The Squat can be categorized as a pushing exercise, and so can be paired with the kettle bell swing for a dramatic effect. The ability to squat well requires adequate stability, mobility, strength and movement patterning.
Regular squatting keeps the joints fresh and mobile reducing the potential for back and knee pain. Finally, you use up to 600 muscles with every squat movement you perform, that makes it perfect for fat loss and overall strength building.
If you find that squatting nice and deep causes you problems then you can program and strengthen the movement pattern by using a resistance band. Allow the kettle bell to rest against the chest if needed and keep the arms tucked in.
Practice : work up to 20 perfect repetitions moving smooth and steady. Hold the kettle bell in both hands with the handle pointing upwards.
You will find it easier holding the kettle bell by the body rather than by the handle in this position. As you get stronger and more comfortable with the movement you can add a press into the top of the exercise (see image above) to increase even more muscle activation.
You will create an imbalance and rotation through the body by holding the kettle bell one handed and against the chest. The racked kettlebellsquat allows great transitions from one position to the next but does mean that you will need to squat equally on both sides.
Practice : progress to 10 repetitions on each side and 3 total sets. Once you have mastered the racked kettlebellsquat above you can add even more muscle activation and cardiovascular demands to the movement.
As you drive up from the bottom of the squat continue the momentum upwards and press the kettle bell overhead. Holding the kettle bell permanently overhead while you squat requires excellent mobility through the upper back and shoulders.
Keeping the arm over the head makes the heart work harder too as it pushes the blood uphill. Practice : 12 well performed repetitions on each side is a great achievement.
Using a resistance band or Tax as demonstrated earlier is a great way to build up strength and mobility in the movement. An advanced kettlebellsquat variation that requires very good hip mobility.
Take it nice and steady at first as the kettle bell can throw your weight quickly backwards. The easiest starting point is by holding a kettle bell in each hand in the racked position against the chest.
You can even link fingers if you wish but try to keep the elbows in and upper body nice and compact. Ensure that you are great at squatting without a kettle bell before loading the movement pattern.
You can use a resistance band to help improve your squatting skills and strength. Take your time, progress carefully and logically and the rewards will be well worth the effort.
The kettle bell is excellent for squats due to its unique holding positions. Everyone is different, begin with only your body weight to master the technique first then start to add weight using the goblet squat.
The kettlebellsquat is a huge exercise for hitting all those large muscle groups. It works a tremendous amount of muscle and can burn a lot of calories, making it useful for both muscle-gain and fat-loss goals.
It trains the legs, as any squat does, but also forces the upper back and core to engage in order to maintain alignment. If you’re not familiar with the clean, let Innit Coach Eric Lava, aka “Primal Soldier,” bring you up to speed.
From the standing position with the bell racked at the shoulder (after you’ve cleaned it), the single-arm kettle bell front squat goes as follows. Step 1: Hold the kettle bell with your forearm as vertical as possible and your wrist straight.
You should feel the arches in your feet rise and your glutes tighten, creating tension in the lower body. Step 2: Squat as low as you can while keeping your head, spine, and pelvis aligned, and pushing your knees apart.
This better activates your glutes and hamstrings while allowing you to keep an upright, vertical torso, and is much safer for the lower back than barbell back squatting (which often results in a forward lean of the torso that puts the lumbar spine at risk). The weight wants to pull you forward, so you have to battle to stay tall with good posture.
So, while it provides a great workout for a trainee of any level on its own, the kettle bell front squat also serves as a stepping stone to mastering more complex lifts. As so many activities in sports and in life require you to stabilize an uneven load (throwing a ball, carrying objects, holding an opponent in a grappling drill), the single-arm kettle bell front squat is highly applicable.
Because it allows for such a deep squat, you can be sure you’ll work your quads hard through a big range of motion, while also recruiting the glutes and hamstrings. Kettle bell front squats can be done heavy for low reps to build maximum strength and muscle, and lighter for higher reps as part of a conditioning circuit or kettle bell complex (in which multiple exercises are strung together).
Or row the bell from the floor, and then clean it, squat it, and step back into a reverse lunge. So, owning good front squat mechanics with the kettle bell opens up a range of movement that leads to endless training possibilities.
Use these drills to warm up and help mobilize your hips, upper back, and shoulders before you train any kettle bell front squat variation. Also, stabilizing one kettle bell (or dumbbell) with both hands is less complex than controlling a bell with only one arm.
Start in the same start position as the single-arm kettle bell clean/single-arm kettle bell front squat, but grasp the end of the bar with one hand and a pronated grip (thumb pointing back at you, and palm facing the same side leg). Begin pushing through your heels to extend your hips and knees and pull the bar off the floor.
If you’ve mastered the goblet squat, adding a curl at the bottom of the movement, or doing it on one leg, are good progressions. It’s a foundational movement for anyone who likes to train with kettle bells, or who ultimately wants to train heavy back squats, front squats, power cleans, or a range of other more advanced movements.
Tuck your tailbone and draw your ribs down so that your pelvis is parallel to the floor. Actively twist your feet into the floor, but don’t let them move.
You should feel the arches in your feet rise and your glutes tighten, creating tension in the lower body. Keeping a long spine from your head to your pelvis, push your hips back and squat down, as if sitting down into a chair.
They tend to lean forward excessively to maintain balance, and that can lead to a range of problems: squatting too shallow, rounding the lower back, letting the knees collapse inward, allowing the heels to rise off the floor, etc. In the goblet squat, you hold a load in front of your body, and it acts as a counterbalance.
Positioning the kettle bell in front of the torso makes your core brace your spine more or less automatically, so you can argue that the goblet squat builds strong abs as well. Furthermore, holding the weight in front of the chest asks a lot of the shoulder and upper back muscles, and fighting to maintain good shoulder alignment strengthens your posture.
It will certainly help to improve your squat technique and strengthen your back, legs, and core, but as you progress your loading on the goblet squat, you will reach a point where your upper body can’t support the weight anymore, while your legs still feel strong. However, that isn’t to say that goblet squats can’t be done with heavy weight, especially if kettle bells or dumbbells are all you have to train with.
Some lifters have done reps with well over 100 pounds, which makes for an impressive test of overall body strength. But the difficulty and awkwardness of getting such heavy weight into position makes moving on to a different type of squat a more practical progression.
You can loosen up your ankles, hips, and quads beforehand with these drills from Natalie Rigby (Natalie.Rigby on Instagram), co-founder of The Durable Athlete. Raise your heels as your knees come forward, and move slowly and smoothly.
If you have trouble keeping your balance, hold onto a sturdy object for support. Tuck your tailbone under and draw your ribs down, so that your pelvis is level with the floor, and brace your core.
Raise one leg in the air in front of you, keeping your knee straight, and pointing your toes up. Repeat in the opposite direction, engaging your glutes as you lift your leg behind you, and then rotating the foot outward.
Keeping a long spine, begin leaning back slowly, so that you feel tension in your quads. In this variation, you squat down, lower the kettle bell until your arms are straight, and curl it back up.
If you can keep your spine and pelvis alignment while you move the kettle bell further in front of your body, you can be sure that your squat pattern is strong and stable. Adding the curl forces you to be more intentional with your movement and maintain muscle tension throughout the range of motion.
This can help prevent your knees from bending inward or outward and your tailbone from tucking under too much, and it will lead to better results. Single-leg squatting is a must for athletes, since so many sports movements require you to push off or land on one leg again and again.
Hold the kettle bell in front of your chest as you would to goblet squat, and rest the top of one foot on the bench behind you. So it’s OK if your shin is angled forward a bit in the bottom position, and your back matches it.
While the goblet squat is ideal for beginners, some people will find that they still have trouble keeping their torso upright while performing it. This all but guarantees that you’ll stay tall while you squat, because if you bend too far forward, the bar will poke you in the chest.
(If you don’t have a landmine, the corner of a room can suffice; just protect the walls with a towel.) Hold the opposite end of the bar with both hands and stand in your squat stance.
Twist your feet into the floor to create tension in the lower body as described in the goblet squat directions above. Lower into the squat as deeply as you can, and then extend your hips and knees to come back up.