If you ask any trainer, they will tell you that kettlebell is here to stay because they have outstanding fitness and postural benefits. It is the one workout technique that can work multiple joints all at the same time. It is the one technique that you can use to achieve so many results simultaneously. It is not only great for the heart and the core but also offers the ability to stabilize the body.
so who to Perform better kettlebells?
To warm up the body with this exercise, begin by standing with your feet such that your feet are hip-width apart. Hold the kettlebell to your chest and then using your right hand, hold the corner of the kettlebell handle and lower down into a squat position. Once you are on the squat position, begin to thread the bell in between your legs so that you reach behind and use your left hand to grip the corner of the handle.
Now that the kettlebell is in your left hand behind your left leg start moving it along the outer parts of your left thigh. Then start threading it back to the middle of your legs but this time, ensure that you grab it with your right hand and hold it behind your right leg. Again, start moving it around the right leg and then bring it to the front of your right hand. As a beginner, you can start with at least five reps and then work your way up to 10 gradually once the body can handle it.
1 Kettlebell Swing
This is one of the most popular workout exercises that you should incorporate into your daily fitness routine. To get the perfect kettlebell swing, start by standing over the kettlebell with your feet hips apart and your chest up.
Hold your shoulders back and then move down with the kettlebell lined between your feet. It is important that you invest a kettlebell that permits you to swing using one of the perfect techniques without having to challenge yourself. If you are a beginner, it is critical that you start with a lightweight kettlebell or use one that is way lighter than what you are used to.
Now, squat down while ensuring that you grip the kettlebell with your palms such that your thumb loosely grips around the handle. Stand tall while gripping onto the kettlebell. It is critical that you keep your arms long and loose enough to engage the core and the cause the shoulder blades to retract.
At this point, it is important that you start shifting the bodyweight towards your heels while keeping the knees softened. Then slowly lower the rear end towards the wall behind you and then start swinging the kettlebell.
Start driving your heels so that your quads are engaged while still swinging the kettlebell. It is critical that as you swing the kettlebell, it reaches your chest and the arms remain extended. As the bell begins to come downwards, allow the weight to work the magic while you get ready for the next rep.
Shift the weight towards your heels so that the glutes and the hamstrings are loaded and then the weight will move behind your legs. While the bells transition from the back to the front, keep engaging your heels and your hips to maximize the benefits. Repeat the whole process at least ten times, and once you can handle it, you can gradually increase the reps.
2 Turkish Get Up
This is one of the most commonly known full body workout that integrates fundamental movement patterns that are important in conditioning the stabilizer muscles and the core throughout the process.
It is termed the best stabilizing exercises and has been used for so many decades in ancient Greek. It is believed that the Greek would not train a boy until they can get off the floor while holding the weights above their heads. This exercise entails seven stages;
Start by forming a fetal position while ensuring that you are holding the kettlebell. Then roll onto your back and then hold the bell such that your arm is straightened out. Fix your gaze on the kettlebell and ensure that your eyes are not taken off it.
Start bending your leg so that they are in the same direction as the kettlebell. At the same time, place your opposite arm such that it is at 45 degrees.
Once you are seated along the line of your arm, crush the handle to your elbow and then follow up with the hand. Start to position the kettlebell arm in its rightful socket in such a way that the shoulders are positioned away from the ear.
Now, start pushing from the heel of your bent leg and then push your hips up so that they are fully extended. Ensure that there is a straight line running from the bottom hand to the bell.
Sweep the straight leg through and then back so that you are in half kneeling position.
Lift the hands off the floor and then begin to extend the body so that it is straight. Take your eyes off the bell and focus on what lies ahead of you.
Drive slowly from your heel and stand up straight on your feet. Once you achieve stability, you can reverse the movements and start from the beginning to the end for the number of replicates that is desired.
3 Kettlebell Windmill
This is an exercise that is designed mainly for strengthening the core. It also plays a central role in decreasing waistline. Start by positioning the kettlebell at the front of your lead foot. Use your opposite arm to press overhead.
Clean the bell to your shoulder by simply extending through your hips and the legs such that the kettlebell moves in the direction of your shoulders. Start rotating the wrist in such a way that the palms face forward and then press the kettlebell overhead by simply extending the elbows straight.
In this position, ensure that you keep the kettlebell locked out so that you can now push your glutes in the same direction as the locked bell. Extend your feet to achieve a 45-degree angle from the arm while maintaining the kettlebell locked out.
While you bend the hips, begin to slowly lean forward until you reach the ground with your free hands. While doing this, it is important that you keep your eyes gazing on the kettlebell throughout as you hold it over your head. Take a 30-second pause once you reach the floor before you can get back to your starting position.
4 Single Leg Deadlift
This exercise is important in helping you learn how to stabilize when in motion. It is critical that you practice this movement so that when you are holding a kettlebell, you can swing it at high speed without tripping. It is a comprehensive exercise that plays a critical role in singling out your legs during the deadlift process.
One thing that you have to bear in mind when engaging in this exercise is that it requires balance. It is also essential that you pay attention to your glutes, hamstrings and your lower back. Indeed, it is a great exercise that will help you achieve toned lean legs while strengthening your posterior chain.
The first thing that you have to do is position your feet together while you place the kettlebells on your toes. Then pick it up while you raise one leg and the other behind you. Maintain a straight back as you place the bell back to the floor and repeat the whole process for about 5-10 reps.
One of the safety tips that should help you as you engage in this workout is to hold on to the kettlebell handle tight while maintaining a tight core. As you do this, you should be able to feel the tension on both your hamstrings and glutes.
5 Kettlebell Goblet Squat
The first thing that you do here is to hold the kettlebells by the horns and then drive your shoulder blades towards each other and downwards towards the chest so that the chest opens. Then tuck your elbows in so that your forearms are in a vertical orientation.
Stand with both your feet wider than hip-width apart. Ensure that the feet are slightly turned out and then take in deep breaths into your belly. Start twisting your feet into the ground and take a squatting position while keeping your torso upright. Go as low as possible without allowing your tailbone to tuck under your butt.
6 One-arm Overhead Press
Start by standing tall while holding the kettlebell in one hand at the level of your shoulder. Stand firmly with your feet rooted into the ground as though you were getting ready to resist a push. Take in deep breaths into your belly and ensure that you brace your glutes and abs.
Now pull your ribs down so that your spine looks elongated and your chest is out, and the tailbone is slightly tilted. Start pressing the weight overhead. It is important that you ensure your chin is pulled back so that the weight clears it easily. Now lower the kettlebell by pulling it back into position as though you were performing a pull-up.
It is important that you do not get fixated on getting the overhead lockout immediately. You have to understand that achieving that right-angle elbow bend is not easy for most people. Therefore, if you see the need to arch your back so that your ribs can flare, do it.
This will help you lockout the arms overhead so that the shoulders train effectively. In most cases, you might find it necessary to regress the movements towards the ground by simply lying down on the floor with your triceps against it. Then press upwards from there as though you were doing a bench press only this time with a shortened range of motion.
7 Kettlebell Deadlift
Start this exercise by placing the kettlebells on the floor in between your feet. Now stand with your feet at hip-width apart. Slightly bend the knees so that you can push your butt back. Ensure that your feet are rooted to the ground while you try to lower your torso until your arms can grip onto the kettlebell handle.
With your chest out, keep your lower back naturally arched as possible. It is important that you let your eyes gaze in front of you but slightly lower. Then grasp the kettlebell using both your hands and then take a deep breath into your belly. Now drive through your heels and lift the bells while you extend your hips to lockout.
8 Kettlebell One-arm Row
Start by placing the kettlebell down on the floor and then place your right foot in front as you take a staggered stance. Plant your foot right outside your weight. Ensure that you plant the ball of your left foot into the ground and fold it at the hips as you bring yourself into a sitting position in such a way that your butt and torso are at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Then rest your elbow on your right thigh for support. Then reach out for the kettlebell with the help of your left hand.
Inhale in slowly into your belly as you draw your shoulders back and towards each other. Brace your core as you row the weight towards your hips. Squeeze your shoulder blades together at the top and repeat the whole process for about 8-10 reps.
9 Kettlebell Goblet Half Get Up
Just like the kettlebell swing workout, so many people who use kettlebells prefer to skip ahead to moves that are more advanced. Instead of jumping right in with the Turkish get up which is quite complex, it is important that you understand that as a beginner, starting with half get up still offers you incredible core workout just like any other flexibility workout.
To do this, start by lying down on your back while holding the kettlebells by the horns. Inhale in softly into the belly while you brace your abs. Now, start performing sit-ups as you tuck your right foot towards your butt and then slide your left foot behind you in such a way that you form something like a “shin box” while on the floor. Ensure that both knees are bent at a right angle with both your feet facing away from each other.
Extend your hips as though you are bringing yourself to a standing position and then bring your left foot to the front again. Plant it to the ground so that the knee is at a right angle. Then turn the hind leg so that it points directly behind you as you finish on a lunge position. Reverse the whole motion as you come down to a lying position on the ground.
10 Kettlebell Halo
One of the things that is important to note is that as you brace your body in the correct orientation while you change the position of the kettlebells, you have to stay alert and comfortable. Move the kettlebells in a circular motion around the body to form something like a halo. This will strengthen the core and prepare you for more rigorous exercises down the line. It also plays a critical role in exposing weaknesses as well as a lack of balance.
If you are not able to hand off the kettlebells behind you, there is a high chance that you will not be able to reach your buttock as well. Therefore, if you are going to do the most basic shoulder halo, it is advisable that you stand with both your feet so that they are in between the hip and are shoulder-width apart. Hold the kettlebells upside down by the horns such that the bell faces upwards. Then root your feet to the ground as you draw your ribs down.
Begin to move the kettlebells around your head while ensuring that you keep an upright posture by not bending the torso in any direction. Now, start moving slowly to avoid hitting your head and make full circles while alternating the orientation.
11 Kettlebell Clean
This is a very important exercise that targets the back, the glutes, and the hamstrings. Begin this exercise with the kettlebell on the floor. Ensure that it is positioned slightly in front of you in such a way that it lies in between your legs and at shoulder-width apart. Now, slightly bend your knees and hinge at the hips as you grasp the kettlebell. Then pull it back in between your legs using one hand such that the thumb points backward. This creates momentum.
Start driving your hips forward and keep your back as straightened as possible. This will help in initiating the upward movement of the kettlebells. Once the kettlebell goes above the height of the bellybutton, pull it back gently so that you can slide your fist around and under the bell. It will nestle softly at the back of your wrist, and this is referred to as the rack position. Finally, push the kettlebell out and allow it to swing down in between your legs. Repeat the whole process for three repetitions if you are a beginner.
It is important to note that, this exercise is even-handed. This means that you have to do equal amounts of repetitions on both sides to avoid developing injuries and imbalances. If you are new to this exercise, you will realize that it is more overpowering than the clean which essentially causes the bell to flip over and cause a bang on the wrist.
Rather than opening your hand, it is advisable that you focus so that you get it around the bell to avoid causing it to flip so that you can efficiently get the weight to the rack position without any pain. Ensure that your trajectory is straight; therefore, do not swing the kettlebell to the right or left. Instead, swing the kettlebell up and pull the bell up and back towards you. Allow your lower body to perform most of the work in getting the bell in its rightful place.
12 Kettlebell Pistol Squat
When doing kettlebell exercises, there is so much demand placed on the knee, hips and ankle mobility while also requiring that they maintain stability during lifting. Considering that the pistol is purely a unilateral exercise of the legs, there is a high chance that any gap in movement is taken into account leading you to your weaknesses.
This means that you have to master the pistol by training your weak points so that you stay safe, strong and perform better at deadlifting, sprinting, cleaning and squatting. In short, all these translate to your overall performance.
One of the greatest benefits of learning the pistol squat is boosting the mobility of the ankle. This is the movement that comes about when you pull your toes in the direction of your knees, when you have better dorsiflexion, the tibia, and the knee to move forward over the toes without necessarily causing the knees to rise above the ground.
To do this exercise, start by picking up the kettlebell using both your hands. Hold it against your chest but slightly below your neck region. Now, move one leg and then hold it off the ground. With the other leg, start to squat down as you bend one knee.
While you squat down, hold the kettlebell at the front of your chest and maintain that position when you get closer to the floor. Use the force from your heel to push yourself back up so that you return to standing position. Repeat this exercise for about 3-5 reps if you are a beginner.
13 Kettlebell Jerk
This is another overhead ballistic kettlebell lift that utilizes more leg power and less strength on the upper parts of the body compared to a push press. In other words, the kettlebell jerk is a powerful lift that allows one to perform as many reps as possible.
You can even get a heavier weight overhead when performing the kettlebell jerk than when doing the kettlebell push press. It also plays a central role in giving you more cardiorespiratory training. Therefore, in addition to the benefits that you get from the push press, the jerk helps you to lower the stress levels on the shoulder joints by simply engaging more leg power.
It needs more stability on the shoulders for the sake of fixation, and therefore, it has the potential to create incredibly stable shoulders. As mentioned, it uses lower leg power, and this helps in developing power around the calves which in turn increases the ankle joint stability.
Before you can attempt the jerk, it is important that you master the overhead press and the push press first. This is because it will offer you the opportunity to perfectly get the bell path, train the body to fixate the kettlebell correctly, and practice the dip in a very simple lift. All these techniques are very important when learning the jerk technique. For you to get into the very first dip with your heels, the mobility of the ankles is key.
To catch the kettlebell is to get into a quarter overhead squat position, it is essential that you comfortably get into position with vertical arms. This is because, the exercise is more demanding on the mobility of your upper back, lower back and the shoulders as compared to the overhead lockout position.
The best test is for you to try doing a broomstick overhead squats. If you cannot get to a quarter squat position with vertical arms, then you have lots of mobility work to do before you can perform the kettlebell jerk.
Once you have everything ready, start by holding the kettlebell by the handle. Cling the kettlebell to your shoulders by simply extending your hips and legs as you pull it towards the shoulders. As you do so, ensure that you are rotating your wrist such that your palm faces forward, and this will serve as your starting position.
Now, begin to dip your body by slightly bending the knees while maintaining the torso in an upright posture. Immediately start reversing the direction as you drive through the heels. In other words, you should jump to create momentum. As you do that, press the kettlebell overhead to lockout by extending your arms.
Use the momentum of your body to move the weight. Then receive the weight overhead by returning to a squat position under the weight and keep the weight overhead before you can return to a standing position. Lower the weight and repeat the whole process for about 3-5 reps if you are a beginner.