The kettlebell has become a phenomenal tool when it comes to burning fat and building solid functional strength. With more and more fitness and strength enthusiasts training with kettlebells as their major workout, it’s become so much more than just an alternative or complimentary exercise to traditional weight lifting. People even treat a kettlebell or two as their “mini-gym” as there are almost as many exercises you can do with kettlebells as there are stars in the sky (okay, I exaggerated that part but you get my point).
Its odd cannonball-like shape forces your body to train in an imbalanced state. This “imbalanced” training makes you utilise your stabilising muscles a lot more than you would when you train with an equally distributed weight such as the dumbbell or barbell.
Most exercises done with kettlebells involve the whole body which makes them effective when it comes to burning fat and training multiple groups of muscles at once. Just about every move you can do with a kettlebell utilises the legs and glutes for power, and the core and arms for stability. Perhaps the most popular kettlebell exercises that can do just that is the kettlebell swing, an exercise capable of transferring maximum power from lower to upper body with significant volume.
Kettlebell Complexes for Minimalists.
If you’ve been lifting long enough, chances are you might have encountered the term “complex” or “complexes”. A complex is simply a type of strength circuit where you perform two or more exercises continuously, with no rest in between until the set is done. It can be as simple as 2 exercises with 1 rep each or something as complicated and spread out as doing 7 or more exercises per set.
In the world of minimalist training, kettlebell complexes are extremely popular and here are three good reasons why:
1.) Time Efficiency.
With everyone else becoming too busy to take care of their own body, getting enough time for a good workout can become difficult and most would rather sleep or eat more instead. Kettlebell complexes make training more accessible; a complex is a series of exercises done in succession and one of its many purposes is to hit an array of muscles in one go, quickly!
How efficient are complexes? Try this one called the “Armour Building Complex” which utilises 2 kettlebells. One set goes like this:
2 cleans, 1 press, 3 squats
The cleans offer a good hip-hinge exercise, the press builds upper body strength, and the squats emphasise on the lower body. That one rep alone allows you to train your whole body completely. One set shouldn’t take more than a minute to do (depending on the pair of weights used) which means you can get a good workout in a short period of time.
2.) Small but Terrible.
Kettlebells are relatively small and compact compared to machine based gym equipment. With just this one small accessory, people have found many ways to weight train outside the confines of a gym or inside their homes.
Cleans, deadlifts, presses, squats, swings, snatches, these exercises blend well together in a complex which ensures you get a good workout without the use of large gym equipment.
3.) Creativity and Fun.
Perhaps one of the primary benefits of doing kettlebell complexes is how a person is free to choose which exercises to incorporate in their own complex. Sure, there are plenty of popular kettlebell complexes out there but who says you can’t make up your own? I sometimes get creative when I’m bored with the usual routines, and I realise it keeps the training fun. And the best part? You get to choose the name of that complex.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned fitness coach, kettlebell complexes are nothing short of beneficial. They can save time, space, and makes the workout fun and interesting with a variety of exercises at your disposal. But don’t forget to refuel. A kettlebell complex is notoriously hard; you’ll feel like you’ve run through a brick wall by the time you finish. Ease your recovery with a good quality whey protein, and some omega 3 fish oils to help reduce exercise induced inflammation.
Bonus: Using a pair of kettlebells you can press at least twice, feel free to try my own Batman Kettlebell Complex below.
If you liked this article, you might also like:
>> Strip Fat & Breathe Fire with 4 Minute Tabatas
>> Are Training Splits Right for you?
About The Author:
Robert James is a Food Scientist, Fitness and Health Aficionado and Writer. He owns a small website catered to his passion to write about health and fitness. His main weapon against weakness is the kettlebell.