Effects of kettlebell training on aerobic capacity, muscular strength, balance, flexibility, and body composition

Issue: Vol. 2, No. 2

Published by Journal of Fitness Research Volume 2

Tags: Kettlebell Training , Core Strength , Balance , Flexibility , Cross-training

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  1. Nick Beltz
    Human Performance Laboratory, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
  2. Dustin Erbes
    Human Performance Laboratory, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
  3. John P. Porcari
    Human Performance Laboratory, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
  4. Ray Martinez
    Human Performance Laboratory, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
  5. Scott Doberstein
    Human Performance Laboratory, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
  6. Carl Foster
    Human Performance Laboratory, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse
  7. John P. Porcari (Corresponding Author)
    Department of Exercise and Sport Science, 141 Mitchell Hall, University of Wisconsin - La Crosse, La Crosse, WI 54601 Tel: 608-785-8684, Fax: 608-785-8172, Email: jporcari@uwlax.edu

Abstract

Purpose: This study was designed to evaluate the effects of kettlebell training on upper and lower body strength, aerobic capacity, body composition, flexibility, balance, and core strength. 

Methods: Seventeen participants (9 male, 8 female) completed kettlebell training sessions twice a week for 8 weeks.  Classes included a 5 minute warm-up, a 5-10 minute cool-down, and 30-45 minutes of kettlebell exercises.  Kettlebell exercises included one and two-handed swings, snatches, cleans, presses, and Turkish get-ups.  Participants were encouraged to use a comfortable weight at the beginning of the study and progress to heavier weights as they felt more comfortable throughout the study.  Eleven volunteers (5 male, 6 female) with similar characteristics served as a control group.  Both groups underwent an identical battery of tests at the beginning and end of the study. 

Results: The experimental group had significant improvements in aerobic capacity (13.8%), leg press strength (14.8%) grip strength (9%), and core strength (70%) as result of training.  Dynamic balance improved significantly in the posterolateral direction (7.2 cm); but not in the posteromedial direction despite a similar gain (8.6 cm; p=.071).  No significant improvements were seen in body composition (weight, sum of skinfolds, and % body fat), static balance, or flexibility (shoulder raise, trunk hyperextension, and sit and reach) as a result of kettlebell training.

Conclusions: It would appear that incorporating kettlebell training into a workout routine may provide additional benefits not typically seen with traditional resistance training.

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© 2013, Australian Institute of Fitness


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Article Title

Effects of kettlebell training on aerobic capacity, muscular strength, balance, flexibility, and body composition

Journal Title

Journal of Fitness Research Volume 2

Author Names

Nick Beltz
Dustin Erbes
John P. Porcari
Ray Martinez
Scott Doberstein
Carl Foster
John P. Porcari (Corresponding Author)
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No citations available


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