The Best Kettlebell Exercises
Kettlebell Exercises – Getting Started
What are Kettlebells? Kettlebells are straightforward, easy to understand and effective. They are similar to a small bowling ball, but with a handle so you can pick them up and use them as weights. They improve strength and your flexibility. They even work on your cardio levels! Start off by getting the right weight for these kettlebell exercises.
It is common for women to use an 8-16 kg weight. Men most often utilize 16-32 kg weights, but this will remain dependent on the type of kettlebell exercise.
It is always recommended to start small, but dream big. Set a goal for weight increase, but don’t hurt yourself by starting off too heavy. For the majority of these kettlebell exercises sets of around four and reps as low as 10 and up to 30 are recommended. These need to be a good 10-30 though, because if you don’t use proper form then you might as well not do these kettlebell exercises.
Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing
This is a staple in your kettlebell workouts. Stand straight up and part your feet so their width is slightly more than the width of your shoulders or hips. Take hold of the kettlebell using two hands. Maintain a palm-down grip and make sure both arms stay in front of you. Bend at the knees a bit and push your bottom back so you are almost in a squat position, but not as extreme (don’t bend too low). Now, explosively push forward at the hips and in a single movement swing the kettlebell.
This movement is supposed to be all from the hips while also working out the bottom and abdominals. Above all else- don’t use your arms to create the motion. When you are returning from the climax of the kettlebell swing allow the kettlebell to swing back behind you, between your legs. Maintain this swinging movement for ten to fifteen repetitions or as many as you feel you are capable of. Detailed Kettlebell Swing guide and video here.
One-Handed Kettlebell Swing
Areas of Emphasis: Back, Shoulders, Glutes, Legs and Hips
Level of Difficulty: Easy – Medium
The one-handed kettle bell swing is similar to the two-handed kettle bell swing. The difference is that only one hand is used, so you can more specifically work out the parts of your body that you want. So, in order to perform a one-handed kettle bell swing, you swing up the kettle bell using one hand. During the swing though, you still use your other arm in order to help create the movement. You can switch hands when the kettle bell is coming down and is between your legs. You want to shoot for around ten repetitions per arm.
Two-Arm Kettlebell Row
Areas of Emphasis: Arms, Back and Shoulders
Level of Difficulty: Easy – Medium
This kettlebell exercise, uses 2 kettlebells. Put both of the kettlebells in between your feet and in front of you while also bending your knees a bit. Grab both of the kettlebells and lift them into your stomach. Keep the elbows close to your sides and maintain an erect back. After each swing you should lower the weights completely due to increased weight and difficulty. This is one repetition. Try to perform the Two-Arm Kettlebell Row 10-15 times for best results.
Kettlebell Figure 8
Areas of Emphasis: Back, Arms, Abdominals
Level of Difficulty: Medium
This is an impressive looking workout routine. The Kettlebell Figure 8 starts with your legs spread around shoulder length apart. Then, when you’re feeling comfortable in your stance, put yourself into a slight squatting form. Maintain a straight back and make sure you don’t lower your upper body (chest area). Now, using the left hand, grip the kettlebell and swing it to the outside of the left leg and back in between the legs. Now, pass off the kettlebell to your other hand and repeat the previous motion except this time you’re swinging the kettlebell to the outside of the right leg. Unlike some of the other kettlebell exercises, this one should keep going in a continuous, non-stop motion. Challenge yourself- can you go for a minute straight?