Kettlebells are one of the most versatile tools to boost anyone’s workout.
Kettlebells are effective because they target all aspects of fitness, including strength, endurance, cardio and power. Kettlebell exercises demand the use of multiple joints, which engages all the larger muscles of the body, and we know compound kettlebell moves burn calories faster than isolation moves!
Here are 3 kettle bell exercises I recommend everybody should try:
The kettlebell swing, a full body exercise designed to improve posture, build strength, and cultivate explosiveness. Kettlebell swings provide cardiovascular conditioning, strengthen the posterior chain and core muscles, and burn a ton of calories!
How to Perform:
Get set: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out, and knees slightly bent; look straight ahead. Hold a 16kg kettlebell (a good starter weight for men) between your legs using a two handed, overhand grip.
Swing it: Keeping the arch in your lower back, bend your hips back until the kettlebell is between and behind your legs; squeeze your glutes to extend your hips and swing the weight up.
Bring it down: Let the weight swing back between your legs as you bend your hips and slightly bend your knees; if it hits you in the butt, you’re doing it right. Extend your hips and knees to reverse the momentum as you immediately begin the next rep.
A simple drill, the Kettlebell Halo improves shoulder and throacic mobility, and your core stability. The Halo is also a great exercise for strengthening and toning your obliques (the side muscles of your abdominals, commonly referred to as “love handles”.)
How to Perform:
Hold it down in front of one hip with both hands on the handle, then lift it on the diagonal over the opposite shoulder.
With a fluid motion, keep the kettlebell moving over your head, circling around the back of your head, then coming down from the other shoulder to end diagonally at the opposite hip from where you started.
Keep your back straight throughout the move.
Kettlebell Figure of 8
The Figure 8 is a great full body workout that works the arms and shoulders, while also incorporating a hip drive and core strength. The Figure of 8 exercise is slow paced and performed for longer amounts of time to develop slow strength and muscular endurance.
How to Perform:
Pick up the kettlebell with your right hand, keeping your back straight.
Pass the kettlebell back through your legs, switching hands behind you (the direction of the kettlebell always starts from front to back).
With the kettlebell now in your left hand, pass around the outside of left leg, and bring it back through your legs, switching back to your right hand behind you, keep repeating for set time or reps.
Be sure to keep your heels down and aim to keep your body square on to the way you are facing. Don’t let your hips or shoulders collapse/twist or fall forward from your hips, keep your back straight and upright.
So the next time you’re at the gym grab those bells, and be sure to give these three moves a try; your body will thank you for it later.