Although we don’t recommend dressing up in loincloths and haphazardly tossing weights overhead, there are many benefits to a good kettlebellworkout. For one, the thick handle that attaches to the cast iron base will challenge your grip more than a dumbbell or barbell.
This means you can perform more explosive and dynamic movements with kettle bells compared to their iron counterparts. You also can get a lot of work done in a tight space, so kettle bells are perfect for small home gyms or apartments.
Lastly, you can more naturally string together moves to create a workout flow — do a swing, then a clean, and then a press for example. Kettle bell workouts offer all the benefits of dumbbell training, with the added advantage that the super-thick handles challenge your grip.
They’re ideal for explosive exercises that work major muscles, burn body fat, and build power. They also add a new dimension to classic moves like chest presses and flies.
And you don’t need a wall-length rack of them to get a great workout —one pair will suffice for this routine. The idea is that you’ll exhaust your muscles just enough while jacking up your heart rate to burn more calories and therefore more fat.
Just like the kettle bell itself, the methods of this routine aren’t new — but they’ve stood the test of time because they work. The weight of a kettle bell hangs a few inches below its handle, which makes it more difficult to control.
This extra muscle activity means your body burns more calories. Couple that with exercises that target the whole body, and you have a formula for significant fat loss.
Choose a weight that allows you to complete 12-15 reps for each exercise. Read article Workout Routines With minor tweaks and subtle changes to your exercise form, you can be sure to finish your chest training on a high note...
Because ours will teach you how to handle a kettle bell using Mega Man and Mario references. Once you’ve watched the video above (featuring Matt Shorts, a lead trainer in our 1-on-1 Coaching Program) here’s a quick recap with repetitions for the workout here:
Prior to jumping into the kettle bell circuit, don’t forget to do some mobility warm up (you can see our warm-up routine here): Nothing too crazy, just something to “grease the groove” and get your body used to movement so you don’t pull any muscles once you start swinging the kettle bell.
In other words, preparing your muscles and joints to move some weight around! A few minutes of running in place, air punches and kicks, some jumping jacks and arm swings, should get your heart rate up and your muscles warmed for the KettlebellWorkout.
Your muscles are broken down when you strength train, and then they rebuild themselves stronger over the following days of recovery! Don’t forget to download our BeginnerKettlebell Worksheet, which covers the above sequence from Coach Matt.
You can print it out and track the amount of sets and repetitions you complete, which will help ensure you progress in your training. Tip from Coach Matt: with your halos, remember to keep the movement smooth.
Grab the kettle bell with two hands “by the horns,” aka the handle. Tip from Coach Matt: for the goblet squat, focus on depth.
It’s more important to practice doing a full squat than to pump out reps. Tip from Coach Matt: when doing the overhead press, get tight.
Tightening your muscles will engage your core, offering a fuller body workout. Tip from Coach Matt: during the kettle bell swing, focus on hinging your hips.
The swing is like a dead lift movement, so you should feel it in your hamstring and glutes. Pick up the kettle bell by driving your elbow up into your rib cage.
Tip from Coach Matt: try to keep your back straight and stomach tight during the row. This will help engage your legs for stabilization as you pull the kettle bell towards your stomach.
Grab the kettle bell with one hand and rest the weight between your arm and chest. Step your leg back (the same side your kettle bell is on) and lower down until your shin is parallelism with the ground (or as low as you can).
Tip from Coach Matt: for the lunges, again keep your back straight. By keeping your shoulders back, you’ll get a fuller body workout when you come in and out of your lunge.
Our spiffy mobile app lets you send video of your exercises directly to your coach, who will provide feedback so you can perfect your technique. In case you’re still on the fence about grabbing a kettle bell, let’s dig into them a little more.
Which one you pick will come down to personal preference, your budget, and your experience with kettle bells. A standard traditional kettle bell will be cast iron, and as the weight goes up, the dimensions go up.
No matter their weight, competitive kettle bells will have the same dimensions for bell shape, base, and handle width. In general, pick a weight that allows you to complete a workout with good form.
If you’re forcing me to pick one for you, knowing NOTHING about you, I’d say consider purchasing a 16 kg if you’re a male or 8 kg if you’re a female. You’ll often hear the terms ballistic and grinding in kettlebellworkout discussions, for fast and slow movements respectively.
For ballistic movements, you might actually want a heavier kettle bell, to help with momentum. For grinding movements, less weight might be in order to help with control.
If the handle has rough edges, you’ll feel each and every one of the movements scrap into your hand. I’ll end our discussion on handles by saying they are generally standardized at 35 mm for thickness.
Not too expensive and decent quality, Cap Barbell kettle bells can be found on Amazon or at any Walmart. The Cap Barbell is the most highly reviewed and reasonably priced kettle bell we have encountered.
Plus, they offer free shipping in the US, which is nice since you’re essentially mailing a cannonball. Some call Dragon Door the gold standard of anything and everything kettle bell.”
Innit rocks, and they offer good quality bells that are quite popular. OUR ADVICE: Before you go buy an expensive kettle bell, check your gym!
If you make your own kettle bell (be careful — you don’t want it breaking mid-swing! If you’re trying to lose weight, a kettle bell and the workout routine above would be a great part of the plan!
As we lay out in our Coaching Program and our massive guide on Healthy Eating,” we believe that proper nutrition is 80-90% of the equation for weight loss. If you fix your diet AND begin to incorporate our kettle bell routine a few times per week, you will find yourself building muscle, losing fat, and getting stronger !
If your goal is weight loss, you have to eat less than you burn each day. This can be through eating less and burning more (from the kettle bell workout above) Processed foods and junk food make it really tough to lose weight : They have lots of calories and carbs, low nutritional value, don’t fill you up, and cause you to overeat.
If you don’t like veggies, here’s how to make vegetables taste good. Soda, juice, sports drinks: they’re all pretty much high-calorie sugar water with minimal nutritional value.
Get your caffeine from black coffee or tea, fizzy-drink fix from sparkling water. Track your calories and work on consuming slightly less each day.
We tackle this point in depth in our article Why can’t I lose weight? Those tips should get you started, but if you want more specific instruction and guidance, check out the NF Coaching Program — Your Coach will build a routine tailored to your individual needs and what equipment you have available:
Like most things in life, the important aspect of any exercise regimen is starting it. No matter what strength training program you choose, start TODAY.
Our coaches can work with you to pick up a kettle bell for the first time or to learn more advanced moves. Whether you are brand new to your fitness journey, or ready to take it to the next level, we have your back!
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