Here are simple but very effective kettlebell workouts for obese who want to lose weight and get fit.

Kettlebell workouts will burn more fat and get obese people more fit than will hours and hours spent on cardio machines. I’m a certified personal trainer.

Research by the American Council on Exercise says a 20-minute kettlebell workout will burn as many calories as a 20-minute run done at SIX miles per hour.

More and more gyms are stocking up on kettlebells; check your gym to see what it provides.

These implements are usually in the “functional training” area of the gym. They range in weight from a few pounds to 50 pounds.

I’ve done kettlebell workouts and can tell you that they have a nice feel that’s unlike that of using dumbbells, and I have my obese clients using these devices.

Kettlebell Workouts for the Obese

Staircase walking. Hold one of these implements in each hand, keep arms straight, and walk up and down the entire staircase, moving as fast as possible on the way up, then slowly on the way down.

You can use heavy kettlebells for this workout and just walk up the staircase as fast as possible (even though that may be slow), or, you can use light weights and trot up the stairs.

Your ascent should be fatiguing enough to require a passive rest of a few minutes before climbing again.

If you can go back up the stairs the second you come down, this means that your prior ascent was not your fastest effort (nowhere near it, actually). During the passive rest, walk around. Do 4-5 climbs.

Squat. The next great kettlebell workout for an obese trainee is to hold a weight in each hand, arms at sides, feet shoulder width apart, and do squats to a 90 degree knee bend, chest puffed out, lower back arched.

Do 8-20 repetitions with whatever weight makes this difficult, for four sets. A variation is to hold the weights at shoulder level.

I do not recommend the funkier kettlebell workouts for obese people such as the “Turkish get-up.”

Fancier moves require more conditioning. Obese trainees will benefit by sticking to the basics.

Another basic is the one-arm snatch. From a squat position, pick one kettlebell off the floor (that’s in front of you), and as you straighten, lift the weight (palm-down grip) up over your head but to the side, keeping the other hand on your waist.

The end position has you standing straight, the arm outstretched high and to the side, the weight above your head.

The handle of the kettlebell allows this movement to be carried out smoothly. If it’s difficult, use a smaller kettlebell. Do 8-12 repetitions, three sets each arm.

Swing. This is the classic use of a kettlebell. Obese people can easily perform this movement. Start out with a 10 pound weight and aim for 10 repetitions.

Other kettlebell workouts for the obese: kettlebell swing, shallow (not deep!) walking lunge (hold weights with straight arms), standing overhead press, shoulder side lift.

The unique handle of the kettlebell makes the workouts feel different, and often more comfortable, when compared to holding a dumbbell.

There may not be a lot of kettlebell workouts listed here, but if obese people do just these exercises with heavy-enough weight to make 8-12 repetitions difficult, as well as require the few minutes’ passive rest between staircase climbs, trust me, you will start getting results.

Lorra Garrick is a former personal trainer certified through the American Council on Exercise. At Bally Total Fitness she trained women and men of all ages for fat loss, muscle building, fitness and improved health. 
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