Kettlebells have been gaining popularity in the fitness industry lately, and for a good reason. They offer a full-body workout, burn calories, and increase strength, endurance, and flexibility. But are kettlebells cardio or strength training?

What is Kettlebell Training?

Kettlebell training is a form of weight training that utilizes kettlebells – a cast iron or steel ball with a handle. It is a versatile piece of equipment that can be used to perform various exercises, such as swings, snatches, cleans, squats, and presses. Kettlebell training is an effective way of building strength, endurance, and improving overall fitness.

Kettlebells: Cardio or Strength?

Kettlebell training can be both cardio and strength training. It depends on the exercises and routines you perform. For instance, the kettlebell swing is a cardiovascular exercise that burns calories, strengthens the muscles in the lower back, glutes, and legs and improves posture. On the other hand, the kettlebell press is a strength exercise that targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps muscles.

Kettlebells and Cardiovascular Health

Kettlebell training is an excellent way to improve cardiovascular health. It can increase your heart rate, boost circulation, and help you burn calories. Studies have shown that kettlebell training can be just as effective as traditional cardio exercise, such as running or cycling.

A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that kettlebell workouts can improve aerobic capacity and cardiovascular health. The study participants performed kettlebell swings, snatches, and clean and press exercises in a high-intensity interval training format. After eight weeks, the participants showed significant improvements in cardiovascular endurance and muscular strength.

Kettlebells and Strength Training

Kettlebell training is also an excellent way to build strength. Kettlebell workouts are highly efficient because they work multiple muscle groups at the same time. For instance, the kettlebell swing works the legs, back, and core muscles all at once. This makes kettlebell training an excellent choice for individuals who want to improve their strength and muscular endurance.

A study conducted by the American Council on Exercise (ACE) found that kettlebell training can be highly effective at building strength. The study participants performed a 20-minute kettlebell workout that included the swing, squat, clean, and press exercises. After the workout, the participants showed significant improvements in muscular endurance and strength.

Kettlebells and Weight Loss

Kettlebell training is an effective way to lose weight. It is a high-intensity workout that burns a significant number of calories. The kettlebell swing is one of the best exercises for weight loss because it works multiple muscle groups and can burn up to 20 calories per minute.

A study published in The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that performing a 20-minute kettlebell workout can burn up to 400 calories. The study participants performed the swing and clean and press exercises. They burned an average of 20.2 calories per minute during the workout, with a total calorie burn of 402 calories.

Kettlebells and Flexibility

Kettlebell training can help improve flexibility because it involves dynamic movements that require a full range of motion. The kettlebell swing, for instance, requires hip extension, which can help improve hip mobility and flexibility. The kettlebell windmill is another exercise that can help improve flexibility in the hips, hamstrings, and shoulders.


In summary, kettlebell training can be both cardio and strength training. Kettlebell workouts can improve cardiovascular health, build strength, help with weight loss, and improve flexibility. Kettlebell training is a versatile and efficient workout that can provide a full-body workout in a short amount of time. Whether you are new to fitness or an experienced athlete, kettlebell training can help you achieve your fitness goals.