If you want a well-toned and toned body, you have to work out regularly – we all know that. After all, a tight butt, slim legs and a visible six-pack are the dream of every woman. HIIT, Crossfit, Tabata, dead weight training, etc. – the fitness world is always evolving and the choice of workouts is now endless. If you work out at the gym, you’ve definitely noticed them before – kettlebells. Next to medicine balls, dumbbells, barbells and the like, the small balls are often quickly lost and unfortunately don’t get the attention they actually deserve. Yet kettlebell exercises are quite challenging and thus a great addition to any training program. Want to build muscle and improve your endurance and strength? Then get ready to break a sweat, because below you will find the best kettlebell exercises!
Table of Contents
- What are the benefits of kettlebell training?
- What kettlebell weight should we train with?
- The best kettlebell exercises for an effective total body workout
What are the benefits of kettlebell training?
Kettlebells are balls with a flattened base and a handle. One of the biggest advantages of kettlebell exercises is that they require very little space – perfect for those who prefer to train at home and don’t want to spend money on a bunch of fitness equipment. In contrast to the classic exercises with dumbbells, kettlebell training works several muscle groups at the same time. This, in turn, not only promotes muscle growth, but also improves our coordination, strength and endurance. Since we are exercising multiple muscles in the process, calorie consumption is also significantly increased. In as little as 20-30 minutes, you can get an intense full-body workout with kettlebells and burn more than 300 calories, depending on the weight and intensity. In fact, kettlebell exercises are a much more effective alternative to jogging or cycling.
What kettlebell weight should we exercise with?
The weight you use to perform kettlebell exercises depends first and foremost on your fitness level. The kettlebells come in weights ranging from 2 to 32 kilograms, making the workout perfect for both beginners and advanced exercisers. If you’re brand new to the fitness world, it’s better to start with lighter weights of 2 to 6 kilos and work your way up steadily. Even those who work out regularly but have never done exercises with kettlebells should not go higher right away. To avoid injury and get the most out of your workout, proper technique is essential. In addition, the right kettlebell weight also depends on the exercises you do with it. For example, you can use heavier weights for movements that work larger muscles (squats, deadlifts) than for exercises that work smaller muscles (biceps curls and the like).
The best kettlebell exercises for an effective total body workout.
A kettlebell workout is efficient, versatile and just really fun. It is quite possible to get a very good and challenging total body workout even with a single kettlebell. So get in top shape by adding the following kettlebell exercises to your workout routine!
Kettlebell Swing Execution
The kettlebell swing is arguably the classic kettlebell exercise and a great way to work your abs, legs and butt at the same time.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and turn the tops of your feet slightly outward.
- Grasp the kettlebell firmly with both hands and hold in an overhand grip.
- Hold kettlebell in front of body with arms extended and knees and hips slightly bent.
- Then, using an explosive extension of the knee and hip, bring the kettlebell to shoulder height in a dynamic motion with arms extended.
- Swing the kettlebell back in a controlled manner and perform the movement dynamically 10-15 times.
- During the Kettlebell Swing, make sure to keep your back straight and your abdomen tight. Explosive power must also come from the legs and core of the body.
The Goblet Squat is also one of the most effective kettlebell exercises that should not be missing from any training program. With this squat variation, you will train your back, biceps and shoulders in addition to your butt and legs.
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and hold the top handles of the kettlebell firmly with both hands.
- Hold the kettlebell close to chest level and squat low until thighs are parallel to the floor.
- Without momentum and slowly return to the starting position and do 10-15 repetitions.
- To increase the difficulty, combine the Goblet Squat with Shoulder Press by extending the arms up from the squat position.
If you’ve done Crossfit workouts before, you’re probably familiar with the kettlebell clean. The exercise is a more challenging variation of the kettlebell swing and works all major muscle groups simultaneously.
- Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and position the kettlebell between your feet.
- Slightly bend your knees, grasp the kettlebell with one hand and lift, extending your legs.
- Now push the hips forward and up in a dynamic motion so that the kettlebell is above knee level.
- Contract the shoulders and place the kettlebell in front of them.
- Then press the kettlebell overhead and lower it back to the ground in a controlled manner.
- Do 10-12 repetitions per side.
Kettlebell Exercises: Double Windmills
Double Windmills may look super simple at first glance, but they are actually some of the best kettlebell exercises for the abdominals.
- Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and hold 1 kettlebell in each hand.
- Turn your feet so that you are facing about 45 degrees to the right and press your left hand with the kettlebell straight overhead until your elbow is extended.
- Shift the hips to the left as you bend to the right, touching the right foot with your hand.
- Slowly come back up and do a total of 10-15 reps per side.
Single leg deadlift
Single leg deadlift with kettlebell is another brilliant compound exercise that works multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
- Stand upright and hold a kettlebell with your left hand at the side of your body.
- Shift the weight to the left leg, bending the upper body forward while extending the right leg backward.
- Slowly return to starting position and complete 10-15 repetitions per side.
Kettlebell exercises: Lunges with shoulder press
Do you want to improve your coordination and strengthen your glutes, hamstrings and core muscles at the same time? Then you should definitely add lunges with shoulder press to your kettlebell workout.
- Stand up straight and hold a kettlebell with your left hand.
- Take a big step backward while extending your arm up over your head.
- Slowly return to the starting position and lower the kettlebell.
- Do 10-12 repetitions and then switch sides.
Turkish Get-up execution
We all know and hate Burpees and Bulgarian Squats. But what is Turkish Get-up, please? Often underestimated and quite unknown, Turkish Get-up exercise is an excellent way to train the whole body. However, it is a very challenging and even dangerous exercise and thus rather unsuitable for beginners. In fact, until you master the movement, we would recommend you to perform the exercise without weights first.
- Start lying supine and hold the kettlebell with your left hand extended above your head. Make sure you hold the handle very tightly.
- Bend the left foot while the right remains extended and slightly rotated outward.
- Now squeeze the right arm and left heel, straightening the thoracic spine. At the same time, lift the left shoulder off the floor and rotate the chest slightly to the right.
- Leaning into the right elbow, extend the right arm and place the palm on the floor.
- Tighten the abdomen and buttocks and press the left foot into the floor.
- Extend hips in a controlled manner and reach upward until body forms a straight line from right shoulder to right heel.
- Return to starting position and do 8-10 repetitions.