If you’ve been training with dumbbells then you know how effective they are for strength training. Kettlebells combine toning with other fitness advantages as well. If you’re looking to get more out of your workout you may consider adding kettlebells to your home gym for a fun and effective way to mix things up.
The thing about kettlebells is that they do require some learning curve to use them properly. These are different from traditional dumbbells in their offset design that challenges you with each movement. We’ve listed some kettlebell exercises below according to fitness level to help you achieve the results you’re looking for without risking injury.
Kettlebell Exercises for Beginners
This exercise will be one of the starting positions for many other kettlebell exercises. Stand with your feet placed hip-width apart with a kettlebell placed between your feet. Take the kettlebell with your right hand and thumb pointing back. Next stand up as you curl the kettlebell to your chest with the weight of it rotating to the right. Your wrist should rotate and your elbow should be kept close to your side throughout the movement. Come back to the squatting position with the kettlebell and hold position for a few moments then repeat.
This exercise targets the quadriceps. For this exercise stand holding a kettlebell in a lighter weight up to your chest by the handle. While holding the kettlebell squat straight down low until your hamstrings are touching your calves. Maintain a straight back and keep your head up as you do this making sure your knees don’t bend past your toes. Your knees should be pushing out with your elbows as you pause in this position for a brief moment then return back to the starting position.
For this exercise you will stand with your feet placed hip-width apart while holding a kettlebell with both hands by the handle in front of you at the waist. Bend at the knees while flexing forward from the hips as you swing the kettlebell between your legs. Then you will swing the kettlebell up with arms extended while straightening your legs until the kettlebell is at chin level. Continue this repetition for 90 seconds.
Intermediate Kettlebell Exercises
Kettlebell Shoulder Press
This exercise can be done with one or two kettlebells. Stand holding the kettlebell at your shoulder by the top of the handle so that the weight of the kettlebell rests on the back of your forearm and your palm is facing forward. Lift the kettlebell by pushing it up through your elbow, extending your arm overhead. Lower the kettlebell back to the shoulder at the starting position.
This exercise is very similar to the shoulder press using two kettlebells. You are going to clean a kettlebell in each hand to your shoulders. Holding the two kettlebells, lower yourself into a squat coming down as low as you can, keeping your back straight and head up. Come up to standing pushing through your heels as you push the kettlebells straight overhead, extending your arms. Bring the kettlebells back to your shoulders and repeat.
Kettlebell Dead Clean
For this exercise place a kettlebell on the floor between your feet. In a squat, hold the handle of the kettlebell with one hand and keep your head straight. Lift the kettlebell up, extending your arm and pushing with your legs to bring the kettlebell to your shoulder while rotating the wrist. Lower the kettlebell back down to the floor, making sure to keep your back straight throughout the exercise.
Kettlebell Push Press
For this exercise we recommend starting with one kettlebell, then work with two kettlebells once you progress. Start by taking the kettlebell in the clean position to your shoulders, keeping your elbow close to the body. Squat down bringing your hips back and bending knees just slightly then come back up straight in a rapid motion, bringing the kettlebell to your head. Extend your arm(s) straight, pushing the kettlebell straight overhead using your hips throughout the movement to drive your momentum. Lower the kettlebells back to the shoulders then repeat.
Using two kettlebells, place them on the floor at shoulder-width apart. Start into a push up position, holding each kettlebell and keeping your back and body straight. Push your upper body up with your arms straight for your starting position. Row one kettlebell to your chest, bringing your shoulder blade in and your elbow to your side. Bring the kettlebell back to the starting position and repeat the movement with the other side.
Double Kettlebell Snatch
Start with two kettlebells placed between your legs, behind your feet. Keeping your back straight and bending your knees, lift the kettlebells in each hand. Swing the kettlebells up bringing them all the way straight overhead, extending your arms and pushing through your hips in one motion. Your arms should lock and the weight of the kettlebells on the back of your forearm.
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