Kettlebells are not like your standard dumbbells. They have a distinctive bell shape with an upturned “U” shaped handle which supports a ball shaped weight. Their unique design allows for a wide range or strength-endurance exercises. Unlike dumbbells or barbells that can only be moved in the single plane of motion, the kettlebell with its special design can be moved in a variety of ways. It can use for isometric training (various holds), Strength training (various lifts) as well as Strength and endurance training (various swings, snatches and catches. With its vast range of applications, the kettlebell is one of the most complete exercise tools in the market.
Kettlebells come in varying shapes, sizes and weight, which makes them ideal for many different people. Regardless of your age or sex, it is always better to start with a lighter weight before you graduate to higher weights.
You should pick a weight after assessing your current level of activity and athletic ability. If you’re a woman whose just starting out lifting weights and you do mostly aerobic exercises, you should pick a kettlebell between 6 kg-13 lbs – 8kg-18lbs. However, if you are athletic and you do lift weights regularly, you’re better off starting with 8kg-18lbs and moving onto 12kg-26lbs or even 16kg’s-35lbs after a while.
Before we get to the three big exercises, do a quick warm up
Ideally, you should spend at least 15-20 mins warming up before you get into intense exercise mode. You don’t need to exhaust yourself, but it does help to build up a moderate sweat before your focus exercises.
For starters, you could jog or run for about 10 minutes or do 800m-1km, depending on your level of fitness. Running is a great lubricant for the knee joints and the entire body in general. It helps to get the blood pumping and to get the heart rate up. If you don’t have a place to run, then skipping is another great alternative that provides similar benefits and gets the body prepped for the workout.
Add these Kettlebell exercises to your warm up:
To effectively perform the kettlebell exercises that we have in store for you, you will need to warm up your shoulders, your torso and your legs before your get started.
Round the world – Stand tall and the grip the kettlebell with both hands in front of your pelvis. Now, swing the k-bell with one hand and catch it behind your butt with the other. Repeat this exercise 10 times clockwise and ten times counter clockwise to warm up your shoulders.
Half Squats – Stand tall with and grip the k-bell with both hands as in the exercise before. Now, bring the K-bell chest height, by raising your elbows only. To perform a half squat, you need only bend till your hips are just about parallel with your knees. Do two sets of 8-10 half squats.
Now you’re ready to go…
Three big Kettle Bell Moves
- The Goblet Squat: Don’t get thrown by the name, it’s not as intimidating as it sounds. The key lies in the grip.
How to: Start out like we I mentioned with the half squat- stand tall with the kettle bell in both your hands. Now place your hands on either side of the handle and bring the kettle bell up to your chest. Keep your elbows narrow and use the muscles of arms and core to stabilise. Next, drop down into a full squat with and allow your elbows to sit in between your knees. Keep your chest upright and maintain a neutral spine with your chin up and your head facing forward
Perform 2-3 sets of 10 reps.
- The Kettlebell Swing: The swing is the foundation for all major kettlebell movements. It’s a great all round strength-enduro exercise that works the entire posterior chain as well as the inside of the thighs, arms and core.
How to: Stand tall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grip the kettlebell from the top and hold it down in front of your pelvis with straight arms. Next, swing the kettlebell back in between your legs while lowering into a half squat at the same time. Next, thrust your hips forward bringing them to an upright position. If you perform the hip thrust correctly, you won’t have to swing your arms much to bring the kettlebell up to your chest.
Note: The swing lies in the hip thrust and not in the arms.
Perform 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps.
- One Arm Row: Unlike the previous two exercises, this next one is mostly a strength training and isolation exercise. The one arm row is great for tightening and toning your biceps, lats and back.
How to: You can either use a bench or sit in a wide lounge and rest your arm on the front knee. Once you’re in the appropriate position, with your working arm, lift the kettlebell from the floor and bring to the side of your chest. Repeat for both arms.
Perform 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps for both arms.
Who’s ready to incorporate kettlebells into their workout routine?
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Author Bio: Andrew is the founder and CEO at AimWorkout (http://aimworkout.com/best-rowing-machine-reviews/). As a passionate fitness professional and tri-athlete, there is literally no adventure he won’t embark on. From mountain biking, deep sea diving, rock climbing and cycling to boxing and mixed martial arts, Andrew has a penchant for the wild and extreme.