If you haven’t started training with kettlebells yet, stop what you’re doing right now and listen. Kettlebell exercises target all aspects of fitness, including strength, endurance and power. They require the use of multiple joints to engage all the large muscles of the body, thereby burning calories faster than exercises that only work one muscle at a time. So if you are looking to build more muscle, spike your metabolism, or simply improve your balance and stability; here are 4 ways to use kettlebells:
How can kettlebells be used?
Core muscles and back
Your core muscles include your upper and lower abdominals, your lower back and oblique muscles. They are associated with balance, strength and stability, making them an essential group of muscles for preventing injuries. Kettle row workouts use kettlebells to strengthen these groups as well as the upper back muscles; which means you’re less likely to develop back pain or related injuries. The kettlebell deadlift works your back, hamstrings and glutes; which will also help strengthen your core and stabilising muscles.
How do you do it? Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, toes slightly turned out, with the kettlebell on the floor in front of you. Squat down and pick up the kettlebell, then stand up and drive through your heels, keeping your chest up and back straight. Squeeze your butt at the top and then lower the kettle bell until it lands at your feet.
Shoulders, chest and arms
There are several kettlebell exercises that target the biceps, triceps, shoulders and chest muscles all at once. The kettlebell swing (done by driving the kettlebell through your legs) not only strengthens these muscles, but also strengthens bone and connective tissue. The kettlebell one-arm high pull works your lats, biceps and glutes which makes it another excellent exercise for improving stabilising muscles.
How do you do it? Standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, take the kettlebell in front of you with your right hand and let it hang in front of your body, arm straight. Bend your knees slightly and use power from your legs and biceps to jerk the kettlebell rapidly up the middle of your body, leading with your elbow, until your hand is about eye level. Repeat.
The kettlebell one-arm clean is also a great workout for the arms, shoulders and lower body. Simply grip the kettlebell loosely with your right hand (standing with feet shoulder-width apart). The handle should run parallel to your feet, with your thumb pointing forward. Drive up with your legs and hips as you pull the bell up the midline of your body into a standing position, keeping it close for more control. Keeping a loose grip throughout the movement, bring the kettlebell up to your shoulder and rotate your arm so the kettlebell turns from the inside to the outside of your body. Then return to your starting position.
Lower body workouts are important for increasing overall strength and for improving posture. The kettlebell swing is one of the most effective ways to use kettlebells because it works the lower back and hips, which improves your overall range of motion. Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed out and grip the kettlebell on the floor in front of you with both hands. Keep your arms loose as you send your hips back and drive to a standing position. Bend your knees slightly, and using your lower back and hips, swing the kettlebell two inches forward, then push it backward through your legs. Swing forward again until you push the kettlebell out and your arms are parallel with the floor.
Overall body workouts
While some kettlebells exercises can be used to target specific muscle groups, generally speaking, each exercise will use more than one muscle group. The kettlebell squat thruster works your shoulders, quads, hamstrings and glutes; making it an effective overall body workout. Begin with a kettlebell in each hand in the rack position. This means to grip both handles and pull your fists to your chin, keeping your elbows pointed straight down. The kettlebells should rest along the outside of your forearms. Keeping your arms tucked in close to your body, squat down and drive the kettlebells overhead as you stand. Bring back to the rack position and repeat.
Their ability to build strength and target multiple muscle groups makes kettlebells a worthwhile addition to any workout regime. The shape of a kettlebell also means you can push, pull, and swing it like no other instrument; unlocking a completely new range of exercises. The proof is in the workout. If you want to build more muscle, generate more power or spike your metabolism, add kettlebells to your workout.
Contact Trifocus Fitness Academy to learn more
If you would like to know more about the different ways to use kettlebells, or how to incorporate them into your fitness business, contact Trifocus Fitness Academy today. Trifocus Fitness Academy offers nationally and internationally accredited courses in the health and fitness industry. To find out more about our online kettlebell course, visit our website or call us on 0861 444 765.