The average person weighing 175 pounds burns 700 – 817 calories per hour with a kettlebell workout, the calories burned depends on the your weight, type and intensity of the training you are doing.
Kettlebells are one of the most versatile pieces of exercise equipment that you can use today, as they can be used for a variety of different exercises in the gym or at home. Read on to find out everything you need to know about using kettlebells and how many calories you can expect to burn.
If you’re reading this article, you probably have an idea of what a kettlebell is and how they work. However, you might be surprised to find all the different exercises that you can use kettlebells for and the benefits that kettlebells can provide.
Kettlebells are inexpensive, portable, and easy to store anywhere that you have extra space. Unlike other workout equipment, you can take kettlebells virtually anywhere. As an added bonus, kettlebells come in all different weights which make them accessible for people of all ages.
It’s important to start slowly when beginning to use kettlebells. You need to get comfortable with the grip and feel of the kettlebell before moving on to a higher weight and more intense exercise.
The weight of the kettlebell you use will depend on the type of exercise that you’re performing. For example, doing a typical kettlebell swing may allow you to use a heavier kettlebell than if you were performing weighted pull-ups with a kettlebell attached to a belt.
How To Use The Calculator
Using the calculator to determine how many calories you’ll burn while using kettlebells is easy and only requires a few steps. To calculate the number of calories that you’ll burn, just input your weight and the time that you’ve spent or plan to spend using kettlebells in your workout. Then select the activity you’re doing with kettlebells and hit CALCULATE.
Using the calculator step-by-step:
- Choose your unit of measurement (pounds or kilograms)
- Enter your weight in the corresponding unit of measurement
- Find the activity that you’re using kettlebells for
- Enter the time (in minutes) you are performing the workout
- Hit “CALCULATE”
How the Calculator Works
Our calculator uses MET values to give you an accurate estimate of how many calories you can expect to burn while using kettlebells and doing other activities. The higher the MET value, the more calories you will burn.
MET (Metabolic Equivalent of Task)
MET stands for metabolic equivalent and they allow us to give you an estimated expenditure of energy for many different activities, such as working out with kettlebells.
A MET value is a ratio between the working metabolic rate and the resting metabolic rate , which is the rate of energy that is used relative to the duration of time spent doing activities like using kettlebells.
So a MET value of 1 is the equivalent of the amount of energy you expend while at rest, and a MET value of 9 means you are expending 9 times as much energy compared to being at rest.
Almost all activities that you can think of have MET values assigned to them. Some activities with MET values are common, and some are not so common. For example, there are MET values assigned to activities like hunting, horseback riding, and skydiving.
Most activities come with varying levels of intensity and have different MET values assigned to them. However, kettlebells have one level of intensity in which a MET value is assigned to.
The formula that our kettlebell calculator uses to determine the number of calories burned per minute is (MET x bodyweight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200.
A person weighing 175 pounds will burn approximately 816 calories per hour from using kettlebells in intervals or continuously swinging. This activity has a MET of 9.8, which means that it burns over nine times as many calories as you would at rest.
This is what the formula for calculating the calories burned while using a kettlebell will look like for a 175-pound individual at a MET value of 9.8.
- Calories burned (per minute) = (body weight in kg x MET x 5) ÷ 200
- Calories burned (per minute) = ( 79.4 x 8 x 3.5 ) ÷ 200
- Calories burned (per minute) = 6 calories x 60
- Calories burned (per hour) = 816 calories per hour
Kettlebells and Kettlebell Training
Kettlebells are most often used for various forms of exercise in the gym or at home. A kettlebell is typically made from cast iron or cast steel and has a handle with grips attached to the top of the bell. There are a variety of different shapes and sizes of kettlebells which make them a versatile piece of exercise equipment that can be used by everyone.
The types of exercises that you can use kettlebells for typically combine cardiovascular, strength, and flexibility training. There is even a sport dedicated to using kettlebells, called “kettlebell lifting”, which is a popular sport in Russia.
The origins of modern-day kettlebells date back to the 18th century when they were used as a metal weight to weigh crops that were harvested by Russian farmers. Kettlebells then evolved to be used by strongmen in circuses throughout the 19th century.
Kettlebells can be pressed, swung, thrown, and moved in hundreds of different ways while performing many different exercises. The kettlebell is unique in that the center of mass extends beyond the hand which makes them a perfect tool for you to use to reach your fitness goals.
What Muscles Kettlebell Workouts Work?
Since kettlebells are so versatile, they can work many different muscle groups depending on the type of exercise you are performing. Almost all kettlebell exercises require the feet to be firmly planted on the ground and primarily target the lower body. However, there are plenty of kettlebell variations that you can use to target the upper body as well.
The kettlebell swing is one of the most popular exercises that make use of a kettlebell. The kettlebell swing is a full-body exercise that works the glutes, hamstrings, and muscles of the upper back. The kettlebell swing improves your cardiovascular fitness and strength when performed correctly.
Another popular exercises that use kettlebells are lunges. Lunges are a functional exercise that can help prevent injury by strengthing your legs and core. Kettlebells are used with lunges to increase resistance and add more weight, which makes performing lunges much harder than without a kettlebell.
Other exercises that work the lower body and core using kettlebells include:
Benefits of Using Kettlebells
Practically every gym today has kettlebells accessible to members. Since they are so widely used, there are plenty of benefits that come with using kettlebells that men and women of all ages will experience.
The first benefit that kettlebells provide is improvement in strength and stability. The explosive movements of exercise involving kettlebells stimulate the abdominals and improve your core strength by doing exercises that don’t even directly work your abs like crunches or leg raises.
Kettlebells are also effective as an alternative to traditional cardio like running or cycling. Since kettlebell exercises are total body workouts, you can do an intense cardio session with only one kettlebell.
Another benefit to using kettlebells is that it builds lean muscle due to the high-intensity workouts that they are used for. This is achieved by performing exercises with higher repetitions and short but intense workouts. Kettlebell exercises are also ideal for increasing natural testosterone which promotes muscle building as well.
Using kettlebells also increases your grip strength which is underrated as being an important part of your physical fitness. Having superior grip strength will help to grow your forearms and allow you to do more reps when holding onto the barbell or kettlebell becomes hard to do.
There are also scientifically proven benefits to using kettlebells. Over the course of an eight-week training program involving heavy use of kettlebells, participants significantly increased their grip strength, back strength, and several other health metrics .
The final benefit that we will cover is the fact that using kettlebells is a great way to burn calories and lose body fat. Many of the exercises that are performed with kettlebells are intense and you’re forced to exert a lot of energy. Through this process, you will be able to burn plenty of calories which translates into losing body fat.
Kettlebells come in all different shapes, sizes, and weights. Some kettlebells are purely cast iron or steel, and some have plastic or rubber grips that make picking up and putting down kettlebells easier on the hands.
It’s important to know what type of exercise that you want to perform before purchasing a kettlebell. If you belong to a gym, it’s a good idea to test out the weights of different kettlebells to get an idea of the weight that suits you best.
Some other equipment that can be used along with kettlebells include chalk for your grip and a mat if you plan on doing planks, pushups, or lunges. If you plan on doing weighted pull-ups or weighted dips with a kettlebell, you will need a pull-up bar or a dip bar to perform these exercises.
More Calorie Calculators
Try out our other calorie-based calculators below.
- Calories Burned Pilates
- Calories Burned Yoga
- Calories Burned Walking
- Calories Burned Running
- Calories Burned Hiking
- Calories Burned Elliptical
- Calories Burned Weightlifting
- Calories Burned Jump rope
- Calories Burned Playing Badminton
- Calories Burned Backpacking
- Calories Burned Chopping Wood
- Calories Burned From Archery
- Calorie Deficit Calculator
Frequently Asked Questions:
Are kettlebells good for losing belly fat?
As we mentioned previously, kettlebells are great for an intense full-body workout to build strength and tone your muscles. They also allow you to burn calories and lose weight, which in turn will help you lose belly fat. To enhance the fat-burning effects of using kettlebells, you need to adhere to a balanced diet and stay in a caloric deficit to shed your belly fat.
Are kettlebells better than running?
Kettlebells are often cited as a better option for weight loss, even when compared with running. In 2000, the American Council on Exercise released a study, “Kettlebells: Twice the Results in Half the Time,” which made a case for the superiority of kettlebells over running for burning calories .
Is it safe to do kettlebell swings every day?
It’s possible to use kettlebells every day but the safety of your muscles and joints depends on the intensity of your workouts, your level of physical fitness, and how quickly you can recover from your workouts. It’s important to ease into using kettlebells to prevent burnout and injury and to start with a weight that is easy in the beginning.
How long does it take to see results from kettlebells?
Just like any exercise program, it takes time to see results from using kettlebells in your workouts. With a clean diet and regular exercise, you can expect to see the results of your kettlebell efforts in as little as thirty days.
The Bottom Line
Kettlebells remain a versatile piece of exercise equipment that can be used by men and women of all ages. There are plenty of different weights and styles that make kettlebells a fun and challenging workout.
Knowing the benefits of using kettlebells makes you more aware of which exercises you should do for maximum fat-burning effects and strength gains. You can expect to decrease your body fat and burn plenty of calories when you combine your kettlebell workouts with a balanced diet and a full strength training routine.
- Jetté, M., Sidney, K., & Blümchen, G. (1990). Metabolic equivalents (METS) in exercise testing, exercise prescription, and evaluation of functional capacity. Clinical cardiology, 13(8), 555–565. https://doi.org/10.1002/clc.4960130809
- Chen, H. T., Wu, H. J., Chen, Y. J., Ho, S. Y., & Chung, Y. C. (2018). Effects of 8-week kettlebell training on body composition, muscle strength, pulmonary function, and chronic low-grade inflammation in elderly women with sarcopenia. Experimental gerontology, 112, 112–118. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.exger.2018.09.015
- American Council on Exercise. “Kettlebells: Twice the Results in Half the Time”. 1 January 2000. Retrieved 28 March 2022.