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. Here are a few teaching points for the basic kettle bell squat movement:
Start the movement by pushing the hips backwards Keep the weight on your heels and the outside of the feet Imagine you are wearing ski boots Widen the feet if you have hip mobility issues Turn the feet out to approx 10 degrees Thighs must get to at least parallel with the floor Push the floor away from you on your way up Keep the back flat, chest up and look up Breathe in, hold and descend, breathe out on the way up 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. Here’s a video demonstrating how to use a resistance band to improve your squats :
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.
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. Now we move on to the single-handed variation of the kettle bell squat.
You will create an imbalance and rotation through the body by holding the kettle bell one handed and against the chest. Once you have mastered the racked kettle bell squat 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. Watch a video of the kettle bell thruster squat and press below:
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.
The kettle bell is held with both hands but the squat is performed on just one leg. Using a resistance band or Tax as demonstrated earlier is a great way to build up strength and mobility in the movement.
An advanced kettle bell squat variation that requires very good hip mobility. Take it nice and steady at first as the kettle bell can throw your weight quickly backwards.
Once you really start to get the hang of loading your kettlebellsquats you can add in a second kettle bell. 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 kettle bell squat is a huge exercise for hitting all those large muscle groups. It works a tremendous amount of muscle and can burn a lot of calories, making it useful for both muscle-gain and fat-loss goals.
It trains the legs, as any squat does, but also forces the upper back and core to engage in order to maintain alignment. If you’re not familiar with the clean, let Innit Coach Eric Lava, aka “Primal Soldier,” bring you up to speed.
Keeping your head, spine, and pelvis in a straight line, bend your hips back to reach down and grasp the kettle bell. (Don’t crush it; a somewhat soft grip will allow you to spin the weight around your wrist more easily when you clean it.)
From the standing position with the bell racked at the shoulder (after you’ve cleaned it), the single-arm kettle bell front squat goes as follows. Step 1: Hold the kettle bell with your forearm as vertical as possible and your wrist straight.
Turn your toes to point out slightly—more if you have trouble squatting deeply, and less if you’re fairly mobile in your hips. Take a deep breath into your belly, and actively twist your feet into the floor, but don’t let them move.
You should feel the arches in your feet rise and your glutes tighten, creating tension in the lower body. Step 2: Squat as low as you can while keeping your head, spine, and pelvis aligned, and pushing your knees apart.
Keep your torso as vertical as possible—you shouldn’t have to lean forward or work extra hard to hold the bell upright. Holding a load in front of your body acts as a counterbalance, so that when you squat, you’re able to sit back with your hips as you descend with little fear of losing your balance.
This better activates your glutes and hamstrings while allowing you to keep an upright, vertical torso, and is much safer for the lower back than barbell back squatting (which often results in a forward lean of the torso that puts the lumbar spine at risk). The weight wants to pull you forward, so you have to battle to stay tall with good posture.
So, while it provides a great workout for a trainee of any level on its own, the kettle bell front squat also serves as a stepping stone to mastering more complex lifts. As so many activities in sports and in life require you to stabilize an uneven load (throwing a ball, carrying objects, holding an opponent in a grappling drill), the single-arm kettle bell front squat is highly applicable.
Because it allows for such a deep squat, you can be sure you’ll work your quads hard through a big range of motion, while also recruiting the glutes and hamstrings. Kettle bell front squats can be done heavy for low reps to build maximum strength and muscle, and lighter for higher reps as part of a conditioning circuit or kettle bell complex (in which multiple exercises are strung together).
Or row the bell from the floor, and then clean it, squat it, and step back into a reverse lunge. So, owning good front squat mechanics with the kettle bell opens up a range of movement that leads to endless training possibilities.
One of the great selling points of any kettle bell front squat variation is that it’s a full-body movement. Quadriceps hamstrings glutes internal and external obliques' rectus abdominal (the six-pack muscle) spinal erectors transverse abdominal (deep core muscle) multimedia (core) front and lateral deltoid latissimus Doris trapezium rhomboids forearm flexors
Use these drills to warm up and help mobilize your hips, upper back, and shoulders before you train any kettle bell front squat variation. Also, stabilizing one kettle bell (or dumbbell) with both hands is less complex than controlling a bell with only one arm.
Take a deep breath into your belly, and twist your feet into the floor to create tension. The landmine—a long metal cylinder in which you can load one end of a barbell—provides the freedom of movement that makes free weights great, but with a little more stability and an arc of motion that’s easier on the joints.
Start in the same start position as the single-arm kettle bell clean/single-arm kettle bell front squat, but grasp the end of the bar with one hand and a pronated grip (thumb pointing back at you, and palm facing the same side leg). Begin pushing through your heels to extend your hips and knees and pull the bar off the floor.
Drop into a full squat, keeping the end of the bar in front of your shoulder. Even on the busiest days at the gym — when every squat rack is occupied, a group of gym bros is hoarding the dumbbells, and non-stop testers have claimed the leg press machines as their personal couches — there always seems to be an available kettle bell to grab.
© 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 kettlebellsquats 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, kettlebellsquats 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, kettlebellsquats have the potential to create some major lower-body gains.
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. Throughout the whole kettle bell squat movement, your hamstrings act as your glutes’ support system too.
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.
Form that bad habit, and you could experience inflammation and irritation in the intervertebral discs and nagging back pain, according to the Department of Health and Human Services in Victoria, Australia. Then, push through the center of your foot, stand straight back up into that vertical plank position, and voilà — you’ve successfully performed one booty-boosting kettle bell squat.
Just like the right amount of protein, carbs, and calories to consume post-workout, the best weight to use when performing kettlebellsquats 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.
As you gain strength, increase the weight and decrease the volume, aiming to finish five to eight reps instead. That's not to say your experience level should completely dictate your choice of weight — what you're trying to achieve with your workout matters too.
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.
Provided you can maintain proper form throughout, you should incorporate numerous types of kettlebellsquats into your workouts. If you’re completely new to kettlebellsquats, don’t pick up a bell and immediately attempt a seriously challenging weighted pistol squat.
“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. 5 ways to keep your quarantine workout routine going as you head back to work
Women's Health Oprah encourages young woman sharing her own weight-loss journey This move will activate your back muscles, which in turn improves your posture and stops your shoulders from rounding, says Layoff.
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettle bell with one hand on each side of the handle at chest. 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.
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.
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.
Grab the handle with one 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. 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).