04/29/2016 01:42 EDT | Updated 04/30/2017 05:12 EDT

Why The Swing Is King To Improve Your Fitness

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Young fitness female exercise with kettle bell. Mixed race woman doing gym workout on grey background

Crushing 20 calories a minute, kettlebell training is one of our favourite tools for fat loss, training muscular endurance and enhancing cardio capacity.

As fitness coaches we know, your time matters! When you train it is so important to make sure your time at the gym is well spent. As we always say, it's not about how long you train for, but the quality of your training session!

In a short period of time you will crush some serious calories, improve your movement and build muscle.

One of the benefits of using kettlebells is that they are effective at giving you quality intensity in order to hit your fitness goals. Kettlebell training, according to a 2010 study conducted by the American Council on Exercise, was equivalent to the expenditure of running a six-minute mile or cross country skiing up hill at a fast pace.

While kettlebell training seems relatively new, archaeological records show evidence of their use back to Ancient Greece. From 1870 to 1880 Russian Dr. Vladislav Kraevsky travelled through Europe gathering info about physical culture and sports with the intention of promoting new ways to improve health, well being and physical education. Upon his return to Russia, he introduced kettlebell training, which soon became a matter of national pride and a symbol of strength. The Russians even began testing their soldiers using the kettlebell move called the snatch (at 24k) to test physical strength and ability.

On top of the extreme benefit of improving strength and accelerating intensity, kettlebell training is extremely beneficial to include in your program if fat loss is on your list of goals. Why? In a short period of time you will crush some serious calories, improve your movement and build muscle. From a caloric standpoint further research from the American Council of Exercise found that kettlebell training burns approximately 400 calories during an intense 20-minute circuit.

The other benefit of kettlebell training, and why we use them so frequently, is that every exercise can be performed unilaterally (one side at a time). Training unilaterally is key in order to bridge any strength gaps from left side to right side. Next time you're at the gym test out your strength on your right side versus your left. Do you have a major difference? If you do, chances are you are very dominant on one side, which is a warning sign for potential injuries, PLUS it can decrease your sport and training performance.

Lastly, Kettlebell work also requires minimal space and set-up and is a great training tool to use outside as the weather warm-up. We can frequently be found on our back deck in the summer performing interval sets of swings, snatches, clean and presses, Turkish get-ups, lunges and squats to get our outdoor summer sweat on!

The most important thing when it comes to training with kettlebells is to find a coach that is knowledgeable and accredited to teach you proper form and technique. While kettlebells are an amazing training tool, they are more complex than other training tools and can be frustrating at first. As always, finding a coach and community to guide and support you is an important step in making your fitness dreams come true!

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Kettlebell Exercises