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Kettlebell Cardio

Most kettle bell exercises use large multi-jointed movements which rely on hundreds of muscles being activated at a time. The more muscles that you use the greater the demands on the cardiovascular system as it produces oxygen to power the movement.

author
James Smith
• Tuesday, 15 December, 2020
• 9 min read
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Below I’ve listed 25 KB cardio workouts that will elevate your heart rate quickly starting with the most basic for beginners and finishing with the more complex. These beginners cardio workouts will help you master the basics and provide you with a solid foundation for building upon.

Kettle bell Single Arm Dead lift — Left x 30 seconds Kettle bell Single Arm Dead lift — Right x 30 seconds Repeat 2-4 times The single arm dead lift programs the hip hinge movement which uses most muscles in the body but in particular the hamstrings, quads, glutes, core and back.

All beginners should master this exercise before progressing onto the kettle bell swing for cardio, clean, and snatch. The goblet squat is one of the most important full body kettle bell exercises.

Ensure that you squat down so your thighs are at least parallel with the floor in order to fully activate your buttocks. As well as being a huge kettlebellcardio exercise the goblet squat will also strengthen the legs, hips, buttocks, core and back muscles.

Mixing the goblet squat with the single arm dead lift exercise produces a great full body kettlebellcardio circuit. Moving sideways targets different muscles in the legs and buttocks from the regular lunge or squat based exercises.

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Again adding in the single arm dead lift gives you a great combination workout hitting hundreds of muscles in the body. For this workout we are adding the kettle bell sit and press into the mix.

The kettle bell sit and press creates mobility in the hips, conditions the core muscles and develops the shoulders. Actively moving from the kettle bell goblet squat and then down into the sit and press creates a peripheral heart action.

The heart has to work hard during this combination as the blood is shunted from the top squat position down to the lying sit and press exercise. The kettle bell clean is a full body exercise that many beginners find difficult to master.

Taking the time to get great at this kettle bell exercise is well worth the effort. Once you can perform the kettle bell clean well you can segue into so many other exercises from the racked position as you will see later.

Once you have mastered this exercise don’t be afraid to go heavy and really experience the cardio benefits this workout has to offer. I still remember performing this workout with a 32 kg on a rooftop in London and feeling the benefits for days afterwards.

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The racked reverse lunge focuses deep into the buttocks as well as being a huge cardio based exercise. Mastering the kettle bell swing will open up a whole new set of exercise choices as well as combinations.

Here we combine the full body two handed kettle bell swing with the push up exercise. At the end of the workout you will have completed 200 kettle bell swings and 55 push-ups.

Changing hands every rep really switches on the mind and makes the swings more challenging. You get to practice all the kettle bell swing exercises with this KB cardio workout.

You will get great rotation through the body for this exercise, working deep into the core muscles. The ability to flow will not only keep your heart rate elevated for longer but also add to the enjoyment of these kettlebellcardio workouts.

For this kettlebellcardio workout we add in the large full body exercise of the clean and press. The two handed squat and press is an excellent full body cardio exercise.

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For this kettlebellcardio workout we use 4 of the important movement patterns : lunge, squat, dead lift and press. Make sure that you do not cheat the squat movement and get your thighs down to at least parallel with the floor to activate your buttocks correctly.

The kettle bell lunge with rotation is surprisingly more difficult than you may expect. Don’t rush through the lunge exercise and ensure your back knee gets as close to the floor as possible with every repetition.

You should have mastered the two handed squat and press before advancing onto the kettle bell thruster. Be sure to complete a full deep squat before driving up and using your momentum to press the kettle bell overhead.

This demanding cardio workout will work your full body hard in 2 different directions. The deeper the kettle bell side lunges are the more buttock and leg muscle activation achieved.

For this kettlebellcardio workout we add in the kettle bell reverse lunge and press. The kettle bell reverse lunge and press is a big full body movement that requires a huge amount of energy and thus makes it very cardiovascular.

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Try to keep your elbow up and wrist tight as you pull the kettle bell towards you. The kettle bell snatch is another full body exercise that will raise your heart rate quickly.

I recommend that you practice the kettle bell exercises extensively before attempting any of these kettlebellcardio workouts fully. Kettle bell Deck Squat x 5 reps Push Ups x as many as possible Rest and repeat 2-4 times

It’s a full body kettle bell exercise that will certainly raise your heart rate. You will need good hip mobility in order to perform the kettle bell deck squat.

Due to the huge amount of muscle activation and strength involved this kettle bell exercises is very cardiovascular. Using a resistance band, strap or Tax attached in front of you can be a great help when practicing the movement.

Be careful as you fatigue during this workout and make sure to keep your chest up throughout. Kettle bell Side Stepping Swing x 60 seconds Rest and repeat 2-4 times

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Kettle bell Clean, Squat and Press x 10 reps each side Kettle bell Reverse Lunge x 10 reps each side Rest and repeat 2-4 times Very cardiovascular in nature and requires a good degree of focus throughout.

I’ve also tried to include a variety of kettlebellcardio workouts for those from various different skills levels whether using the kettle bell swing or not. As with all individual kettle bell workouts these do not constitute a formal training program.

One study stated that 20 minutes of continuous kettle bell training was about the same as running at a six-minute mile pace. Pick 3-5 full body exercises like the swing, thruster and lunge.

If your cardio routine is feeling stale, you may want to ditch the treadmill and grab some kettle bells instead. Since most of us are familiar with the kettle bell swing, we asked Finn for some additional moves to get your heart rate up and build strength (because who doesn’t love an efficient workout?

Finn recommends training with competition-style kettle bells (prices vary, available on amazon.com) like the ones featured here. For experienced kettle bell users, a good starting weight is whatever you would use for a single-hand swing, according to Finn.

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“With ballistic movements such as snatches and cleans, it’s hard to think about the action while you’re doing it,” Finn says. How to use this list : Warm up by foam rolling and performing a few dynamic exercises (found here).

Or scroll to the bottom of the article to check out the Deep 6 workout Finn put together for us. For a strength-focused workout, perform each exercise with the heaviest kettle bell you can manage without compromising form.

At the top of the clean, your wrist should be rotated, so the palm faces in to midline of the body (point your thumb at your shoulder). Perform 10 to 20 reps and repeat on other side. Make it easier: Start with a lighter kettle bell to master the movement.

Once you’ve perfected it, increase the weight. Make it harder: Add a second kettle bell and perform the clean with both arms at the same time. Drive fist up and straighten elbow to press the weight overhead.

As you do this, your wrist should rotate, so palm faces forward at the top of the move. Keep chest lifted and lower to at least 90 degrees. Your back should stay straight through the entire movement.

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Keeping your back straight, hinge at hips and slightly bend knees to grab the kettle bell with both hands. Engage your core, then bend at the waist to lower weight toward ankle.

Check that back is straight and that you don’t lean to the left or backward as you perform this move. Stand tall and engage core as you move the bell to the right, behind your head, and to the left in a circular motion.

Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold the kettle bell by horns at chest height. Step right foot back and bend knees to 90 degrees to lower into a lunge.

Perform 10 to 20 reps and repeat on left leg. Make it harder: Hold a kettle bell in each hand by your sides. In one fluid motion, drive through your legs to swing the kettle bell up, flip grip (so palm is facing away and knuckles punch up), and press weight overhead.

Start standing and hold the kettle bell by horns at chest height. Extend right leg out in front of you, then sit hips back and bend left knee to lower down into a single-leg squat, keeping right foot off the floor.

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Perform 5 to 10 reps and repeat on other side. Make it easier: Make your range of motion smaller by sitting back onto a box or bench. The Turkish get up is a complicated move, so you want to be comfortable with the basic technique before adding the kettle bell.

“The idea is that the arm holding the kettle bell is directly up in the air the entire time, because if it’s not directly over your head and your skeleton isn’t taking the weight, the shoulder is placed in a compromising position,” he says. If you can get all the way up and back down without dropping the water bottle and losing alignment, you know you’re ready to try it with the kettle bell. Start lying face up.

Bend right knee and place right foot on floor and left arm straight out to the side. Extend right arm directly over shoulder and balance a half-filled water bottle on top of fist.

Lie face up with knees bent and two kettle bells racked at chest height. Lie face up with knees bent, feet on floor, holding the kettle bell on hips.

Start in a plank position, wrists under shoulders with each hand on a kettle bell, palms facing in, core engaged. Keep a long line from head to toe through the entire movement.

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Sources
1 kettlebellsworkouts.com - https://kettlebellsworkouts.com/kettlebell-cardio-workouts/
2 greatist.com - https://greatist.com/fitness/kettlebell-exercises-cardio-moves-that-arent-just-swings