Calisthenics and kettlebell workouts achieve many of the same goals, such as developing strength, enhancing cardiovascular endurance, and building lean muscle mass.
Calisthenics workouts use bodyweight as the resistance to create a solid base of strength, and then use that strength to perform more advanced exercises on the floor, on a pull-up bar or parallel bars, or balancing upside down.
Kettlebell training also helps build a base level of strength with movements such as deadlifts, squats, and presses, which can then be advanced to dynamic exercises such as swings, cleans, and snatches.
Combining calisthenics and kettlebells into one exercise is a great way to challenge the body, and each discipline can complement the other.
This routine requires one light and one heavy kettlebell. We recommend using 4-8 kg (9-13 lbs.) for the light one and 12-20kg (26-35 lbs.) for the heavy one.
The light kettlebell will be used for the tuck in and the heavy will be used for the deadlift.
This workout is designed to superset the major muscle groups of the body using calisthenics and kettlebell movements.
- Start in a standing position.
- Lift one leg out in front of you.
- Slowly lower down on the standing leg, keeping the opposite leg lifted and the chest as upright as possible. Make sure the heel of the working leg remains on the floor.
- Drive into the heel of the working leg to come back up to a standing position.
- Perform 12-15 reps on your right leg before repeating using your left leg. This is one set.
This is an exercise in which you can incorporate a lightweight kettlebell for extra resistance. To do so, simply hold a kettlebell in front of your chest in the starting position.
- Begin in a plank position. Position your hands directly underneath your shoulders. Keep your back straight and core engaged so that your body creates a straight line.
- Lower yourself down until your elbows form 90 degree angles, and hold for 1-2 seconds at the bottom.
- Push back up to the starting plank position.
- Perform 10-12 reps for one complete set.
To incorporate kettlebells into this movement, place your hands on two kettlebells directly under your shoulders. We recommend using competition kettlebells for this movement since they are more stable, especially if you are using a lightweight.
- Begin in a dead hang position with prone grip. This means you will hold the bar with your palms facing away from you and arms relaxed.
- Depress the shoulders to engage the lats, then pull up, keeping your legs fully extended. Bring your chin over the bar and hold for 1-2 seconds.
- Maintain control as you lower your body. This is one rep.
- Your set will vary depending on your fitness level. We recommend performing 5-8 reps if possible to complete one set.
- Start with the feet about hip-width apart and a kettlebell between your feet. Hinge at the hips to grab hold of the kettlebell handle with both hands. Set the back and shoulders in place by pulling the shoulders down and away from the ears. Ensure the back is flat and the shoulders are at or above hip level.
- Drive through the feet to come up to a standing position, loading the hamstrings and fully extending the hips by contracting the glutes at the top.
- Hinge at the hips and bring the bell back down the same path, keeping the back flat and core engaged. Tap the bell to the floor and prepare for the next repetition.
- Perform 8-10 reps to complete one set.
Kettlebell Tuck In
- Begin in a seated position with your feet flat on the floor and a kettlebell in front of your chest.
- Roll down to your lower back presses flat into the floor as you straighten the legs and reach the arms up overhead. Inhale during this portion of the movement.
- Bring the arms and legs in, lifting the back off the floor and bringing the kettlebell in front of the knees. Exhale during this portion of the movement.
- Perform 12-15 reps to complete one set.
Perform the above circuit 2-3 times to complete the workout. Be sure to warm up for this workout by cycling for 10 minutes on a stationary bike.
If you find that you’re able to perform the circuit easily with the recommended weight, increase as needed as long as you can maintain correct form.
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