Kettle bells can be used for a variety of exercises that improve both your strength and cardiovascular fitness. Russian strongmen in the 1700s developed kettle bells as implements to build strength and endurance.
You can create a full-body workout using just kettle bells, or you can pick and choose specific kettlebellexercises to add to your strength training regimen. Using lighter kettle bells at first allows you to focus on using the proper form and technique for the different exercises.
Fitness experts suggest using kettle bells with the following weights if you’re at an intermediate to advanced level with your strength training: 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.
Sit with your legs bent and your feet flat on the floor. 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 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. 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. Another benefit of doing kettlebellexercises is that you can work several muscle groups simultaneously with a single kettle bell.
Kettle bells are also small enough to use anywhere, and you typically don’t need much space to do a variety of kettlebellexercises. The key is to start slow and, if possible, with the help of a certified personal trainer.
Could the simplicity of performing one exercise a day workouts be the answer to changing the way you look and feel? With kettlebellexercises targeting so many muscles in one go they are a great candidate for quick and effective daily workouts.
Ease of workouts, just one exercise to learn More motivational due to the simplicity More time to focus and master one exercise Less equipment and weight changes Faster workouts, get more done in less time Using just one exercise a day workouts can be very effective for some people over the short term but when performed for long periods of time many of the problems listed above can start to occur.
Careful thought needs to taken into exactly what goals the exercise should achieve along with how comfortable you are at performing the movement. As the kettle bell is rowed upwards the back of the body including the shoulders, trapezium, rhomboids and biceps are used.
The spinal erectors and buttocks are also activated to maintain good alignment of the body. Single arm rows generate tremendous rotational forces from toe to the opposite shoulder.
You will need great core strength to deal with both the rotational demands and the plank position. Apart from the full body muscle activation the Turkish get up also acts as an assessment tool used to identify any movement and stabilizing deficiencies.
For example, when sitting up from the lying down position a failure to keep the one heel on the floor could signal weak core rotational strength and an overuse of the hip flexors. The kettle bell swing will activate almost all the muscles in the body, strengthen the lower back and develop explosive hips for sports.
Unlike many favored weight training exercises the kettle bell swing works the often neglected muscles in the back of the body improving posture and balancing out all our everyday forward flexing. A vast improvement in grip strength is also achieved which is invaluable for maintaining healthy wrists, elbows and shoulders.
The kettle bell swing is a technical exercise requiring good timing and hip movement. The side lunge is an important movement pattern that enhances single leg strength, improves hip mobility and teaches the body to move laterally (frontal plane).
Adding the kettle bell clean to this exercise vastly increases the complexity and neurological load. The clean will increase the buttock activation as well as strengthening the back, from lower to upper.
Beginners should master both exercises, the clean and the side lunge before putting them together into one movement. Care should be taken with the side lunge as it requires good hip and groin mobility so start shallow and get deeper as you warm up.
Due to the dynamic nature and full body activation of this exercise the thruster is also very cardiovascular without the need to even move your feet. Heavier weights can be tolerated by the shoulders because momentum is generated from the bottom of the squat to the overhead press.
The thruster is also excellent for opening up the lower back and pumping nutrients into the spine keeping it healthy. Squats must not be cut short and taken all the way to the bottom so that the thighs reach parallel with the floor to fully activate the buttocks.
Any of the 5 kettlebellexercises above will reward you will be great results but in my opinion there is no onekettlebell exercise that you can just perform over and over again indefinitely. Adding variety is important, not only to help alleviate boredom but also to balance out the body and continue to challenge the muscular system.
Repeatedly performing one exercise for a period of 3 – 4 weeks is fine but ultimately you are going to need to make some changes if you want the results to keep coming in. Monday: Swing Tuesday: Turkish Get Up Wednesday: Side Lunge and Clean Thursday: Renegade Row Friday: Thruster
These numbers are just a guide for you to work with and may vary depending on your kettle bell weight and goals. As a general guide the heavier the kettle bell the more strength focused the workout and the lighter the more endurance based.
My advice is to start off light and work on improving movement skills for a few weeks before adding more weight. If you follow the 80/20 rule then you can generate 80% of your results in just 20% of the time by using the correct exercises.
Each exercise works together with the others in order to prevent any muscle imbalances by addressing all our natural movement patterns. You are also encouraged to work through the different reps ranges and weight selections in order to challenge your different muscle fibers.