Kettle bells can be used for a variety of exercises that improve both your strength and cardiovascular fitness. And, if you want to learn more about the benefits of working out with a kettle bell, we’ve got that covered, too.
Russian strongmen in the 1700s developed kettle bells as implements to build strength and endurance. You’ve probably seen depictions of bare-chested carnival strongmen hoisting them over their heads.
Aim to add more reps each week, then work toward adding more sets as you build strength. Push your hips backward, and bend your knees to reach the kettle bell handles.
Firmly grip the kettle bells, keeping your arms and back straight. This is an excellent exercise to boost both your muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness.
While your shoulders and arms will do a lot of the work, most of the effort should come from the hips and legs. Engage your abdominal muscles and set your shoulders back.
Exhale as you make an explosive upward movement to swing the kettle bell out in front of you. Squats are an excellent lower-body exercise that work your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, as well as your abdominal muscles.
Slowly bend both knees so that your thighs are almost parallel to the floor. Using your leg muscles, with your upper body still, straighten up to your starting position.
Alternatively, you can hold a kettle bell by the handle in one or both hands, with your arms at your sides. Slowly step forward with your left leg, bending your knee while keeping your right foot in place.
Make sure your left knee doesn’t extend over your toes. A great exercise for working your abs and obliques (the muscles on the sides of your abdomen that run from your hips to your ribs), the Russian twist can also be done with a weighted medicine ball or barbell plate.
When using a kettle bell, be sure to keep a firm grip so that you don’t drop it on your lap. Holding the kettle bell handle with both hands, lean back so that your torso is at about a 45-degree angle to the floor.
With your heels a few inches above the floor, rotate your torso from right to left, swinging the kettle bell slightly across your body. When you’ve completed your repetitions, return to your starting position.
When your chest is even with the kettle bell handles, exhale and push your body back up to its starting position. Hold a kettle bell by the handle so that it rests against the outside part of your shoulder.
There are many benefits to working out with kettle bells, for both men and women, across all age groups. According to a 2019 study, a kettle bell workout is a highly effective way to improve your strength, aerobic power, and overall physical fitness.
Compared to resistance circuit-based training, the same study found that a regular kettle bell workout is just as effective at improving cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength. A 2013 study reported that participants who completed an 8-week kettle bell training session saw noticeable improvements in their aerobic capacity.
Kettle bell exercises have the ability to restore muscle mass and improve grip strength in older adults, according to a 2018 study. According to Harvard Health, kettle bell exercises can also help improve your posture and balance.
You typically use your core muscles more with kettle bell exercises than with dumbbells or barbells. If possible, ask a certified personal trainer at your local gym or fitness center to show you the proper form for kettle bell exercises.
Stop immediately if you feel sudden or sharp pain. A little mild soreness after a workout is normal, but you shouldn’t feel sudden, sharp pain while working out.
Kettle bells can take a little getting used to, but working out with them is a highly effective way of improving your muscle strength and cardio fitness. The key is to start slow and, if possible, with the help of a certified personal trainer.
When used correctly, kettle bells are extremely effective training tools for providing total-body strength and conditioning. As with any technical movement, lift, or skill, proper coaching is required to maximize the benefits.
It's a two-for-one exercise, meaning you're able to combine strength training and cardiovascular conditioning into one efficient movement. Though it looks easy to perform, the swing can take a significant amount of time, practice, and coaching to perfect.
It teaches you to move fluidly, and when you add the external load (a kettle bell) it requires strength, mobility, and skilled movement. It's a powerful full-body exercise that requires attention to detail and a respect for human movement.
The unique shape of a kettle bell and offset handle allow you to press in the natural plane of motion relative to your shoulder joint. You just feel like you have more power to press efficiently with a kettle bell, mostly because of the more natural plane of motion.
Similar to the kettle bell swing, the clean is another explosive exercise for total-body strength and conditioning. The difference here is that the kettle bell finishes in the rack position as opposed to being projected horizontally away from your body.
The kettle bell snatch is physically demanding and technical, but offers outstanding total-body strength and conditioning benefits. It can help transcend athletic performance to new levels, build explosive strength, and forge strong, powerful shoulders.
The snatch requires proper technique, explosive hip power, and athleticism. This exercise should not be attempted until the kettle bell swing hip-hinge pattern and explosive hip drive are established.
Though watching videos is helpful, the best way to learn how to correctly do these challenging movements is to work with a certified kettle bell instructor. An open space filled with heavy iron, benches, cable setups, and if you're in a big box, plenty of cardio stations and machines.
You get the same unilateral capabilities you get with a dumbbell, and the shape of the kettle bell make them an even better option for single-arm, multi-joint movements like cleans and snatches. There's also an entirely distinct training modality that has gained popularity thanks to the utility of kettle bells: the flow.
This simple, incredibly effective movement is a great way to build shoulder stability while working the core. Try the exercise for 10 to 20 reps per side to start before adding extra features, like the kneeling position in the video or even a squat, for more of a metabolic impact.
Goblet Pulse Squat Crush your legs with a little bounce with this dynamic exercise. Your upper body will get a challenge, too, since you'll be using your arms and bracing your core to keep the kettle bells in the racked position.
Try 3 to 4 sets of 10 reps, lowering down into position slowly and pausing at the bottom to create a ton of tension. Turkish Getup This multi-part movement takes some time and coordination to master, but it's an effective full body exercise once you nail every step.
Keep the weight light to start (run through the first few times without any), then add heavier loads as you progress. If you're bold, set a timer for 5 to 10 minutes, then alternate 5 reps per arm for the whole period.
Since you can easily hold and maneuver the implement, you can use it as a load for some traditionally body weight movements. Perform 4 sets of 12 reps of all or any of the moves individually, or hit them back-to-back as a circuit with no rest as a workout that will torch your whole body.
Take the longer approach with this routine designed to ramp up your metabolic conditioning. Brett Williams, NASA Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men's Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Best of all you don’t have to be in a gym to do the kettle bell exercises most often you can do the entire workout in your backyard, or anywhere you have some open space.
Kettle bell exercises tend to concentrate all at once on different muscle groups, and they are very effective in cutting fat and improving the metabolic rate. When you eat in a calorie surplus, they’re also going to be a perfect way to develop more muscle mass and move the performance to the next level.
This is a good multitasking exercise for hitting the shoulders at the same time, so by using it, you can potentially cut back on the total amount of work you have to do. This movement will replace the standard dumbbell dead lift and is great for developing stronger hamstrings and lower back.
The alternating floor press will do just that and will also work the deltoid muscles as they struggle to maintain balance throughout the lift. Since this exercise is performed sitting entirely on the floor, you’re going to find that it really takes any momentum out of the movement pattern, helping you see better shoulder results.
So, are you looking for an exercise that really hit those back muscles while helping you get a lean set of six-pack abs, this kettlebellexercise will do the trick nicely. Since at points throughout the movement you will be required to maintain a high level of balance this will cause the abs to contract maximally deep within the core.
If you are someone who does prefer to do a couple of exercises however or you are really looking to dramatically boost the overall strength you see, then you should consider a kettle bell figure 8. As you pass the kettle bell from one hand to the other you’ll also work the shoulders to a degree, further increasing the benefits you see from this movement.
Because of the nature of this movement, it will also stimulate the quad muscles as well, so it’ll be good to add if you’re performing a lower-body or full-body workout. The bottoms-up clean from a hang position is great for targeting the forearms so it can be added towards the end of your workout to finish the muscles off.
You should avoid doing this earlier however as if you’ve pre-existed the forearms, initially you might find that this really hinders your ability to lift heavy during the other upper body kettle bell exercises that have been described.