Kettlebell Training for Muscle and Cardio Development

Although there are benefits from repeatedly lifting heavy weights in the gym, it can eventually become tiresome. Sometimes a strength and conditioning program needs to be changed - if only to provide a temporary break from the 'norm'. Kettle bells offer a refreshing alternative. Sure, they don't develop pure strength, but they can provide improved conditioning, particularly as an aerobic workout can be incorporated into a kettle bell routine.

I developed my own program, which combined short sprints (20m) with kettle bell exercises. These exercises could focus on specific muscle groups, e.g. hammer curl, tricep extension, etc., but could also include compound exercises (those that require the use of more than one muscle group (e.g. Turkish get Up, French walk, rolling squat, pullover and snatch, etc). Even finding various ways of throwing the kettle bells keeps the routine interesting.

All of my routines are performed outside, which allows a more varied program. The confines of a gym, or your own garage, have their benefits, but can limit the exercises you can perform. And not only will you find your workouts interesting, so will people who happen to walk by!

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Below are some examples that form part of my routine:

These workouts can really test (and improve) strength and endurance. It can provide many benefits for people who play sports, rather than lifting weights in the gym. Personally I continue to lift weights, and incorporate kettle bell training, in my program. This help to build strength and endurance, and reduce boredom.

The main issue to be aware of, I found, was the possibility of shoulder and wrist injuries. Providing you don't use kettle bells that are too heavy, and you know how to correctly execute each exercise, you can limit the likelihood of injury. There are plenty of great web sites that give you ideas for exercises to use, and descriptions and videos to help you perform them.

One pair of kettle bells can be used by one person, or shared among several, in any one session. You don't have to stand around while you wait for someone to finish using the kettle bells (as often occurs while waiting for equipment in the gym) - just go for some sprints, or perform other body weight resistance exercises while you wait!


Anthony is a confirmed kettlebell junkie, enjoying everything from light cardio workouts to putting some serious weight overhead. Find out more at the Fitness Shop site.

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