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Kettlebell Squat

author
Maria Garcia
• Sunday, 04 October, 2020
• 9 min read

Along with the kettle bell swing, the kettlebellsquat is a huge exercise for hitting all those large muscle groups. Hitting these large muscle groups means a greater hormonal response along with metabolic effect.

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Contents

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.

It is important to note that if you do not squat deep enough (thighs at least to parallel with the floor) then you are not engaging your backside correctly. 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.

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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. Practice : work up to 20 perfect repetitions before adding the press.

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. Using a resistance band or Tax as demonstrated earlier is a great way to build up strength and mobility in the movement.

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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.

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© Provided by Shape skynesher/Getty But don't just opt for a kettle bell when you need to quickly replace your usual equipment that’s gone MIA. “Kettle bells almost become part of your body, so that's why they are pretty synonymous with this functional training philosophy of being able to do movements you do in the real world,” says Lace Layoff, a NASM-certified personal trainer and the founder of Bells Up.

By holding the weight close to your chest or in a racked position (when you hold the kettle bell at your shoulders, bells outside the body, with elbow tucked into your sides), you have to engage your core and upper body to stay upright. “That's why I actually find kettle bell squats to be the most beneficial for the general population than either the dumbbell or barbell,” says Layoff.

© skynesher/Getty Along with helping you achieve a J. Lo-approved booty, kettle bell squats work your core and upper body in ways that just aren’t possible with other equipment. “You have some opportunities with a kettle bell for what I and some of my friends call ‘accidental exercise,’” says Prentice Rhodes, a NASA -certified personal trainer and performance enhancement specialist.

“You’re actually working a little harder to stabilize the weight than you would with some other implements.” Compared to that of a dumbbell or barbell, a kettle bell ’s weight isn’t completely balanced, so you’ll have to work harder to keep the bell straight throughout the exercise, training your body unilaterally (re: on one side) in the process, explains Rhodes. In the rack position, the kettle bell ’s uneven weight distribution will ask your core to remain strong and centered and your arm to stay in toward the midline, says Rhodes.

Plus, your forearm muscles will need to work harder to keep your wrist in a neutral position, he says. Aside from providing bonus strength training for your upper body, kettle bell squats have the potential to create some major lower-body gains.

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Once you’ve reached the bottom of your squat, your biggest glute muscles (gluteus Maximus) will help drive your hips out of the squat, while your quadriceps will help you extend the knees and spring back up to standing, says Rhodes. Before diving into the biomechanics of a basic squat, know that your form will look a little different depending on the exact type of kettlebellsquat you're performing.

But no matter how you're squatting, it's important to have a solid foundation before you casually pick up a weight and try a complex or heavy-loaded exercise. For instance, if your legs are on the long side, you may feel more comfortable standing with your feet a bit farther apart.

Once your feet are in their proper place, stand tall in what Rhodes likes to call a “vertical plank position.” Draw your shoulders down and away from your ears; brace your abs and glutes; tighten your quads, and lift your kneecaps, he says. As you sit down into your squat, bracing your core will help stabilize your spine so you can efficiently drive into the floor and pop back up to standing, he adds.

Just like the right amount of protein, carbs, and calories to consume post-workout, the best weight to use when performing kettle bell squats will be different for everyone, depending on your fitness level and goals. If you’re a total newbie, start training with a lighter weight that allows you to complete a greater volume (say, 12 reps), which will help teach the nervous system to properly activate the muscles being used throughout the move and train the body to perform a proper squat, says Rhodes.

By the same token, remember to stick to the range of motion that you can control, so don't go deeper or lower than you can successfully lift with proper form. Before you start dropping it like it’s hot, make sure you properly warm-up (try this dynamic routine designed for weight lifting), says Rhodes.

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As for which kettle bell squats are worthy of a spot in your regular rotation, Rhodes has one simple answer: All of them. Provided you can maintain proper form throughout, you should incorporate numerous types of kettle bell squats into your workouts.

By starting out your kettlebellsquat routine with something as simple as a goblet squat, you have the opportunity to nail down the proper form and work on expanding your range of motion before trying out complex moves, says Rhodes. “There’s less to manage, not a lot to focus on, and you don't have to worry about learning extra technique, getting the bell into the rack position,” says Rhodes.

This move will activate your back muscles, which in turn improves your posture and stops your shoulders from rounding, says Layoff. Keeping chest lifted and spine straight, bend knees and shift hips back to lower into a squat, until you reach the bottom of your range of motion.

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out at a 45-degree angle, holding the bottom weight of the kettle bell with both hands at chest and the handle directly below the chin. Keeping chest lifted and spine straight, bend knees and shift hips back to lower into a squat, until you reach the bottom of your range of motion.

While most people think of the sumo squat as the ultimate inner-thigh move, a narrow kettlebellsquat is the better option to work those muscles, says Layoff. Holding the bottom weight of the kettle bell with both hands at chest and the handle directly below the chin.

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Keeping chest lifted and spine straight, bend knees and shift hips back to lower into a squat, until you reach the bottom of your range of motion. Remember to keep your forearms vertical when you bring the kettle bells into the front rack position to prevent them from slamming into your chest.

Grab a handle with each hand and sit back into hips (as you would when prepping for a dead lift). With a straight spine, propel the kettle bell up vertically by thrusting hips forward.

C. Keeping chest lifted and spine straight, bend knees and shift hips back to lower into a squat, until you reach the bottom of your range of motion. With a straight spine, propel the kettle bell up vertically by thrusting hips forward.

C. Keeping chest lifted and spine straight, bend knees and shift hips back to lower into a squat, until you reach the bottom of your range of motion. B. Squat as deep as possible to the left, while turning right toes up and flexing right foot (right leg remains straight and torso leans slightly forward to maintain balance).

Stand tall with the feet about shoulder-width apart and toes pointed outward. Read forested 2Descend down into a squat position until the crease of your hip drops below the knee and thighs are parallel with the floor.

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Keep the kettle bell stable and in front of your chest throughout the movement. Explosively drive hips and knees upward to return to the starting position.

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Sources
1 www.stack.com - https://www.stack.com/a/proper-kettlebell-swing-form-a-step-by-step-guide
2 www.menshealth.com - https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a28439541/kettlebell-swing-form/
3 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/5-key-points-to-performing-the-kettlebell-swing-with-proper-form/
4 www.ericleija.com - https://www.ericleija.com/how-to-the-proper-kettlebell-swing/