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What Is The Kettlebell Exercise

author
Maria Johnson
• Sunday, 06 December, 2020
• 27 min read

Kettlebellexercise is one such exercise that requires kettle bells and that helps in burning calories, building flexibility of the body and in several other ways. These kettle bells come in different weights and you can make use of these equipments as you do lunges, shoulder presses, and lifts.

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Contents

The kettle bell workouts get your heart pumping and are quite beneficial in burning calories, offering body flexibility and many other things. Kettle bell exercises mostly targets areas like the core, arms, glutes, legs, and back.

These kettle bells come in weights that range from 5-100 pounds and you can purchase them from sporting goods stores or from online retailers. There is a short review of research on kettle bell exercises that teaches about some workouts and its benefits.

Kettle bell exercises stimulate an incredible amount of abdominal contraction because of their explosive conditioning movements. The abdominal contraction along with coordinated breathing offers quite a high level of conditioning that actually has made kettle bells popular among athletes and fighters.

In one study there was absolutely clear evidence of some effective positive changes in cardiovascular health from kettle bell exercises. This in turn forces the muscles that are most responsible for the breathing process to play an even higher role in the cardiovascular health.

They also enable you for increasing your strength and building up speed and also your endurance levels simultaneously. The first thing that must be kept in mind is that your entire back and abs remain absolutely straight.

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Most physical therapists value these exercises because they teach us to move in a better, stronger, and a safer way. Kettle bell exercises help you build powerful forearms and also improves your grip.

Moreover, such exercises also allow you to devote your attention towards your skill, strategy, rest and recovery. Kettle bells, which look like cannonballs with handles, have become a popular strength training alternative to traditional barbells, dumbbells, and resistance machines.

Kettle bell exercises often involve several muscle groups at once, making them a highly effective way to give your arms, legs, and abs a great workout in a short amount of time. Kettle bells can be used for a variety of exercises that improve both your strength and cardiovascular fitness.

Russian strongmen in the 1700s developed kettle bells as implements to build strength and endurance. You’ve probably seen depictions of bare-chested carnival strongmen hoisting them over their heads.

Using lighter kettle bells at first allows you to focus on using the proper form and technique for the different exercises. You can always increase the weight once you’re comfortable with the correct form for each exercise.

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Fitness experts suggest using kettle bells with the following weights if you’re at an intermediate to advanced level with your strength training: Aim to add more reps each week, then work toward adding more sets as you build strength.

Push your hips backward, and bend your knees to reach the kettle bell handles. Firmly grip the kettle bells, keeping your arms and back straight.

This is an excellent exercise to boost both your muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness. While your shoulders and arms will do a lot of the work, most of the effort should come from the hips and legs.

Engage your abdominal muscles and set your shoulders back. Exhale as you make an explosive upward movement to swing the kettle bell out in front of you.

Squats are an excellent lower-body exercise that work your quads, hamstrings, calves, glutes, as well as your abdominal muscles. Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed out slightly.

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Using your leg muscles, with your upper body still, straighten up to your starting position. With both hands around the handle, hold the kettle bell close to your chest.

Alternatively, you can hold a kettle bell by the handle in one or both hands, with your arms at your sides. Slowly step forward with your left leg, bending your knee while keeping your right foot in place.

A great exercise for working your abs and obliques (the muscles on the sides of your abdomen that run from your hips to your ribs), the Russian twist can also be done with a weighted medicine ball or barbell plate. When using a kettle bell, be sure to keep a firm grip so that you don’t drop it on your lap.

Holding the kettle bell handle with both hands, lean back so that your torso is at about a 45-degree angle to the floor. With your heels a few inches above the floor, rotate your torso from right to left, swinging the kettle bell slightly across your body.

When you’ve completed your repetitions, return to your starting position. When your chest is even with the kettle bell handles, exhale and push your body back up to its starting position.

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Hold a kettle bell by the handle so that it rests against the outside part of your shoulder. There are many benefits to working out with kettle bells, for both men and women, across all age groups.

According to a 2019 study, a kettle bell workout is a highly effective way to improve your strength, aerobic power, and overall physical fitness. Compared to resistance circuit-based training, the same study found that a regular kettle bell workout is just as effective at improving cardiorespiratory fitness and muscle strength.

A 2013 study reported that participants who completed an 8-week kettle bell training session saw noticeable improvements in their aerobic capacity. Kettle bell exercises have the ability to restore muscle mass and improve grip strength in older adults, according to a 2018 study.

According to Harvard Health, kettle bell exercises can also help improve your posture and balance. You typically use your core muscles more with kettle bell exercises than with dumbbells or barbells.

If possible, ask a certified personal trainer at your local gym or fitness center to show you the proper form for kettle bell exercises. Stop immediately if you feel sudden or sharp pain.

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A little mild soreness after a workout is normal, but you shouldn’t feel sudden, sharp pain while working out. Kettle bells can take a little getting used to, but working out with them is a highly effective way of improving your muscle strength and cardio fitness.

The key is to start slow and, if possible, with the help of a certified personal trainer. The workout gets your heart pumping and uses up to 20 calories per minute: about as much as running a 6-minute mile.

Buy a DVD or sign up for a kettle bell class at the gym to learn how to do the moves safely. It won’t take long to understand why celebrities like Jennifer Aniston, Jessica Biel, and Katherine Hall are huge fans of kettle bell workouts.

You’ll work up a sweat doing a series of fast-paced cardio and strength-training moves like kettle bell swings, lunges, shoulder presses, and push-ups. Most kettle bell workouts include squats, lunges, crunches, and other moves that work your abs and other core muscles.

The kettle bell is used as a weight for arm exercises like single-arm rows and shoulder presses. Lunges and squats are among the most popular moves in a kettle bell workout.

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Your tush will be toned by using the kettle bell for added weight during lunges and squats. Using a kettle bell for a dead lift helps tone your back muscles.

The kettle bell is an effective weight that will build muscle strength. You may want to buy DVDs or sign up for classes to learn the basics of a kettle bell workout.

Yes, if you take a class or pick a DVD that's for beginners and use a lighter kettle bell. Depending on the program, you may be getting both your strength training and your aerobic workout at the same time.

If you choose a kettle bell that is too heavy or if you have poor form, you are likely to lose control of it. This can lead to a serious injury to your back, shoulders, or neck.

Start out with an experienced trainer who can correct your technique before you hurt something. Adding a kettle bell to your existing workout is great if you want to burn more calories in less time.

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This type of high-intensity workout is not for you if you would rather do a more meditative approach to body sculpting, or if sweating isn’t your thing. With your doctor’s OK, you can include kettle bells in your fitness routine if you have diabetes.

Muscle burns energy more efficiently, so your blood sugar levels will go down. Depending on the workout, you may also get some cardio to help prevent heart disease.

Using kettle bells in your workout puts some serious demands on your hips and back, as well as your knees, neck, and shoulders. If you have arthritis or pain in your knees or back, then look for a less risky strength-training program.

If you have other physical limitations, ask an experienced instructor for advice on how to modify your workout. If you worked out with kettle bells before becoming pregnant and are not having any problems with your pregnancy, then you will likely be able to continue using them -- at least for a while.

At this point in the pandemic, you may be getting tired of your same old home workout routine and inspired to try something new. As a personal trainer who is missing working out in the gym, I certainly have started looking for ways to keep exercise interesting.

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They have an odd center of gravity that requires you to recruit your stabilizing muscles to do traditional exercise moves. They’re a great piece of workout equipment to use to burn a lot of calories in a short amount of time.

One study found that during a twenty-minute kettle bell workout, participants were burning about 20 calories a minute. Kettle bells are a great investment for your home gym because they give you a lot of bang for your buck.

Many of the workout moves allow you to be stationary on a mat or in a small section of your home that allows for movements like swings, squats and overhead presses while lunging. A quick Google search will turn up dozens of exercises that you can perform using a kettle bell.

As you squeeze your glutes and straighten both legs to stand, use the momentum to swing the kettle bell out in front of you. With this simple exercise, you're working your entire backside and core, while also getting your heart rate up.

Kettle bells do provide a better cardio workout because of the swinging action and extra movement involved in the exercises. Kettle bell exercises also activate all the muscles in the back of the body in a way that dumbbells do not.

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Plus, since the weight isn’t balanced like a dumbbell, your body needs to work harder to stabilize your core because the center of gravity constantly changes. Stephanie Man sour is health and fitness expert, certified personal trainer, yoga and Pilates instructor and weight-loss coach for women.

Because of the movement of most of the exercises, kettle bells workouts keep your heart rate. If you've been doing the same workouts, kettle bell training can breathe new life into your exercise routine.

The idea is to hold the kettle bell in one or both hands and go through a variety of exercises like the two arm swing, the snatch, the loaded carry, and the high pull. The momentum of many kettle bell movements (a big no-no in traditional strength training), creates centrifugal force, focusing more attention on the muscles used for deceleration and stabilization.

Dumbbells are great for building muscle and strength with slow, controlled movements while kettle bell training involves the entire body and focuses on endurance, power and dynamic movements. The American Council on Exercise commissioned a study to find out just how effective kettle bell training is.

After eight weeks of kettle bell exercises, researchers saw significant improvement in endurance, balance, and core strength. The greatest improvement was in the core where strength increased a whopping 70 percent.

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(Source: www.bodybuilding.com)

If you're interested in getting started with kettle bell training, it's best to take a class or get some guidance from an experienced instructor to get detailed breakdowns of the exercises. Many of the swinging movements may be unfamiliar and a professional can help with your form and in choosing your weights.

Very well Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

Additional Reading Kettle bell Swing, Snatch, and Bottoms-Up Carry: Back and... : The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research. Jay K, Frisco D, Hansen K, et al. Kettle bell training for musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health: a randomized controlled trial.

Doing resistance training regularly can also help you lose belly fat and boost metabolism naturally too, among other things. Unlike more traditional bodybuilding methods, kettle bell workout classifies as 'functional' training and is considered to build functional muscle mass as opposed to mainly the aesthetically pleasing variety the former does.

Since you are moving your arm around your head, kettle bell halo also improves shoulder mobility, something not many people pay attention to. When performing kettle bell halos, make sure you keep your core tight and focus on rotating the shoulders as opposed to your hips and upper body.

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By keeping your core tight, you can reduce swaying and isolate the upper back and shoulder more efficiently. Sometimes also called the kettle bell high pull, this exercise works the same muscles as the standard kettle bell swing but by adding the horizontal pull movement, it also adds a bit more resistance to the movement and works the core, the shoulders and the upper back a bit more.

Probably the second best kettlebellexercise after the kettle bell swing, the Turkish get up requires muscle coordination and improves overall strength significantly. Turkish get ups are great full body exercises that work the core, the glutes, hips and shoulders the most.

It's a real mystery why thrusters are not super popular: they combine two awesome exercises, the squat and the overhead press, into one perfectly smooth flow and work both the lower and the upper part of the body, not to mention the core which works twice as hard to stabilize the body. When used correctly, kettle bells are extremely effective training tools for providing total-body strength and conditioning.

As with any technical movement, lift, or skill, proper coaching is required to maximize the benefits. It's a two-for-one exercise, meaning you're able to combine strength training and cardiovascular conditioning into one efficient movement.

Though it looks easy to perform, the swing can take a significant amount of time, practice, and coaching to perfect. Unfortunately, this exercise is often performed incorrectly, which will limit your results as well as any further progressions that are based on this basic movement.

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It's a powerful full-body exercise that requires attention to detail and a respect for human movement. For strong, resilient shoulders, improved hip and trunk strength, and enhanced mobility, the Turkish get-up is essential.

You just feel like you have more power to press efficiently with a kettle bell, mostly because of the more natural plane of motion. Similar to the kettle bell swing, the clean is another explosive exercise for total-body strength and conditioning.

The difference here is that the kettle bell finishes in the rack position as opposed to being projected horizontally away from your body. The kettle bell snatch is physically demanding and technical, but offers outstanding total-body strength and conditioning benefits.

It can help transcend athletic performance to new levels, build explosive strength, and forge strong, powerful shoulders. The snatch requires proper technique, explosive hip power, and athleticism.

This exercise should not be attempted until the kettle bell swing hip-hinge pattern and explosive hip drive are established. Though watching videos is helpful, the best way to learn how to correctly do these challenging movements is to work with a certified kettle bell instructor.

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It’s clear that kettle bells have become a staple training tool for the entire fitness industry. However, there are still some people, potentially yourself included, who are skeptical about whether they should incorporate kettle bells into their training plan.

All-In-One Total Body Conditioning Tool Kettle bells can be used for strength, endurance, flexibility and balance training…the four main aspects of fitness. In a fast-paced complex world, the ability to do total body conditioning with one tool is a nice change of pace.

In fact, we’d go out on a limb and say kettle bells are one of the best tools in existence for truly effective, result-achieving, safe, full-body conditioning. Ballistic training works on explosive power through maximizing acceleration and minimizing deceleration.

They require core contraction and coordinated breathing as the movements are intense. Second, kettle bell movements are multi planar, so you will be working your core from all directions.

When moving the kettle bell around on one side, you will be working your core stability and strength big time. Athletes need core power to explode through opponents, quickly change/move in multiple directions without risking injury (twisting, turning, accelerating/decelerating), and handle loads and pressure from one side while remaining upright (think a running back taking a hit on one side during a play).

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Kettle bell training offers a dynamic way to accomplish these important physical capabilities. Remember, your core generates and controls force, so having a powerful trunk is essential to kicking ass at life.

Enhances Body Awareness & Coordination Kettle bell movements are very dynamic. This focus and mind to muscle connection will develop, leading you to improved proprioception (coordination; the sense of movement of the body and its parts).

This is very different from conventional training with barbells or machines because the movements are linear and less dynamic. It’s very important to develop your sense of movement (aka proprioception or kinesthetic).

This ability will carry over into improvements in your fitness and life, and it’s certainly a very important aspect of athleticism. Improves Balance & Stabilizer Muscles When training with machines, you are producing force and moving in a predetermined path.

This requires you to double down on strengthening the stabilizer muscles for each particular movement. Having strong stabilizer muscles in all ranges of movement, coupled with increased core power as we discussed in one of the benefits of kettle bells above, means your balance will be exceptional.

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Serious Fat-Burning Workouts Kettle bells offer crazy calorie-burning potential, which means FAT LOSS. ACE did a study that showed swinging a kettle bell burns as many as 20 calories per minute.

What’s more, kettle bell training for losing fat is often high intensity, so you have the after-burn effect as well. This is called Epic, Excess post- exercise oxygen consumption.

For those who don't know, this means you will be burning calories at a higher rate long after your workout has finished. If you are looking to burn calories in a short space of time, a lightweight kettle bell HIIT or metabolic workout (low weight, high rep, high intensity based workouts) will do the job incredibly well.

In fact, many think it is more effective than steady-state cardio for burning fat, boosting metabolism, muscular endurance, and improving cardiovascular health. The key is to maintain a high heart rate for the entire workout.

As mentioned in the benefit above, kettle bell cardio training induces Epic, which means you will be burning fat long after your workout is completed. So, if your goal is to have long-distance endurance, for say a marathon, don’t stop doing your typical cardio.

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Moreover, kettle bell cardio workouts are not as boring (sorry runners) as running on a treadmill is, so that’s another plus. The benefits of kettle bell swings are that they train the hips to produce force in both strength and speed.

The reason hip strength is so important is because it ensures stability and helps prevent injuries. Also, the hips play a very important role in many athletic movements, such as jumping, sprinting and coming out of a sports stance explosively.

Knowing how to maximize hip force is essential in power and speed sports. When it comes to sports and the real world, this is crucial as it will decrease the chance of injury in your joints, ligaments, and muscles.

They have lean muscle mass, not big bulky bodybuilding type bodies. Kettle bells can build dense muscle, which is achieved by higher repetitions and shorter yet intense workouts.

Note: if you are new to fitness, you will surely be able to put on some serious muscle mass with kettle bells if you know what you are doing. Exercises like the Kettle bell Swings are ballistic movements done from a hinge position, which will make your glutes, hamstrings, lower back, middle back, and traps exceptionally powerful.

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This translates to jumping higher, running faster, and kicking harder. By regularly doing kettle bell workouts, you will rapidly develop the major muscles of your hips, core, shoulders, and neck too...and these are all vital aspects of having good posture and a strong backside.

Well, many people in the mainstream fitness world don’t think grip strength is that important. Plus, having a strong grip is a primal feature that naturally makes us appear powerful to others.

Anyway, this isn’t about why grip strength is important, we’ve done a whole article on that which you can read: If you do kettle bell workouts consistently, you will develop supremely powerful grip strength.

Kettle bells have an offset center of gravity, usually about 6 to 8 inches away from your grip on the handle, so it is harder to control. This is going to make your forearms, wrists and fingers work overtime as you try to control the kettle bell during exercises.

Kettle bells are definitely one of the best tools for building vice-like grip strength, as are steel maces too… You may notice that you lack mobility in the overhead position or that your right side is stronger than your left.

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When you notice this, you can easily target specific areas and perform movements that will help you even things out. It is said that kettle bells get you comfortable in uncomfortable positions, and this is very true for those who have been training with barbells and machines for a long time.

Working on your weaknesses and imbalances is very important for becoming resilient to injuries. Low Risk, High Reward (Safer and More Effective) Kettle bell training is generally safer than traditional lifts like heavy barbell squats, dead lifts and bench press.

In the end, both heavyweight lifts and intense kettle bell workouts are effective. However, the risk to reward ratio is far better with kettle bells than heavy barbell lifts.

Moreover, dynamic kettle bell routines will improve joint flexibility and mobility, as we have already mentioned above. As you develop more elasticity in the tendons and ligaments of your joints, you will become more resilient to injury.

What’s more, lightweight kettle bell exercises can help to reduce inflammation and swelling. So, if long term joint health is important to you, which it should be for all of us, you should definitely take on kettle bell training.

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Simplifies Your Training You don’t need tons of equipment or to overcomplicate your workouts for them to be effective. So, if you are overwhelmed with all the equipment out there, simplify your life by attacking kettle bell training.

If you want to have a little more versatility in terms of your training tools, we’d add steel maces, resistance bands, and potentially a suspension trainer into the mix. Compact and Portable You really only need one or two kettle bells to get a killer full body workout in.

If you are looking for home gym equipment that will truly train you for strength, endurance, balance and flexibility (the 4 key components of fitness) then kettle bells are the most cost-effective, space-saving option. Instead of getting a squat rack, barbell, weighted plates, dumbbells, a bench, etc., all you really need is a set of kettle bells.

You could leave them in your living room or garage without cluttering it, which is definitely not possible with a conventional gym set up. Comparing to simply moving through the motions with machines and typical conventional training, kettle bell exercises require you to be more mindful.

Lastly, but most importantly, kettle bell training methods are extremely versatile. The best way to keep your body guessing is by throwing new methods of training at it, and when it comes to kettle bells, the options are extensive.

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They can be implemented into your current training program as a supplemental tool for achieving specific goals and changes in physique and performance, AND, kettle bells can be used as the main training tool, basing an entire fitness program around them. Individuals with back injuries who don’t want to put a lot of stress on their spine (i.e. barbell squats/dead) but still want to train for strength and muscle growth.

The kettle bell swing is a tremendously effective exercise for building serious hip power. This movement will burn fat, build lower body strength and powerful glutes, and improve your mobility.

It’s a total body juggernaut of a movement and it is very simple to learn and do with proper form. The Turkish Get Up is a slow, deliberate exercise that’s extremely effective for building impressive trunk and hip strength, mobility, and strong resilient shoulders.

The Kettle bell Clean & Press is one of the best full body, compound movements without a doubt. This movement is very physically demanding and technical but it’s worth learning as it is outstanding for total body strength and conditioning.

If you want to build explosive strength, especially in the hips, and strong, powerful shoulders, this is the movement. In any case, it’s best to keep your body guessing, so switch it up from single to doubles.

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How to Create the Perfect Budget & Space Friendly Home Gym November 26, 2021 But for some weighted moves, especially ones that require an explosive movement, kettle bells reign supreme.

You can also hold them by the handle or the bell (the round part of the weight), which allows you to get a different range of motion depending on the kettlebellexercise you're doing. Plus, the shape of a kettle bell lets you work your muscles a little differently than a traditional dumbbell, Jessica Sims, a NASM-certified personal trainer at the Hitting Room in New York City, tells SELF.

When you take a class with kettle bells, or any other new type of equipment, it's normal to feel a little lost. Oh, and a quick lesson on the lingo: The “ball” refers to the heavy sphere at the bottom, and the handle is the part attached to it.

The handle is also referred to as the “horns,” and can be gripped at the top, on the sides, or near the base where it meets the ball. Adding a kettle bell increases the resistance your body has to work against to stand back up, challenging your muscles even more.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly, gripping the sides of the kettle bell handle with both hands at chest height. They also secretly challenge your core, since you have to keep your abs tight to avoid arching your back.

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“Make sure that you don’t let the kettle bells swing, keep them stable by your side like actual suitcases,” Sims says. Push through your heels, putting most of the weight on the back foot, to return to the starting position.

Adding weight to a sit-up adds an extra challenge for your core, and the press at the top works your shoulders and arms, too. For these sit-ups, Sims says you can either keep your knees bent or put them in butterfly position, depending on what feels comfortable for your hips.

Start in a sit-up position, lying on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Kettle bell swings are great for your butt, legs, and lower back, Sims says.

You can probably go heavy here, but she suggests nailing the technique with a lighter kettle bell before adding too much weight. To perform a swing with proper form, you have to “thrust your hips aggressively to get the kettle bell up, don't use your arms,” Sims explains.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettle bell handle with both hands. Bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at the hips to swing the kettle bell between your legs.

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Stand back up; use the momentum from your hips to swing the weight to chest height. Your form here should be similar to a traditional dead lift, except your legs should be wider than shoulder-width distance and your feet should be turned out a bit.

Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and toes angled out. Switching to one-handed swings isolates one side at a time, which makes it harder and helps improve stability.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettle bell handle with one hand. Bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at the hips to swing the kettle bell between your legs.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettle bell handle with one hand. Bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at the hips to thread the kettle bell between your legs.

Bring your now-empty hand to meet the weight at the top of the movement (so you don't slam it into your chest). Grasp a kettle bell in each hand, palms facing out, arms bent so the weights are resting at each shoulder.

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Grip the kettle bell by the ball at the base of the handle with both hands and raise it directly overhead. Keeping your elbows close to your ears, lower the kettle bell behind your head to neck level.

The trick is to keep your core tight and hold your torso stable as you rotate your arms and the weight. Lift the ball to eye level and slowly circle it around your head to the left.

Start with the weight above your shoulders, and to make it more difficult, bring it a little behind your head, Sims says. Make sure to keep your core super tight and lower back flat on the ground.

If your back comes off the ground, or you feel any strain, bring your legs up a couple more inches. Stand in front of a box or step, holding a kettle bell by the handle with both hands at your chest.

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Sources
1 www.healthline.com - https://www.healthline.com/health/exercise-fitness/kettlebell-workout
2 www.bodybuilding.com - https://www.bodybuilding.com/content/the-6-best-kettlebell-exercises-you-need-to-do.html
3 www.menshealth.com - https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a26011360/best-kettlebell-workouts-men/
4 muscletoughness.com - https://muscletoughness.com/kettlebell-exercises-for-mass-and-strength/