Kettlebell vs. Running

Woman exercise with kettle bell - Crossfit workout

Running and kettlebell exercises both represent cardiovascular workouts that benefit all parts of the body, contributing to increased bone density and artery elasticity. Such exercises work to reduce your risk of diseases and disorders common to people with sedentary lifestyles, as well as slowing down aspects of the aging process. Significant differences also exist between kettlebell exercises and running, mainly because working with kettlebells adds an extra resistance factor that running does not provide.

Kettlebells and the Body

Kettlebells provide a versatile form of resistance exercise involving iron weights equipped with rounded handles for easy manipulation by the exerciser. When lifting and swinging kettlebells, you strengthen all the muscles of the body. Exercising with KBs, and their fans call them, produces little joint impact and risk of suffering joint injuries. Using KBs also activates core muscles, engages the cardiovascular system and promotes weight loss through elevation of metabolism.

Running and the Body

Running, like kettlebells, provides an effective exercise to incorporate into any fitness regimen, promoting weight loss, improving cardiovascular health, building bone mass -- because it is a weight-bearing exercise -- and maintaining joint health. While people take up running for a number of reasons, increasing stamina and losing weight are two of the most popular. As one of the more dynamic exercises in which to engage, running is effective at burning calories and reducing body fat. According to a study commissioned by the American Council on Exercise, though, a kettlebell program can burn the same amount of calories as running at a steady pace of 10 mph.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Kettlebells

Advantages of kettlebells emerge from the compound actions elicited by the swinging, snatching and pressing motions used during a kettlebell exercise. Since a wide assortment of muscles are employed during a kettlebell workout, it can take the place of several different kinds of non-kettlebell exercises to yield the same results. Although quick, effective and intense, KB fans who use too much weight or adopt improper techniques run the risk of muscle injuries, particularly in the upper arms and shoulders. Beginners should work with a certified trainer to avoid injury.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Running

Because running is a weight-bearing exercise, meaning the legs and ankles carry the total weight of the body, running enthusiasts risk possible joint strains due to ligament weakness and consequential bone erosion. The knees and hips receive much of the repetitive pressure generated by running, with ankles and feet receiving the remainder. While running is considered one of the best calorie-burning cardiovascular activities in which to participate, the upper-body musculature is relatively untouched during the exercise.