The Top Ten Benefits Of Kettlebells

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Top 10 Benefits Of Kettlebells 

Kettlebells were the lockdown exercise of choice. Kettlebells of all shapes and sizes (even things that were masquerading as kettlebells – please don’t buy these ridiculous items) were sold out in the UK and then the waiting time to receive one from anywhere was enormous.

kettlebells for womenWhy do people love kettlebells? 

Well, those of us In the know have known the benefits of kettlebells for years. They first reached the Western world from Russia when a dude called Pavel Tsatsouline, an ex-Soviet Special Forces instructor, who is credited for popularizing and marketing kettlebells in the Western World in his article Vodka, Pickle Juice,and Kettlebell Lifting, and Other Russian Pastimes.

Somewhat irksomely for those of us who are trained properly, kettlebells have been diluted into commercial fitness trends.

To make them effective, they need to be heavy enough and learned well. But that makes them dangerous if you don’t use them properly, which is why most “classes” have only light weights (nothing above 8kg). Learning to teach kettlebell skills takes a lot of time and dedication, which only the dedicated will do and so companies make their quick profit and get around the risk of injury by making really light ones.

But, of course, then they are too light to have any benefit.

Kettlebells are a skill for life and not just a fad for lockdown (that then ends up on eBay)

The benefits of kettlebells are far-reaching – there is nothing about your body that they won’t impact.

This guide to Top 10 Benefits of Kettlebells will offer guidelines to get you started before you discover more of your own benefits, but first, what is a kettlebell?

kettlebells for women

What is a kettlebell? 

A kettlebell is a cast iron ball with a handle attached to the top. It’s used to perform different exercises including ballistic exercises (or explosive exercises) and slow grinds, that integrate strength, flexibility and cardiovascular training.

They are round for a reason. Don’t pay any money to anyone who makes ones with flat edges, or makes them out of plastic.

You want to lift? You want iron. The iron never lies to you.

People love kettlebells for many reasons, but mainly their simplicity, their incredible impact on their body shape and athleticism, and their addictiveness when they realise what an elite level world they’ve been initiated into by learning to use them.

Hardstyle Russian kettlebell training has more functional, athletic and sporting carry-over than any other training tool or method. The unilateral and asymmetrical (meaning: they pull your body aroud in real-world ways) challenges posed by correctly programmed and performed kettlebell training cause unique adaptions and progressions” Craig Gilkes RKCll

In other words, there is nothing else like kettlebell training.

If your trainer can’t explain why they use kettlebells as a tool using something close to these ^ words, they probably shouldn’t be using them with you! (Ditto if they let you wear cushioned trainers when training… *ouch*)

turkish get-upWhat are the benefits of kettlebells for your body? 

Kettlebell training with appropriately weighted kettlebells, (hint: not teeny tiny cute pink ones that my 3-year-old can carry around), delivers on ALL your goals. They integrate strength training and hypertrophy with cardiovascular supercharging and make you more flexible. You’ll soon discover the WTH effect of kettlebells; when suddenly you realise that something that used to be hard is incredibly easy, or that chronic pain goes away, or your body changes shape without you intentionally doing anything to make it happen and you say to yourself, “what the hell?”

What weight kettlebell do I need?

Female – 8kg-12kg to start with (you’ll outgrow the 8kg quickly but it can be a great place to build foundational strength at first)

16kg+ when experienced

Male – 16kg-24kg to start with

24kg+ when experienced

This Top 10 Benefits of Kettlebells is going to get you fired up and ready to join The Club, if you haven’t already then The Time Is Now.


  1. Kettlebells are simple

There are six fundamental kettlebell exercises that you need to master to train your whole body for your whole life. Just six!

You can start as a beginner and train like an athlete with these straightforward movements.

They are: kettlebell swings, kettlebell snatches, kettlebell squats, the kettlebell press, kettlebell get-ups and kettlebell cleans.

Other kettlebell exercises are nice to have on top of these, but these six are the dial-movers that your body deserves to keep it oiled like the efficient machine that it is.

Kettlebell exercises are simple in that on the outside they look pretty basic, and they are focused and subtle, but they probably won’t feel easy at first (there’s a difference between simple and easy!)

There is a learning curve, and like anything that pays dividends in reward, you have to put some effort into learning the skill BUT, the rewards to your body and mind will pay out exponentially.

Plus, despite people worrying about “will kettlebells hurt my back” (spoiler: not if you do them properly), they are actually underrated for how well they can rehab injuries by virtue of being so scaleable and how they correspond to basic human movements – lifting, squatting, carrying, pushing, pulling and jumping. Simple, right?

Your training sessions just became SO much more streamlined (and wildly effective), I promise!

  1. Kettlebells are efficient

Kettlebells are an incredibly efficient use of your training time. Kettlebell training versus other conditioning exercises is way more beneficial if you’re looking for an effective cardio workout that actually builds muscle at the same time rather than just wears you down with jumping and leaping around or going for hours long runs. If you’re short on time, 20 minutes of kettlebell swings and snatches versus 20 minutes of running, will mean that you build muscle (which is what gives you that toned look you’re looking in the wrong place for if you’re doing tonnes of cardio and not eating much) AND create a body that can take on the physical challenges you ask of it day-to-day without breaking a sweat.

  1. Kettlebells make you strong

Girl, do they ever. And as women, we cannot ever be too strong. So here’s the story; kettlebells originated in Russia, where they were used to weigh crops in the 18th century. Farmers using them also noted their increase in strength and early records of circus “strongmen” depict images of them lifting kettlebells to demonstrate their great strength. Recreational competition emerged in the 19th century and competitive kettlebell lifting dates to 1885.

kettlebell windmill

Since then, kettlebells are integrated into all types of physical training and for many different genres of athlete for a reason. Kettlebells make you strong, and quickly! And the way that they make you strong is incomparable to anything else – they are a dynamic, offset load that tries to pull you around. If you train it with heavy enough kettlebells, your body will turn into a force of nature that can resist impact, withstand unexpected movements (and thus injury!) and take on the shape of an athletic Goddess.

Consistent training after being taught by a professional instructor (Hi there!) guiding you can see your strength increase session by session.

The feeling you get when you realise how easy your body feels to move around in when it’s strong, money can’t buy.

  1. Kettlebells make you mobile

The basic Big 6 movements that include kettlebell snatches, kettlebell swings, kettlebell clean and press plus Turkish Get Ups and kettlebell goblet squats are the best tonic for the ultimate all over body upgrade in both strength AND flexibility. If you can’t touch your toes, get good at kettlebell swings and then try again. Or if you can’t squat ass to grass, do some goblet squats and then try. And if you find yourself grunting and groaning when you get up off the sofa, learn Turkish get-ups with a weight and then see how smoothly you bounce up from low surfaces.

The best way to promote mobility and own the flexibility you need is to teach your body to use its own strength to hold it there; that’s why passive stretching doesn’t create useful mobility.

These exercises engage the whole body all at once, and mimic real life activities that with a bit of guidance you can work on buns of steel as well as being able to crawl like a bear with your newfound freedom of movement.

  1. Kettlebells send your stamina through the roofconcept 2 rowing

Stamina allows you to sustain physical or mental effort for long periods of time. Increasing your stamina offers your body the opportunity to survive discomfort or stress when training and works in tandem with your mental strength allowing you to push through and get on with your training.

Improving stamina reduces fatigue and ensures your ability to not only maintain incredible training sessions but also get on with your daily chores and not sap your energy.

Kettlebells are the ultimate strength and endurance builder. Specifically, your glutes, lower back, shoulders, legs, core and grip strength will become bulletproof. Fun aside; grip strength is associated with a lower risk of heart attack and stroke according to a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research.

Basically, kettlebell training is the elixir of life!

  1. Kettlebells are our sixth sense

Want to know how to be awesome at parallel parking or brilliant at skipping? Even better, want to show off with handstands at your next work party? Have you got a burning desire to join the circus? Then you need to employ your sixth sense.

Your sixth sense or proprioception is the sense or feeling where we understand how we position our body, the movement of our body, equilibrium, and balance.

Improving our proprioception through strength training allows us to stabilise our joints through static and functional movements as well as decrease our risk of injury through training our bodies to react to the unexpected.



  1. Kettlebells keeps your metabolism impenetrable

One of the single most important things you can do for yourself and it’s not in a cup, pill, juice or fad.

It is maintaining your health. Managing your metabolic impact.

Metabolism is the physical and chemical processes in your body that convert or use energy. Circulating blood, breathing, contracting muscles and controlling your body temperature are all affected by your metabolism and maintaining the health of your metabolism is managed by exercise, sleep and great food that fuels your body.

Impaired metabolism impacts you negatively by increasing your chances of developing premature heart disease, diabetes and hypertension, impacting on your hormones, immune system and general feelings of energy during the day.

  1. kettlebell pressKettlebells upgrade your posture

It’s not just ballerinas that benefit from looking good with a straight back. Good posture means the muscles supporting your spine and shoulders are balanced and supporting your internal structure. You sit up straight with both feet on the floor, your shoulders are held back and your ears line up with your collarbones. You stand with equal weight on both feet and are able to move around effortlessly. There’s a whole other blog about great posture and how to achieve it but the highlights are that with improving your posture you decrease the number of headaches you may have due to lack of tension in your neck. Your lower back doesn’t hurt, your circulation and digestion are left free to work their magic and your core is strong.

That look that you don’t want to happen to you as you age, where your upper back rounds? You can reverse that with clean and press, turkish get-ups and a couple of other targeted kettlebell movements that a good instructor keeps up their sleeve.

  1. Kettlebells are versatilejuno fitness kettlebells

Going camping? No problem, lob a kettlebell in your boot and take it with you. Standing on the side lines while your kids are at football training? No worries, your kettlebell will fit in your rucksack and you can pop out a quick session instead of slowly freezing while making small talk with the other parents. Kettlebells are like the perfect employee. Adaptable, flexible and multi-faceted.

Athletes train for peak performance and so should you. You are after all an athlete too, but your schedule looks slightly different.

You work, you spend what feels like a lifetime just washing everyone’s clothes, you are the kids Uber on speed dial and you’ need time to just sit and finish a cup of tea once in a while, so who’s got the time to spend hours in the gym?

Kettlebells Are Flexible. Do-it-anywhere, they don’t care. You can use kettlebells in a relatively small space – essentially the amount of space you need for your own body to lie down in a starfish shape. They aren’t needy and don’t demand other stuff to make them work.. just look behind you and keep the kids and pets out of the way before you start snatching or swinging and make sure you don’t punch the TV.

  1. Kettlebells are great value for money

Forget gym memberships that never get used or serve you up a dose of guilt every time you drive past the pool and have forgotten your swimsuit again. Kettlebells maintain their value and never break.

A kettlebell is not just for Christmas, or January, post the Christmas overfill of booze and chocolate. A kettlebell will last you a lifetime. It will double up as a door stop, paper weight and weapon but most faithfully will serve you without judgment or criticism. No maintenance, feeding or washing required. Swing them, snatch them and row them and they’ll be your BFF for life.


Juno Fitness

shell gilkesI’m Shell Gilkes, the founder of Juno Fitness and Strong Girls Kettlebell Club. I provide online and in-person group personal training to teach and support women to train their bodies to be strong, healthy and powerful.

I empower women like you to abandon pointless hours of cardio and dieting. I’ll help you to finally feel the way you’ve always wanted to feel in your body through treating it like an athlete.

Think about it; how would it feel to focus on what your body can do (cool stuff like press-ups and deadlifts) and how it feels (strong, mobile, powerful, full of energy), rather just on what it looks like?

We cannot be too strong. Join the movement. Come along. Everyone is welcome.

Email me:

Call me: 07963727581


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