Kettlebells have been around for centuries and for good reason. When used correctly, these seemingly simple cannonballs with handles offer you a full-body exercise that targets a wide range of muscle groups.
The compound movements you do when using a kettlebell not only foster muscle building, strength, and endurance but they also get your heart pumping and give you an intense cardio workout without running on a treadmill. Talk about an all-in-one fitness tool!
A Quick Note About Kettlebells
When it comes to kettlebell exercise, there are two things you need to bear in mind. First, you should use the right weight and second, you should always observe proper form when executing moves.
As with any exercise that uses weighted tools, observing proper form with kettlebells is important. Safety should always be your number one priority. So, make sure to use the right muscles and do the movements accurately to avoid any injury.
The kettlebell swing is essentially the heart of the kettlebell workout. It targets a wide range of muscles including the hips, glutes, hamstrings, lateral muscles, abs, obliques, and shoulders. It also uses a full range of motion that can burn more calories faster.
To start, set your feet apart slightly wider than your shoulders. Hold the kettlebell with both arms and let it hang straight down in front of you. Bend your knees softly and lean slightly forward keeping a neutral spine.
Now hinge on your hips to power your movement and swing the kettlebell upward, straightening your legs, until it’s almost parallel to the ground and hold it for a bit. This is the traditional kettlebell swing. For a full swing, extend the movement until your arms are slightly behind your head.
From there, let the kettlebell swing down, lean forward, and go back to bending your knees softly. The kettlebell should swing back slightly behind your leg.
Remember to keep a fluid and rhythmic movement when doing the swings.
The kettlebell clean targets the legs and core muscles while elevating your heart rate. It's a pretty advanced move so be sure to observe proper form when doing this.
To begin, position your feet should-width apart, bend your knees and extend your hips out while picking up the kettlebell in front of you with one hand.
As you go up and straighten your knee, pull the kettlebell to rack position by bringing your arm up to your clavicle, catching the kettlebell by your wrist.
Bring the kettlebell down to its original position an repeat.
Kettlebell thrusters use over 600 muscles and target the legs, core, hips, and back. It's a full-body muscle conditioning exercise that's also great for cardio and burning calories.
Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the kettlebell with both arms at chest height and make sure that your elbows are positioned lower than the bell.
Perform a squat, and when you’ve reached the proper depth, explode upwards driving the kettlebell upward over your head.
Bring back the kettlebell into the chest position and repeat the movement.