The unique shape of the kettlebell is obviously different than that of a dumbbell. The shape of the kettlebell allows the body to perform a multitude of exercises in a natural, fluid motion. Although most kettlebell exercises can be performed with a dumbbell, performing a snatch or a swing is much more difficult with a dumbbell.
The dumbbell doesn’t become an extension of your arm like the kettlebell as it doesn’t have a handle. The kettlebell handle lets the the bell float and swing outward due to the hip thrust, providing more momentum for both the upward and downward swings.
With dumbbell swings, the arms are forced to be used more since the bulk of the weight is on the sides. In addition to providing grip, the kettlebell handle allows for the bell to be easily passed back and forth between hands, which can keep an exercise set going for longer periods.
The offset weight of the ball forces more muscles to stabilise and allows for the body to take each exercise through a longer range of motion. The increased range of motion will improve flexibility as well as improve the strength of deeper stabilising muscles.
The benefits of a kettlebell workout:
- Increased endurance.
- Rapid fat loss.
- Muscular strength without the added bulk.
- Increased core stability.
- Full-body workout.
- Stronger back.
- Rehabilitated shoulders.
- Mental toughness.
- Decreased musculature pain.
- Twice the results in half the time you would spend at the gym.
Kettlebell training is one of the best ways to burn calories and strengthen your entire body.
How it works: On two or three non consecutive days a week, perform each move in order, resting no more than 30 to 60 seconds between each exercise.
Total Time: up to 30 minutes
1. Turkish Get Up With Kettlebell
- Lie on back with left knee bent, right leg extended. Left arm is extended by side with palm facing down. Hold a kettlebell in right hand with arm extended toward ceiling.
- Engage core and use left hand to sit up, first moving to left forearm then pressing up to left palm, while keeping right arm extended overhead.
- Push hips off ground using left arm and right leg, keeping left leg extended.
- In a quick, controlled movement, swing left leg under body into a half-kneeling position with right foot forward and left knee on ground.
- Keep right arm extended overhead as you outstretch left arm at shoulder height.
- Stand up, stepping left foot next to right, while keeping right arm overhead and left arm outstretched.
- Reverse the sequence to starting position and switch kettlebell to left hand to repeat on opposite side.
- Continue alternating sides.
Sets: 1 to 2
Reps: 16 to 20
2. Russian Kettlebell Swing
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, grabbing the kettlebell handle with both hands in an overhand grip.
- Keeping core engaged, hinge at hips, draw kettlebell between legs, and bend knees slightly.
- Thrust hips forward, generating power from lower body to draw kettlebell to shoulder height, bell facing away from body.
- Hinge at hips once again and repeat sequence, moving as quickly as possible yet careful to maintain proper form.
3. Kettlebell Goblet Squat
- Hold kettlebell with both hands at chest height, standing with feet just slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes turned slightly out.
- Hinge at hips and bend knees lowering to a squat, keeping chest lifted.
- Reverse the movement and repeat.
4. Alternating Single-Arm Clean and Press
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and grab kettlebell with right hand in an overhand grip.
- Perform a single-arm swing, hinging hips and drawing kettlebell back between legs.
- Thrust hips forward, generating power from lower body to raise kettlebell up to shoulder height for a “clean,” bending right elbow in close by side and rotating palm in with thumb facing toward body and kettlebell rotating to back of forearm.
- Allow left arm to outstretch in front of the body at shoulder height.
- Extend right arm overhead in line with shoulder, turning palm away from body as you perform a press with the kettlebell, keeping left arm outstretched at shoulder height.
- Reverse the movement and return to starting position and repeat, switching arms on the next rep by quickly transferring the kettlebell to the left hand when raised to shoulder height.
- Continuing alternating sides.
5. Kettlebell Deadlift
- Stand with feet hip-width apart, kettlebell positioned on ground between feet. Hinge at hips.
- Maintain a neutral spine as hips push back and knees bend slightly to grab handle of kettlebell. Engage glutes and with control, rise up to a standing position, keeping core engaged and kettlebell close to body.
- Reverse movement and repeat.
6. Single-Arm Kettlebell Row
- Stand in a split stance with right foot forward and left foot back, holding kettlebell in extended left arm with right palm resting atop a chair or bench. Hinge at hips and bend right knee slightly.
- Keeping core engaged and shoulder and hips squared toward the ground, draw left elbow back, keeping it close to body as left hand draws in line with chest.
- Re-extend left arm and repeat, completing 12 to 16 reps on left before switching sides and repeating.
7. Kettlebell Russian Twists
- Sit on mat with knees bent, holding a kettlebell with both hands in front of chest. Lift feet off floor, drawing shins parallel with mat.
- Keeping core engaged and spine elongated, rotate torso to the left.
- Reverse the movement, returning back to starting position for one rep.
- Rotate to right side for second rep, keeping kettlebell positioned in front of chest.
- Continue alternating sides.