great way for women to build lean muscle – not bulky muscle! This lean muscle raises your resting metabolism, so you’ll burn more calories sitting down too!
The benefits of using them for your body (see below) are pretty incredible so it would be silly not to incorporate kettlebells workouts into your daily life. Best of all, they are so small and portable, training can take place anywhere in your home.
Body benefits include:
- Decreases body fat
- Strengthens without bulking
- Strengthens muscles from head to toe
- Improves flexibility
- Improves posture
- Tones your tummy and bum
- Sculpts your arms
- Weight loss in less time
5 Reasons why you’ll be hooked:
- It decreases workout time by half.
- It saves money – no gym membership is required.
- It’s a full-body workout.
- It’s never boring.
- It’s easily transportable and can be used almost everywhere.
Kettles for weight loss + workout
Weight loss benefits
Kettlebell workouts are AMAZING for weight loss – targeting all parts of the body from your arms, tummy to your legs. It works for women because it combines strength and cardio in one workout – that’s us hooked! Your muscles work hard (strength) but so are your lungs and heart (cardio). You’ll be training for strength and for endurance, and revving up your metabolism for hours after each workout – nice!
A 15-minute kettlebell workout a day is all you need!
Our 15-minute daily challenge
How to swing
It’s okay to start with smaller swings to build the momentum until you get the hang of the movement. Before starting any of the exercises, don’t forget to warm up for 5 minutes.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart, your hips and knees slightly bent, and your back and arms straight.
- Pick up the kettlebell by the handle with both hands, knuckles facing forward.
- Hinge forward from the hips and swing the bell back between your legs, then exhale, straighten your legs, and pop your hips and pelvis forward to propel the kettlebell upward to about chest height. As you lower the kettlebell, your abs will contract—like a built-in crunch.
- Continue with one fluid movement as you lower back to the start and repeat.
How to deadlift
- Spread your legs shoulder-width apart with a kettle in-between them.
- Bend at the legs, back straight and grab the kettlebell with both hands.
- Lift the kettlebell to the top position using your legs.
How to goblet squat
- Lift the kettlebell up to chest level by placing your hands on the side of the handle. Keep the weight tight to your chest to avoid back strain.
- Squat down below parallel with your feet shoulder width or slightly shoulder-width apart
- Return to the starting position without allowing your knees to lock out.
Try this every day for a month and see what a difference it makes to your health, strength and weight loss.
You’ll need: A kettlebell (5-15 lbs, depending on your level)
Round 1: Complete 4 reps of each of swings, deadlifts and goblet squats.
Round 2: Rest for 1 minute, then double to 8 reps each of swings, deadlifts and goblet squats.
Round 3: Rest for 1 minute, then complete 12 reps of swings, deadlifts and goblet squats.
Round 5: Now it’s time to descend, go back down to 8 reps of swings, deadlifts and goblet squats.
Round 6: You’re almost there. Scale back to 4 reps of swings, deadlifts and goblet squats. You’re done!
Kettlebell myths busted
Myth 1 | Kettlebells will make me bulky
If you want to be toned, not bulky – perfect! Kettlebells are for you! You’ll be building lean, powerful muscle instead of bulking up. Every workout is a total body workout, training all of the major muscle groups using functional movements, not isolated exercises.
Myth 2 | Kettlebells are dangerous
Kettlebell swings, when done correctly, are very safe, convenient and efficient. Kettlebells aren’t any more dangerous than lifting other types of weights – you just have to make you sure you keep in mind the following:
- You chose the right weight for your body
- You swing in an open space
- Your posture is controlled
- You don’t stop mid-swing
- Don’t don’t swing for more than 30 mins – and make sure you take 1-minute rest breaks
Myth 3 | Women need cardio, and only very light weights
If women only did cardio, then muscle and fat would be burned for fuel. Weights prevent any loss of muscle tissue, and this is what revs up your resting metabolism! Women that only concentrate on cardio will have a very hard time achieving the look that they want. As far as the lifting of very light weights – this is not true. Muscle responds to resistance, and if the resistance is too light, then the body will not change.
Top mistakes you could be making
Mistake 1 | Your weights aren’t heavy enough
Just like weight lifting, you have to choose kettlebells that are heavy enough…
Mistake 2 | You’re swinging the kettlebell too fast
Swinging a heavyweight without control can result in a pulled muscle. It may seem exciting to whip a kettlebell around as fast as possible, but your form will suffer significantly.
Mistake 3 | You don’t plenish post-workout
Protein, protein, protein! You’ll need it after these intense workouts! During a kettlebell workout, your energy and blood glucose levels can drop pretty quickly, leaving you feeling shaky and weak. If you feel you need an extra boost during exercises, try having an Exante Meal Replacement Bar or a High Protein Shake. These can be used as part of an Exante Diet plan for quick weight loss or to complement your workouts. PLUS, the special bit? All Exante Bars and Shakes are;
- Enriched with over 27 vitamins and minerals
- Packed with over 17g of protein
- High in fibre
- A convenient, complete product
Here are some of our favourites