Bell ringing for fitness

You’ve heard of workouts with dumbbells, now try church bells!

Bells are the largest and loudest instrument in the world. But they are also the perfect way to get gentle physical exercise and increase active living for people who are looking for alternatives to conventional sport.

What’s even better is that bell ringing is open to everyone – young and old – and with any level of existing fitness. Whilst bells can weigh up to 4,500kg most are much lighter and are rung using mainly technique rather than strength. The movement of bell ringing often helps many people to stay active longer and increase agility.

Professional trainers and health experts now recommend bell ringing to…

  • improve agility, co-ordination, and reaction times
  • tone core abdominal muscles and glutes
  • work biceps, quads and calves with minimal force
  • develop muscle endurance

Research shows physical and lifestyle benefits

Research commissioned by The Churches Conservation Trust asked experts from fitness and training provider YMCAfit to observe the process of bell ringing. They found that bell ringers could look forward to improved agility, co-ordination, reaction time and balance, plus improved muscle endurance and cardiovascular fitness.


The study also identified that as a gentle and inherently sociable pastime, bell-ringing was an ideal ‘gateway’ to improved fitness and healthy living. Bell ringing requires you to think and use your memory, which is great for keeping the mind as well as the body active. And the fact it’s a social activity means it’s an ideal way for everyone to feel part of a group and embedded in their own communities.

Try the workout!

Step in Chime (Motor Skills)

Pulling a rope may look like hard work, but in actual fact it’s more about having great rhythm. Improve your agility, co-ordination, and reaction time, by achieving the perfect rope pull.

Steeple Chase (Cardio)

Climb a steep winding belfry staircase at your own pace for a full-body cardiovascular work-out. Keeping up with the bells will increase your heart rate without over-exertion.

Tower of Strength (Muscle Endurance)

Bell ringing can be an endurance activity. For special occasions, some bell ringing performances last for over 3 hours. Prolonged exercise will increase both strength and stamina.

The Perfect Tone (Body Sculpting)

Stretching up tones core abdominal muscles and glutes for a tight stomach and pert bottom, whilst a downwards rope-pulling action will improve your upper body strength whilst working biceps, quads and calves with minimal force.

Get Focused

Bell-ringing is a skill that requires many months of dedicated practice to become an expert! Hone your focus and concentration to remember the complex chiming patterns and alternating rhythmic sounds.

Be Social

Meet new people of every age from all walks of life. A great benefit to bell-ringing is the fantastic social aspect and opportunity to increase active living. Once you have learned the basic techniques you will always be made welcome when you visit any of the 5,000 other towers in the UK.