Kettlebells are all bells, no whistles. Resembling a mini bowling ball with a handle, kettlebells are great for cardio, strength, and flexibility training. 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!
15. Kettlebell Clean Targets: Legs, butt, back
How to: Start with the kettlebell between the feet. Begin to swing upwards: Shrug the shoulders, pulling the body and bell up to the shoulder. The bell should end in the “rack” position: resting on the forearm, which is tucked close to the body, the fist at your chest. Bring the weight back down to the floor and repeat for 10-15 reps.
16. Two-Arm Kettlebell Military Press Targets: Shoulders, arms, back
How to: Made it through move #15 without breaking a sweat? Grab two kettlebells and clean them to the rack position (see above). Then, press the kettlebells up while leaning forward at the waist so the weights are positioned behind the head. Bring them back down to the shoulders and continue pressing for 10-20 reps, depending on the weight you’re pushin’.
17. One-Arm Kettlebell Split Jerk Targets: Shoulders, chest, back, legs
How to: Start by cleaning the kettlebell to the shoulder (see move #15), finishing with the palm facing front. Next, bend the knees and press the kettlebell overhead (see move #16) while jumping into a split position. (Stay steady!) Return to standing while the kettlebell remains overhead, and then lower the weight. Aaand repeat! Shoot for 4-6 on each side for starters.
18. One-Arm Kettlebell Snatch Targets: Shoulders, chest, back
How to: Start with a kettlebell between the feet with the knees bent. Then, explode up onto your toes, pulling the kettlebell until it reaches the chest with the elbow tucked in. From there, bring the weight overhead (hold on tight!). Then bring it back down close to the ground — that’s one rep; try for 6-8!
19. Kettlebell Power Plank with Row Targets: Abs, arms, back
How to: Think of this move as the fancy plank. Start in a plank position, but with hands grasping two kettlebell handles. Then, lift one kettlebell up so it reaches the hip — remember to keep the elbow in! Lower back down and repeat with the opposite arm. Do 6-8 on each side, or until you feel the burn!
20. Kettlebell Half Get-Up Targets: Abs, arms, back
How to: It’s time to get low. Lie down on your back with legs straight out. Extend the right arm straight up, kettlebell in hand. Next, bend the left knee and begin to rise, with the left arm keeping the body propped up. Feel the abs burn? You’re doing things right! Sit all the way up, then carefully return to starting position. Knock out 8-10 reps per side if you’re up for the challenge.
21. Kettlebell Push-Up Targets: Chest, arms, back
How to: This move is simply a push-up, but with kettlebells included! Grab hold of each handle in the usual start position, then lower the body before pushing back up. It’ll definitely feel challenging with those hands on handles rather than on the floor! Shoot for 10-15 reps.
22. Kettlebell Push-Up with Row Targets: Chest, arms, back
How to: Let’s take this push-up up a notch! Begin in a push-up position with the right arm holding the kettlebell. Perform a push-up and, at the top, lift the right elbow by squeezing the shoulder blades together with the weight about six inches behind the body. Then return back to the starting push-up position, pushin’ for 5-8 reps with each arm. Kettlebells are a great way to spice up the usual lifting routine. As with traditional strength training, two days a week is a great place to start — but don’t hesitate to weave those kettlebells into the standard weightlifting routine (dumbbells, bodyweight exercises, and cardio included!). Just remember to give each muscle group a break (48 hours should usually do it), and don’t forget to try these out with a trainer before swingin’ solo. Using proper form is key for a workout that’s safe, effective, and fun!
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