Cardio cross training with kettlebells

September 4, 2013

Cardiovascular workouts are great for improving heart health, endurance and overall wellness. Running on home treadmills like the True PS800 Home Treadmill or cycling on home exercise bikes like the True ES9.0 Home Upright Bike are perfect cardio options. It’s important to remember that your body also needs strength, which comes from lifting and resistance training. In order to keep your body functioning at its best, you must cross-train, incorporating both cardio and weight training into your fitness plan.

Weight routines can sometimes get stuck in a rut with the same exercises being performed continuously. This can lead to overtraining as well as fitness burnout because weightlifting becomes boring. Mix up your weight training by including kettlebells in in your home gym equipment.What is a kettlebell?
Kettlebells are free weights shaped like cannonballs with a u-shaped handle. Their design allows people to work with movements in all planes using centrifugal force and momentum. Kettlebells are made of cast iron and come in various weights and sizes ranging from 2.5 and 5 pounds to more than 100 pounds.

Why try kettlebell workouts?
The load of a kettlebell is off-center, so it requires you to use more agility and different muscle groups compared to average free weights. Kettlebell workouts also teach muscle fibers to synchronize to create fluid, easy motions.

Kettlebells provide a total body workout because they target all of the major muscle groups. Leg and core strength are particularly important for those who want to run or cycle well for long distances. Because kettlebells are swung as part of the exercises, the core muscles are constantly being activated, creating a great midsection workout without having to lay down and perform crunches. In addition, doing squats, lunges and other leg exercises with the kettlebells creates a solid lower body base needed for the most effective cardio workouts. You can also do bicep and tricep curls and shoulder and chest presses for upper body strength.

Exercising with a kettlebell makes for fast-paced and constantly moving physical activity, as well as increased heart rate and breathing. This is similar to running or cycling and continues to condition the cardiovascular system even though you’re performing strength exercises.

Because kettlebells are constantly being swung and moved around, it challenges your balance. As you continue to to work with kettlebells, you’ll find your stability has improved. This will help keep you upright on a bike and standing tall while running. It also helps prevent falling.