The Russian kettlebell is well known for its ability to whip the body into shape and often mesmerize onlookers watching a workout in progress. In stark contrast, there’s nothing really interesting about watching someone run—be it on a treadmill or outdoors.
When you compare these two forms of exercise, they actually have about an even number of similarities and differences. Let’s go a little deeper and flesh out the intel.
Weight loss ranks high on the list of key motivators for a lot of people that start running. It’s no secret that you can experience a high caloric expenditure by moving your legs quickly in an upright, scissor-like fashion, but the burn you get from kettlebells should not be overlooked.
On average, you can burn between 250 to 270 calories, running at 6 miles per hour for 20 minutes. That sounds pretty good, but not when compared to a 20-minute kettlebell interval workout. Given the same time frame, you can expect to burn nearly 400 calories. The work might be more intense, but the effect is far greater.
As an added bonus with kettlebells, you can burn more calories without suffering a pounding on your joints. This is very beneficial for people who cannot experience impact from past injuries or current joint conditions.
The repetitive stress of running causes your ankles, knees and hips to continually endure shock. Since your feet stay rooted to the ground with most kettlebell exercises, you feel zero impact. The only exceptions are exercises that involve stepping, like lunges and Turkish get-ups. However, this isn’t considered impact. It’s just transitional movement.