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Running can burn more calories than kettlebells despite reports to the contrary.
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, вЂњKettlebells: Twice the Results in Half the Time,вЂќ touting the superiority of kettlebells over running for burning calories. More recent studies, however, put those claims into question.
Headlines Herald Kettlebells
The 2000 ACE study concluded that kettlebell workouts consisting of kettlebell snatch exercises burn an average of 20.2 calories per minute, or the equivalent of running a six-minute mile. That number has been widely publicized on the Internet, with countless websites claiming you can burn 20 calories per minute doing kettlebell exercises. Because no other studies were done on the matter for 10 years, the information was seen as proof that kettlebell workouts were better than running for burning calories.
Don't Believe the Hype
More recent research has refuted the ACE claims. A study published in the April 2010 issue of the "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" concluded that kettlebell swings only burn 13 calories per minute for men and 10 calories per minute for women. Another study published in "Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research" in May 2012 looked at the calorie burn of kettlebell swings versus that of treadmill running and found that calorie expenditure is much higher for treadmill running than for kettlebell swings when both exercises were done at the same rate of perceived exertion. According to that study, subjects burned 17.1 calories per minute running on the treadmill compared with 12.5 calories doing kettlebell swings.
Boost Your Burn
How hard you exercise is more important than which exercise you choose when it comes to burning calories. Increasing your intensity will not only burn more calories while you exercise, but also it will continue burning calories long after you've finished your workout. High-intensity exercise stresses your body so much that it can take up to 48 hours to return to its pre-exercise state. During this time, your body burns calories at an elevated rate in what is referred to as afterburn or "excess post-exercise consumption," or EPOC.
Regardless of which exercise you choose, always begin your workout with a five- to 10-minute warm-up to prepare your body for the work ahead. Likewise, end your workout with a cool-down to return your body to its normal state. If you are new to exercising, speak to your doctor before beginning an intensive exercise regimen. If you are trying kettlebells for the first time, it's also a good idea to take at least one lesson from a trainer to learn to do the exercises correctly. Incorrect form can lead to injury.