All exercises alternate between left and right sides in order to prevent developing muscle imbalances. The objective is to perform the complete ten-minute workout without stopping or putting the kettle bell down.
The slingshot acts as a great warm up exercise for the shoulders, arms, wrists and core muscles. The halo will also condition the smaller shoulder stabilizer muscles for those weak in this area.
Keep the arms in close to the body and be sure to take the kettle bell all the way back and around the bottom of the neck. As we spend most of our time on one leg whether walking or running this is an important exercise to master.
You will also develop very useful core strength through this exercise by connecting the one leg to the opposite shoulder, very important for sports and rotational movement. Keeping your belly button pulled in and core muscles tight you should pivot forwards at the hips with a flat back.
Keep your shoulder pulled back so the kettle bell doesn’t just fall towards the floor. Once the kettle bell reaches the floor reverse the movement keeping the back, leg and shoulder in alignment.
Avoid shrugging the shoulders up towards the ears and rotating the rear leg outwards, keep the toes going down towards the floor. The windmill is a challenging exercise so beginners can practice just holding the kettle bell overhead with a straight arm for 30 seconds on each side.
Beginners can also practice the windmill by holding the kettle bell in the bottom hand rather than the top. The kettle bell swing is a dynamic exercise that works most of the muscles in the body while challenging your cardio at the same time.
To generate the swinging of the kettle bell the hips are pushed backwards and then snapped forwards with a squeezing of the buttocks. The clean and press is a full body exercise that will develop both strength and muscle.
For strengthening the shoulders, arms and upper back the kettle bell clean and press is very effective. With a straight wrist and a tight grip the kettle bell is next pressed overhead to a locked out position.
Holding the kettle bell with both hands and keeping your chest up take a large step sideways. Keep your weight back on your heels as you sit your hips backwards into the movement.
Not only does the thruster help to promote both flexion and extension movements but it also enables you to press overhead more weight than usual. Be sure to reach parallel with the floor with your thighs before driving back up and pressing the kettle bell overhead.
The overhead press part of the movement should be a consequence of the momentum of you standing up from the bottom position of the squat. If your shoulder starts to fatigue you can use your other hand to help support the kettle bell during the squatting part of the exercise.
Lean forward at a 45-degree angle keeping your core engaged and back flat. Sit back into your heels and bend your legs slightly absorbing your weight with your hamstrings.
Pull from your elbow back towards your hip making sure to keep your shoulder down and away from your ear. Avoid twisting or rotating by keeping your core tight and body inline with the floor.
Lower the kettle bell back down slowly avoiding the temptation to drop your shoulder or rotating towards the floor. Those with a weak lower back or previous injury should be careful with this exercise as incorrect form can irritate bulging or slipped discs.
The kettle bell reverse lunge and press is a challenging exercise that not only works into the legs and buttocks but also shoulders and cardio. Holding the kettle bell in the racked position against the chest with your elbow in take a good step backwards.
Pulling from the front heel return to standing position before driving the kettle bell overhead. Ten minutes is an excellent duration to exercise, not only can you active every muscle in your body but it is also long enough to challenge your cardio.
The workout listed above includes 10 kettle bell exercises that have been chosen to challenge your balance, strength, cardio, mobility, coordination, stability and core muscles. I’d recommend that you experiment with how many times you perform the workout per week and also consider using the listed alternative exercises to keep things challenging.
Since this is a kettle bell workout, get ready for some functional muscle training with a lot of joint movement. Eric devised this 10-minute full-body single kettle bell home workout so it works ALL the muscles in the body as well as being downstairs neighbour-friendly.
If you are new to working out, please make sure you do a full warm up and pay extra attention to your lower back: you will need a strong core for kettle bell cleans and dead lifts. Please be mindful of your surroundings and make sure there is enough space around you so you can swing that kettle bell freely without knocking your new TV off its stand.
If you are at all concerned about doing this 10-minute full-body single kettle bell home workout, had issues with obesity previously or are recovering from an injury, please consult a medical professional first and get a training buddy to keep an eye on you as you work out. For more kettle bell and body weight workouts, check out Eric's Instagram (primal.soldier) and YouTube accounts.
He and his team also have a new app coming soon with structured workouts; keep your eyes peeled! Generally speaking, kettle bells are selling out as if they are toilet roll in the early days of lockdown.
Only training would not be enough to build a strong frame, you also need to aid muscle repair and regeneration by providing your body with protein throughout the day. An average adult need anything in between 1.6-2 grams of protein per body kilo per day if they work out actively.
Add MyFitnessPal or Fitbit's own dietary features and you can then sync your meal-plans, daily calories consumed and weight goals, if you want. Go as hard as you can for 40 seconds without compromising your lower back and the integrity of your wrist bones.
Controlled movement is essential, pay attention to where the kettle bell is and how you will move it from one exercise to the other. iPad Electric Muscle Stimulation Training Gear | Prices from £175 at Amazon UK iPad training gear won't replace hard work but it can make it more effective.
Go down on the floor in a high plank position with one arm resting on the kettle bell. Do a push up and as you return to the starting position, pull the arm up that's not on a kettle bell in a rowing movement.
Place the hand back down on the floor and return to the staring position yet again. Lift the kettle bell up using your glutes and quads until you are standing tall, then release it back down using one smooth controlled movement.
Once there, release the kettle bell back onto the floor and return to the starting position. Make sure you have a firm grip on the handle and that you swing it around the wrist and not over the hand as you rest it on your shoulder.
Once the kettle bell is up at shoulder height, perform a deep squat, bending the knees and keeping the upper body tall. Push from the glutes and the quads as you stand back up, using your core to stabilize yourself.
Once you're standing tall again, you want to push that kettle bell up until your arm is fully extended. You want to use explosive yet controlled power all the way through the movement as you lift the kettle bell off the ground and raise it high above the head.
Just like when doing the clean, you would like to rotate the kettle bell around gently so it doesn't slam into your wrist every time you do a snatch. But not all workouts are created equal when it comes to the number of calories burned per hour.
With everyone stuck at home thanks to Lockdown 2.0, many people have already started seeing the result of a sedentary lifestyle: weight gain. The chart above details how long it takes to burn one pound of body fat when doing various popular gym and home workouts.
First and foremost, the research assumes that “it takes an average of 3,500 calories burned to lose a single pound.” It's also true to say that you can do the top 3 exercises in the chart for 3 hours every day, and you still won't lose weight, if you are eating more calories than you burn.
However, what we can say is that for most people, doing the exercises higher up this list will burn more calories than the ones lower down. Using the elliptical trainer is probably a better option for heavier and older people as it is a more joint -friendly activity than running, even on a treadmill.
No wonder all the best treadmills sold out pretty much straight away when the OG lockdown started. Surprisingly, the second best thing to do is to jump on an elliptical trainer and exercise bikes are a close third.
One more thing we wanted to mention is the last entry on the list, weightlifting (moderate). Although it may not burn an awful lot of calories, compared to using a treadmill, resistance training is still a great way to lose weight and keep it off.
“The mechanisms that govern this process are (a) increasing or maintaining their resting metabolic rate, (b) increase in total energy expenditure considering their own strength activity and (c) also the effects related to excessive oxygen consumption after exercise.” Unlike the dumbbell or barbell, the kettle bell also adds a variable of instability, which coaches and athletes can use productively to teach stability in the wrist, elbow, shoulder, and torso.
I have seen a 200lb kettle bell once in a gym, and not only was the handle nearly 1.5 inches in diameter, posing a significant challenge to the grip, but I’m not sure the size of the bell would have allowed me to swing it between my legs. A barbell will have the same dimensions for lifting whether it weighs 135lbs or 495lbs, which makes it scalable for athletes of different strengths without modifying the movement.
If we are using kettle bells to train the dead lift or squat, athletes will outgrow <120lb weights even sooner. Juniors, masters, or female athletes may not hit this limitation so quickly, prolonging the utility of kettle bells in training.
Elements of these lifts can certainly be used in a strength training program for rowers, so long as we are intentional about why and how we use them. I have seen a lot of coaches and athletes get swept up in strength sport training methods, and away from the goal of building a better rower.
I’ve highlighted a few important findings on kettle bells in general strength and conditioning below, with possible applications to rowing. If heavier kettle bells become more available, they may be used more in research, and this may reveal greater effectiveness in strength development.
Beardsley and Contreras also found consistent emphasis on hamstring activation in research on the kettle bell swing. In one reviewed study, researchers found that hamstring activation was highest in high degrees of hip flexion during the kettle bell swing, compared to other hamstring exercises where the highest activation was at low degrees of hip flexion.
Lake and Lauder (2012) found higher horizontal-to-vertical ground reaction forces in kettle bell swings than squats or jump squats, possibly due to the forward motion generated by the hip extensors in the kettle bell swing. This suggests utility for sports requiring horizontal propulsion, possibly including rowing.
Al (2017) found that a training group using kettle bell swings improved dead lift one-rep max (+10 kg/22lbs) and vertical jump performance (+1.3 cm) similarly to a training group performing explosive barbell dead lifts. To perform the swing correctly, athletes must generate the force from the lower body and hips through a stable torso and shoulder joint, to the implement held in the hands.
Athletes who use too much shoulder and upper body force in the kettle bell swing tend to do the same in the stroke. In addition to training the posterior chain and torso strength and muscle, careful coaching of the kettle bell swing can also provide a different teaching stimulus to help athletes improve their stroke technique.
In addition, exercises like the bottom-up kettle bell press and waiter’s walk can be effective to train wrist, elbow, and shoulder stability, much more than the more-stable dumbbell variation. Kettle bells are effective for improving power and can be used similarly to dumbbells and barbells for general strength training exercises (as long as the weights are appropriately challenging), and this is enough utility from one piece of equipment for me.
I received an email earlier this year from a coach named Chelsea, who subscribes to my email list and wrote to introduce herself and talk about using kettle bells for rowing strength training with the group of young rowers she coaches. A multi-sport athlete herself, Chelsea currently manages a fitness center for a corporate facility, and has been personal training for over 10 years.
Chelsea travels to their home for twice-weekly training sessions, where the family has invested in several sets of kettle bells ranging from 18-60lbs as their primary fitness implements. Stage set, I’ll turn it over to Chelsea for the rest of this section to tell you more about how she developed a training plan around these parameters.
I have been using kettle bells as the athletes’ primary strength and conditioning fitness tool for a year and a half. The two older athletes have been rowing competitively on elite teams for over six years, and had basic weight room training experience prior to working with me.
When I started to work with these athletes, I searched for resources to become educated on the sport to provide the appropriate strength training programs. I came across your “Rowing Stronger” book in 2018, and used it to understand the movement specifics and requirements of the sport, and as a guide to develop a sport-specific strength training program.
I found it concise and easy to follow, with all the information I was looking for to guide my athletes’ training. I have used kettle bells for over 10 years and have always found them to be one of the most accessible, versatile, effective, and technical fitness tools available.
Kettle bells allow users to utilize different types of momentum based movements coupled with classic lifts that quickly increase total body strength (especially all the core muscle groups), power, cardiovascular fitness, joint stability (especially shoulders), flexibility, and mobility. My general idea is to do more unilateral exercises in the off-season to develop muscular balance and general strength, then focus on power development and strength maintenance during in-season training with specific exercises geared toward rowing.
Chelsea’s write-up and sample routines are an excellent example of creative coaching to work around limitations and provide the best training possible for the athletes. If you’d like to read more about kettle bells for rowing strength training, Strength Coach Roundtable co-host Joe Deleon wrote a guest chapter for “Rowing Stronger, Second Edition,” detailing his favorite kettle bell lifts for rowers and providing sample programs for the kettle bell swing for the fall specific prep block and the winter pre-competitive block of training.
If you have an Instagram account, then we’re willing to bet the face (and abs, Delta, and quads) of Eric Lava has graced your 6.5-inch screen before. The Innit coach, aka primal.soldier, is known for performing quick-hitting and dynamic kettle bell exercises for his 500,000 followers.
You cannot (and should not) build up to a heavy one-rep max using kettle bells, Lava says, but he likes them for two major reasons: First, you can train hard with them and still tax your muscles using submaximal weight. Lava likes to spice up kettle bell exercises by adding movement to them, such as a twist at the top of a press or a lunge after a clean.
If you’re tight on time, you can also string a few kettle bell moves together to form a sequence or, as Lava calls it, a flow, for a complete training session. Hinge at your hips, keeping your back neutral, to bend over and grab the kettle bell with one hand.
Pro-tip: “Suck in your pelvis as far back as you can, you should feel your hamstrings light up,” Lava says. “Even if I’m focusing on my chest and shoulders, I like to hit the legs a little just because they’re our foundation,” Lava says.
“This move works your core through anti-rotation , as you’re fighting not to twist away from the elevated hand,” Lava says. Get into a standard push up position with one of your hands on the base of a kettle bell turned onto its side.
“When you pick up any object or your kids, for example, you’re hardly ever in a perfectly straight position,” Lava explains. Brace your core and then pull the kettle bell across and up, rotating your torso outward and pivoting inward with your left foot.
You should end up in the front rack position with your elbow tucked down and i and your body facing out to the left. Pro-tip: “Make sure you allow your shoulders to rotate but that you’re keeping your spine as straight as you can,” Lava says.
Pivot on the foot opposite the arm that is loaded and rotate slightly toward the bell. Then, pivot outward on the other foot and press the kettle bell overhead to full extension.
Get into a standard push up position with your right hand on the base of a kettle bell, resting on its side. Then, drive your hips forward, stand up, and raise your loaded arm 90 degrees, as if you’re drawing a pistol from a holster, so that the bottom of the kettle bell is facing outward.