Kettlebell exercises help maintain movement and flexibility, which may be one of the reasons why their popularity is on the rise. Kettlebells are the preferred tool for many when exercising. If you are new to the kettlebell phenomenon, don’t be scared to give it a try and make sure you buy the best kettlebells for use. Yes, you may have seen the hulk-ish bodybuilder types swinging around their kettlebells at the gym, but don’t let this intimidate you. Some of the best kettlebell exercises can be done by almost anyone.
Kettlebells were originally created to train the Russian army. Despite that fact, kettlebells do provide an excellent, full-body workout for everyone — not just soldiers. Often, like with so many other exercise tools, kettlebells are regularly used improperly. However, if you are able to master the basics, you will be able to achieve the best results and see improvements when you use some of the best kettlebell exercises.
Why Are Kettlebell Exercises Good for a Workout?
The shape of the kettlebell is like a cannonball. This unique shape combined with the offset handle allows for a different kind of workout compared to a dumbbell or barbell. This shape and handle will let you perform fast ballistics and slower grind exercises.
One of the best benefits of kettlebell exercises is that they are a total body workout, meaning that you will get full body strengthening and conditioning while only using one tool. These five best kettlebell exercises for beginners will give you a workout like no other. Learn to do squats, deadlifts and presses like a pro!
5.) Russian Twists
Targets: Back, legs, shoulders, arms
These twists provide the perfect alternative to crunches because they target your abdominal muscles and challenge your balance. You don’t need a heavyweight for this exercise to be productive. A moderate weight kettlebell like a 35 pounds Yes4all will suffice. In fact, a heavyweight may end up being counterproductive as you can end up losing form quickly.
Even though a lot of the best kettlebell exercises engage your core, it’s essential to incorporate this move into your workouts for better performance. Russian twists are a great abdominal workout but without all the tedious crunches and sit-ups. Plus, they help toward those perfect six-pack abs.
How to Do Russian Twists
- Sit with your legs out in front of you, bent at the knees.
- Lower your upper body halfway to the floor and pick up your kettlebell with both hands, holding it near your chest.
- Exhale as you twist your upper body to the left side so that the bell almost touches the floor on that side.
- Inhale as you return to center.
- Repeat on the right side, making sure your core stays tight and your back doesn’t arch.
For an added challenge, raise your feet a few inches off the floor.
Targets: Shoulders, arms, back
Like the deadlift, this move is used by a lot of barbell weight trainers. Unlike the deadlift, this exercise targets the upper body and transforms the body making it look, feel and perform better.
The unusual shape and size of the kettlebell challenge core strength when doing a press as the center of gravity shifts through the range of motion. The kettlebell press exercise uses most of the muscles in the body and improves overhead strength. This helps develop better alignment throughout the body, making it one of the best kettlebell exercises.
How to Do Presses
- With your feet shoulder-width apart, hike the kettlebell up to rack position.
- Hold the bell in your left hand near your left shoulder, and keep your elbow in towards your side.
- Bend slightly at the knees and straighten as you push the bell above your head.
- Move the kettlebell in a straight line from your shoulder to the top of the move.
- Slowly lower the kettlebell back to start.
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Targets: Shoulders, back, hips, glutes, legs
The swing is one of the best kettlebell exercises and can be performed one or two-handed or using one arm at a time. Swings may seem similar to a squat, but the idea is to hike the kettlebell back behind you instead of lowering it. The swing exercise targets all your lower body muscles and the muscles in your back and shoulders.
By using a heavy kettlebell like the SPRI deluxe for lower sets of reps you will improve your muscle power. The swing is the perfect exercise to burn calories, build muscles and boost endurance.
How to Do Swings
- Start with your legs a bit wider than shoulder distance apart, and hold your kettlebell with both hands in front of you.
- Bend your knees and hips enough to allow you to swing the kettlebell through your legs towards your butt.
- Don’t arch your back or collapse your chest forward.
- Thrust your hips forward and straighten your knees as you swing the kettlebell forward, stopping it as it approaches eye level.
The forward motion is an explosive swing that engages your hips, quads and shoulders. For a bit of variation, hold a kettlebell with only one hand and move through the standard range of motion.
Targets: Legs, glutes, back
These are one of the most versatile moves in kettlebell training. Kettlebells are more unstable than standard weights, which allows you to build but more momentum when exercising. This will activate the muscles on a deeper level.
There are many different types of squats: goblet squats, front squats, sumo squats, single-leg squats and overhead squats. The variations are nearly limitless. Once you perfect the basic form, you can move on to more challenging versions.
How to Squat
- Start in the same position as a deadlift.
- Bend at the hips and knees, lowering your butt towards the ground as if you were about to sit in a chair.
- Don’t let your knees come out over your toes or in towards each other.
- Keep your back straight and your abs tight as you straighten back to start.
You don’t need a kettlebell at first, but eventually, you can either hold one with two hands in front of your chest (goblet squat). Or one in each handheld near your shoulders (front squat).
Targets: Legs, glutes, arms, back, abs
These are the foundation for most of the best kettlebell exercises. Knowing how to do deadlifts correctly not only gives you an excellent lower body workout but also ensures you won’t pull or strain anything while performing advanced moves.
Kettlebell deadlift exercises burn a lot of calories because this movement works so many different muscles. It may also improve your posture as these exercises strengthen your core and back muscles.
How to Deadlift
- Place your kettlebell on the ground a little bit in front of you.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and pointed slightly outward.
- Hinge forward from your hips and lower towards the ground by bending your knees.
- Reach forward and grab the bell with both hands then straighten back up to the starting position without raising your shoulders.
- Keep your back flat and abs and quads engaged.
- For additional reps, keep holding the bell as you lower and raise, barely touching the kettlebell to the floor at the bottom.
After doing eight to ten reps of each of these exercises, it’s easy to see why kettlebells are such an efficient workout.
If you learn to do these five best kettlebell exercises properly, you will begin to feel and see the benefits of a total body workout. Once you’ve mastered these beginners exercises, you’ll be able to move on to more advanced ones like snatches, windmills and Turkish get-ups.
Want a More Unconventional Workout?
Do you struggle to motivate yourself to get to the gym? Then maybe you should consider trying a more unconventional workout like beer yoga or a karaoke spin class. Workout classes like these are a fun way to keep fit while not taking it too seriously and enjoying yourself.
Want to burn more calories? Click onto our next article to learn how to do 12 awesome calorie burning workouts.