June 29, 2016
3 kettlebell exercises to try
Kettlebell workouts are a great way to improve strength and endurance, as well as tone and build muscle. While many of the benefits are similar to those offered by dumbbells, kettlebells also challenge your grip more and offer a more intense core workout due to the position of the weight.
This is why working out with a kettlebell has become increasingly popular in recent years. The versatile equipment helps you work a lot of muscles at once, burn fat and basically get healthier. You’ll find that you can rework classic workouts to get more out of them and that regular use yields great results.
If you fancy switching up your workout, try swapping your standard weights for a kettlebell and giving these great exercises a whirl:
This is one of the easiest exercises, which is why it is a great one to start out with. Once you have found the right kettlebell weight for you, stand up straight with your legs apart so your feet are just over hip-distance apart.
Hold the handle of your kettlebell with both palms down. Position your arms in front of the body and bend your knees slightly. Lower your body a bit and put your hips backward before swinging the kettlebell back between your legs in a smooth movement and pushing your hips forward.
The motion should come from your hips, not your arms so you should be swinging in the opposite direction to how your hips move. Keep your core engaged and swing for between 12 to 15 reps before putting the kettlebell down and slowly returning to your standing position.
This exercise needs two kettlebells – one for each hand – so opt for a slightly lighter weight than you would when using one. Put the weights in front of your feet when standing straight with your feet just over hip-distance apart.
Bend your knees slightly and bend at the hips to pick up your kettlebells. Pull both up of them up towards your stomach at the same time, ensuring your elbows stay close to your body as you do. Make sure you keep your back straight for the whole exercise to avoid injury.
Lower the weights and then start again. You should aim to do 15 reps maximum before slowly putting the kettlebells down and standing up straight again. This exercise will work your back, shoulders and arms and can easily be made more intense by upping the weights you’re working with.
If you do squats as part of your workout routine, you should definitely mix them up by adding a kettlebell. This will allow you to better work out your glutes, back and legs, however, you should get to grips with your kettlebell before giving this a try.
Stand up straight with your legs apart just as with the previous two exercises. Hold your kettlebell in front of your chest with both hands, bringing it quite close to your body. Squat by pushing your heels into the ground and your hips back, lowering yourself until your thighs are at least parallel to the floor – you can go slightly lower. Lift yourself back into a standing position and start again!
Do this for at least 15 reps, focusing on keeping your core straight and strong as you lower yourself and straighten up. It is important to keep your back straight and not to push yourself too hard when you’re first starting out.