Kettlebell Training is a newer form of weight training, and allows you to do more moves than a typical dumbbell can. “One of the main kettlebell benefits is that it’s an effective, efficient workout of cardio and strength training in one,” says Sarah Lurie, author of the new book Kettlebells for Dummies. Instead of isolating muscle groups as you do when lifting dumbbells, you work all your major muscle groups at once with a kettlebell. Because of this, you will have a highly efficient workout that will help burn the maximum amount of calories as long as you have good form and utilize the kettlebell in the correct way, which we will get into soon.
First, the Kettlebell has so many different benefits. The top three we found through out our research are:
1.) As mentioned above, kettlebells combine cardio and strength training in one, working more muscles and burning more calories than lifting weights alone.
2.) Increased strength without increase of mass. Kettlebell exercisers are lean and toned, not bulky or “hulk-like”.
3.) Kettlebells provide Increased flexibility through the bending and swinging motions you preform.
So what do you do with a kettlebell? There are many options for a kettlebell workout that range from squats to kettlebell swings for beginners or even those who have advanced knowledge with kettlebells.
Do each exercise for 10-15 reps. The general rule of thumb is f you can do 15 reps easily, bump up the weight.
1.) Kettlebell Swing. This is typically the most common type of kettlebell workout.
This targets your shoulders, backs, hips, glutes, and legs all at once. Stand up straight, with feet a bit wider than hip-distance apart. Grab hold of the handle with both hands, keeping the palms face down and arms in front of the body. Maintain a slight bend to the knee and drive the hips back, lowering the body — but not too low, this isn’t a squat! Then, in a fluid motion, explosively drive the hips forward while swinging the kettlebell, keeping the glutes and core engaged. This motion should come from the HIPS… not the arms. Use the force from the hinge at the hips to drive the kettlebell upwards. Typically people start off with 10-15 pound kettlebells.
2.) Kettlebell Figure Eight’s.
This targets your arms, back, and abs. Start with legs a bit wider than hip-width distance apart, and lower yourself into a quarter-squat position. (Keep that back straight and chest up!) Grab the kettlebell with the left hand and swing it around the outside of the left leg and then back between the legs. Next, pass the kettlebell to the right hand and swing it around the outside of the right leg. DO this for about 30 seconds, then switch directions for 30 more seconds.
3.) Kettlebell High Pull
This targets your shoulders, arms, glutes, and legs. Turn your feet out slightly with feet a bit wider than shoulder-width apart. Place the kettlebell on the ground between both legs and begin to squat while keeping the core engaged, and grip the kettlebell handle with one hand. Then push through the heels to rise to standing, pulling the kettlebell upwards while the elbow drives up toward your ears. Use force through your hips to stand up, just as you did in the kettlebell swings. Make sure to work both arms!
4.) Kettlebell Front Squat.
This targets your legs, glutes, back, and a little bit of your arms. Stand up straight, holding the kettlebell in front of the chest with both hands, keeping the elbows close to the body. Squat as normal, but hold the kettlebell up near your chest without resting it on your body, and keep your elbows out.
5.) Kettlebell Lunge
This targets your back, glues, legs, and arms. Preform a typical stationary or walking lunge. Keep the kettlebell low and in one hand, then as you lunge swap hands on the kettlebell under your leg.
6.) Kettlebell Windmill
This targets your shoulders, back, abs, oblique’s, and hips. Stand with your feet wider than hip-width apart, weight in your left hand. Raise it next to your left shoulder, then press it overhead . Rotate your chest to the left and look up at the kettlebell as you try to touch your right hand to your right foot . Pause, then return to start, keeping your left arm extended. Do five to 10 reps before lowering the weight, then repeat on the other side.
* Tip: this can be a hard move to master. Practice without the kettlebell until you master the form.
7.) Push Press.
This targets your legs, arms, glutes, and abs. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with the bell in your left hand in rack position, right hand tucked under your left palm. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower into a squat, and then quickly explode upward, pressing the bell overhead and bringing it back down as you squat back down. Be sure not to arch your back as well.
8.) Spider Drags.
This targets your arms, abs, shoulders, back, glutes, and legs… this move will target your entire body! Start in an elbow plank position, with the bell just behind your right elbow. Step one hand in at a time to press up into full pushup position. Reach your right hand under, grab the bell, and drag it to the other side. Lower back down into modified plank one arm at a time. That’s one rep. Complete 12 reps, alternating sides each time (6 reps per side). If you are just starting out, break this up into 6 reps (3 per side), rest for a minute, then do 6 more reps (3 per side).
9.) Kettlebell Oblique Bend.
This targets your Oblique’s. Stand up straight while holding a kettlebell on the left hand (palms facing the torso) as you have the right hand holding your waist. Your feet should be placed at shoulder width. This will be your starting position. While keeping your back straight and your head up, bend only at the waist to the right as far as possible. Breathe in as you bend to the side. Then hold for a second and come back up to the starting position as you exhale. Do 10-15 reps on each side.
10.) Kettlebell Seated Russian Twist
This targets your legs, abs, oblique’s, and arms. Start with the kettlebell just above the outer side of one of your hips. Look forward throughout the move, keep your feet off the ground and your core braced. Pull the bell across your body until it’s just above the outer side of your other hip.