When most people picture a serious lifter, they probably instantly visualize that ripped guy in the weight room who’s always training with barbells. However, while there are definitely numerous benefits attached to this fitness tool, they may not be the most practical fit for someone who’s walking into the weight room for the very first time.
Kettlebells, on the other hand, provide a safe alternative that can be just as effective. Plus, kettlebells are flexible and easy to incorporate into lots of different fitness moves, so they’re a good option for creative athletes as well. Get started for yourself with the following workout ideas.
1. Kettlebell Deadlifts
If you’re an enthusiast in search of a good first kettlebell move to try, go with this one. Deadlifts help activate, define, and sculpt your glutes, hamstrings, hips, and back. They’re also a great way to develop good form when it comes to a standard hip hinge—a common movement you’ll want to incorporate into your routine.
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and your kettlebell of choice between them. The handle of the bell should line up with your ankle bones. Bend over from your hips and grip the kettlebell firmly with both hands. While consciously squeezing the handle, pull your shoulders backward and stand tall. Be sure to squeeze your glutes at the top of the move. Finish by bending back down to rest the weight on the floor and repeat to complete a set.
2. Kettlebell Swings
If you’ve been looking for a killer move that strengthens, tones, and shreds body fat, look no further than the kettlebell swing. To begin with, it will help you build powerful, toned glutes, hamstrings, and core muscles. It also improves your ability to execute other types of lifts, such as deadlifts and squats. The fact that this move repeats so rapidly makes it great for improving cardiovascular health and boosting your metabolism, as well.
Start in the same position you’d use for a kettlebell deadlift—feet shoulder-width apart. For the swing, the weight should be positioned a few feet in front of you. Bend forward at the hips so that both hands are firmly gripping the handle. Hike the bell backward between your legs then explosively drive your hips forward and raise the kettlebell no higher than shoulder height. Imagine you’re getting ready to propel the bell toward a target directly in front of you as you execute the move. The power should come from your legs and glutes rather than your arms.
3. Kettlebell Presses
Push presses are great choices if you’re looking for an effective way to work, sculpt, and define your shoulder area. In particular, they target commonly underworked muscles like triceps and traps. They’re great moves to add to your routine if you want to work on your shoulders. Kettlebell presses also help develop a stable core.
Start by holding two kettlebells at your chest in the rack position, one in each hand. Your hands should be underneath your chin with the kettlebell on the outside of your arms. Your shoulders should be back, your chest up, and your armpits pinned to your sides. Lower yourself down into a partial squat. Then explode upward via your legs while driving your arms toward the ceiling. Slowly lower the bell back down to starting position and repeat.
4. Kettlebell Windmills
Kettlebell windmills are on the challenging side, even for experienced kettlebell users, but they’re worth mastering because they yield such good results. They strengthen your glutes, increase your range of motion, strengthen your core, and stabilize your shoulder area. Plus, they burn plenty of calories!
Position yourself so that you’re holding one kettlebell overhead with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed away. Hinging at the hips, slowly lower your torso to the side in a controlled manner. Your lower back should be flat and the kettlebell should remain over your shoulder as you do this. Trace your forward-positioned leg with your hand as you bend. Remember to keep your eyes fixed on the bell throughout the entire move. Repeat for the desired number of reps.
Kettlebells helps add versatility to any strength training program. Try these moves and discover effective, new ways to improve your fitness!