The dynamic, often ballistic movements involve the entire body and work on areas such as balance, coordination, and power development, that don't get the same kind of attention in traditional training. Kettlebelltraining can be used in a variety of ways—to help you build strength and power as an athlete, to help you get started as a beginning exerciser, or to make your current workouts more interesting.
If you're used to doing high-intensity circuit training, kettle bell exercises can be a great addition for getting your heart rate up and burning more calories. Putting together a simple series of exercises such as swings, alternating swings, high pulls, presses, dead lifts, squats, and rows, can give you a full-body routine that works your body differently than your other workouts.
As your only workout — If you avoid traditional training like the plague, trying kettle bells may be the motivation you need to exercise more regularly. The key in choosing your weight is to make sure it's heavy enough to challenge you without causing too much strain.
If you plan on regular kettlebelltraining, you'll find that you'll need a variety of weights depending on the exercise you're doing. They can be expensive, but keep in mind that you can also use kettle bells for traditional strength training as well.
Most kettle bell exercises involve a variety of motions, but most fall into two categories: Grinds are slow, controlled movements while ballistic exercises involve fast swinging and/or momentum. If you’re new to strength training and kettlebelltraining, you’ll want to practice these movements and become comfortable with them before moving on to the ballistic exercises.
Bent-Knee Dead lift Stiff Leg Dead lift Squat Front squat Windmill Overhead press Push ups Burpee Rows Figure 8s Turkish Get Up Ballistic moves, as the name implies, involve more explosive, powerful movements.
It may seem like you’re swinging or pressing a weight up and down with your arms, but these moves actually involve a hip thrust, allowing you to draw on the power of your hips and legs to move the weight. If the weight is too light, the hip thrust won’t make much of a difference.
Give yourself enough space — Some moves involve swinging the weight up, rotating to the side or lifting it overhead. Start with a lighter weight — Even if it feels too light, you'll be able to practice the exercises with good form and improve your muscle memory before going heavier.
Wear gloves or keep a towel handy — Sweaty hands can cause you to slip and drop the weight. Very well Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles.
Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Bishop, E; Collins, M; Lanier, A. Cardiorespiratory Responses to Kettle bell Training Exercises.
You can get the same information in a course format with additional videos and exams, this is called Kettle bell Fundamentals Graduate L2.0, if you want to take it a step further and receive everything plus also get assessed on form and technique and receive coaching for improvement, then Kettle bell Fundamentals Trainer L3.0 is the product to choose. You can see a product comparison based on the kettle bell fundamentals information here.
The next suitable product for kettle bell beginners is our 21-Days to KettlebellTraining for Beginners which is based on a specific progression that we’ve used for over a decade to teach people the art of kettle bells. Our premium kettle bell starter package is highly recommended if you’re still not sure what product to go for and want a mixture of everything included.
If you know what you want from kettlebelltraining and just want to understand the kettle bell swing then we have several suitable products, the first one is The Quick And Concise Kettle bell Swing Guide for which optional personalized online coaching can be purchased additionally, the second product is Master The Basic Kettle bell Swing, whereas the first one is more of an informational approach the second one is more of a step-by-step approach, both are great, and truth be told, for less than a night out on town you can own both. You already know the fundamentals and want to take your kettlebelltraining to the next level then our specialized products for the clean and snatch are perfect!
Our product Master The Kettle bell Clean takes your kettlebelltraining to the next level. Not only will it refine one of the most essential exercises, but it will also provide you an enormous amount of exercise variations which will allow you to program exciting workouts and even lay the foundation for your journey into kettle bell flows and/or juggling.
This product comes as a book Master The Kettle bell Clean or as an online course the course is available with exams, assessments, and coaching or without, L2 is without and L3 is with, L3 is also split into two with the second one being the more advanced kettle bell cleans. The kettle bell clean courses are a vital piece of information for want to be jugglers.
If you want to become advanced with kettle bells than we recommend you follow the path from basic to advanced as laid out on this page and over a duration of time complete all the courses or read all the information. Once you have mastered the fundamentals and all exercises it will become time to string them together, to work with double kettle bells, etc.
Whether you’re after just workouts or already know the fundamentals, i.e. you are not injuring yourself nor experiencing annoyances when training, then it’s time to work out. The next and best level of kettle bell workouts is our Caveman Inner Circle which is a private and select group of people from all over the world with one thing in common, they want to get fit strong, and lose fat by receiving a new kettle bell workout to complete each week.
Furthermore, they get to ask the kettle bell coaches questions, post their videos for assessment and feedback, but most of all, the group provides motivation to work out each week. Listed last, but should really be priority number one, even before picking up a kettle bell is to make sure your body is ready to handle the load, meaning, you are not going to injury yourself, instead you make sure you develop some base of strength, control, and flexibility, all to injury-proof yourself.
Kettlebelltraining is not a fitness trend, they have been around for 100’s of years and trusted by some of the best for the incredible results they can generate. There are plenty of books about kettle bell training but I felt there was something missing, a guide that really starts at the beginning and teaches the kettle bell basics.
I want to take you by the hand and walk you through getting started with kettle bells so you reap the rewards without all the confusion or downsides of injury. After over 20 years since I took my first fitness qualifications and teaching 1000+ kettle bell classes I want to show you how to get the basics right, the correct order of things, for safer, and better results.
I wrote this guide for both men and women who have non, little or very limited knowledge of kettle bells. I want to walk you through this complete guide so that you have confidence starting with kettle bells either by yourself or with a qualified instructor.
It is my hope that you will develop an understanding of not only the key kettle bell basic exercises but why they should be performed in a certain way. A kettle bell is a solid metal heavy ball with an offset handle just large enough to place your hand through.
The origins of the kettle bell are a little vague, but they can be traced back hundreds of years. Weights with handles were often used during fitness challenges for both carrying and throwing events and it’s believed that the kettle bell simply evolved from here.
Later the Kettle bell was adopted by the Soviet forces for training their soldiers and then finally gained popularity in the west. Today you can find kettle bells in most gyms and in all shapes, sizes and colors.
In fact, you should never require a space larger than 6 feet square for any kettle bell workout. Kettle bell workouts when designed correctly use multi joint movements incorporating over 600 muscles at a time.
You don’t need any special footwear, in fact many people exercise without shoes at all. One kettle bell can be used to push you to your limits with more advanced exercises or made very manageable with more beginner based movements.
The exercises can be made to flow from one movement to the next without having to change weights or rearrange your grip. The flow of exercises enables you to keep your heart rate elevated and muscles constantly engaged.
Due to the intensity of the full body exercises and the dynamic nature of kettle bells good workouts should not last more than 10 – 20 minutes. Kettlebelltraining is dynamic and involves absorption and regeneration of force in an explosive manner.
Mix force control with practical and natural movement and you can see why kettle bells are great for strengthening athletes. Kettle bell training burns fat and increases muscle tone fast.
The body recruits 100’s of muscles in order to control and maintain balance of the kettle bell. Unlike lots of other training tools kettle bells focus intensely into the back of the body and especially the buttocks.
The buttocks being the largest muscles in the body require huge amounts of energy to survive and so are great fat burners. Many of the fundamental exercises work into your postural muscles counteracting sitting and modern day living.
But kettle bells prevents this from happening by working deep into the muscles that really matter. Just by performing the kettle bell swing for 30 seconds can feel like you have just sprinted 100 meters without even moving your feet.
If you suffer from bad knees then exercises like the kettle bell swing can give you an amazing cardiovascular workout without damaging your knees whilst at the same time strengthening your body from head to toe. Swinging a kettle bell increases its overall mass and takes added strength to hold onto.
Perhaps you won’t be able to bend nails but you will notice a definite improvement in your grip strength. Kettlebelltraining will teach you exciting new skills, unseen exercises and a great feeling of achievement as you master new movements.
I know people who have taken their kettle bells on holiday with them, personalized them by painting them and had withdrawals from them after only a matter of days. It is very important that you progress slowly when kettle bell training and allow time for your muscles, ligaments and tendons to adapt to the additional strain.
Kettle bells also involve a lot of eccentric movements meaning that you are lowing a weight under tension. Eccentric movements cause greater degrees of muscle soreness after your workouts so be prepared.
Ultimately it is better to train less and more often in the beginning than going in ‘ all guns blazing ‘ and then being sidelined with an injury that prevents any kind of exercise at all. If you struggle with simple body weight exercises like Squats, Lunges, Planks etc.
— 35lbs / 16 kg (1 Good) — Men will progress to this weight quickly for two handed exercises. Most women will begin with a 15lbs/8 kg and most men a 25lbs/12 kg or 35lbs/16 kg depending on weight training experience.
Women hold babies under one arm that are heavier than 15lbs/8 kg or pull suitcases around that are twice the weight of a starter kettle bell. Regular kettle bells have more of a looping handle that enables you to hold them with either one or two hands, great for beginners.
The popularity of kettlebelltraining has invited many manufacturers to come up with some weird and wonderful kettle bell shapes and sizes, but you should beware. #1 — Vinyl or Plastic Covered — very slippy and uncontrollable when damp or wet through perspiration
#2 — Thick Handles — if you can’t wrap your fingers totally around the kettle bell then control is very difficult and your grip will fail quickly so dangerous Ensure that your clothing is flexible enough so that you can move freely but not so baggy that it’s going to get in the way.
Shoes with a raised heel pushes your weight onto the front of the body and makes it slightly more difficult to activate the correct muscles at the back. Different holding positions will allow you to perform variations of the same exercise and also unique kettle bell movements.
Keep the kettle bell close to the chest, thumbs at the back and with elbows tucked in. Goblet — in this holding position the kettle bell is upside down with the handle pointing towards the floor.
Grab by the horns of the kettle bell and keep the weight close to your chest with elbows tucked in towards your body. Don’t let your elbow drift out like a chicken wing or your arm will get very tired, very quickly.
As the weight is pressed or held overhead then kettle bell will rest comfortably again the forearm. Before you start any workouts warming up is always a good idea to prevent injury and improve the activation of your muscles.
Your warm up doesn’t need to take too long (5-10 minutes) and shouldn’t be too strenuous so that you are exhausted but should be enough to raise your body temperature. Lack of movement through your joints is a sure fire way to encourage an injury.
I encourage you to perform them in this order from head to toe (except for the wrists) because it helps to ensure you do not miss an important joint. Spend more time on joints that feel tight and restricted and less on your more mobile areas.
5 -10 minutes is a good target for the complete joint mobility routine. Try to learn all these joint mobility movements ‘ off by heart ‘ they will be one of the best investments in your health over your entire lifetime.
(x 10 each direction) — a great exercise to acclimatize you to your current weight, warms up the shoulders and grip. (x 10 each direction) — moves deeper into the shoulder girdle for a more thorough upper body warm up.
(x 10) — ensure your hips are bending correctly and warms up the hamstrings down the back of your legs. Your warm up is now complete and you are ready to perform your kettle bell workout safely.
For some people getting this far can be a workout in itself, if this is the case for you then spend a week just working through this warm up every day before moving onto the exercises below. The 4 exercises listed below will build a solid foundation, hit more muscles and burn more calories than any other.
In fact, you could stop your kettlebelltraining at these 4 exercises and still be getting a more efficient workout than most of the people and even personal trainers you know. These exercises are listed by importance so learn and master them in this order for the safest and quickest results.
Benefits — you will use most muscles in your body but in particular your buttocks, legs, core and back. The swing is also especially effective at working into the muscles at the back of your body and improving your posture.
How it’s done — the swing involves a hinging movement at the hips and NOT the lower back. The kettle bell is swung from between the legs to horizontal with the ground by forcefully driving the hips and contracting the buttock muscles.
Step 1 — Ensure that you understand and can perform the hip hinge movement. Step 2 — Once you understand and can perform the hip hinge movement correctly then you can move onto the two handed kettle bell swing.
Benefits — again you will use almost every muscle in your body for this exercise but in particular your core and abs, legs, buttocks and shoulders. Unlike the swing exercise the Turkish get up strengthens your stabilizing muscles and improves your full body mobility.
In other words, this exercise will strengthen you from the inside out and prevent future injuries. Now that you have mastered the swing and Turkish get up you can move onto the goblet squat.
Benefits — this is one of our most natural movements and uses a huge amount of muscle mass especially in the legs, buttocks and core. Your weight should be on your heels, your chest held high and knees not allowed to cave inwards.
Step 2 — hold a kettle bell in both hands to begin with and then advance to the racked position. I always recommend that you start off exercising less but more frequently than a totally body annihilation once a week.
Once you can comfortably complete all 10 rounds of the kettle bell swing it’s time to add in the Turkish Get Up. Once you add in the Turkish Get Ups ensure that you alternate your workouts with the Swings, like this…
After 2 – 4 weeks of this format you can start to add in the Squats in just the same way as you progressed the swings. If you try and progress too quickly or push yourself too hard then you risk an injury and that will put a stop to ALL exercise.
I hope you have enjoyed this guide and will use it as a point of reference to keep your kettlebelltraining on track. Keep your workouts simple and learn to master each exercise and progress slowly allowing your body to change and adapt over time.
Beginners can perform full body exercises that feel very natural and can activate 100’s of muscles per movement. It is very important that you progress slowly when kettle bell training and allow time for your muscles, ligaments and tendons to adapt to the additional strain.