Kettlebells have been around for a long time and were used by Russian Strongmen to develop strength, endurance, balance and flexibility. Today, fitness enthusiasts of all backgrounds have turned to them to meet their fitness needs. Pick one of these bad boys up and try a few movements with them and you will see why they have become so popular.
Kettlebell training is a great way to strengthen muscles throughout your entire body. So in this section, I am going to introduce you to 5 kettlebell movements that can be incorporated into your training program in order to improve your overall exercise experience.
1. Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings are awesome for developing your core muscles. To perform kettlebell swings, start by grabbing the kettlebell in both hands, push your hips backwards, and slightly bend your knees. Your back should be flat and it should remain flat throughout the entire movement.
Once you are in this position, swing the weight back between your legs and then reverse the movement by driving your hips forward. While keeping your arms straight, allow the weight to rise up above your head. Your arms and the length of the kettlebell should remain in a straight line and you should be doing very little work with your shoulders.
The hip thrust should cause the kettlebell to move, not your shoulders. Keep your arms straight and once the weight reaches the top of the movement, let it swing back down and repeat.
2. Russian Kettlebell Drop Swings
Russian kettlebell drop swings are very similar to normal kettlebell swings, but with a few twists. They both involve thrusting the weight up with your hips, but for this movement you are only going to bring the weight up to eye level. Also, after you pop the kettlebell off your hips, you are doing to drop down into a full squat. This adds a level of difficulty and intensity to the regular kettlebell swing motion and brings your quads into the equation.
3. Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up
The kettlebell Turkish get-up develops balance, shoulder mobility, and functional strength. To set up for the movement, lie on your back with a kettlebell in one hand extended straight up in the air with the knee that is on the same side as the kettlebell bent.
Begin the movement by pivoting toward your free hand and use that arm and hand to push you forward into a seated position. Next, lift your glutes off the floor, look up at the kettlebell, and stand up while keeping everything stable. Once the kettlebell is extended straight up above your head, reverse the movements back to the starting position.
Your arm holding the kettlebell should be locked out at all times. This one can also be a little tricky to get the hang of so be sure to practice with a lighter weight until you get the hang of it.
4. One-Arm Kettlebell Thrusters
This is a great movement for developing overall strength, endurance, and balance. Take the kettlebell in one hand with the weight of the kettlebell resting behind your forearm and to the side of your shoulder. Once you get set up, squat down into a full squat and then explode upward while allowing your arm to extend up above your head into a locked out position. Return the weight to the starting position and repeat the movement.
Once you are done with the set on one side, switch sides and follow these same steps. Kettlebell thrusters can also be performed with two kettlebells, one in each hand.
5. Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift High Pull
This is another movement that is great for developing full body strength and requires keeping the weight in close to your body. Start with the kettlebell on the ground and pull it up just like you would during a normal sumo deadlift. Pull hard enough to allow the weight to continue traveling upward until your hands are up near your chin. Your elbows should be higher than your hands throughout the entire movement. Return the weight to the ground and repeat.
If you haven’t started using kettlebells in your exercise routine, these five movements are definitely worth trying. Like I said, kettlebell movements are a great way for any increase overall strength, stability, balance, and flexibility. So, pick one up and give it a try, you will be glad you did!