The kettlebell is an essential piece of training equipment. 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 some “gummed” colored kettlebell lines due to the growing popularity of kettlebell workouts in Southern California.
But what are kettlebell exercises for? Strength training and weight loss to start with. Kettlebell training incorporates fluid, intense movements to work your core, lower back, lower body, and shoulder muscles. Combine the endurance of a cardio 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’s not for the “casual gym dweller.” Here are three basic kettlebell exercises to get you started.
Each activity has a basic movement. The yoga beginner learns the downward dog, the tap dancer learns the single time step, the boxer learns the straight forehand, and the kettle learns the swing.
Lower your body into a squat position: feet at shoulder height, weight on heels, shoulders back, kettlebell between legs.
Hold the kettle bell with both hands. Lift yourself up while pushing your hips out. Use your core to swing the kettlebell out and up. Help with your lower body and shoulders, but don’t use your arms or rely on shoulder strength to swing the kettlebell. The legs and hips are the driving force behind the movement.
Once the kettlebell reaches its zenith, you can now actively use your shoulders to return the kettlebell to the starting position.
Clean and press
Once you’ve got your swing down, this is the next kettlebell exercise you need to master. Perfect for weight loss training, “Cleanse and Press” begins with the basic swing, but then morphs into a press once you bring the kettlebell to your shoulder.
Start with a basic swing, but keep your elbows tucked in as you lift the kettlebell.
Once the kettlebell reaches shoulder height, step back into a half squat. Bring your elbows under the kettlebell as you dive.
Now press the kettlebell onto your shoulder, lift yourself up to a standing position, and finish with the kettlebell raised above your head.
Slowly lower the kettlebell and return to the squat position.
Stand up turkish
This kettlebell exercise is for the advanced kettlebeller. It is basically a complicated way to stand up. But it uses a wide variety of muscles, more strength than weight loss training, but it is definitely a great addition to the work of kettlebell exercises.
Lie on your back and hold the kettlebell up with your left hand, with your elbow locked.
Support yourself with your right hand. And push your left foot towards your buttocks.
Plant your right knee on the ground. Keep placing your left foot on the ground. At this point, you should be halfway into a kneeling position.
Finally get up. Note that your elbow must be locked throughout the exercise and you must also keep your eyes on the kettlebell throughout the exercise.
Mastering the Turkish lift may take some time, but it can dramatically improve your weight loss training regimen.
To see videos demonstrating the correct methods for all of these kettlebell exercises, take a look at this kettlebell exercise article.