There’s a good chance you’ve walked by the kettlebells at the gym and thought one of two things:
- What the heck do I do with those?
- Those are too complicated!
While kettlebells have gained popularity in recent years (and for good reason), they are still a pretty intimidating piece of equipment for many people. We’re here to tell you that you do NOT need to be afraid of these guys and in fact, they are an excellent piece of equipment that allows you to add variety to your fitness routine. The best part? We’ll show you exactly how to use them.
Here are some of the many benefits of using kettlebells in your workouts:
- They strengthen your tendons and ligaments. Because of their odd shape and weight distribution, kettlebells require you to use tendons and ligaments to stabilize yourself while using them.
- They improve your cardiovascular endurance. When performing exercises like kettlebell swings, you’re sure to spike your heart rate up and get that blood flowing.
- They are extremely efficient. You could do an entire full body workout, both strength training and cardio, with just 1 or 2 kettlebells.
Now that you know why they’re great, let’s talk about what to do with them!
We’ve put together a heart-pumping full body workout you can do using ONLY kettlebells. Print this out and take it with you to the gym for your next workout. You won’t be disappointed!
Make sure to choose weights you can move easily to start . Once you’re more comfortable with them, you can increase the weights.
Pro Tip: Most, but not all, kettlebells are weighed in kilos, so make sure to check before you pick them up. A kilo is 2.2x lighter than a lb. If the weights are in kilos, simply multiply the number on the bell x 2.2 to get the weight in lbs. (i.e. 12kilos = 26.4lbs)
1. Goblet Squat
Start by holding the kettlebell at your chest with both hands and elbows pointing down. Your feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width with your toes slightly flared out. This will vary with individuals, so find a comfortable position for your feet. To begin the movement, push your hips back first and then squat down as low as you can. Ideally, your thighs will be parallel to the floor but if you can’t get that low to begin with, go as deep as you can. When you’ve reached the bottom of the movement, drive through the middle of your feet until you’re back to standing.
2. Single Arm Floor Press
Lie on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold the kettlebell in one hand at your breastline, keeping your arm hugged to the side of your body and your wrist in a straight position. From here, drive the kettlebell straight up until your arm is fully extended. Slowly lower your arm back down to the floor and repeat.
Stand over the kettlebell with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and your toes flared out. From here, keeping your shoulders back, chest out and a flat back, grab the kettlebell with both hands at the handle. Your knees should be slightly bent and your hips back. From here, drive through your heels to stand back up to the starting position.
4. Single Arm Overhead Press
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Hold the kettlebell in a rack position, meaning you have a straight wrist and your arm is tucked closely to your body. From here, drive the kettlebell straight up overhead. Slowly lower it back down and repeat.
5. Kettlebell Swings
Start by placing the kettlebell about 12 inches in front of you. A good way to place this is to set the kettlebell down and then step back 1.5 of your own foot lengths. Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and toes flared out slightly. From here, you’ll keep your hips back and knees slightly bent as you place your hands on the handle of the kettlebell. To start your swing, tilt the kettlebell back towards you and pull it between your legs. As soon as it’s all the back, drive through your hips to swing the kettlebell in front of you. Your arms should be doing very little, aside from guiding the bell, and your power should be coming from your glutes and hamstrings. Remember, drive the hips backwards and then forwards, not up and down. Watch the video for better understanding and make sure to start light until you’ve got the movement pattern down.
Looking for more full body workouts to take to the gym with you? Check out Full Body Workouts=More Results in Less Time