For something that has been around since the 19th century, it has taken quite some time for kettlebells to become mainstream. Now you can find them in most gyms, buy them online and also find a version in your local superstore.
A once intimidating, advanced bit of equipment is thankfully losing its tough exterior and becoming a very user-friendly, convenient tool for everyone. The endless moves and flows that you can get from a kettlebell make it one of the most versatile pieces of equipment out there.
It can be done almost anywhere and is simple to use for all levels. It also allows users to mimic a lot of everyday movements, which makes it a key piece in anyone’s functional training routine.
One kettlebell can provide a full body workout, gives you bang for your buck when you are short on time, and also allows for intense cardiovascular work, mobility and flexibility.
How to use it best
Here is a simple 30-minute circuit to get you started. Easy in structure, but it’s a serious workout when going full steam. When choosing a weight for your kettlebell, and you are using just one, it is best to find the weight that will work for your hardest lift (usually anything overhead) or get an army of 3-4 different weights to choose from.
Complete 10-12 reps of each for three rounds
A) Start with the kettlebell on the floor, feet underneath your hips. Hinge forward at the waist with soft knees and a flat back.
B) Grab the kettlebell, standing straight up with weight in your heels squeezing your glutes.
A) Holding the handles of the kettlebell.
B) Draw a halo circle around your head, doing 5-6 in each direction.
Spend one minute on each move, with one minute’s rest in between for three rounds.
A) Start with the kettlebell on the floor, feet underneath your hips. Hike the kettlebell through your legs above the knee.
B) Thrust your hips forward squeezing your glutes allowing the kettlebell to swing up to about eye level, then let it swing back down through your legs and repeat.
Sumo squats with upright row
A) Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned outward while holding the handle of the kettlebell, arms extended down between your legs.
B) Sumo or plié lunge, keeping your chest elevated. Do not hinge at the hips.
(Curl, press, tricep extension)
A) Hold the handles of the kettlebell with arms extended down at your hips and curl it up to your chest.
B) Press the kettlebell straight up overhead.
C) Perform a tricep extension, holding the bell with elbows pointing to the sky, arms close to your ears.
D) Lower it back down to the start and repeat.
A) Hold the kettlebell in your right hand down by your side and lunge back with your left leg.
B) Pass the kettlebell through your legs to your left hand and stand back up. Repeat in the other direction.
A) Hold the kettlebell handles at your chest with your elbows tucked in.
B) Squat down with your head up, then stand back to the start.
Overhead single arm press
A) Hold the kettlebell in the single arm racked position at the shoulder with elbow tucked in.
B) Press the kettlebell overhead, keeping your arms close to your ears. Lower to the start.
Clean and press
A) With the kettlebell on the floor, grab it with your right hand and clean it up to the right shoulder into a rack position, keeping the bell as close to your body as possible.
B) Press the kettlebell straight up overhead keeping your arm close to your ears, bring it back down to the rack position and back down to the floor. Repeat on the other arm.
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