18 Amazing Kettlebell Workouts and Exercises

kettlebell exercisesHave you seen that cannonball looking thing that comes with really thick handles? Don’t worry, it won’t explode and kill you. Rather, this thing, which is popularly known as kettlebells by the way, can be your best friend in the weight loss and strength department. It gives you the benefit of dumbbell and strength training and so much more.

With its odd-looking shape, you have a tendency to skip out the kettlebell weights in the gym or sports equipment store, probably because you don’t even know how to use it. Worry no more. Grab your kettlebells now and start your workout with these kick-ass workouts and exercises. And make sure you watch the kettlebell workout video below.

Why Kettlebell Exercises Should Be Part of Your Workout Routine?

Admit it, you’ve avoided kettlebells because: (a) you don’t know how to use it, or (b) you don’t know how it works which is pretty much the same as “you don’t know how to use it” reason. Apparently, kettlebells is a total body workout and is one of the top fitness trends according to the American Council on Exercise.

So why should you try kettlebell workouts?

  1. They are great for cardio, strength and flexibility training. In fact, kettlebell workouts are combination of cardio and strength training because they work out your major muscles, burn body fat and build power all at the same time.
  2. They can burn more calories. Need I say more?
  3. They simplify your exercise routines. Kettlebell routines have four basic exercises: swing, clean, press and snatch. Yet, the possibilities and combinations are endless.
  4. They are versatile. You can do them anytime, anywhere with this simple all-in-one tool.
  5. They are more fun yet challenging. Save yourself from the same-old treadmill or weights. Kettlebell workout routines are simple, fun, unique and can be combined with other exercise routines. Plus, you don’t necessarily have to be in the gym too.
  6. They engage your entire body including joints and muscle groups so no one (or nothing) will be left behind.
  7. They can work for both men and women. And for the ladies, don’t worry about the muscular look. Kettlebell training will give you a leaner, firmer shape that will enhance your body.
  8. They improve mental focus. It’s not always about your body. The good news is kettlebell workout routines are also a “thinking person’s workout” since you also need to focus on the movements too and not just the simple lifting routine.
  9. They are a solution for your busy schedule. Again, it is an all-in-one tool that combines all sorts of training. Hence, you don’t have to use the “I’m busy” excuse when it comes to working out.
  10. They are cheaper and more cost effective. There is no need to pay for fancy equipment and expensive gym membership since kettlebell weights come in really affordable price (say $25 to $35) which every John and Jane can afford.

Kettlebell Workout Routines for Men and Women

Are you ready to take the plunge?

Before you do, make sure to pick up a weight of your choice. For women, eight to 16 kilogram weights will do while 16 to 32 kg weights work best for men. It is important to start with the weight you are comfortable with to fully maximize the routines and prevent injury.

Then, slowly work your way up. Get your kettlebell weights ready. Here are 18 most amazing and best kettlebell workouts you can do with this tool.

> Two-handed Kettlebell Swing

  • Targets: Shoulders, back, hips, glutes and legs.
  • Level: Beginner.
  • Number of reps: 12 to 15.
  • How to do it: This routine is also a basic kettlebell exercise. While standing up straight, grab the handle of the kettlebell with both hands with the palms face down and your arms in front of your body. Then slightly lower down your body (not squat-low) with your hips driven back. Drive your hips forward while swinging the kettlebell with your glutes and core engaged until the kettlebell is at eye level. Keep in mind that the motion should come from your hips and not the arms as you stand and swing the kettlebell.

> One-Handed Kettlebell Swing

  • Targets: Shoulders, back, hips, glutes, and legs.
  • Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
  • Number of reps: 10 to 12 for each arm.
  • How to do it: This is a basic kettlebell exercises that is similar with two-handed swing but uses only one hand. Grab the kettleball with one hand then swing the kettlebell up with one arm. Don’t forget to swing the other arm to help drive the momentum. At the same time, alternate hands when the kettlebell is behind your legs.

> Kettlebell Bent Row

  • Targets: Back, arms, and shoulders.
  • Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
  • Number of reps: 10 to 12 for each arm.
  • How to do it: This routine is ideal for first timers. Take the kettlebell using one hand, letting it hang at arm’s length. Then squat slightly and bend your hips forward until your torso is almost parallel to the floor. While keeping your torso still, pull the kettlebell to the side until it reaches chest level with your elbows close to your start. Lower your back to start again.

> Around the Body Kettlebell Pass

  • Targets: Arms, shoulders and back
  • Level: Beginner to Intermediate.
  • Number of reps: 10.
  • How to do it: This is another simple yet effective body workout. While standing with your feet hip-width apart, hold a kettlebell with both hands and place it in front of your torso.Bring the kettlebell behind your back using your right arm then grab it with your left hand to bring the bell in front, as if you are drawing a circle around your body. Do this in clockwise and counter clockwise motion and try your best to avoid moving your hips.

> Kettlebell High Pull

  • Targets: Shoulders, arms, butt and hamstrings.
  • Level: Intermediate.
  • Number of reps: 10 to 12 for each arm.
  • How to do it: Place the kettlebell on the ground, just between your legs. Stand with your feet apart, wider than shoulder-width. Bring yourself in a squat position then grab the kettlebell handle with one hand while keeping your core engaged. Using the force from your hips, push yourself in a standing position, pulling the kettlebells upward with your elbows at the same level of your ears. Lower your back down then switch arms.

> Kettlebell Slingshot

  • Targets: Back, arms, abs and obliques.
  • Level: Intermediate.
  • Number of reps: 8 to 12.
  • How to do it: Hold the kettlebell in front of your body, with your arms extended at a chest level. With your feet shoulder-width apart, swing the kettlebell weights behind your back in a clockwise direction with one hand then use your other hand to grab it, swinging the kettlebell in front of your body. Then switch directions.

> Kettlebell Figure 8

  • Targets: Arms, back and abs.
  • Level: Intermediate.
  • Number of reps: 10.
  • How to do it: Either you’ll love or hate number 8 after doing this kettlebell workout. Stand with your feet apart, wider than hip-width. Bend your knees in a quarter-squat position with your back straight and chest up. Grab the kettlebell with your left hand then swing it in front of your left leg, then between your legs and behind your right leg. Get the kettlebell using your right hand, swing it outside your right leg, then in front, in between and behind your left leg. It’s as if you are doing a basketball drill minus the ball, of course.

> Kettlebell Front Squats

  • Targets: Legs, glutes, and back.
  • Level: Intermediate.
  • Number of reps: 10 to 15.
  • How to do it: This routine is the classic squat with a twist. Remember how kettlebell can be combined with other exercise routines? This one is another example. With your feet planted on the floor with hip-width apart, hold the kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest, and your elbows bent. Push your hips back as you bend your knees, making sure that your back is straight and your chest is up, until it forms a 90-degree angle. Slowly return to your standing position.

man with kettlebell> Kettlebell Deadlift

  • Targets: Legs, glutes, arms, back, abs.
  • Level: Intermediate to advanced.
  • Number of reps: 10 to 12.
  • How to do it: Stand firmly with your feet hip-width apart with the kettlebell on the floor, in between your feet. Squat down, grabbing the handle with both hands while keeping your back flat. As you stand up, engage your abs, squeeze your glutes and slowly push down into your heels while keeping your arms extended. Who says you need a barbell?

> Kettlebell Push-Ups

  • Targets: Chest, arms and back.
  • Level: Intermediate to advanced.
  • Number of reps: 10 to 15.
  • How to do it: Push-up is already a perfect workout if you want to tone your arms and shoulders. If you are looking for an exciting and challenging way to do your push-ups, then try it with kettlebell. Get down on your knees and grab the handle of the kettlebell. Slowly extend your feet, wider than hip-width apart. Then slowly go down then up with your hands firmly planted on the bell. If you find this routine difficult, rest your knees on the floor, then go down and up.

> Kettlebell Half Get-Up

  • Targets: Abs, arms and back.
  • Level: Intermediate to advanced.
  • Number of reps: 5 to 8 for each arm.
  • How to do it: Lie down on the floor, face up and legs straight. Hold the kettlebell in your right hand with your arms straight above your shoulder. Then bend your left knee with your left foot firmly planted on the floor, and slowly bring yourself up in a sitting position until your back is straight, with the support of your left arm. Make sure that your right arm maintains its position, keeping the weight directly in line with your shoulder. You should feel your abs tighten and being worked out. Do this routine using your other arm.

> Side Step Kettlebell Swing

  • Targets: Legs, glutes and back.
  • Level: Intermediate to advanced.
  • Number of reps: 10 to 15.
  • How to do it: Keep in mind that kettlebell is versatile, and this kettlebell workout routine will prove that. Remember the two-handed kettlebell swing? That will come in handy too with this routine (which only shows that you will never run out of combinations). Do the two-handed swing. When the ball is down between your feet, step your right foot out to the right. When the kettlebell is up, bring your left foot out so your legs will come together. Do this in one direction then head on to the other way.

> Kettlebell Windmill

  • Targets: Shoulders, back, abs, obliques and hips.
  • Level: Advanced.
  • Number of reps: 5 to 8 for each arm.
  • How to do it: Start by standing with your feet wider than your shoulder-width apart. Hold the weight in your left hand, then raise it next to your left shoulder and press it overhead. Make sure to rotate your chest to the left and look up at the kettlebell with your right hand touching your right foot. Your left and right arms should be forming a straight line as you keep your legs and foot firmly planted on the floor. Do the same routine using your right hand.
  • Quick tip: You can practice this routine first minus the weights until you are able to master the form.

> Kettlebell Clean

  • Targets: Legs, butt and back.
  • Level: Advanced.
  • Number of reps: 10 to 15 for each arm.
  • How to do it: If you are used to the kettlebell weights, then you should try this kettlebell workout routine. Place the kettlebell between your feet. Then grab the bell up to the shoulder length with your elbow staying close to your body. Make sure that all your power is coming from your hips as you swing the kettlebell between your legs before bringing it up, with your arms and hands guiding the bell. At the same time, be careful not to flip the bell since it may injure your wrist.

> Kettlebell Snatch

  • Targets: Shoulders, chest, back and hips.
  • Level: Advanced.
  • Number of reps: 6 to 8 for each arm.
  • How to do it: This is one of the most popular kettlebell exercises you can do with this tool. With the kettlebell between your feet, grab the bell, swing it between your legs and bring it up at a chest level, as if you are elbowing someone. Then bring it down and swing it up again with your elbows at head level. Go back to your original position and swing the kettlebell up above your head and hold it in that position for 3 seconds before bringing it down to the ground.

> Kettlebell Jerk

  • Targets: Shoulders, chest, back and legs.
  • Level: Advanced
  • Number of reps: 4 to 6 for each arm.
  • How to do it: The kettlebell jerk is among the underrated yet one of the best kettlebell workout in terms of increasing your explosiveness and power. Start with feet hip-width apart. Bring the kettlebell closer to your body at a shoulder level with your palm facing the front. Bend your knees and slightly jump in the split position, bringing the kettlebell overhead as you land.

> Kettlebell Push-Up With Row

  • Targets: Chest, arms and back.
  • Level: Advanced.
  • Number of reps: 5 to 8 for each arm.
  • How to do it: If you are bored with the regular push up or still find the push up with kettlebells a bit boring, then this workout routine may work for you. Bring yourself in a push up position with your right arm holding the kettlebell. Perform the push-up but while on top, squeeze your shoulder blades then gently lift your right elbow until it is about six inches behind your body. Go back to your starting position and do it on your left arm.

> Two-Arm Kettlebell Military Press

  • Targets: Shoulders, arms and back.
  • Level: Advanced.
  • Number of reps: 10 to 20.
  • How to do it: If you think you can handle kettlebell clean exercise, then you should give this a try. Get hold of a kettlebell on each hand. Bring the bells up while leaning forward at the waist so they are both positioned behind your head. Bring it back down at a shoulder level before you continue pressing.

So the next time you see kettlebell weights, don’t be intimidated. It may seem difficult but kettlebell workout routines are pretty easy especially when you get used to it. The important thing is to start slow yet steady. Do not rush and give your muscle groups a rest for at least two days before your workout again. At the same time, practice proper form and ask for help from kettlebellers to make sure you are doing the right thing.

And now see how the workout is done. Watch the video below! Kettlebell exercises are supposed to be fun, exciting yet challenging. What’s the point of working out when you’re not even doing it right?

[cleveryoutube video=”AAuSQEYs4ws” vidstyle=”1″ pic=”” afterpic=”” width=”” quality=”inherit” starttime=”” endtime=”” caption=”Here is a video of a great kettlebell workout that is fantastic for fat loss.” showexpander=”off” alignment=”center” newser=””]

 

Barbara Komorek

Barbara is the founder and owner of www.leanhealthyandwise.com. She is a former research scientist with a serious passion for health. She enjoys writing about nutrition, wellness and lifestyle and empowering people to take control of their health.

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