Burning 300 calories a day with exercise may seem like a chore, but if you’ve ever viewed the popular television show “The Biggest Loser,” you know that it can be done. The show features several types of equipment, including the funny-looking free weight that’s shaped like a cowbell. These are kettlebells, and with the right intensity and form you can burn major calories in a short period of time. Even the American Council on Exercise decided to give kettlebells a try in a 2010 study with the help of the University of Wisconsin’s La Crosse Exercise and Health Program. Results showed participants burned on average 272 calories during a 20-minute workout.
Use a heart rate monitor. This will help you track your calories burned and heart rate throughout the exercise. If you choose not to use a heart rate monitor, you may not know your exact calorie burn. You’ll know you’re getting a good workout when your breathing rate increasing and you begin to sweat. You should be able to talk throughout the workout.
Choose a kettlebell weight. Start with a lower weight if you are new to kettlebells, such as 10 pounds. Your muscles should be fatigued after one set of kettlebell exercises, but not to the point where you’re unable to perform more. If you’re going through the exercises easily without much muscle fatigue, increase the kettlebell weight. If you’re winded after one set, decrease the kettlebell weight.
Warm up with light cardio exercise for five minutes. If you’re working out at home, jog in place or jump rope for an easy warmup. If you’re working out at the gym, warm up your muscles by walking/jogging on the treadmill, cycling or stair climbing.
Perform a kettlebell circuit. “Fitness Magazine” recommends performing the following kettlebell circuit to burn 100 calories every 10 minutes. To burn 300 calories, perform the circuit for a total of 30 minutes.
Perform the two-arm swing. This exercise targets the glutes, legs, abs, arms, chest and back muscles. Perform one set of 15 reps.
Perform the clean and press kettlebell exercise. This exercise targets the muscles of the chest, back, glutes, legs, abs, shoulders and arms. Complete one set of 12 to 15 reps, switch sides and repeat on the other side for 12 to 15 reps.
Perform the straight-leg Russian twist with the kettlebell. This exercise targets both the ab and oblique muscles. Perform one set of 15 reps, switch sides and repeat for 15 reps.
Perform the double-lift pushup with kettlebells. You’ll need two kettlebells for this exercise. This exercise targets the shoulder, core, upper back and chest muscles. You’ll perform one set of 12 to 15 reps per side.
Perform the single-leg glute lift with kettlebell. This exercise targets the abs, obliques, back, glutes and legs. You’ll perform one set of 12 to 15 reps, switch sides and repeat on the other side for 12 to 15 reps.
Perform the windmill kettlebell exercise. The windmill exercise targets the obliques, back, glutes, legs and shoulders. Perform one set of 12 to 15 reps on each side.
- Repeat these exercises. “Fitness Magazine” recommends performing the circuits four or five times. Give yourself a 30-second recovery between each exercise and before starting the circuit again take at least three minutes to recover. Cool down for five minutes after performing the workout. Keep track of your calories burned with your heart rate monitor throughout the workout to make sure you hit your goal of 300 calories.
- Always check with your doctor before starting a new exercise program. Kettlebell training circuits require lots of quick, explosive movements. If you have back or joint issues, do not perform this circuit unless given consent by a medical specialist.
Danielle Clark has been a writer since 2009, specializing in environmental and health and fitness topics. She has contributed to magazines and several online publications. Clark holds a Bachelor of Science in ecology and environmental science.