We’ve all seen kettlebells at the gym and if you’ve ever been to a strength class you’ve probably used one to do a standard kettlebell swing. You may think these little weights don’t have much to offer, unless you want to do kettlebell swings for an hour. We get it, we’ve been there. What if we told you the possibilities are endless when it comes to these little handled, weighted gems? What if we told you they can work your back, arms, legs, butt and core? Kettlebells are too often neglected. They can have your heart racing and calorie burn up quicker than you can say “No way!” Don’t believe us? Here are a couple of our favorite moves to get you started. Don’t worry, you can thank us once you catch your breath.
Don’t skip it! Get your muscles warm and mentally set the tone for the rest of your workout. Start by swinging your kettlebell around your body. The kettlebell will change hands in the front of your body and the back. For an extra umph remain in squat position.
Not sure what weight to grab? Start with 8 or 10lbs. then go up from there, I usually use 15lbs. Grab a couple and have them near so you can go up or down on weight with ease.
Place kettlebell on its side on the floor in front of you. Switch back and forth between your legs tapping the bell in front of you. Have you seen soccer players tap a soccer ball? It’s like that. All the jumping got your knees aching? Take the hop out and just step – tap – step – tap.
Try to do this for at least one minute or even better for an entire song. Guaranteed you can go longer than you think you can!
Start with both knees on the ground and the kettlebell extended over your head. Now stand up one leg at a time, then drop one knee then the other all while keeping kettlebell lifted overhead. Lift from your glutes and not your back, keep core tight.
Make sure to do the same number leading with each leg – i.e. 20 leading with the right and 20 leading with the left.
This move is definitely more advanced, but give it a try! It’s a squat while balancing on one leg and then you’ll extend the other leg straight out (see picture). You’ll squat down until your butt touches the back of your ankle, or as low as you can go!
Use a little bit lighter weight so you aren’t hunched over straining your back, try to stay upright.
Squat from the glutes, when you squat down pop right back up. Your natural reaction will be to hang out in the squat but the longer you’re down there the harder it’ll be to get back up.
When you squat down extend the weight forward, when you stand back up bring the weight into your chest.
Squat with Extension (Use as an alternative to pistol squat if that’s too difficult.)
Standard squat, feet shoulder width apart. When you squat down extend the kettlebell forward. Make sure weight is back in the heels, lift toes up. Keep shoulders back and chest lifted.
Stand up straight while holding onto kettlebell in one hand and keeping opposite arm either straight out or softly rested behind the head. Crunch to the side that the kettlebell is on, stand back up straight and right back down.
For an added challenge remain in a sumo squat position keeping kettlebell behind the leg and crunch that way. Tap kettlebell to the ground and then back up all while remaining in a sumo squat.
It’s hard to know how many reps to do or how long you should complete each exercise. We’re all on our own fitness journey so pick something that makes sense for you. However, still pick something! With no goal you have to way to gauge your progress or nothing to push you a little harder. Maybe today it’s 10 reps then next week it’s 12 or 15. Listen to your body, but either set a goal with the number of reps you wish to complete or a set amount of time (1 minute, 2 minutes, etc.). You’ve got this!
This is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the kettlebell. However, we hope we’ve given you some new ideas and inspired you to try something new! Add in our treadmill workout to start off with some cardio and you have a bomb gym sesh. You can thank us when you’re sore tomorrow!
Try more workouts here: Stability Ball Partner Workout, Tone and Trim Your Arms With a Tricep Workout, HIIT Total Body Workout, Slide Into Strength with 5 Glider Moves, and Booty Blaster Workout: Tone and Lift Your Glutes.
CAT GOLDEN started Nine Lives Health and Mind to help others feel like the absolute best version of themselves. She has a background in pediatric nursing and now does her wellness business full time. She does this through working with individuals and groups conducting weight loss programs, help with athletic performance, increased energy and mindset training. She has been a fitness enthusiast for the last decade and believes that where focus goes energy flows. Focus on gratitude and moving your body and watch how your life can change! (You can also see posts from Cat under The Resource Girls)