KETTLEBELL EXERCISES (Part 2 of 3)

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Kettlebells are all bells, no whistles. Resembling a mini bowling ball with a handle, kettlebells are great for cardio, strength, and flexibility training [1] [2] [3]. Start by picking up the weight of your choice — women usually grab between eight and 16 kg weights, while men go for 16 to 32 kg, though these weights vary depending on the exercises of choice. (No harm in starting low and working your way up!) Reps and sets will depend on intensity and fitness levels, for most of these moves, we recommend aiming for 3-5 sets of 10-30 reps with good form. (We suggest starting with a trainer or kettlebell aficionado to make sure everything’s kosher). Ready to rock? Let’s give these kettlebells a swing, snatch, or clean!

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8. Kettlebell Sumo High-Pull Targets: Back, legs, shoulders, arms
Level: Intermediate
How to: We promise no wrestling is involved. Start with the kettlebell between the feet, set a bit wider than hip-distance apart. Grab onto the handle with both hands with the knees bent and hips back. Then, pull the kettlebell to the shoulders while the knees straighten and elbows rise. Remember: The force is coming mostly from the hips, the arms pulling at the very end. Keeping the core engaged the whole time, move the weight back down by the ground and repeat for 12-15 reps.

9. Kettlebell Russian Twist Targets: Abs, obliques
Level: Intermediate
How to: Forget crunches. Sit down with the legs bent and feet flat on the floor, about hip-distance apart. Hold the kettlebell with both hands at the chest, and then lean back to a 45 degree angle. Here’s the fun part: Rotate the torso from left to right by twisting at the waist and swinging the kettlebell across the body. See how many you can do, with perfect form of course!

10. Kettlebell Windmill Targets: Shoulders, back, abs, obliques, hips
Level: Advanced
How to: Hold the kettlebell in the right hand and angle the feet 45 degrees away from the right arm. Raise the kettlebell overhead, lock the arm, and keep your eyes on the weight (which will help keep the shoulders aligned!). Shift your weight onto the right leg and begin bending forward at the waist. Keep the right arm extended overhead as the body bends forward and the left arm is pointed toward the ground. (For all you yogis out there, this should feel similar to triangle pose.) Lift back up slowly, staying in control. Repeat for 6-8 reps on each side.

11. One-Arm Kettlebell Floor Press Targets: Chest, arms, core
Level: Intermediate
How to: Lie on the ground with your legs straight out. (Nope, it’s not time for savasana!) Grab a kettlebell by your side and, with the palm facing in, press the weight straight up while rotating the wrist (so the palms face the feet). Bring the kettlebell back down to the starting position, and repeat for 6-8 reps.

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12. Kettlebell Slingshot Targets: Back, arms, abs, obliques
Level: Intermediate
How to: No rocks or rubber bands required for this move. Keep feet shoulder-width apart, and hold the kettlebell in front of the body, arms extended at chest level. Swing the kettlebell behind the back with one hand, then reach back with the opposite hand to grab it, swinging the kettlebell to the front of the body. Continue round n’ round for 8-12 reps, then switch directions!

13. Side Step Kettlebell Swing Targets: Legs, glutes, back
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
How to: This move is like a traveling kettlebell swing — now we’re going places! Grab a kettlebell and start with the basic two-handed swing (see move #1). When the bell is down between the feet, step the right foot out to the right; then, when the bell is up, bring the left foot to meet the right (so the legs come together). Keep side steppin’ your way to the right (10-15 steps), then head on back the other way, leading with the left foot.

14. Kettlebell Deadlift Targets: Legs, glutes, arms, back, abs
Level: Intermediate-Advanced
How to: Who says you need a barbell to deadlift? Stand with the kettlebell between the feet on the floor. Squat down and grab a hold of the handle with both hands while the back remains flat. Engage the core, tighten those glutes, and keep the arms extended as the body rises on up, kettlebell and all! Aim for 12-15 reps, maintaining proper form throughout.

Got something to say? Let us know in the comments below!

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