This is How You Really Use a Kettlebell
Kettlebell photo via Shutterstock
The kettlebell is one of the smallest and one of the coolest pieces of equipment at the gym. Originally developed and used by the Russian military, kettlebell exercises challenge your strength and cardiovascular system, which makes them a trainer’s favorite accessory for conditioning and weight loss. The workout below targets the lower body and core, helping reduce love handles and lift your butt. It also blasts calories and works your entire body.
Deadlift: Stand with feet shoulder-width distance apart. Place one kettlebell in between the ankles. Squat down to grab the handle, keeping the back straight and the core engaged. Press through your heels to stand back up, keeping the chest open and your back in a straight line. Keep arms long and close by your body, abs engaged, and squeeze glutes at the top. That’s one rep. Do 12 to 20 reps.
Windmill: Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder-width distance apart. Hold a kettlebell in your left hand overhead. Stabilize weight, keeping it in line with the shoulder and elbow. Slowly inch your right hand down your right leg, keeping the back in a straight line which stretches the left obliques. As your lean to the side, keep weight in line with the shoulder and reach up toward the ceiling. When your right arm touches your knee, slowly reverse movement back to starting position, holding the kettlebell above your head. This is a great exercise to tone up the love handle area, and it’s a great isometric shoulder workout. Do 10 to 12 reps on each side.
Half Get-Up: Lie down on your back with a kettlebell in your left hand lifted toward the ceiling, keeping it in line with left shoulder. Bend your left knee with foot firmly on the ground and keep your right leg straight. Place your right hand by your side. Take a deep breath and on the exhale, lift your shoulder blades off of the mat and reach left hand up. Keep the kettlebell in line with your shoulder the entire time and sit up tall. Slowly reverse the movement. Try doing 5 reps on each side.
Front Squat: Grab one heavy or two lighter kettlebells. Hold the weight against your chest with both elbows bent and close by your sides. Slowly lower down into a squat and press back up through your heels. Engage your core and keep your back straight and chest open. Your abs are working to keep your chest from falling forward making this a lower body and core exercise. Do 10 to 15 reps.
Do you love the kettlebell? Let us know your kettlebell exercises in the comments below!