The kettlebell is a primal piece of workout gear. It’s a cannonball with a handle, plain and simple. There are a variety of weights and sizes to choose from, and there are even a few lines of “rubberized,” colorful kettlebells due to the growing popularity of kettlebell workouts in southern California.
But what are kettlebell exercises good for? Strength and weight loss training to begin with. Kettlebell training incorporates fluid, intense motion to work the core, lower back, lower body, and shoulder muscles. It combines the endurance of a cardiovascular workout with the power of strength training. It requires concentration and body control. A kettlebell workout can be a rewarding training method for weight loss and strength, but it is not for the “casual gym dweller.” Following are three basic kettlebell exercises to get started.
Every activity has a basic move. The yoga beginner learns the downward dog, the tap dancer learns the single time step, the boxer learns the straight right, and the kettlebeller learns the swing.
Lower your body to a squat position: feet at shoulder width, weight on heels, shoulders back, kettlebell between legs.
Grab the kettle bell with both hands. Rise upward while pushing your hips outward. Use your core to swing the kettlebell out and upward. Assist with your lower body and shoulders, but do not use your arms or rely on shoulder strength to swing the kettlebell. Legs and hips are the driving force of the motion.
Once the kettlebell reaches its zenith, now you can actively use your shoulders to return the kettlebell to the beginning position.
Clean and Press
Once you’ve got the swing down, this is the next kettlebell exercise to master. Perfect for weight loss training, the “Clean and Press” begins with the basic swing, but then transforms into a press once you bring the kettlebell to your shoulder.
Start with a basic swing, but keep your elbows tucked in as you bring the kettlebell up.
Once the kettlebell reaches shoulder height, drop back to a half squat. Bring your elbows underneath the kettlebell as you dip down.
Now press the kettlebell above your shoulder, rising to a stand, and finish with the kettlebell raised above your head.
Slowly lower the kettlebell and swing back to the squat position.
Turkish Get Up
This kettlebell exercise is for the advanced kettlebeller. It’s basically a complicated way of standing up. But it utilizes a wide variety of muscles, more strength than weight loss training, but definitely a great addition to the oeuvre of kettlebell exercises.
Lie on your back, and hold the kettlebell straight up with your left hand, elbow locked.
Prop yourself up with your right hand. And pull your left foot toward your buttocks.
Plant your right knee on the ground. Follow through by placing your left foot on the ground. You should be halfway into a kneeling position at this point.
Finally, stand up. Keep in mind, your elbow should be locked for the entire exercise and you should keep your eyes on the kettlebell the entire exercise as well.
Mastering the Turkish Get Up can take some time, but it can drastically improve your weight loss training regiment.
For videos demonstrating the correct methods for all of these kettlebell exercises, take a look at this kettlebell workout article.