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. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out slightly.
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. 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.
But for some weighted moves, especially ones that require an explosive movement, kettle bells reign supreme. You can also hold them by the handle or the bell (the round part of the weight), which allows you to get a different range of motion depending on the kettle bell exercise you're doing.
Plus, the shape of a kettle bell lets you work your muscles a little differently than a traditional dumbbell, Jessica Sims, a NASM-certified personal trainer at the Hitting Room in New York City, tells SELF. When you take a class with kettle bells, or any other new type of equipment, it's normal to feel a little lost.
Oh, and a quick lesson on the lingo: The “ball” refers to the heavy sphere at the bottom, and the handle is the part attached to it. The handle is also referred to as the “horns,” and can be gripped at the top, on the sides, or near the base where it meets the ball.
Some below kettlebellexercises are more beginner-friendly than others, Sims says, but even if you've swung a few kettle bells around before, the most basic ones are great to have in your repertoire, and are easy to advance by just opting for a heavier weight. Adding a kettle bell increases the resistance your body has to work against to stand back up, challenging your muscles even more.
In addition, holding the kettle bell close to your chest helps you nail proper form. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly, gripping the sides of the kettle bell handle with both hands at chest height.
They also secretly challenge your core, since you have to keep your abs tight to avoid arching your back. Sims says to choose a heavier weight with a dead lift—since you're not bending your elbows at all, you're mostly using your glutes, which are likely the strongest muscles in your body.
Hinge at your hips and push your butt back as you lower your torso and the weight toward the ground. “Make sure that you don’t let the kettle bells swing, keep them stable by your side like actual suitcases,” Sims says.
Push through your heels, putting most of the weight on the back foot, to return to the starting position. Adding weight to a sit-up adds an extra challenge for your core, and the press at the top works your shoulders and arms, too.
For these sit-ups, Sims says you can either keep your knees bent or put them in butterfly position, depending on what feels comfortable for your hips. Start in a sit-up position, lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor.
Kettle bell swings are great for your butt, legs, and lower back, Sims says. You can probably go heavy here, but she suggests nailing the technique with a lighter kettle bell before adding too much weight.
To perform a swing with proper form, you have to “thrust your hips aggressively to get the kettle bell up, don't use your arms,” Sims explains. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettle bell handle with both hands.
Bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at the hips to swing the kettle bell between your legs. Stand back up; use the momentum from your hips to swing the weight to chest height.
Your form here should be similar to a traditional dead lift, except your legs should be wider than shoulder-width distance and your feet should be turned out a bit. Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and toes angled out.
Switching to one-handed swings isolates one side at a time, which makes it harder and helps improve stability. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettle bell handle with one hand.
Bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at the hips to swing the kettle bell between your legs. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettle bell handle with one hand.
Bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at the hips to thread the kettle bell between your legs. Bring your now-empty hand to meet the weight at the top of the movement (so you don't slam it into your chest).
Grasp a kettle bell in each hand, palms facing out, arms bent so the weights are resting at each shoulder. Bend your knees just a few inches, and as you stand back up, press the weights straight up overhead.
To protect your lower back and make sure you're using your triceps, don't arch your back, Sims instructs. The key here is to straighten your arm completely at the top—that'll let you work the triceps through a full range of motion. Grip the kettle bell by the ball at the base of the handle with both hands and raise it directly overhead.
Keeping your elbows close to your ears, lower the kettle bell behind your head to neck level. The trick is to keep your core tight and hold your torso stable as you rotate your arms and the weight.
Lift the ball to eye level and slowly circle it around your head to the left. Hold the kettle bell handle in your right hand with your arm hanging straight at your side.
Holding a kettle bell above your head at the top of a crunch challenges your core and lower abs—so does the flutter motion of your legs. Start with the weight above your shoulders, and to make it more difficult, bring it a little behind your head, Sims says.
Make sure to keep your core super tight and lower back flat on the ground. If your back comes off the ground, or you feel any strain, bring your legs up a couple more inches.
Stand in front of a box or step, holding a kettle bell by the handle with both hands at your chest. Crew Performance Zip-Front Sports Bra (jcrew.com, $45), Cotton On Body Pocket Crop Tight (, $35), and Puma Fierce Evoking Women's Training Shoes (, $120).
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.
Unfortunately, this exercise is often performed incorrectly, which will limit your results as well as any further progressions that are based on this basic movement. The kettle bell goblet squat isn't just a leg exercise; it's another total-body juggernaut that offers more mobility—the ability to move easily so you can safely train with heavier loads—and improved conditioning.
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.
For strong, resilient shoulders, improved hip and trunk strength, and enhanced mobility, the Turkish get-up is essential. Once you can do the first three exercises —and have demonstrated appropriate shoulder mobility and stability—the kettle bell press is another exceptional movement to learn.
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. The kettle bell features a unique design that sets it apart from other workout tools.
If used correctly, the tool can serve as an awesome training aid to build strength and power whilst burning fat. You will be pleased to know that kettle bell workouts are suitable for both men and women of all ages and various witness levels.
As mentioned above, a kettle bell is an unconventional workout tool that resembles a cannonball with a handle attached to it. It can be used for building strength, improving balance, agility and endurance whilst promoting weight loss.
Using a hybrid strength and cardio approach, you can use a kettle bell for creating a highly effective and time efficient workout. If you want to lose body fat and are dreaming of a leaner physique, perhaps kettle bell training is a good option for you.
Kettle bell training incorporates many high-intensity workouts that allow you to burn fat. Most kettlebellexercises improves posture and counteract the effects of modern day living and sitting.
For most newbies, one kettle bell made from solid metal will last several years. Additionally, kettle bell training does not require you to wear specialized footwear so you save on buying expensive workout shoes.
Most women who work out have a common desire to build strength without achieving the bulky appearance of a bodybuilder. Kettlebellexercises incorporate full body functional movements that target several muscle groups at the same time.
Talk to your trainer about your special needs, and they will be happy to design a workout routine that meets all of your specified requirements. Unlike dumbbells that might strain your arms and other workout techniques that have a high risk of injuries, kettle bell are comfortable to use and do not pull on your muscles too hard.
In fact, the weight of the kettle bell will rest comfortably in your forearm, without feeling too heavy. This makes kettle bell training a great solution for busy sums and dad who cannot dedicate much time of their day to working out.
Kettle bell training tones muscles and burns fat at a faster rate. Kettlebellexercises are also great for burning fat, allowing you to look leaner, with reduced body weight.
The kettle bell swing is among the most popular exercises that should be a part of everybody’s fitness regimen. Invest in a kettle bell that allows you swing using the perfect technique without challenging yourself.
You must keep your arms loose and long while engaging your core and retracting your shoulder blades. As the bell starts to descend, allow the weight to work its magic as you prepare yourself for the next rep.
As the bell makes the transition from backward to forward, continue engaging your heels and hips to attain maximum benefits. Performing the swing and maintaining the correct posture can be difficult if you are newbie.
Load the heels, not the toes Try maintaining a flat back while performing the exercise Keep the shoulders in their sockets while lifting your chest Do not hinge the lower back Breathe in on the way up and out on the way down Continue to stand tall throughout the exercise and squeeze your abs The Turkish Get Up is a widely known full body exercise that incorporates most fundamental movement patterns that condition your stabilizer muscles and your core during the process.
Start sweeping the straight leg through and back to form a half kneeling position. Kettle bell swings have been known to boost endurance and strengthen the posterior chain.
As a beginner, you might be tempted to challenge yourself and start off with the heaviest kettle bell you can handle. However, adding more weight will only restrict in improper form and increase the risks of an injury.
Safety comes first so carefully select the weight of the kettle bell to reduce the risk of injuries. Remedy Before you get your hands on a kettle bell, practice basic movements without using weights.
If you are a beginner, you can practice kettle bell swings by holding lightweight objects, such as a water bottle or a small towel. Most kettle bells utilize full body movements, making your workout session twice as more effective.
Sooner or later, you will be able to perform kettle bell workouts with greater zeal and zest. Swinging the kettle bell too quickly can cause you to lose control and pull a muscle, resulting in dangerous injuries (or a broken window!)
While it may be exciting the swing the kettle bell with great force after am I exhausting day at work, your form can suffer significantly. Remedy The next time you are practicing, opt for a slower and more controlled movement.
This will strengthen and stabilize your larger muscle groups, reducing the risk of injuries. Many exercises require the ability to control the kettle bell as you bring it around your head while keeping your shoulders stable.
Finishing 50 reps with bad form is worse than never picking up the kettle bell in the first place. While you may be tempted to wear thick-soled running shoes while working out with a kettle bell, it will only hinder movement.
Kettle bell training requires natural movements of the ankle, foot and lower leg ligaments. Getting rid of sows will strengthen the ligaments and muscles of your feet, giving you more freedom to move around.
Here’s why: Kettle bell training involves the use of multiple joints that engages larger muscles of the body. Additionally, compound kettle bell is a highly effective way to burn calories at a much faster rate compared to isolation moves that only target one muscle.
Once you have adopted the squat position, start threading the bell through the middle of your legs. Start moving the kettle bell around your right leg, bringing it in front of you with your right hand.
The Kettle bell Windmill is phenomenal for strengthening the core and decreasing your waistline. Position the kettle bell in the front of your lead foot and press it overhead using your opposite arm.
While bending at the hips, slowly lean forward until you are able to reach the ground with your free hand. Keep your eyes fixed on the kettle bell the whole time while holding it over your head.
Pause for a couple of seconds when you reach the ground and go back to the starting position. Kettle bell workouts require hard work, are time efficient and utilize a lot of energy.
The exercise requires balance, not to mention, you have to focus and engage your glutes, lower back and ham strings. Position your feet together and place the kettle bell at your toes Pick it up while only raising a single leg with the other one behind you While maintaining a straight back, place the bell back on the ground and repeat Do 5 to 10 reps
Maintain a tight grip, keeping your back and shoulder in alignment at all times Keep your weight on the heel Instigate movements by moving one of your legs backwards Descend slowly with control and do not over rotate your rear leg or it could result in a fall Do not arch your lower back Only move as far as you are comfortable, do not test your flexibility Remember to invest in quality workout equipment and not push yourself too hard.
Kettle bells are similar to free weights, which research from 2016 shows to be better at building muscle than weight-lifting machines (1). This style of weight requires you to go through a full range of motion while stabilizing your own body, so it helps to work out all the tiny muscles needed for balance and coordination (8).
Unlike dumbbells, kettle bells let you make ballistic and swinging movements, so they double as cardio and speed-training workout (10). Their unique shape lets you increase grip strength and hold onto larger weights easier.
This means that you can burn roughly 400 calories per 20 minutes while you use the kettle bells, and at the same time you build muscle that will increase your metabolism even when you aren’t working out (3)! Pick a workout that includes exercises targeting your arms, legs, back, and core.
Start low and work your way up to a level that challenges you without being so hard you can only do one or two exercises. You need to keep your wrist straight and wrap your hand around it instead of trying to hold all the weight with your thumb.
Another mistake to avoid is wearing stiff shoes because they can prevent you from moving dynamically and balancing properly. Physical therapists report that kettle bell swings are one of the most common forms of sports injuries they encounter (6).
Most kettle bell injuries occur due to improper form or uncontrolled motions. Proper warm up techniques greatly improve the safety and effectiveness of kettle bell workouts (9).
Start out with a few static stretches that help to lengthen your quadriceps and work out any stiffness in your back. Another useful move is positioning your body in a wide squat stance as you pass the kettle bell in figure eight motions around your legs.
Bend your arms to pull the kettle bells up to your torso while keeping your back straight and your elbows tucked in. Extend your other arm through the swing, and switch hands each time your bell goes behind your legs.
How to: Your form in this is just like a regular squat, where you position your feet a shoulder width apart and bend your legs until your knees reach at least a 90-degree angle. Just make sure to hold the kettle bell close to your chest while keeping your elbows folded in to the body.
Target Muscles: Legs, glutes, abs, back, shoulders, and arms How to: Windmills involve holding a kettle bell in one hand while you bend down to touch your calf with the other.
How to: All you need to do for this is gently rotated the bell around your waist, passing it back and forth between hands. How to: This simple exercise requires you to lay on the ground and repeatedly raise it into the air.
Stand up as you bend your arms to the side to raise the kettle bell to shoulder height, and then return to starting position. How to: This is just a standard push-up, but you wrap your hands around kettle bell handles that sit on the floor instead of putting your palms flat on the ground.
How to: This is just a standard hip thrust, where you lay on your back with your knees bent and raise up your hips to create a straight line from shoulder to knees, but it uses a kettle bell as extra weight. How to: You start in a lying down position and gradually sit up while raising a kettle bell.
It is just eight minutes long, and it targets both the rectus abdominal and the oblique muscles. The moves themselves are easy enough for beginners, but advanced kettle bell users can still get benefits from this workout just by increasing weights.
This helps to build thigh muscles that rev up your metabolism and burn more fat overall (7). This comprehensive video from Troy Van Space is ideal for beginners looking for a longer kettle bell workout.
He takes you through every part of the workout, from the warm up to the cool down, and thoroughly explains the right form for each exercise. This at home workout doesn’t require a lot of space or multiple weights, and it is perfect for intermediate kettle bell users.
Marisha provides a simple ten-minute workout that you will definitely feel in your abs and obliques. It also includes some exercises that help with core and back muscles for an extra toned waist.
It might be a little tough for beginners, but it is a solid workout once you’ve built up your strength a little. This is a solid full-body workout that targets shoulders, arms, core, glutes, and legs.
Daniel from Fitness Blender walks you through a simple workout that just consists of 10 basic motions that are each done for a single minute. Mike Rose has created a bicep workout that is perfect for guys who want to get larger arm muscles.
Ryan Raw provides a nice, well-rounded workout that targets all your main muscle groups, including the legs, back, arms, shoulders, and abs. Though the exercises themselves aren’t too advanced, the intensity means it is best for people who already have a strong foundation of fitness.
Trainer Troy Van Space walks you through a variety of exercises for the arms, shoulders, chest, core, glutes, thighs, and calves. Unlike many kettle bell workouts for men, this video from Mandible focuses more on cardio than strength training.
It is a solid choice for beginners since it explains how to do each step, but it is also advanced enough to challenge men who are already athletic. This full body workout focuses on very slow, controlled kettle bell movements that are designed to improve overall strength and build muscles.
Since it requires a relatively heavy weight, it is a more advanced workout that can take a little time to feel comfortable. Trainer Peter Harsh has created a fun workout that is useful for people who are new to kettle bell training.
It uses mostly simple exercises, but it has a very high intensity rhythm that gets you sweating quickly. The timer he shows as you go through the arm, leg, shoulder, glute, and core workouts makes it easy to time your exercises.
It’s just five minutes long, and the trainer gives you plenty of great detailed instructions for how to engage your muscles as you workout. Note: If you click some links in this article we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you.
The manufacturers use a single-cast mold and coat the bells with an electrically charged paint bath, resulting in an unusually smooth ball that will not poke you or cause unnecessary friction. Its gently rounded shape with a flat bottom makes it easy to use this bell in a variety of exercises.
Color coding handles make it easy to find the right size for different workouts Like the Cap Cast Iron bells, they also come with color coding to make your workout easier.
It manages to fully exercise every part of your body, yet it is still short enough that you can finish it in under a half hour. This workout manages to blend cardio and strength training perfectly, so you get great results!
If you want a highly effective and easy workout method that can be done just about anywhere, kettle bells are a great option. This ultimate guide to kettle bell workouts will tell you everything you need to know about using these tools to build muscle and lose weight.
This simple beginner kettle bell workout will blow your mind. 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 Kettle bell Workout. 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 Beginner Kettle bell 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.
Let’s go over each exercise in the 20-Minute Beginner Kettle bell Workout: 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. 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 kettle bell workout 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! Join our free community with a biweekly newsletter, and I’ll send you our Beginner Kettle bell Worksheet.
We've all turned up to the gym, short on time and motivation, only to find every piece of equipment we need for our workout isn't free. Faced with this scenario, you have two options: ditch the workout and go home or find a piece of versatile equipment that is underused and undervalued by most of the gym-going community.
Packing the same weighty punch as dumbbells, kettle bells are likely to be found in a dusty corner of the gym. But don't let their underused fool you; this is a brilliant bit of kit, and while the bros are queuing for a bench, you can take advantage.
Kettle bell swings can help increase your heart rate, burn extra fat and tone muscle Corey Jenkins Getty Images Much like the humble rowing machine and versa climber, most gym bros steer clear of the cast-iron 'bells, helping you get an effective, time-efficient workout in, without having to worry about your kit getting pinched.
This and the growing popularity of sports such as CrossFit and Strongman have helped drive kettle bell training and workouts into the mainstream. On top of this, owing to their design, kettle bells are one of the easiest weights to move around during your workout in a short timeframe and can be stored away easily, from your car boot to your garden shed or garage.
“Kettle bells give you the opportunity to move athletically with additional resistance from a variety of angles and more challenging positions,” explains Jon Lewis, a personal trainer with fitness outlet Industrial Strength. Not only that, but exercises such as kettle bell swings can help increase your heart rate, burn extra fat and tone muscle, but where they really come into their own is in building strength throughout your posterior chain.
As these are your body’s biggest muscles, you’ll also torch calories,” says Rob Blair, PT at The Commando Temple. Additionally, kettle bells are an incredibly useful tool for those looking to build their base of strength and mobility, so if you're struggling with your barbell back squat, for example, utilizing the kettle bell goblet squat is a good way of practicing proper form with a safer exercise that can then be upgraded as your strength increases.
Well-suited for swings, presses and carries, kettle bells also lend themselves to more dynamic movements, where a dumbbell or barbell may be more difficult to use. Usually, kettle bell workouts are built on a high-rep range, meaning that several muscles are worked at once and, if kept at a consistent pace, can offer similar aerobic benefits to HIIT training.
Similarly, by performing kettle bell circuits three times a week, you’ll pump up your VO2 max by 6 per cent in just under a month, according to the NSA’s Sac Report. The Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research also found that kettle bell training contributes to a healthier lower back, owing to the loading and movement patterns.
“Kettle bells are arguably one of the most versatile bits of equipment you can find in a gym,” says Sam Wrigley, a London Bridge-based PT. “They're great tools for metabolic conditioning and can be used for resistance work too, if you can't access dumbbells or barbells.”
“Typically, it’s with the kettle bell swing, because of its dynamic nature — moving back and forth quickly at the hip joint”. “This exaggerated flexion and extension at the hip puts a lot of force through the lower back.” When it comes to getting injuries from poor form, the “arching of the back and not engaging the glutes in an overhead press or folding in a goblet position” can put you at risk of busting your lower back.
Stand with feet set wider than shoulder-width and bend your knees to grab the kettle bell with both hands. Drive your hips, keep your back flat swing the weight up to shoulder height.
Initiated by a powerful hip thrust from your hamstring and glutes, opting for heavier weights (once the move is mastered, of course) for up to 90 seconds a set will vastly improve your anaerobic fitness, accelerating your heart-rate and ignite a fat-burn that the bench press can only dream of. Instead, by combining a front squat with an overhead press, you're transforming a drab move into a compound, multi-joint exercise that demands full-body power.
In one swift movement, slightly jump off the ground and raise your arms to extend above your head. Land softly on your feet with your knees bent as though you're doing a squat and extend your arms straight above you shoulder-width apart.
Powerlifting moves needn't be restricted to barbells bending under crippling weight loads. Instead, the kettle bell clean and press offers the opportunity to increase grip strength, become stronger in overhead movements (your shoulder press will thank you) and will help you learn the lesson of maintaining a rigid core during all lifts.
Plus, the researchers found that participants performing the kettle bell snatch usually maintained 86 to 99 per cent of their maximum heart rate, making it an essential move for easy weightless. Drive through the heel and bring yourself back up to standing position, without letting your leg touch the floor.
Functional and an easy gym brag, the kettle bell pistol squat is the king of mobility moves. Ideal for oiling the stiff joints of desk-jockeys and gym bros, it'll also set your Instagram feed ablaze.
Helping you master the holy trinity of fitness — stability, strength and mobility — it'll challenge your core (there's more to a six-pack than crunches and planks, after all) and will build sportive-worthy quads while increasing balance. Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, clasping a kettle bell in each hand in front of your chest with palms facing each other.
Bend your knees and lower yourself into a squat, keeping the kettle bells in the same position and ensuring you don't round your back by tensing your glutes throughout. Keep your arms strong and walk short, quick steps as fast as possible.
Ideal for building grip and plugging onto the end of a tough workout, farmer's walks also pack heavy-duty muscle onto your upper-back while fighting lower-back pain and being a useful conditioning tool and fat-loss. All the benefits of a traditional shoulder press — improved strength and targeting of many upper-body muscles — without the hassle of having to wait for dumbbells or a machine.
Stand with feet set wider than shoulder-width and bend your knees to grab the ketllebell with one hand. Drive your hips, keep your back flat swing the weight up to shoulder height.
Increase the demand you place on the shoulder stabilizing muscles by doing kettle bell swings with one arm. Sign up to the Men's Health newsletter and kick start your home body plan.
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This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You can use kettle bells for just about anything, from high-rep HIIT workouts to low-rep heavyweight slogs, and they’re especially good for compound moves like swings and squats.
Next time you go the gym, grab a kettle bell and try some of these beginner, intermediate and advanced exercises, selected and explained by us, as well as Mitch Lawrence and David Temple, PTs and Multipower ambassadors. Hold the handle with your hand by your chin, elbow out to the side and the bell resting on the top of your forearm by your armpit.
“Grasp the kettle bell handle with both hands with your palms facing towards you and arms in front of your body. Lower your body by slightly bending your knees and driving your hips back.
Explosively drive your hips forwards and swing the kettle bell with straight arms towards shoulder height, keeping your glutes and core engaged. Push your hips backwards and bend your knees to squat as low as your range of motion allows you to.
Pull the kettle bell into your hip and then lower it until just before it touches the floor with your arm fully extended. Turn both feet, so they are pointing 45° to the left and press the kettle bell straight overhead until your elbow is locked out.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding kettle bells by your sides — or for an extra core challenge, rack them. Pause, then push through your front leg, squeezing your glutes, to return to standing.
Repeat the movement on the opposite side so you’re moving the bell in a figure of eight patterns. “Grasp the kettle bell handle with one hand, palm facing towards you, and your arm in front of your body.
Explosively drive your hips forwards and swing the kettle bell with a straight arm towards shoulder height, keeping your glutes and core engaged. Squeeze your hands as tight as possible, holding the kettle bell out in front of you for a second, then bring it back in and repeat.”
Press the weight straight up to the ceiling, rotating your wrist so that your palm finishes facing your feet.” If you’re looking to bulk up your chest then we urge you to take a step away from the bench press and give the kettle bell incline fly a try instead.
The exercise isolates the chest muscles and allows a greater range of motion than the bench press, so you can work the pecs from new angles to force growth. You can, of course, use dumbbells for your flies, but the shape of the kettle bell keeps the weight on the outsides of your wrists, so you can maintain the correct angle in your elbows to truly test your chest muscles.
Plant your feet firmly, bend your elbows slightly, and slowly lower the kettle bells out to the sides. On the face of it this is a simple move — lie on the floor holding a kettle bell and then stand up.
It’s worth memorizing the movements though, because it’s a terrific core exercise to add to your routine. Lie on your back on the floor with a kettle bell held in your right hand, arm extended and directly overhead.
Bend your right knee, plant the foot and twist your right shoulder up so your weight is on your left elbow. Lower, bending at the knees and sitting your glutes back until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
As you reach an upright position, press the kettle bells up using the momentum generated from the squat to assist you. Start in the raised plank position with your hands on the ground directly underneath your shoulders and your arms extended.
Ensure your body forms a straight line from your shoulders to your heels and your core is braced. If you start to lean or tilt as you pull through, then slow the action or reduce the weight of the kettle bell.
“With the opposite leg to the arm holding the kettle bell, take a big step backwards and lower your knee towards the ground until it is parallel to the floor, but not touching. “Simply pick up some heavy kettle bells,” says Temple, “hold them at your sides and walk as far as you can.”
“Start in a press-up position, hands shoulder-width apart and grasping the kettle bell handles, with your feet together,” says Lawrence. Once your thighs are parallel to the ground drive through your heels and extend your legs and hips so that you return to the start position.”
Sit with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor, holding two kettle bells overhead with arms extended and a straight back. Then, in a controlled manner, lower your back towards the ground, bringing the kettle bells towards your chest as you do so.
Then contract your abs and bring your torso into the upright position again while extending your arms above your head to return to the start. If you don’t already know, kettlebellexercises are one of the most underrated forms of muscle building methods out there.
The fact that they are known as one of the most versatile gym equipment should be a clue to there effectiveness in building muscle and getting stronger. Because of the kettle bell ’s shape, you can push, pull, and swing it like nothing else, and unlock a new branch of exercises that are pretty much impossible without it.
Follow these six kettlebellexercises to add more muscle, melt more fat, boost your endurance, and move better. You’ll improve your body quickly and build the foundation for every other kettle bell exercise.
Stand feet shoulder-width apart with the kettle bell between your legs and the handle inline with the bony part of your ankles. Squeeze the handle hard, pull your shoulders backward, and crush your armpits.
The kettle bell swing is a fantastic exercise to strengthen your body and burn a ton of fat. It develops tremendous power in your hamstrings, glutes, and core, which will improve your other lifts like the squat and dead lift.
Start with the kettle bell dead lift first —it will build a great foundation and teach good technique. Then, hike the kettle bell back between your legs like a center in football and explosively drive your hips forward.
At the bottom of the swing, your torso is too upright and your knees are too far forward: It looks like a squat. With a correct swing, the kettle bell should reach around the height of your belly button or chest, no higher.
Use it as a power exercise early in your workout or at the end as a brutal finisher. The push press is a phenomenal, explosive move that sculpts big shoulders, huge traps, and ripped triceps.
It also builds tremendous core stability and forces you to generate power from your lower body, transfer it up the kinetic chain, and out through your arms, which is integral in every sport. Lower yourself into a very partial squat and explode upward with your legs while driving your arms overhead.
At the top, make sure your biceps are next to your ears and your wrists are flat, not bent backward. It’s also a safe and efficient way to bring the kettle bell to the rack position for your overhead exercises.
Then, hike the kettle bell back between your legs like a center in football and explosively drive your hips forward. Memorize the feeling, and then swing it between your legs and return to the rack position.
Use it as a power exercise early in your workout or at the end as a brutal finisher. Because it travels more distance, the snatch builds more power than the swing or clean.
Then, hike the kettle bell back between your legs like a center in football and explosively drive your hips forward. Use it as a power exercise early in your workout or at the end as a brutal finisher.
This is a phenomenal dynamic exercise that blasts your obliques, strengthens your shoulders, and activates your hips too. Use it early in your workout to light up your core, warm up your joints, and increase your flexibility.
There's an underrated piece of gear in the weight room, and it's time you started using it way more frequently. I'm talking about the kettle bell, an effective, bell-shaped piece of equipment that will help you build some major muscles.
You may associate this tool with quintessential kettlebellexercises like the kettle bell swing or Turkish get-up. But the kettle bell is super versatile—it's a great addition to leg-day exercises like squats, or upper body moves like an overhead press because it disperses the weight differently (all in the center and away from the handle) than a dumbbell.
Because of this, kettle bells require you to engage your core even more in order to move the load efficiently. These moves are great for a beginner kettle bell workout when done with lighter weights at a slower pace.
While intermediate or advanced fitness levels can turn them into a more challenging training session by opting to lift a heavier load and picking up the pace. Get Our All/Out Studio App Free For 30 Days: Visit alloutstudio.com, click “Start Free Trial,” create an account, select “monthly subscription,” and enter the coupon code FREE30.
Then download All Out Studio on iOS, Android, or Apple TV and use the same login credentials to access unlimited workouts. (It could take 20 minutes to complete this volume of sets and reps, depending on your pace.)
How to: Start in a squat position with a kettle bell in each hand, arms extended toward floor between feet, palms facing away from body. Then, in one motion, press through heels to stand up, raising the kettle bells overhead, rotating palms to face inward and stopping when biceps are by ears.
How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart holding a kettle bell with both hands in front of chest and close to body (elbows bent). Push hips back and bend knees to lower into a squat.
How to: Start standing with feet hip-width apart holding the handle of a kettle bell with both hands in front of face, elbows bent and wide at sides. How to: Start in a hinge (hips back, knees slightly bent, torso leaned forward at 45 degrees) holding the handle of a kettle bell with both hands, arms extended straight toward floor and bell between knees.
In one motion, squeeze glutes, straighten legs, lift torso, and thrust hips forward, while swinging the weight to shoulder height, keeping your arms straight and core tight. In one motion, press hips forward and rise up to high kneeling position using that momentum to rotate palms away from body and press the kettle bells overhead until arms are straight and biceps are by ears.
How to: Start seated in a cross-legged position, butt on ground, back straight, with a kettle bell in each hand, arms bent, elbows narrow, palms facing inward, and weights resting against upper arms. In one motion, rotate palms away from body and press the kettle bells overhead until arms are straight and biceps are by ears.
How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart, left hand on hip, right-hand holding kettle bell at shoulder height, palm facing inward, elbow bent. Engage core and rotate palm away from body while pressing weight overhead until arm is straight and bicep is by ear.
How to: Start standing with feet under hips holding a kettle bell in each hand, weights resting on quads and palms facing body. Stop when chest and right leg are parallel to floor, then reverse movement to return to start.
How to: Start standing with feet under hips holding a kettle bell in each hand, arms by sides, and palms facing body. Squeeze shoulder blades together while lifting elbows toward ceiling and pulling weights up toward ribs, then reverse entire movement to return to start.
How to: Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart holding a kettle bell in each hand, arms bent, elbows narrow, palms facing inward, and weights resting against upper arms. Then, engage core and in one motion, push through heels to stand, rotate palms to face away from body, and press the weights overhead until arms are straight.
How to: Start in a hinge (hips back, knees slightly bent, torso leaned forward at 45 degrees) holding the handle of a kettle bell with left hand, arm extended straight toward floor in front of left foot, and right hand resting on bench or chair for balance. How to: Start lying face up with left leg straight on mat, right leg bent, foot flat on floor, left arm out at side on floor at 45-degree angle, and right arm holding kettle bell above shoulder, tricep on floor, and elbow at 45-degree angle from body.
Raise the weight up above chest, keeping gaze on it, until arm is straight but not locked at the elbow. Sweep left foot back behind body to come into kneeling lunge with both legs bent at 90 degrees.
Rotate chest to the right, look up at the kettle bell, and slowly hinge at waist to lower torso toward floor and touch left foot with left fingers, pushing hips back to the right corner of the room. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.