The kettlebell may be one of the most underused pieces of gym equipment, but why? Many blame it on the fact that it is not as isolated of movement as opposed to a dumbbell or barbell. Others will say that the kettlebell is only for those looking to lose some weight in a HIIT workout. Rest assured that working out with kettlebells can build some serious muscle when done properly. Using the correct weight and and form will help you reap the benefits so grab a bell made of iron and let’s hit it.
Kettlebell Workout #1: Turkish Getup
The Turkish Getup is a great workout for those with sticky shoulders and helps improve overall fluidity within the joints in upper and lower body. The main focus within this movement is being deliberate and really concentrating on the correct muscles doing the work. This is to be done slowly and with a lighter weight as well due to complexity- but don’t let this workout scare you. This will help suck the scapula into its correct position as well as correcting arm-overhead positioning and hip flexibility.
✓ Begin by selecting a kettlebell weight that is comfortable to handle overhead for at least 10 repetitions
✓ Lying flat on your back, start with bell in one hand and arm perpendicular to torso.
✓ Press the weight up straight to the ceiling and expanding the scapula while bending at torso- now supporting body weight with opposite hand
✓ From here, drop opposite leg from Kettlebell back behind your body, supporting body from knee and opposite hand now
✓ From the kneeling position, stand up all while keeping the bell arm straight and overhead.
✓ To complete the movement, do everything in reverse back to the lying starting position.
Sets and Reps: 3×10-12
Top Tip: Allowing your shoulder to be pulled back and depressed against the scapula will translate into better shoulder function and mobility.
Kettlebell Workout #2: Goblet Squat
One of the best ways to build the lower body is with the squat. There are numerous ways to do a squat to hit various areas of the quad, but in order to really is isolate the lower quad as well as the glutes, the goblet squat with the Kettlebell is a total lower body annihilation. Keep your form tight and the movement slow and controlled and the amount of weight used will come later.
✓ To start, stand with feet slightly further apart than shoulder width.
✓ Hold Kettlebell with one hand on each side of the handle and in front of the body up around the chest
✓ While keeping weight right up against chest, perform a squat slightly lower than parallel and return to the top of the movement
Sets and Reps: 3 x 15
Top Tip: Keep constant tension on the quads by stopping just slightly before legs are completely extended, flexing the muscles in the quad to accentuate the leg development.
Kettlebell Workout #3: Kettlebell Snatch
Looking for an exercise to work the entire upper body as well as improve athletic performance? Look no further than the kettlebell snatch. The amount of core strength and precision of all muscles firing together is what separates this Olympic move from the rest. Holding the Kettlebell and keeping in a steady position only adds to the difficulty. Check it out:
✓ Start movement with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart
✓ Hold Kettlebell between legs with one arm in the starting position
✓ In one continuous motion, move weight with arm straight overhead by shrugging up and back until weight is overhead and slightly behind you
✓ Lower weight to front rack position and the drop weight back down to starting position.
Sets and Reps: 5 x 5
Top Tip: This movement is a very tough one to master so start with no weight to get movement down correctly or ask a trainer or coach to pick apart your form to avoid injury and maximize performance.
The next time you hit the gym you’ll know exactly what to do with those ever daunting kettlebells. You’ll be realigning your body, blasting your way to stronger muscles and snatching your way to a powerful upper body.