ACE Study on the Benefits of Kettlebells



ARTICLE REPRINTED FROM THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE
THE BENEFITS OF KETTLEBELLS
The American Council on Exercise (ACE), America’s Workout Watchdog, enlisted the research experts at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse’s department of Exercise and Sport Science to conduct a study. led by John Porcari, Ph.D., Nick Beltz, and Dustin Erbes, the team recruited 30 healthy, relatively fit male and female volunteers. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups. Eighteen volunteers (9 male, 9 female) were put into the experimental group, while 12 others (6 male, 6 female) were used as the control group. Twice weekly the subjects participated in kettlebell training. At the beginning of the study, the trainers encouraged participants to use a kettlebell weight that felt manageable and then progress to heavier weights as they felt more comfortable with the movements.

In addition to the predictable strength gains, kettlebell training was also shown to markedly increase aerobic capacity, improve dynamic balance and dramatically increase core strength. “When most people think of resistance training, they don’t think of being able to increase the aerobic capacity,” says Dr. John Porcari, “Yet, we saw a 13.8 percent increase in aerobic capacity.” The most dramatic increase in strength came in abdominal core strength, which was boosted by 70 percent.  “Kettlebell training increases strength, which you’d expect, but you also get these other benefits,” says Porcari. “You don’t really do resistance training expecting to get an aerobic capacity benefit, and you don’t do resistance training and expect to improve your core strength, unless of course you’re specifically doing core-strengthening exercises. But with kettlebells you’re able to get a wide variety of benefits with one pretty intense workout. 

The bottom line is, kettlebells may be decidedly old school, but thanks to the explosive, total-body nature of kettlebell training, its potential for serious body benefits are just as strong as ever. “It’s a hell great workout, but you really need to get proper instruction before you do it,” says Porcari. “Good form is key to avoiding injury.” Get a minimum of two to three training sessions with a certified instructor. Consider using a workout video to follow along with for proper form.

ARTICLE REPRINTED FROM THE AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE

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