Full body conditioning exercise using over 600 muscles per movement Highly cardiovascular without the need to move your feet Great for improving posture due to the horizontal pulling action Excellent full body fat burner due to both cardio and muscle activation Fun transitional exercise to add into your kettle bell circuits The kettle bell high pull exercise works practically every muscle in your body.
You achieve the benefits of the kettle bell swing but with the added bonus of the horizontal pulling movement and ramped up cardio. As the high pull is very dynamic the smaller muscles have to work hard to keep the joints in correct alignment.
The kettle bell high pull exercise is a progression on from the one handed swing. You will achieve more benefits by mastering the one handed swing first than trying to use the high pull exercise.
Be aware that sweaty or greasy kettle bell handles may interfere with your grip and make this exercise really challenging. You can also set an interval timer to beep every 30 seconds and use that as your signal to change exercise.
Technique and forearm endurance are often a determining factor on the length of a set of High Pulls. Once mastered it adds a great variation to many kettle bell workouts and is excellent for improving cardio and full body conditioning.
Beginners should start out with a lighter kettle bell and perform more repetitions whereas those more advanced can increase the weight and reduce the reps. Lean forward approximately 45 degrees and keep your weight back on your heels to load the hamstrings.
The regular push up is a very underestimated exercise for building the chest, shoulders and core muscles. Ultimately the push up is a moving plank exercise so the core needs to be braced throughout and a straight line created from the shoulders to the heels.
If you struggle to keep your body in a straight line without your hips dropping towards the floor then you should practice the plank / shoulder taps exercises instead. We start with the renegade row which has elements of both push and pull built into the exercise.
The second exercise, the push press, is used to develop brute strength and adds some serious muscle to the shoulders and upper body. This kettle bell pull push workout is performed as a superset meaning that you complete both exercises one after the other before taking a short rest and then repeating.
A weak core or an inability to stabilize in the top push up position will only lead to lower back issues. A safer way to perform this exercise is to use just one kettle bell and have the other hand on a box, bench or, my favorite, a Paraclete.
The kettle bell push press is the ultimate strength and muscle builder for the upper body. During the push press the knees are bent very slightly before they are locked out and the buttocks squeezed tightly.
The initial pop or momentum that you get from the slight squat enables you to press the kettle bell more easily from the bottom position. Ultimately the push press enables you to lift heavier kettle bell weights.
You will be activating most of the muscles in your body with this workout while at the same time balancing pushing and pulling movements. The kettle bell snatch offers a full body exercise that is predominately a pulling movement.
Whereas the Turkish get up is a stabilization pushing exercise that will strengthen your whole body and improve your mobility. The kettle bell snatch is a full body explosive exercise that is based on a pulling movement pattern.
As the snatch is based on the dead lift movement most of the power comes from the hips to start the momentum of the kettle bell. At the top of the exercise punch your hand through the handle to stop the kettle bell flopping over and hitting the wrist.
For those that really struggle with the downward part of the exercise the kettle bell can be lowered slowly as if coming down from an overhead press. As you work your way through the various positions of the exercise you will notice your stabilizing muscles as well as your mobility is challenged.
Deficiencies that are highlighted during the kettle bell Turkish get up will be magnified in other areas of your movement and daily life. Above I have listed 3 kettle bell Push Pull Workouts that you can use to strengthen and condition your upper body.
Kettle bell Push Pull workouts are an excellent choice for balancing out your body and ensure that you do not over train one particular area more than the other. You've probably seen ripped-up dudes whipping barbells up over their heads if you've ever stumbled into a CrossFit box or tuned into an Olympic weightlifting competition.
Using your hips, swing the weight up to hairline height, stopping short of lifting your arm over your head. Try the kettle bell high pull if you're working up to a full snatch, or use the move to build power and coordination in your typical workout routine.
Brett Williams, NASA Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men's Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. Kettle bell exercises are a fantastic way to build strength and develop aerobic capacity at the same time.
The swing is a foundational kettle bell move that's perfect for beginners and for those working up to more difficult movements, like the high pull and the snatch. A hip pop at the end of the movement enables the kettle bell to “float” in midair for a moment.
A notable difference between a kettle bell swing and a high pull is the bell's proximity to the body. In the swing, the bell begins close to the body but reaches a full arm's distance away at the end of the move.
That straight upward trajectory is performed with elbows bent, keeping the bell closer to the body. In a high pull, however, the shoulders, scapular area and muscles surrounding the elbows, in both forearms and upper arms, also need to work dynamically to complete the movement.
A 16-kilogram (35 lb) “competition kettle bell Arthur Saxon with a kettle bell, cover of The Text Book of Weight-Lifting (1910)The Russian girl (, plural girl) was a type of metal weight, primarily used to weigh crops in the 18th century. They began to be used for recreational and competition strength athletics in Russia and Europe in the late 19th century.
The birth of competitive kettle bell lifting or Gregory sport ( ) is dated to 1885, with the founding of the “Circle for Amateur Athletics” ( ). Russian girl are traditionally measured in weight by Food, corresponding to 16.38 kilograms (36.1 lb).
The English term kettle bell has been in use since the early 20th century. Similar weights used in Classical Greece were the halter, comparable to the modern kettle bell in terms of movements.
Variants of the kettle bell include bags filled with sand, water, or steel shot. By their nature, typical kettle bell exercises build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders, and increase grip strength.
The basic movements, such as the swing, snatch, and the clean and jerk, engage the entire body at once, and in a way that mimics real world activities such as shoveling or farm work. Unlike the exercises with dumbbells or barbells, kettle bell exercises involve large numbers of repetitions in the sport, and can also involve large reps in normal training.
Kettle bell exercises are in their nature holistic; therefore they work several muscles simultaneously and may be repeated continuously for several minutes or with short breaks. This combination makes the exercise partially aerobic and more similar to high-intensity interval training rather than to traditional weight lifting.
Like movements performed with any exercise tool, they can be dangerous to those who have back or shoulder problems, or a weak core, when performed without proper education and progression. They can offer improved mobility, range of motion, agility, cardio vascular endurance, mental toughness and increased strength.
The following is a list of common exercises that are uniquely suited to the kettle bell for one reason or another. A kettle bell exercise that combines the lunge, bridge and side plank in a slow, controlled movement.
Keeping the arm holding the bell extended vertically, the athlete transitions from lying supine on the floor to standing, and back again. As with the other slow exercises (the windmill, get-up, and halo), this drill improves shoulder mobility and stabilization.
It starts lying on the ground with the kettle bell over the shoulder in a straight arm position, as in the top of a floor press, but with the other arm along the floor straight overhead. The trainee then gradually turns their body away from the kettle bell until they are lying partially on their front.
The kettle bell is held hanging in one arm and moved smoothly around the body, switching hands in front and behind. Also called a front leg pass, this is a backward lunge, circling the bell around the front leg, returning to the standing position, and repeating.
Like the slingshot, but the bell is swung forward until the arms are parallel to the ground. Starting with the bell in the rack, the bell is pushed away to the side slightly, the swung down to the other side in front of the body, and reversed back up into the rack.
A variation of the press where the other arm assists by pushing open palm against the ball. Stand on one leg and hold the kettle bell with the opposite arm.
By then lowering and raising the kettle bell you can work stabilization and power. A press utilizing a bent-leg windmill position to lift heavier weight than is otherwise possible.
One bell is rowed to the chest while maintaining the plank position, then returned to the ground and repeated with the other arm. Alternatively performed with a single kettle bell, one arm at a time.
This requires more control than an ordinary push up and results in a greater range of motion. Feet may be elevated to increase the difficulty, until the trainee is performing a handstand push-up on the kettle bells.
In any movement involving the rack or overhead position, the kettle bell can be held with the ball in an open palm (sometimes called the waiter hold) for a greater stabilization challenge, or for even more precise control and added grip challenge, the bottom-up hold, squeezing the kettle bell by the handle upside-down. Holding a single kettle bell in the rack position bottom-up with two hands (“by the horns”) makes for goblet exercise variants.
Conventional swing: The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell. Hang clean: The kettle bell is held in the rack position (resting on the forearm in the crook of the elbow, with the elbow against the chest), lowered to below the knees, and then thrust back up in to the rack.
The kettle bell is held in one hand, lowered to behind the knees via hip hinge, swung to an overhead position and held stable, before repeating the movement. Jerk: As a push press, but with two dips, for more leg assistance (as in the barbell clean and jerk) Thruster: A rack squat with a press at the top using momentum from the squat.
Pistol squat: A single-leg squat with one leg held straight in front parallel to the ground, holding the bell in the goblet or rack position. An easier variant for those with less hip mobility is to perform the squat parallel to a step or ledge, so that the foot of the free leg can dip beneath the pushing leg at the bottom.
Carry: Walking with the kettle bell held in various positions, such as suitcase, rack, goblet, or overhead. Row: While bent over anywhere from 45 degrees to parallel with the ground, the kettle bell is held hanging from a straight arm, pulled up to the hips or laterally, and lowered again.
Keeping the bell arm vertical, the upper body is bent to one side and rotated until the other hand is touching the floor. The single kettle bell version is called the suitcase walk.
These build grip strength while challenging your core, hips, back and traps. The kettle bell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms straight or slightly bent, the degree of flexion depends on the trajectory of the kettle bell.
The key to a good kettle bell swing is effectively thrusting the hips, not bending too much at the knees, and sending the weight forwards, as opposed to squatting the weight up, or lifting with the arms. The one-arm swing presents a significant anti-twisting challenge, and can be used with an alternating catch switching between arms.
Within those variations there are plenty more variations, some are, but not limited to: pace, movement, speed, power, grip, the direction of thumb, elbow flexion, knee flexion. The kettle bell has more than 25 grips that can be employed, to provide variety, challenge different muscles, increase or decrease complexity, and work on proprioception.
Competitive lifter (Greek) performing jerk with 32 kg kettle bells (rack position). Contemporary kettle bell training is represented basically by five styles. Hard style has its roots in powerlifting and Gj-rykarate training, particularly hobo undo concepts.
With emphasis on the “hard” component and borrowing the concept of time, the Hard style focuses on strength and power and duality of relaxation and tension. Gregory, sometimes referred to as the fluid style in comparison to the Hard style, represents the training regimen for the competitive sport of kettle bell lifting, focusing on strength endurance.
Juggling is a training style where the practitioner releases and catches the kettle bell with all manner of spins and flips around the body. Kettle bell training is extremely broad and caters to many goals, some being, but not limited to: mobility, flexibility, cardiovascular endurance, strength, speed and power.
The sport can be compared to what the CrossFit Games is to CrossFit, however, the sport has been much longer in existence, and is only recently gaining more popularity worldwide, with women participating as well. One such example being Valerie Wazowski, who at age 52, was the first US female lifter in the veteran age category to achieve Master of Sport in 24 kg Kettle bell Long Cycle.
21 (1908), p. 505: “PEOPLE ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE USING SCHMIDT'S Celebrated 'MONARCH' DUMB-BELL, BAR BELL AND KETTLE BELL SYSTEM”; also spelled KETTLE-BELLS (with hyphen) in a 1910 advertisement for the “Automatic Exerciser”) ^ a b c Rathbone, Andy (2009-01-04). “The kettle bell way: Focused workouts mimic the movements of everyday activities”.
Blast Fat & Build Strength With Innovative Equipment!” Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 542-544 ^ a b Iv ill, Laura (2008-11-22).
“Exclusive ACE research examines the fitness benefits of kettle bells” (PDF). Journal of Bodywork & Movement Therapies 15 (2011): 125-127 ^ Kettle bell Swing Vs. High Pull”.
^ “The Kettle bell Clean, Stop Banging Your Wrists | The Complete Guide”. Tim Peterson, Chief Instructor for Titrant, has created a great post for us about selecting your kettle bell.
Kettle bells are a great tool, that can be used for strength work, hypertrophy, conditioning, power, and endurance. Cast iron, competition/sport, steel, rubber coated, soft-sand filled, adjustable, medicine ball-like, and more.
All kettle bells are cast in a mold, what happens after can be different depending on the company. After you read about which type of kettle bell you need, we have a great post about determining which weight you need to train with HERE.
Depending on whom you ask, you will get different folk stories of what they originally were made from, and what they were used for, as well as which countries claim ownership. The competition kettle bell is the same size and dimension across the weight range, and is made out of steel.
The handle is flat across on top, and joins the body of the kettle bell vertically. Some brands are an 8 kilogram shell filled with fillers like sawdust and ball bearings to achieve the desired weights, this potentially can become loose and rattle over time or lose balance.
More durable competition bells are made from a single piece of steel, cast precisely to the specific weight. There are ballistics such as Swings, Cleans and Snatches, and grinds, such as Goblet and Double Front Squats, Presses, and Get-Ups.
Once beyond the learning phase, the curved handle of the cast-iron kettle bell is the clear winner for swings. As a result, if the kettle bell ’s contact each other on the way up or down they will have a tendency to bounce off of each other like basketballs.
The last thing you want is for the kettle bells to bounce away from each other on the way down and hit the user on the legs. Another item to consider is that when hiking two large kettle bell ’s through the legs, regardless of weight, the stance used needs to be wide enough to allow room for them to pass.
After you read about which type of kettle bell you need, we have a great post about determining which weight you need to train with HERE. More importantly, and again something that affects beginners more than experienced lifters, is that the larger size body rests on the meat of the forearm rather than the bone protrusion of the wrist, which is right where the smaller body of a lighter kettle bell will sit.
Both of these surgeries led me to experiment with competition style kettle bells, which contacted my arm below these sensitive areas. After you read about which type of kettle bell you need, we have a great post about determining which weight you need to train with HERE.
If you are a gym, I would strongly recommend a full set of both cast-iron and competition style kettle bells. After you read about which type of kettle bell you need, we have a great post about determining which weight you need to train with HERE.
We recommend you read more about receiving a quick, free, dynamic kettle bell workout every week you can click below. Tim Peterson is the Chief Instructor and Director of Content and Curriculum for Titrant, a revolutionary fitness ranking system based on standardized strength and conditioning tests utilized currently in over 1,000 gyms worldwide in more than 25 countries.
Tim has a MS and BA in Kinesiology, and has taught High School Weightlifting for over a decade. He uses his experiences in and observations of the fitness industry as inspiration for his writing, which appears on the Titrant website, as well as guest posts for Dan John, Kettle bell Kings, and others.
For more of Tim’s writing as well as more information about Titrant, a unique challenge that is both standardized yet personal due to tests based upon gender, age, and body weight, visit www.fitranx.com. Kettle bell Kings creates new workout each week which you can receive in your email inbox.
If you don’t already know, kettle bell exercises are one of the most underrated forms of muscle building methods out there. The fact that they are known as one of the most versatile gym equipment should be a clue to there effectiveness in building muscle and getting stronger.
Because of the kettle bell ’s shape, you can push, pull, and swing it like nothing else, and unlock a new branch of exercises that are pretty much impossible without it. Follow these six kettle bell exercises to add more muscle, melt more fat, boost your endurance, and move better.
You’ll improve your body quickly and build the foundation for every other kettle bell exercise. Stand feet shoulder-width apart with the kettle bell between your legs and the handle inline with the bony part of your ankles.
Squeeze the handle hard, pull your shoulders backward, and crush your armpits. The kettle bell swing is a fantastic exercise to strengthen your body and burn a ton of fat.
Then, hike the kettle bell back between your legs like a center in football and explosively drive your hips forward. At the bottom of the swing, your torso is too upright and your knees are too far forward: It looks like a squat.
With a correct swing, the kettle bell should reach around the height of your belly button or chest, no higher. Use it as a power exercise early in your workout or at the end as a brutal finisher.
The push press is a phenomenal, explosive move that sculpts big shoulders, huge traps, and ripped triceps. It also builds tremendous core stability and forces you to generate power from your lower body, transfer it up the kinetic chain, and out through your arms, which is integral in every sport.
Lower yourself into a very partial squat and explode upward with your legs while driving your arms overhead. At the top, make sure your biceps are next to your ears and your wrists are flat, not bent backward.
It’s also a safe and efficient way to bring the kettle bell to the rack position for your overhead exercises. Then, hike the kettle bell back between your legs like a center in football and explosively drive your hips forward.
Memorize the feeling, and then swing it between your legs and return to the rack position. Use it as a power exercise early in your workout or at the end as a brutal finisher.
Because it travels more distance, the snatch builds more power than the swing or clean. Then, hike the kettle bell back between your legs like a center in football and explosively drive your hips forward.
Use it as a power exercise early in your workout or at the end as a brutal finisher. This is a phenomenal dynamic exercise that blasts your obliques, strengthens your shoulders, and activates your hips too.
Use it early in your workout to light up your core, warm up your joints, and increase your flexibility. Joe Roman is one of my favorite people to listen to, I like him because he says it as it is no matter what.
And of course, he has a passion for Brazilian Jim Jitsi and trains with kettle bells which is a major tick in my books. Joe Roman’s favorite kettle bell exercise is the Gorilla Clean.
This is where I have to be the bearer of sad news, as far as I’m aware Joe Roman has actually not programmed any kettle bell workouts, I’ve been searching and not found any info. But, if he had put a KB workout out I believe it would have looked something like the following to work on strength, explosiveness, and cardio.
The work is to be performed explosive and intense, you clean the kettle bells into racking position and wait for the timer to start, at the beep you start your Gorilla Cleans by dropping one side into a hang clean, you pull it straight up while dropping the other side. Left + right equals one rep. You then return the weight dead to the ground and immediately move into the sprawl dead lift.
The sprawl is body weight and doesn’t demand that much as you pop your hips down to the ground, from there you explode up and pull the feet in to place them right in position for the dead lift that follows. Gorilla Cleans and Dead Snatch : Use a heavyweight that allows you to complete the reps with good form and technique.
Reduce weight or reps over rounds as you find that you can’t maintain the same explosiveness. If Joe was in need of a little finisher for some reason, well, then I’m sure he would pump out 50 of these babies FOR TIME.
So finding and using principles, techniques and drills that unlock your ability to better express the strength that you do have is something to strive for. I came up with the kettle bell “pull press” drill after watching magnificent press displays, dutifully accompanied by a grunt and power breathing, at the many kettle bell instructor certifications where I have had the honor to teach and assist.
If you have been through an SFG Level 1 Certification, I’m sure you remember the alternating kettle bell press. If you’ve not yet attended, it looks like this: clean two kettle bells; press one to lockout; pull it back into the rack; press the other to lockout; pull it back to the rack.
With one kettle bell in the rack, the opposite side’s press is usually easier. The extra load gives you a great counterbalance while helping to keep your torso tight to minimize tension leaks.
Note that the athlete does NOT allow the wrist to bend backwards so that the kettle-bells rest against the elbows. We pack our Strongest military press teaching block with details for a reason.
After covering our material, roughly 30% of students hit a personal press record, lifting a heavier kettle bell than they ever had before. Give it some work to make the lift safer and easier.
Then (using the trigger and other principles), they pulled the free hand downward, while simultaneously pressing the kettle bell overhead. This was perfect training for our gyms’ beginner press program from the Strongest Kettle bell Course.
Make sure that the weight in the rack does not sink down before the actual press. Whether you use the pull press to your advantage or not, consciously or not, don‘t be deceived by its simplicity.
Like compound interest in a savings account, strength principles add up to tangible gains. If you are around online forums, social media, and fitness blogs, you may have heard this: “Yeah, who doesn’t need a he...
“It takes a lot of reps to build up to a respectable press. Pavel Mack, Strongest Certified Master Instructor, founder and chief instructor KB5 Gym, is a pioneer of kettle bells in Czechia, Central Europe.
He began training Chinese combative in the Hung KYU style in 1991, studying in the USA, Hong Kong, and China. He currently teaches Chinese combative and MMA (Practical Hung KYU), strength training (KB5 Gym Prague), and tactical self-defense for various private and government agencies, as well as Prague’s Charles University.