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Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss? What You Should Know

Dec 28, 2017

Kettlebells are a great tool for working out because, for one, they are unique. Are kettlebells good for weight loss, though?

That is today’s question and what a lot of you out there have been wondering about.

Before we go into why, let me first say that yes, kettlebells are good for weight loss.

In fact, I would go as far as to say that they are great! Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss - Lifting Straps

However, to do the intense, highly grip-based and cardio-driven exercises associated with kettlebells, I recommend some weightlifting accessories.

You should consider the Dark Iron Fitness genuine leather weightlifting belt for exercises like heavy kettlebell swings.

Or, investing in the Dark Iron Fitness leather suede lifting straps will help to keep your grip at its best.

The main reason I would think about purchasing these, or similar accessories, is to maintain form and safety.

So, are kettlebells good for weight loss?

Well, when it comes to kettlebells, there are numerous exercises that will be good for weight loss.

However, it is important that you first start with some easier exercises to properly understand how to use kettlebells.

Then, once you are familiar with the mechanics of the kettlebell and feel comfortable gripping them, you can really amp up the workouts.

One of the greatest aspects of kettlebells is that they lend themselves well to cardio-centric exercises.

This is important, especially in relation to this article, because cardio and strength training are what promote weight loss.

We will be discussing why kettlebells are optimal for weight loss, as well as some preferred exercises.

First, let’s see how these cardio dynamics play into the way kettlebells are used.

Related: 22 Different Kettlebell Exercises


Kettlebells For Cardio and Strength

Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss? — The Importance of the Cardio Aspect

Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss - KettlebellsIt’s very important to always remember that cardio is a huge pillar to the house of weight loss.

Once you accept that cardio can and will only further benefit your weight loss, then you can think about which exercises to do.

Most weightlifting movements do not implement a high amount of cardio, unless they are HIIT routines or focusing on CrossFit training.

When adding in that cardio aspect to kettlebell exercises, like swings, jump squats, etc., you’ll experience faster results.

If you are asking, are kettlebells good for weight loss? Make sure to remember that cardio is a huge player in that answer!


Kettlebells For Strength Building

Besides cardio, building strength and muscle will help burn fat.

In fact, intense lifting puts you into a longer residual fat burning zone.Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss - Olympic Kettlebell

Now, imagine combining the longevity of fat burning from weights with the intensity of a cardiovascular workout.

In congruity, these will make the kettlebells one of your strongest fat loss tools.

The beauty of kettlebells is that they are more versatile for HIIT exercises when compared to something like dumbbells.

With their strength building aspect, you will be hitting all of the proper channels that lead to further weight loss.

So, are kettlebells good for weight loss by way of bodybuilding? 

Yes, the strength and explosiveness you can gain through the use of kettlebells are definitely fat blasters.


Kettlebell Swings Are Number 1!

Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss? — What Do Kettlebell Swings Offer?

Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss - Kettlebell SwingWhen doing kettlebell swings, you are working out your entire body.

The focus needed, the grip strength, the core balance and even hip drive will ensure you see success.

Performing kettlebell swings will gradually train you for all sorts of other workouts with kettlebells.

Most of the kettlebell workouts you encounter can all be intertwined and are modular with one another.

For example, you can do a kettlebell swing and have it go into a one-armed kettlebell press.

The swinging movement, along with the squat and explosiveness, lead to the foundation of kettlebell exercises.


How to Properly Perform a Kettlebell Swing

First thing is first: choose a kettlebell that is manageable and won’t pull you off balance.Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss - Muscles Worked

After choosing the best kettlebell weight for you, give it a gentle swing between your legs as you drop into a squat.

This is to get a feel for how the weight moves during the swinging motion.

If it drags you forward or back too much, you aren’t ready for that amount of weight.

If the kettlebell you’ve chosen seems to be fine, then start repping out the swings.

Make sure to go strong and controlled, getting deep into the squat and swinging the kettlebell to the same spot for each rep.

Do not let your kettlebell swing overhead, try to keep it within chest-to-eye level.

Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss - Proper FormOn the negative, let the weight swing back, but not too far as to where your back rolls forward and your forearms go past your thighs.

Keep your head forward, looking up at the line of sight to where the kettlebell should end up swinging to.

Avoid letting your feet move and shift from heels to the toe over and over.

You want your feet to be strongly planted when doing basic kettlebell swings.

Related: The Best Kettlebell Workout DVD


How to Be Explosive With Kettlebell Workouts

Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss? — In Defense of an Explosive Approach

With any of your kettlebell exercises, you can add explosiveness to them.

If doing the kettlebell swing, with reasonable weight, you can swing and go into a jump.Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss - Movement

Adding just this one adjustment to your kettlebell swing will amplify the explosive nature of the workout almost by tenfold.

Imagine doing a standard barbell squat and then doing a dumbbell jump squat with the same weight.

The dumbbell jump squats will be so much more explosive and tiring (due to the cardio-centric nature) that you’ll burn fat quicker.

If done safely, I would highly encourage you to attempt these types of exercises.

Wearing a weightlifting belt during some of these movements will allow you to keep your form secure and uncompromised.

Dark Iron Fitness has one of the best weightlifting belts available, and it’s worth investing in, as you’ll only ever need to buy it once.

The more explosive you become with kettlebells, the more results and benefits you will see begin to flourish.

Related: Kettlebells For Beginners


Kettlebell Jump Squats

Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss - Kettlebell Jump SquatJump squats, alone, are an extremely great exercise.

If you add kettlebells, you are now taking it to a whole new level.

You can do jump squats with dumbbells, sure, but kettlebells allow you to grip more weight.

There are a few ways to approach the kettlebell jump squat.

  1. Hold one kettlebell with two hands, in a goblet squat position. Then jump squat up and down, while maintaining the weight.
  2. Hold two kettlebells in each hand, both kettlebells starting on the ground and lifting up as you jump. When you squat back down, the weights can be placed back to the floor.
  3. Hold two kettlebells up by your shoulders with your hands up, and proceed to perform the jump squats.
  4. Hold one kettlebell and perform your normal kettlebell swing, but add the jump squat in when you hit the negative portion of the exerciseAre Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss - Kettlebell Jump Squat

If you perform any of these, you’ll feel the burn, the sweat and the weight begin to slowly melt off with time.

Remember to use a kettlebell weight that is safe for your skill level and you will consistently get better and better.

The kettlebell swing and kettlebell jump squat are the two, easiest and most explosive kettlebell exercises you can do.

Give them a try and continuously work them into your weightlifting routines or even just as supplemental workouts on cardio days.

Related: How Many Squats Should I Do to Lose Weight



Final Thoughts

Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss By Themselves?

The answer to that, unfortunately, is no.

They are a great supplementation to speeding up your weight loss.

Always keep diet, cardio and heavy strength training all within your workout routines.

A lot of people are looking for quick results, clear-cut answers and a strict guide to lose excess weight.

The problem with that is, there aren’t any “shortcuts” or “one-answer-fits-all” responses to these questions.

You need to find what works for you, stick to it and let the journey become a large part of your happiness and success.

Don’t fall for the tricks of someone selling you one specific exercise routine or “10 minutes or less” workouts as the end all be all.

Truth is: everyone is different, everyone burns fat differently and everyone holds weight in different areas.

You can only lose weight in the places you want if you lose overall body fat first.

If you hold a lot of weight in your stomach, it’ll most likely be the last place that fat leaves your body.

Related: Max’s Weight Loss Journey


Words of Wisdom

Work hard, as hard as you can, and implement these explosive workouts as a way to help you reach your goals quicker.

Keyword here is quicker. 

Don’t rely on one exercise to help you get to your goal all on its own.

Switch it up, test different exercises out and find what is doing the best for your body.

Are Kettlebells Good For Weight Loss - Lifting StrapsMy tip is to perform kettlebell workouts (kettlebell swings and kettlebell jump squats) in the most explosive manner possible.

All I can do is offer my opinions, suggestions and the rest is up to you.

Lastly, don’t forget to keep your grip safe and strong with some leather suede lifting straps.

Kettlebells aren’t everyone’s cup of tea, but they are gaining more and more popularity for a reason.

Try them out.