If you have been wondering what that bottom-heavy weight is with a strange handle lying in your gym is; or thinking how can you use the same in your workouts, then you have come to the right place. Done with dumbbells? Willing to experiment with something different and fun? Then kettlebell workouts are certainly your thing. It isn’t your regular workout and it isn’t easy but hey achieving something without a bit of extra toil isn’t worth achieving, right?
It is time to befriend the ball-shaped weight with a U-shaped handle. Don’t you wonder why is it shaped the way it is and what separates the kettlebell from an average dumbbell? Unlike a dumbbell, the center of gravity isn’t focused on the middle of the handle, a la a dumbbell, but the weight constantly shifts, according to the kind of movements you do. This is what increases the difficulty level.
It is difficult but it is a full body workout, and you also build extra stability in your body, building core and shoulder strength. When you do the kettlebell swing and focus on your lower body, there are moves like presses and snatches that work your shoulders. Most kettlebell workouts are ballistic, this means that they are influenced under the force of gravity. Fix your stance first, stand tall and do not lean backward or push your pelvis forward. This is the basic stance to maintain in all the workouts.
The Right Weight to Use
So, all you need to do is grab a kettlebell and have a go. Is that how you should start? No, not at all, because you have to decide next, which is the right weight for you. Actually, it all depends on your weight. There are different types of weights, and each move requires a different weight. You can go for heavy lifts when you are doing double arm lifts. Also, it always makes sense to start light and then go for heavier weights.
The best part of kettlebell workouts is that you can combine a host of different moves and make it a fun full body kettlebell workout. Actually, kettlebell workouts hit all the major muscle groups. So, pick a few workouts, mix and match them and say hello to a whole new toned you.
I am often asked why do I recommend kettlebell workouts for women and my answer is that they save you valuable time. I know women don a great many hats and it is incredibly hard for women to take time out to nail a one-hour workout. There is another thing that makes me opt for kettlebell workouts and that is that you can complete a full kettlebell workout in a matter of 10 minutes. One kettlebell and a handful of moves makes for an invigorating sweat session.
Top Kettlebell Moves – Best Kettlebell Exercises
I guess now that you are acquainted with the benefits of kettlebell workouts, you must include the same in your exercise regime to lose fat, tone up and generally be the best version of yourself.
This is a full body movement and is bae to your glutes and hamstrings. This is the signature move that works big time, strengthening your lower body and trimming off the extra fat. Here’s how you do it,
Grab a medium-weight kettlebell with both hands and stand a little wider than hip-distance apart. Now, push the hips back, bend your knees slightly so that the weight is between your legs. Tighten and squeeze your glutes and thrust your hips forward to bring the weight to shoulder height, so that you keep your arms straight and core all braced-up. Now, reverse the movement as you bring the kettlebell right between your legs. That completes one rep. To get the best of this movement, try a pyramid workout, starting with 20 reps with a somewhat lighter weight, move towards a higher weight for the next 15 times and finally round it off with 10 rounds with your heaviest weight. This is a super sculpting workout and targets your shoulders, back. Core, butt, and arms, basically your whole body is going to thank you for this killer move.
Single-arm kettlebell swing
The next very popular kettlebell move is the single-arm kettlebell move, mimicking the regular swing, this move targets your whole body and is another great stabilizer move for your glutes and hamstrings. It also works your lats. Nail this move like a pro!
Grab another moderate-weight kettlebell with one hand and stand with your feet wider than hip-distance apart. Squat down and bring your thighs parallel to the floor, focussing the weight between your legs. Now, move your hips forward with a thrust and straighten your knees, swinging the kettlebell and bringing the kettlebell right up to your chest, keeping your arm straight. Squat down again while you swing the kettlebell, swinging it and bringing it between your legs. That completes one rep. Perform three sets of this move, doing 12 reps of each on either side.
Kettlebell Sumo deadlift
The kettlebell sumo deadlift is a great exercise to work your core, glutes, and back. Sumo deadlifts are very glute and adductor-friendly. This is mainly because you squeeze your legs together without bringing your feet together. Your core and back work doubly hard to keep the kettlebell from moving vertically and also brings proper alignment to your upper body. Nail this version of kettlebell sumo deadlift like a bawse!
Resume your stance and keep your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Turn out your toes about 45 degrees out. Squat low and hold the handle of the heavy kettlebell with an overhand and tight grip. Push it through and keep your heels firmly into the floor, while you stand up and extend your arms up. That completes one rep. Start with three sets of eight to 12 reps each.
Kettlebell Goblet Squat
The perfect move to work your legs, glutes, and back. This is an intermediate move, so grab slightly heavier weights. This is more like a wide-stance squat with a kettlebell in hand.
This is my favorite move, all you have got to do is stand up straight, hold the kettlebell right before your chest, grabbing the kettlebell on either side. Stick your elbows close to your body. Squat low as you drive the heels into the ground and push your hips back keeping your thighs parallel to the ground or below. Return to the standing position, and put in at least 15-20 reps, don’t compromise on your form though. The form is more important than the number of reps you do.
Two-Arm Kettlebell Row
Now, this one is love as it hits my problem areas: my back, arms, and shoulders. Most women suffer from back fat after a certain age, and you can nix the fat with the two-arm kettlebell row. You can take it up a notch with heavier weights. Follow the instructions carefully to nail this workout.
Get two kettlebells for this one. Double trouble, anyone? But it is double the fun too, so have fun! Place em’ before your feet and bend your knees. Next, just bend over to grab both the kettlebells and bring them towards your stomach with a flourish. Stick your elbows close to the body and put your back straight. You can drop the weights and repeat the entire exercise for 12 to 15 reps max and you’ll be left sweating and feeling the burn.
Form the figure-8 with your kettlebell and sculpt your arms, back and abs. This is an intermediate level workout, so start doing this only when you become a pro at handling a kettlebell. Here’s how you can do it,
Stand with your legs wider than your hip distance apart, and drop down to a quarter-squat position. Don’t forget your form though, always keep your back straight and chest pulled up. First, grab the kettlebell with your left hand and swing it around to the outside of your left leg and then swing it back between your legs. Switch the kettlebell to the right hand and swing it around the outside of your right leg. Keep the motion going and believe it or not, it mimics the classic basketball drill!
Perform 3 sets of 12 reps each.
This is another kettlebell workout that is a killer triceps and shoulder workout. This isolates the rest of the body’s movement and focusses on the arms and shoulders. Learn how you can do this.
Stand straight with your feet hip-distance apart. Raise your kettlebell so it’s just in front of your chest and extend your arms, keeping your elbows bent. Keep your entire body still, while you circle the kettlebell around your head to your right and then to your left, This is one rep.
Perform three sets of twelve reps in both directions.
The side-press move works your shoulder stability and when you lean sideways you fire up those obliques. Follow the instruction and kill this workout.
Kneel down onto your left knee and hold the light kettlebell in your right hand. Press the kettlebell overhead while you simultaneously lean on to the side, as you bring your whole left palm to the floor. Return back to the start and complete one rep.
Perform three sets of at least 12 reps.
This kettlebell move fires your obliques, increases shoulder stability, hamstrings, and is basically a kettlebell full body exercise. This move brings in more range of motion in the hips, core, and hamstrings, it engages more muscles other kettlebell exercises. You engage your hips as you push them back and bring your upper body forward and to the side. So basically you are working in all directions. Learn how to kill this move.
Grab a light kettlebell in your left hand and stand wider than hip-distance apart. Point the feet sideways to the left. Bring the weight close to your left shoulder, (right next to it) and then press it overhead. Now, turn your chest to the left and stare at your kettlebell, all the while touching your right foot with your right hand. Push your hips back and bring it next to the right corner of the room. This completes one move. Pause, and then start from scratch again while you keep your left arm extended.
Perform at least three sets of twelve reps on each side.
This kettlebell exercise employs a pulling motion, all the while strengthening your biceps and back, and you keep bracing your abs so you are able to stabilize the movement throughout the entire exercise. Here is how you can pull off this move!
Stand with your foot slightly wider than hip distance apart and put your right leg forward, your foot pointing straight ahead, enabling your other foot perpendicular to the front. Bend your right knee and grab your kettlebell in your left hand, extending your arms towards the floor. Maintain a flat back while you rest your right forearm on your right thigh to stabilize your body. Now, pull the kettlebell up by bringing the left elbow behind you. Squeeze your back as you lower the kettlebell to the starting position. Repeat the set and do the same thing on the other. Keep your elbows close to your ribs.
Perform at least three sets of twelve reps on each side.
Earlier, kettlebells were only put to good use by the hulks of your gym or bulked-up cross-fitters. Women stuck to dainty dumbbells. Fortunately, things have changed drastically in the fitness world and today women go by the adage, ‘go hard or go home!’ Kettlebells fulfill most of your fitness goals, such as gaining muscle mass, improving strength or even your aerobic capacity. The best part is that you can accomplish killer kettlebell workouts for women in your garage, in your living room just anywhere. All you need to do is ensure you spare 30 minutes of your valuable time. Studies have shown kettlebell exercises burn as many as 400 calories in 20 minutes. Kettlebell exercises, when done regularly, cut back lower back pain by 57 percent and niggling neck and shoulder pain by 46%. You cannot just ignore kettlebell workout benefits. Go grab your kettlebells and indulge in a vigorous sweat session!
Please Note: Doing kettlebell workouts should be done under the supervision of trained professionals, to avoid major injuries. The weight of kettlebells is decided considering the health of an individual.