Kettlebells. You’ve probably seen them around at the gym: these weird looking, cannonball-shaped weights that you’ve often wondered what in the world they’re for and what you should do with them. Or you may have been avoiding them completely, thinking that you need to be at a certain level of fitness in order to use them. If that’s you, you want to keep reading!

Kettlebells (KB) are effective, versatile and convenient. You may think that they’re just another tool like barbells, dumbbells or machines, but they are radically different from the other workout tools you’re used to. You only need one kettlebell for your workout, and it’s easy to do it in the comfort of your own home.

KB training makes everyday activities easier, and injury less likely. You will carry packages easily, have a better posture, a stronger lower back, and more energy overall. You may not have thought it, but using kettlebells
within a workout routine will offer the most functional training possible. In other words, you’ll have an amazing body and your life will be easier!

What makes them so effective?

KB training is dynamic and requires coordination, control and energy.

The off-centered handle is what makes it so different, as the center of gravitation is different from dumbbells and makes your core and grip work a lot harder. You will engage your core muscles more and work entire muscle chains at once. This will trigger a better hormone response and energy consumption during and after exercise.

The seamless movements during a kettlebell workout makes it highly demanding, moving from one exercise to the next without resting. KB training combines mobility, stability and strength. That is why KB workouts are not only great for resistance training but also cardio training.

Mastering the technique is key to avoid injury. See the following basic moves and ask your coach advice to learn the basics.

Basic moves

Kettlebell swing:

This is one of the most powerful kettlebell exercises. It’s low impact, has a similar calorie-burn and metabolic impact to running without the pressure on the joints, and it strengthens the entire backside of the body: glutes, hamstrings, back, as well as your core.

1. Stand with your feet placed outside your shoulders, either pointing straight ahead or turned slightly out, whichever is more comfortable to you.

2. Clench your hands into loose fists. Hold your arms out in front of you, parallel to the ground, with elbows locked and hands touching.

3. Pull your shoulders down into your waist, away from your ears. You should feel some tightness under your armpits. Those are your lats. You may never have felt them like that before, but this sensation is crucial to the swing, so remember it.

4. Tighten your abs like you’re bracing for a punch. Don’t bend forward, though. Just try to lock your ribcage to your pelvis.

5. Finally, squeeze your glutes as tightly as you can, like you’re pinching a coin between your cheeks. Your body should form a straight line from your shoulders through your hips and knees down to your feet.

Goblet squat:
There’s no better exercise to strengthen your core and build amazing legs. Focus on technique and range of motion.

Kettlebell high pull:
This is the ultimate kettlebell cardio exercise. In this exercise, the horizontal pulling action activates the upper back muscles.

Kettlebell deadlift:
Just like you’d do with a barbell, but with a kettlebell (DUH!)

25-minute HIIT kettlebell fat burning workout:

Choose your level and repeat 4x

Brave enough to try this workout? Let us know in the comments below!

One thought on “Guide to Kettlebell Training

  1. Ryan Faucher says:

    I agree completely about the kettlebell swing. It’s certainly one of the most effective and powerful kettlebell exercises. While I do prefer the Russian Kettlebell Swing (as shown in the video), I also like to incorporate the American Kettlebell Swing in my workouts. Although there seems to be a lot of disdain towards that (Crossfit’s) version.

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