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.
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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.
Alice Living, WH columnist and PT at Third Space, on how to make the most of your short gym window with the best kettlebellexercises for women in a rush. Should you one day find yourself living in a parallel universe in which time stands still, luxuriating in 90-minute studio workouts followed by a leisurely steam and sauna — perhaps even taking half an hour to simply sit down and rehydrate — would surely become par for the course?
Go for a full-body workout that includes catch-all compound exercise such as squat presses and walking lunges, rather than accessory work that focuses on a single area or part of the body. Activating your muscles not only ensures you get the most out of your workout but also helps minimize your risk of injury, which can put you out of the game for weeks if you’re not careful.
(b) Keeping your chest up, slowly bend your knees, lowering your bum into a squat position until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Take a little pause at the bottom before driving through the heels to return to standing, squeezing your glutes at the top, ready to start the next rep.
Targets: Glutes, quads, core(a) Stand with your feet wide, toes slightly turned out and a kettle bell on the floor in front of you. (b) Drive through your heels and extend the hips and knees to a standing position, simultaneously pulling the kettle bell up to your shoulders, raising your elbows as you do so.
Bend from your hips, grasp the kettle bell in your right hand and lift it off the floor with your knees slightly bent. This set of kettle bells includes 3, 5 and 8kgs KB's, so it's good for high-intensity cardio-based workouts or for strength training if you're a beginner.
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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. Bilateral movements, which involve using two hands, challenge you to lift heavier weights and recruit multiple muscle groups at once.
Firmly pressing your feet into the ground, lift the kettle bell up to stand, squeezing your glutes. Bring the kettle bell back down to the ground with a straight spine and don't let your chest fall past your hips.
When you transition from a bilateral movement to a unilateral one, you're adding an anti-rotation component, Peel says. “This means your core is recruited to keep your body from rotating, as a result of the weight being loaded to one side.
Extend your other arm to the side or in front of you and make a fist with your hand. Firmly pressing your feet into the ground, lift the kettle bell up to stand, squeezing your glutes.
Bring the kettle bell back down to the ground with a straight spine and don't let your chest fall past your hips. At the top of the exercise, your chest and back should be lifted—not hunched over—and your elbows pointing straight down at your sides.
Bring the kettle bell back down to the ground with a straight spine and don't let your chest fall past your hips. This kettle bell exercise will fire up your quads and glutes, while also engaging your core to keep your chest lifted.
You want to keep your abs tight and your hips square throughout the entire movement. Peel says to make sure the bell is set between your feet and behind your toes so you don't lift with your back.
While many people think they need to pull the bell up from this position, you should be pushing with your legs off the ground. “It helps to imagine a wall in front of you and you can't let the bell hit it,” she adds.
Once you clean the kettle bell to your shoulder in a rack position, you want to make sure your wrist is flat and knuckles are facing up. Extend your other arm in front of you or to the side and make a fist with your hand.
Challenging your balance and grip strength, the off-set reverse lunge forces you to engage your back, chest, and core to stand upright. Extend your other arm in front of you or to the side and make a fist with your hand.
As one of the most popular ballistic kettlebellexercises, a strong swing starts with a solid hip hinge. Inhale as your swing the kettle bell between your legs and exhale at the standing plank.
Then, aggressively press your feet into the ground, powering the kettle bell up to chest height. Continue for at least 12 reps, then swing the kettle bell between your legs before placing it safely back on the ground in a hike position.
Since your glutes and legs are larger muscle groups, they can handle more load. These power-producing muscles are essential for carrying heavier things and preventing injury.
How to do a sumo kettle bell dead lift: Stand with your feet wider than hip-distance apart with your toes slightly turned out to the sides. Bring the kettle bells back down to the ground with a straight spine and don't let your chest fall past your hips.
This single-leg dead lift will work the entire posterior chain and challenge your balance while you're at it. The key is to move with control and ensure your hips remain square to prevent injury.
Bracing your core, slowly kick your free leg out to push your hips back, making a straight line from your head to your heel. Engaging your glutes and thighs, pull your back leg forward until your torso is upright again.
How to do a farmer's carry: Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and hold one kettle bell in each hand at your sides. Lift one leg off the ground, bending your knee to hip height.
This is one rep. Continue alternating sides for 12 reps, standing tall with your chest and back upright. This kettle bell exercise will challenge your forearm and grip strength, as well as your balance.
Be sure to engage your core to keep your chest lifted and back upright. Lift one leg off the ground, bending your knee to hip height.
This is one rep. Continue alternating sides for 12 reps, standing tall with your chest and back upright. This bent-over row kettle bell exercise also has an anti-rotation element for your core, forcing you to maintain your balance in a split stance.
Place a kettle bell right next to your front foot and grip it with your hand on the same side. Extend your other arm to the side or in front of you, making a fist with your hand.
Row the kettle bell toward your rib cage while maintaining proper form. A great position for beginners, this set-up also helps you engage your core for a safer press.
Extend your other arm in front of you or to the side and make a fist with that hand. Take a big step back with your leg on the same side, placing your knee on the ground.
Make sure your shoulder doesn't stray by your ears and keep the kettle bell above your elbow. How to do a kettle bell floor press: Lie face-up on a yoga mat, knees bent and feet flat on the ground.
Press the kettle bell above your chest and then bring it back down to the starting position. Comprised of a series of movements, the Turkish get-up is the ultimate total-body kettle bell exercise.
But this 1/4 variation gets you to roll onto your free forearm, engaging your abs and shoulders. Bring the heel of the loaded side closer to your butt, firmly pressing on the ground.
Pushing your foot against the ground, punch the loaded arm and roll onto your free forearm without shrugging your shoulders toward your ears. This will help you keep your torso stable and prevent rotation as you circle the kettle bell.
How to do halos: Kneel on a yoga mat and hold a kettle bell bottoms-up with your hands around the horns to your chest, elbows pointing straight toward the ground. Keeping your shoulders down, chest proud, and abs tight, rotate the kettle bell in a circle around your head at eye level.
Working your legs and shoulders, this power training exercise is sure to get your heart rate up. Extend the other arm to the side or in front of you, making a fist with your hand.
As you stand back up, use your legs and shoulders to press the kettle bell overhead. Move with control as you squat down and bring the kettle bell to a rack position.
Tiffany Ayuda, a senior editor at Prevention and certified personal trainer through the American Council on Exercise, has specialized in fitness, health, and general wellness topics in her previously editorial roles at Life by Daily Burn, Everyday Health, and South Beach Diet. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
If you've never used a kettle bell, these strength training tools might look intimidating at first, but once you learn how to use them safely and effectively, you'll find that they're one of the best pieces of equipment for at-home workouts and are a great way to spice up your lifting routine. Barbells take too much space and dumbbells aren't as versatile for compound exercises, such as dead lifts and swings.
But because of the way kettle bells are designed—a weighted ball with a handle—you'll activate many muscle groups at once doing a variety of exercises. “The handle allows for both grind strength movements (dead lifts) and ballistic movements (swings), so you have a tool that you can use for both strength and conditioning in a low-impact way,” says Renee Peel, an NSCA-certified personal trainer at the Hitting Room with Strongest kettle bell level 1 and 2 certifications.
“The shape and distribution of weight is more like things you would pick up in real life, like grocery bags, a tote, or a baby car seat. The weight doesn't sit evenly on both sides with a nice handle in the middle,” Peel says.
Because the kettle bell handles are typically thicker than most dumbbells, your muscles work harder just to hold onto them. “The way the weight is distributed and the movement of the bell challenges your grip in an even more dynamic way.
For example, when doing kettle bell swings or snatches, the weight moves and your body needs to react to hold on,” Peel explains. Unlike dumbbells and barbells, kettle bell weights are usually measured in kilograms.
“As a general rule of thumb, larger muscles can lift more so you want to choose a heavier kettle bell. So for most people, a dead lift will be the heaviest lift, followed by the squat, then for the upper body, the back is usually stronger than the chest and shoulders,” Peel says.
You also want to keep the number of reps and sets in mind for each exercise when choosing the right weight. If you're thinking of buying kettle bells, Peel recommends purchasing a pair.
“This way you can use one for the upper body, such as the row and press, and then a pair to double the weight for lower-body exercises,” Peel says. Allow yourself to play with different weights for a variety of movements, both ballistic and grind, and possibly bottoms-up work as well!,” she says.
Below I’ve categorized the 19 best kettlebellexercises into the: backside, legs, belly, arms and full body. I’ve also included videos and images of the kettlebellexercises so you can see how the kettle bell exercise should be performed safely and correctly.
If the buttocks are not exercised or conditioned correctly then over time gravity will take its toll, and they will flatten and travel south. Conditioning the backside is a must for ladies because not only does it lift and firm up the muscles but it also generates huge fat burning potential for the rest of the body.
The single arm dead lift is a great introduction to kettle bell training and brilliant for shaping and conditioning the backside. The kettle bell is lifted and lowered by pushing the hips backwards and forwards and squeezing the buttocks tight at the top of the movement.
Try to avoid hunching the shoulders as you lift the kettle bell and let the legs and buttocks do all the work. The kettle bell single leg dead lift is a more challenging movement that will strengthen the hamstrings as well as the buttocks.
Try to keep your weight on the heel rather than the toes as you tilt forwards and lower the kettle bell to the floor. You will also generate a degree of core activation as the movement pulls you into a slight rotation as you lower and raise the kettle bell.
Don’t allow the back leg to rotate outwards during this exercise, focus on keeping the rear toes pointing towards the floor. Not only will the kettle bell swing activate most of the muscles in the body but it will also improve your cardio and straighten up your posture.
As with the two previous dead lift exercises, hinging at the hips is very important to protect the lower back. Keep the chest and rib cage lifted throughout the movement and aggressively snap the hips forwards and squeeze the glutes tight.
The kettle bell goblet squat activates all the muscles of the legs, both front and back, as well as the buttocks. Failure to squat down deep enough overloads the legs disproportionately compared to the buttocks.
Holding the kettle bell in one hand overloads the one side of the body and challenges the core muscles. Keep the elbow tucked in nice and tight to prevent the shoulder from prematurely fatiguing.
The racked kettle bell squat is an important exercise to learn because it segues nicely into so many other kettlebellexercises that I’ll be discussing later. The kettle bell reverse lunge is the ultimate leg and buttock exercise for women.
Just as with the squat the lunge also needs to be performed as deep as possible so the back knee kisses or just misses the floor. Focus on keeping the elbow tucked in nice and tight and try to relax the shoulder.
Keeping the core tight and active will help stabilize the hips during the movement and prevent you from wobbling around as you lunge. The kettle bell bob and weave exercise is a great shaper of the buttocks and legs.
The kettle bell side lunge will shape beautiful legs and buttocks while improving your hip mobility at the same time. The side lunge is not an easy exercise to perform well because it requires good leg strength as well as hip mobility.
Keep your chest up and weight back on your heels for maximum muscle activation. You can however tighten, draw in and condition the belly by using certain kettlebellexercises that challenge the core muscles.
I don’t like conventional sit-ups or crunches, not only have they been proven to be bad for the spine but the benefits are limited to only a few muscles. The kettle bell half Turkish get up is a fantastic core exercise that also conditions the upper body and improves your posture.
The objective of the exercise is to sit up with the use of one arm while holding a kettle bell overhead. Try to keep your heel on the floor and sit up slowly towards your opposite hip.
Once you reach the top position lift your chest up and sit tall. Again the kettle bell arm must remain straight and locked out at all times to prevent fatiguing the shoulder muscles.
You will also increase your hip mobility and hamstring flexibility by practicing this kettle bell exercise. Try to keep the back knee straight and weight shifted over the rear leg for this exercise.
The kettle bell reverse lunge with rotation is an excellent core exercise but also great for the buttocks, legs and hips. Most kettlebellexercises work the arms to some extent, including the front (biceps) and the back (triceps).
The kettle bell row activates the back, core, hamstrings and the arm muscles. Keep your back flat and row the kettle bell upwards as if your elbow is being pulled towards the ceiling.
The kettle bell overhead press will strengthen the backs of the arms as well as the shoulders and core muscles. The kettle bell slingshot is a great exercise to strengthen the arms, improve shoulder health and as a terrific warm up.
The kettle bell sit and press exercise will strengthen the arms, open up the chest and improve your hip mobility. Returning to the lying position should be performed slowly and with control using your c ore muscles to resist gravity.
Full body kettlebellexercises are hard to beat for fat loss. Full body kettlebellexercises for women will also rapidly increase your cardio and save you a lot of time.
Below are 3 kettlebellexercises for women that are great for full body fat loss: As mentioned earlier nice deep squats are important to activate the buttock muscles correctly.
From the bottom of the squat drive up by pushing the floor away from you and using the momentum to press the kettle bell overhead. This exercise is hard work and you will feel your heart rate rise very quickly.
Be sure to practice and master both the squat and the overhead press before moving on to this more complicated movement. As with the two handed kettle bell swing the hips should do all the work as they are snapped dynamically forwards.
The kettle bell reverse lunge and press is a challenging cardiovascular exercise that is excellent for full body conditioning. The lunging part of the exercise will condition your buttocks, legs and core muscles.
Be sure to perform a nice deep lunge before using your momentum to drive the kettle bell overhead. With these kettlebellexercises for women you can develop a strong and lean body while improving your cardio at the same time.