To address this issue, we connected with fitness pros across the country in search of DIY solutions, homemade hacks that can mimic kettle bells in a pinch. “There are quite a few large load laundry detergents with nice thick handles,” says Lynn Montoya, ACE, a hard style kettle bell -certified instructor.
“My clients have been keeping moving using water jugs,” says Bay Area trainer Jonathan Jordan, NASM-CPT, a Kettle bell Athletics L1 coach. And for heavy we fill up with loose change.” Jordan has created a 12-move milk jug workout, with videos showing all the moves.
“A weighted backpack is a great swap,” says Ryan Palermo, manager, head coach and trainer at New Jersey’s CrossFit Turbocharged. Cushion with a towel or t-shirts so your household items don’t move around.” Palermo has demonstrated a backpack kettle bell workout on Instagram.
“Outdoor home and gardening items tend to be closer to a kettle bell,” says trainer Robert Lemur, who runs Simple Fitness Hub. “Planter pots made from cement, ceramic, or stucco are great, especially when doing squats or Russian twists.
“I would caution inexperienced kettle bell users to refrain from starting now in their homes,” says personal trainer Jim Faith, founder of TopFitPros. “However, a sturdy gym bag loaded with canned goods, books or magazines offers a great piece of homemade exercise equipment.
Note: Dick’s stores are temporarily closed and this product is not available online, but the chain is offering curbside contactless pickup at select locations. “ Kettle bell Kings will have stock available for pre-order after April 20th and will be shipping first week of May,” says co-founder Jay Perkins.
“I myself have lent equipment to current members and have charged a premium for non-members.” While this particular resource could be tapped out at this point, it’s worth a shot. The internet's favorite pan features a modular design that includes a detachable wooden spatula, domed lid and a nesting steamer tray.
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When performed with heavy weights for low reps, this exercise develops explosive hip strength and power, while lighter weights and higher reps make for an effective fat-burning cardio conditioner. Using an action very similar to kettlebellswings, the reverse medicine ball throw is an effective power exercise.
Keeping your arms straight, rapidly stand up and throw the ball up and overhead as far and as high as you can. Fix your band to a secure point near the floor and then stand astride it with your back to the anchor.
Lean forward from the hips, reach behind you through your legs and then stand up straight against the resistance offered by the band. Like the kettle bell swing, the sumo dead lift high-pull can be a good power developer when performed with heavy weights or an effective conditioning exercise when performed with light weights.
Hold a barbell with a narrow overhand grip and stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, push your hips back and lower the bar to around mid-shin height.
You can put a medicine ball or rock in a strong bag, swing a water jug or if you want a less low-tech approach, use a dumbbell. Make sure the plates on your dumbbell are securely fastened to avoid accidents.
View full size Stand feet slightly wider than shoulder width and hold a kettle bell in both hands. Hinge from the hips with slight knee flexion and swing the bell through the legs maintaining neutral spine, do not round the lower back.
View full size Lie on your back with your knees bent, arms to the side and 1 leg raised off the floor. Allow your bottom to lower towards the floor, your head and shoulders will lift slightly as there should be no arching of the upper back.
View full size Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet placed onto a Swiss ball and a dumbbell held on your hips. View full size Stand feet slightly wider than shoulder width and hold a kettle bell in 1 hands.
Hinge from the hips with slight knee flexion and swing the bell through the legs maintaining neutral spine, do not round the lower back. Allow your bottom to lower towards the floor, your head and shoulders will lift slightly as there should be no arching of the upper back.
View full size Lie on your back with your knees bent, feet suspended in a Tax and a dumbbell held on your hips. View full size Stand feet slightly wider than shoulder width and hold a kettle bell in both hands.
We will be discussing alternative exercises, benefits to using other weights and if kettle bells are better or worse for certain movements. Dumbbells have remained one of the most vital tools to consistent muscle growth and results.
The kettle bell, again, works because it allows you to hold the handles and safely press above your head. An overhead press with dumbbells is great because you forego muscle imbalances, but can also lift much heavier.
You will see a lot of results with dumbbells since you are using each arm unilaterally to achieve the pressing motion. The only downside using barbell instead of dumbbells is that one arm may be doing more of the pressing work.
Regardless, both dumbbells and barbell will help build results, and in my opinion work better for overhead press than kettle bells. Chest press with dumbbells allows you to go heavier, in turn promoting more results.
An alternative that I love, that will give you plenty of results, is using a cable machine. Cable upright rows are very versatile because you can switch out the grip attachments.
Kettle bells and cables can both give you results, just make sure you choose what works best for your fitness level. Kettle bells are great too, especially for beginners who want to learn form and do movements like goblet squats.
Yet, there’s nothing quite like putting some heavy weights on a barbell and squatting to the best of your ability. Barbell squats will let you progressively overload the weight and see quicker results than doing only kettle bell variations.
However, with barbell squats, you risk the chance of compromising your form more so than with kettle bells. However, kettlebellswings are still the better choice, in my opinion, for working your spine, glutes, Hastings and overall body.
With higher intensity, you can gain some amazing results, especially for fat loss. Using cable pull through swill work great, help keep your workouts fresh, but aren’t necessarily a better option.
The amount of weight you can eventually load on to the barbell will allow for real results. The benefit of kettle bells is that they can be used to target essentially every body part with intensity.
But, certain types of weights and styles of workouts will hit these body parts better or more efficiently. Look at all your options before settling on one type of workout and mix it up to keep your muscles guessing.
If you begin swapping kettle bell exercises with heavyweight movements, make sure to supplement with proper gear. Keep working hard and experimenting with different options you have available and you’ll see results, guaranteed.
Make your mammies resilient AF with these fun drills. Put maximum tension on the lats and prevent your forearms from burning out.
A program to increase hip strength and mobility that can be done anywhere in a short amount of time. CrossFit with guns, a supplement ingredient quiz (with prizes), and the delicious food that keeps you full for hours.
A 6-month-long study used experienced lifters to pinpoint what amount of volume would build the most muscle and strength. Strengthening a handful of small, upper-back muscles through some deceptively hard exercises can pay big dividends.
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Barbell back squats are actually not the king of leg exercises. The ultimate combination of the most powerful kettle bell exercise and hardcore strength work.
Ignore stupid rules and follow these twelve steps instead. Here are five excellent choices that will substitute nicely for the dead lift until you're ready to get back to it.
The hip, lumbo-pelvic complex, and core have to work as a unit to keep you from falling while generating force. This is exactly what you need when running, changing directions, and performing the fundamental athletic movements.
Another huge benefit is the elimination of asymmetrical problems faced when doing the conventional, bi-lateral dead lift. These can be hard for your lower back, but you can work around and even correct these imbalances with the single-leg dead lift.
Technical focal points: Make sure your whole foot is in contact with the ground at all times. The glute-ham raise (GDR) has been a staple exercise for powerlifters and athletes for a long time.
Rest assured that you'll train the muscles on the backside to a great degree, and probably do so with more focus than ever. If your goal is hypertrophy of the posterior chain, the GDR is more effective and much safer than the dead lift.
You'll also experience serious glute gains by focusing on the mind-muscle connection while upping the volume. If your main objective for training the dead lift is to build muscle, but you're constantly dealing with pain or injuries, you'll be better off by switching to the glute-ham raise.
Technical focal points: Straighten the legs/knees to really stretch the hamstrings in the bottom position. If back pain is your main problem during dead lifts, it might be because you move from the wrong places.
The pull-through is a great exercise for learning how to move from/with the hips and glutes while making sure the spine is kept in a stable position. The pull you get from behind your body in this exercise forces you to push the hips back, and is therefore a great learning tool for the dead lift.
Since the pressure on the spine is very low compared to the dead lift, you can train this movement with a high volume. Technical focal points: Let the weight pull the hands/arms back, while simultaneously leaning the torso forward.
Make sure you mainly move from the hips, and don't push the knees forward. It also helps with pulling the kettle bell towards you, an element many overlooks or forget while doing the exercise.
Try to minimize “downtime” and make the kettle bell move fast in both directions. Compared to Olympic lifts for training explosive qualities, the swing is easier to learn and carries lower risk.
Well, if your main goal is to hit the glutes, the hip thrust is actually a better choice. It might also be a better choice if your main goal is to develop isolated hip power for kicking or combat sports.
Many train this exercise really heavy, but it's better to train this isolated movement with light to moderate resistance, preferably with bands as well, since they allow you to more fully contract the glutes in the top position where it really counts. I've used a decent amount of weight on glute bridges myself (see photo), but I can now admit that it was an ego thing.
Muscle contraction develops the glutes far more than the total amount of weight you use. Technical focal points: Finish with a strong glute contraction.
They allow you to spend more time in the contracted position that stimulates the most muscle growth. You consider strength training as a tool to get stronger, more muscular, leaner, and more powerful, not as something you want to compete in.
Moreover, if you've invested in learning the dead lift technique, trained intelligently for a long time, and still find you have issues with the lift, you need an alternative. His profound experience with injuries fuels his passion for finding the best strategies and solutions for overcoming setbacks.
Erik works with elite athletes in a variety of sports, from MMA to Figure fitness. Andrew Read once wrote a great article on why the American/overhead swing is wrong.
This debate continues with little change in the overhead swing’s status as a staple in CrossFit workouts. This article attempts to present the reasons why this swing is not optimal and provide two alternatives.
Research shows that hard style swings are an effective tool for increasing vertical jumping ability. If you have too much explosiveness leading to your hands going overhead, swing something heavier.
The overhead swing can lead to overemphasis on the arms doing the work. Many people start with a light kettle bell and treat the movement as a shoulder workout.
The overhead swing puts the shoulder in a less safe position at the top of the motion. When we catch a heavy load overhead (e.g., a jerk or snatch) we also want our shoulders in that same position.
If we are shrug up or round our back, we put our shoulders at greater risk. There might not be an epidemic of rotator cuff injuries coming from overhead swings, but it might add unnecessary wear and tear.
Heavier hard style swings build a great deal of explosive power. The change between a concentric movement to an eccentric takes a great deal of power to reverse momentum.
Coaches, prepare yourself for smiling faces as people see how explosive they can be with heavy swings. If the kettle bell is heavy, the swinger won’t be tempted to use his or her arms and will be forced to use the hips.
Using only one hand allows a person to do more continuous snatches without losing grip strength. One reason people avoid kettle bell snatches is that they feel the catch at the top is dangerous.
Often, the first time a person tries a snatch, the kettle bell flops onto the forearm, and then he or she quits (maybe rightly so). There are some simple steps to teaching the kettle bell snatch to avoid pain.
But trying to protect themselves often leads to more pain (I liken it to ripping a Band-Aid off versus trying to peal it slowly. But Pavel mentioned it in the Russian Kettle bell Challenge (page 62) written in 2001.
Jeff Mar tone, one of Pavel’s early colleagues, described the overhead swing as the next step in kettlebellswings, once a person has good mechanics and a strong hip drive. My concern is that many people begin with the overhead swing, and they don’t have good mechanics.
If the pictures from CrossFit headquarters are showing the movement incorrectly, how can one expect most athletes to do it correctly? The snatch also puts the shoulder into better position at the top, relative to the overhead swing.
Note: With all apologies to Valery Federico and people using Greek Sport style. Yes, workouts can be adjusted to suit your exact fitness level, ability and goals.
Remember this: In general, substitutions and scaling preserve the intended effects of the original workout. Injuries, flexibility issues, training history, day-to-day mindset and energy, and many other factors will influence your decisions.
The CrossFit affiliate community has come up with a tremendous number of creative substitutions to accommodate just about any athlete, and online searches will reveal hosts of modifications for any movement. In general, choose a load that’s manageable for you or use a percentage of the weight prescribed.
Reduce volume to something that reflects your recent activity level; the workout should be challenging but not excessive or overwhelming. You can do this along the ground or you can throw the rope over a bar and hoist the weight to the top.
Sumo dead lift high pulls can take the place of a rowing machine. Because you can’t throw dumbbells or a bar in the air, use about twice the specified ball weight and do the reps as explosively as possible.
Medicine balls are now widely available, and creative athletes have made their own with relative ease. A word of caution: Controlling volume addresses the risk of rhabdomyolysis in less-experienced athletes or those returning after time off.
Increased volume of eccentric movement (pull-up negatives, for example) correlates to risk of rhabdomyolysis. Support all or most of your body weight while working with similar pressing movements, using assistance or shortening the range of motion.
You can place your hands on the floor and your legs on a bench, ball or counter (bend at the waist), or you can hook your toes over a bar in a stable rack. Finally, if you are comfortable and stable upside down, kick up and practice lowering yourself to the floor slowly and under control to build strength.
A coach/spotter can also help you work the eccentric in this manner, perhaps offering assistance on the concentric portion as well. Explode off the ground as quickly as possible and repeat for the required number of repetitions.
Good mornings (with or without weight) or prone back extensions (supermen). Many other movements will work, such as lying over an exercise ball with your feet hooked under a bench or bar.
In today’s world we spend the majority of our days doing things in front of us with terrible posture. Cubicles) for hours at a time not moving and making the front of our body even tighter.
If You’re Not Doing The Kettle bell Swing, You’re Destined To Stay Fat, Tight & Weak For The Rest Of Your Life! This overuse of the muscles on the front side of our bodies is called “anterior dominance” and it is plaguing our society.
FrequencyExercise TypeIntensityRepetitionsRest up to 7x per week strength training high intensity varies by workout varies by workout Once labelled “hard core”, kettle bells are now popping up in every gym, garage and backyard because of their portability and reputation for fast results. Go into any gym and you’ll see inexperienced exercisers turning a swing into a front squat and shoulder raise exercise further tightening our hips, quads, chest and shoulders and just adding to the anterior dominance issue that I told you about above.
Always making sure your shoulders stay above the level of your hips, “hike pass” the kettle bell through your knees by contracting your lats. When you push your hips back keeping your butt high and your shins vertical, you are hinging.
This is good because most people today are hip flexor and quad dominant (your anterior muscles), so learning how to load and use your posterior chain creates a natural balance between front and back that will help in preventing knee and hip issues. Imagine that you are growing roots through your feet and grab the ground with your entire foot.
Getting proper instruction from an expert so that you can MASTER THE KETTLEBELL SWING is the best thing that you can do for your training regardless of your goal. If you want to build strength, kettlebellswings will forge a grip of steel and will add pounds to your dead lift & squat.
If you want to boost your athleticism, kettlebellswings will make you more powerful and add height to your jump and shave seconds off your sprints. If you want to pack on muscle, swinging a heavy kettle bell will build an intimidating upper back & set of shoulders.