“But you can do it with any alternate load too, from a big water jug to a backpack filled with books, to a dumbbell.” Either way, over the course of 8 minutes, you'll pile up 160 total kettle bell swings.
And the constant alternating between those swing varieties means you're training from athletic stances too. “You're becoming explosive in ways that mirror the actions you might take on a sporting field of play.”
That's enough to ramp up your heart rate, says Samuel, and by the final sequence, your body will be at its limits. Shift your right foot back slightly, lifting your heel off the ground.
Shift your left foot back, lifting your heel off the ground. The best part of the Kettle bell Swing Conditioning Hell workout is that it can be used in so many situations.
Either way, you'll be smoking your entire posterior chain, building strength, challenging your lungs, and incinerating calories. For more tips and routines from Samuel, check out our full slate of Ex and Sole workouts.
Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men's Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
Or you’re looking for quick ways to give your fitness a boost, kettle bells are an amazing tool to add strength and cardio in one fell swoop! Not only does the offset weight of the bell get your stabilizer muscles in gear, the dynamic nature of the kettle bell revs your heart rate too.
Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, holding a kettle bell in both hands at chest height. Lower your booty straight down until your thighs are as close to parallel to the ground as possible.
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, holding the kettle bell with both hands. Hinging at the hips, swing the kettle bell straight back in between your legs.
Driving the hips forward, swing the kettle bell up to chest level, keeping the arms straight. Start seated with your knees bent and feet lifted off the ground, holding a kettle bell by the horns at chest height.
Merry Christmas From KKK + Your Trainers!5 Lunge Variations to Turn Up the Burn on Your Lower BodyEverything You Need To Know About Your Tone It Up 2021 Challenge Kettle bells, which look like cannonballs with handles, have become a popular strength training alternative to traditional barbells, dumbbells, and resistance machines.
Kettle bell exercises often involve several muscle groups at once, making them a highly effective way to give your arms, legs, and abs a great workout in a short amount of time. 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’ve probably seen depictions of bare-chested carnival strongmen hoisting them over their heads.
Using lighter kettle bells at first allows you to focus on using the proper form and technique for the different exercises. You can always increase the weight once you’re comfortable with the correct form for each exercise.
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. With both hands around the handle, hold the kettle bell close to your chest.
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.
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. Stop immediately if you feel sudden or sharp pain.
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.
The key is to start slow and, if possible, with the help of a certified personal trainer. In a recent YouTube video, kettle bell workout master Eric Lava demonstrated a fat-burning workout that incorporates simple body weight exercises and more advanced kettle bell flow moves to hit every part of the body.
First things first, Lava demonstrates a 2-round warm up, going from child's pose to a kneeling mountain climber position 5 times on each side. The workout proper starts with 5 reps on each side of the kettle bell waiter racked squat, holding the bell in one hand and supporting the handle with the other.
Next he goes from a plank to a mountain climber position, this time with a reach, performing 5 reps on each side. Lava's next set starts with a combo move: kettle bell row to cheat clean.
The finishing round starts with a 3-move flow: cheat clean to squat to press, switching sides on each repetition for a total of 10. As this set is more intense, Lava recommends doing it a total of 3 times, keeping that 60-second rest in between.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Kettle bells can help you lose weight because exercises can use up to 600 muscles at a time increasing calorie burn, raising your metabolic rate and challenging your cardio.
Active muscles require constant supplies of energy in order to maintain their size and performance and so increase demands on the metabolic system. Exercising with kettle bells adds tonicity to 100’s of muscles at a time which in turn raises the metabolic system meaning you burn more calories throughout the day and night.
Yet another reason why kettle bell training is so great for weight loss is that not only does it work on your muscles but it improves your cardio as well. The kettle bell exercises are put together in flowing circuits which keep the heart rate up burning even more calories per workout.
One of the important things about exercising and weight loss is that you don’t want to just burn calories while you are performing your workout. Luckily, kettle bell training, when programmed correctly, creates a large imbalance in homeostasis throughout the body.
Once the workout is over the body needs to work very hard in order to restore balance which in turn means the use of even more energy or calories. After burn or Excess Post-Exercise Oxygen Consumption (Epic) is the more technical term for this and is yet another reason why kettle bell training is so effective for weight loss.
No type of exercise would be good for weight loss if it couldn’t be maintained for periods of time. Each kettle bell exercise can be performed at home and in only a very small amount of space (6ft x 3ft) because you don’t need to move your feet very far.
The kettle bell movements are fun to perform and require skill development which takes the emphasis away from just working out. Above I’ve listed 5 good reasons why kettle bell workouts are great for weight loss.
Kettle bell training is an efficient way to burn calories but should also be accompanied by a balanced diet for accelerated fat loss. Plus, a 15-minute kettle bell workout is great for burning plenty of calories in minimal time.
Picking up a kettle bell mimics the motions of your everyday life, whether it’s grabbing luggage, dishes from a cabinet, or those same things the kids left lying around the house. You can do a kettle bell workout in minimal space, and it’ll make you feel more primal than throwing around dumbbells.
Kettle bells look like they’d be at home in the Middle Ages—so you can channel your inner William Wallace even if you’re just minutes away from driving the carpool in a minivan. Pete Williams is a NASM-certified personal trainer and the author or co-author of a number of books on performance and training.
If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Case in point: Studies show that training with kettle bells yields pretty incredible improvements in aerobic capacity and strength, Pinocchio P, et al. (2013).
Transference of kettle bell training to strength, power, and endurance. Effects of kettle bell training on postural coordination and jump performance: A randomized controlled trial.
We turned to Rob Slaver, a trainer and coach and the founder of Bandana Training, for this workout. He put together a routine that will help you feel comfortable using a kettle bell — all while delivering a head-to-toe sweat session.
You’ll perform a strength move in which your movement is slow and controlled. Then, you’ll perform a power move in which your movement is explosive — without sacrificing proper form.
Since the power exercises can be challenging for beginners, Slaver suggests sticking to a lighter weight until you master the movements. Check out the GIFs below for a quick guide to executing these movements properly and safely.
Targets: Hamstrings, glutes, abs, back, shoulders Bend knees slightly, hinge forward at hips, and maintain a flat back.
Use the momentum to return to standing, drive your hips forward, and squeeze your glutes. Bring the kettle bell up to shoulder height, still keeping arms straight.
Grab a kettle bell with an overhand grip and straighten your arms. Start in a squat position and grab the kettle bell with an overhand grip using both hands.
As you stand, bring the kettle bell under your chin and lift elbows above shoulders. Grab the kettle bell in right hand and drive your body upward.
As you stand up tall, bring the kettle bell up over your head with a straight arm. Keep arms straight and make sure wrists are facing one another.
Lift right hand off the floor, gripping the kettle bell and drawing elbow back behind you. Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jim Smith, CSS.
It is time to get back to real world, hard-core man training that is effective and can be done on a busy schedule. Kettle bells were used to develop strength, flexibility and endurance by physical naturalists, strongmen, wrestlers and weightlifters like Klein, Kylo, Podunk and Alexas respectively.
“I have always found the kettle bell to be one of the most useful and fascinating pieces of weight training apparatus. It can be handled in so many diverse manners that its application in the field of body-building exercises is almost without limit.
You will have to hunt for a long time to find a more versatile piece of training equipment.” — SIG Klein Because kettle bells are so versatile and portable, you can take them with you to the gym or anywhere that has a small open spot.
Imagine taking a set of kettle bells into your gym, farmers walking them past reception and doing a killer workout while everyone else is struggling away on the elliptical. We are going to link several kettle bell exercises together with little to no rest, so that we can get the benefits of a high intensity workout in little time.
This will keep the intensity high, shorten the workout and build muscle fast! Kettle bell Clean & Press, 12 reps each arm, 30 seconds rest
How to Perform: Position your feet in a slightly wider than shoulder width stance. As the kettle bells move back between the legs, you have to bend the knees and absorb the momentum before reversing the movement with a powerful hip extension.
Benefits: Strengthen posterior chain and build explosiveness in the legs. Squeeze the glutes and remain rigid in a straight line position while you lower (eccentric) and drive (concentric) throughout the movement.
Benefits: Strengthening the shoulders, chest and triceps in a full range of motion (ROM) Benefits: Strengthening the entire body including the legs, core, shoulders and back.
Benefits: Activating the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes while stabilizing the core and knee. The reach of the movement stretches the same side IT band, lats and shoulders.
Grab the kettle bell and rotate it back and forth touching the ground on your left and right sides. Benefits: Strengthening the core, shoulders, biceps and upper back.
Change up the routine and throw in some more body weight exercises for variety or if you need to build up to use kettle bells. Jim Smith, CSS is a highly sought after lecturer, author, consultant and renowned strength coach.
Jim’s new product on how to build muscle, lose fat — all with only 3 short workouts a week will be out soon. 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.