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Different method of using kettlebells

by Gym 51 SG 29 Jul 2020

What is Kettlebell? Kettlebells are cast iron weighing from 5 lbs to more than 100 lbs. They are shaped like balls with handles and are easy to grasp. This is a good tool for strength training.

Kettlebells originated in Russia and became popular in the United States decades ago, but in recent years, with the advent of many courses, videos and books, kettlebells have risen again. Why? Kettlebells provide different types of training such as endurance, strength, balance, agility and cardiac endurance through dynamic movements that target almost every aspect of fitness. People like it because it is challenging, efficient and you only need one piece of equipment.

The idea is to hold the kettlebell with one or both hands and go through various exercises. Some of the following kettlebell exercises are more suitable for a beginner than others, but even if you've swung a few kettlebells around before, the most basic ones are great to have in your gym equipment list and are easy to go ahead by just choosing for a heavier weight.

Are you ready to reap the benefits of kettlebells?

  1. Squat

    This is one of the best ways to exercise the butt, quadriceps and hamstrings. Adding a kettlebell will improve your body's resistance to standing up, thereby further challenging your muscles. Squatting deeply because it’s more functional. Furthermore, keeping the kettlebell near your chest can help you fix the proper shape.

    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and turn your toes slightly outward, gripping the sides of the kettlebell handle with both hands at chest height.

    • Bend at your knees and butt to move into a deep squat, bringing your butt down past your knees.

    • Step on your heels to return to standing.

    1. Deadlifts

    Deadlifts are amazing for your hips and back of legs. They also secretly challenge your core because you must keep your abs tight to avoid bending your back. Choosing a heavier weight with a deadlift because you will not bend your elbows at all, mostly you are using your glutes, which are likely the strongest muscles in your body.

    • Hold a kettlebell in front of your thighs with both hands, palms facing in.

    • Stand with your feet hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent.

    • When you lower your torso and weight toward the ground, hinge your hips back and push your hips back.

    • Keep your back straight and shoulders back. Your torso should be almost parallel to the floor at the bottom of the movement.

    • Keep your core tight and push your heels to stand up straight. Keep arms straight when you lift the weight back to start.

    • Pause at the top and squeeze your hips.

    3.      Suitcase lunges

    This move works the legs and butt. Do remember to make sure that you don’t let the kettlebells swing, keeping them stable by your side like actual suitcases. When they start to swing, the momentum may start to lose control and strain your back.

    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart.

    • Place your arms on your sides, holding a kettlebell in each hand.

    • Take a big step forward. Lower your body and bend both knees 90 degrees. Always keep your back straight, shoulders back and core engaged throughout.

    • Push the heel and put most of the weight on the back foot to return to the original position.

    4.      Kettlebell Swings

    Kettlebell swings are great for your hips, legs and lower back. You can add weight here but nailing the technique with a lighter kettlebell before adding too much weight. In order to swing in the proper form, you must lift your hips vigorously to get the kettlebell up. Do not use your arms and don’t forget to squeeze your hips at the top.

    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the top of the kettlebell handle with both hands.

    • Bend your knees slightly then hinge forward at your hips to swing the kettlebell between your legs.

    • Stand up; use the momentum of your hips to swing the weight to the height of the chest.

    5.      Hand to Hand Swings

    Use the same exact form and setup as regular swings. The only difference is you only have one hand on the kettlebell and switch hands at the top. Switching to one-handed swing to isolate one side at a time, which makes it more difficult and helps improve stability. You may need to use a lighter weight than a conventional swing because you only use one arm.

    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the top of the kettlebell handle with one hand.

    • Bend your knees slightly then hinge forward at your hips to swing the kettlebell between your legs.

    • Stand up when swinging the weight to chest height. On the top of the swing, switch the kettlebell to the other hand.

    • Continue to swing, alternating sides.

    6.      Figure-8s

    This is the most complex exercise of these exercises, but it is fun and not difficult to master. The articulation movement is similar to swing, but instead of swinging the weight forward, you swing it from the back of the body to the chest with one hand. This adds more arm work.

    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the top of the kettlebell handle with one hand.

    • Bend your knees slightly then hinge forward at your hips to swing the kettlebell between your legs.

    • Place your other hand behind your body and under your hips to bear the weight, and hand it off.

    • Stand back up when you pull the weight from the side of your body to your chest. Use your free hand to bear the weight at the top of the movement (so you do not slam it into your chest).

    7.      Push Presses

    This move mainly works your arms, but it also involves the calves, hamstrings, and glutes. Bending your legs should not be a deep squat, just a “2-inch dip”. Try to keep the dip and press a fluid motion, the leg movement will help to make the press go smoothly.

    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the kettlebell in each hand. With the palms facing outwards, the arms are bent so that the weight is placed on each shoulder.

    • Bend your knees a few inches, then stand up and push the weight up vertically.

    • Place the weight on your shoulders, bend your knees, and repeat.

    8.      Triceps Presses

    Many people’s triceps are weak, so you may need to go lighter weight here. To protect your lower back and make sure you are using your triceps, please don’t bend back. The key here is to fully extend your arms to the top, which will allow you to exercise your triceps in the entire range of motion.

    • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.

    • Hold the base of the kettlebell handle with both hands and raise it directly overhead.

    • Keep your elbows close to your ears and lower the kettlebell behind your head to neck level. Pause, then straighten your arms to raise the kettlebell.

    9.      Halos

    This move works your shoulders, chest and core. The trick is keeping your core tight and keep your torso stable while rotating the arms and weight. Consider inserting the pelvis underneath to avoid bending the back. This will ensure that you are exercising your abs without straining your waist.

    • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.

    • Hold the kettlebell by the handle, ball up. And hold it at chest height.

    • Raise the ball to eye level, then slowly circle it to the left around your head. When kettlebell enters behind your head, it should make a sound. After completing a turn, it will return to the ball collection position.

    • Repeat the movement but in another direction.

    10.  Bent-Over Rows

    This move works your triceps, back and chest. The movement should be slow and controlled. Make sure is really feel the exercise in your back and arms, avoiding strain your back. Also, ensuring to look down at the floor as if you look up will hurt your neck.

    • Begin from the lunge, your left leg extends a few feet in front of the right.

    • The hip hinge is bent forward to keep the back straight.

    • Make sure your shoulders and hips are square with the floor.

    • Hold the handle of the kettlebell in your right hand with your arm hanging straight at your side. Place your left arm on your left knee.

    • Lift the kettlebell to the rib cage and engage it back as you pull. Pause and lower it back down.

    11. Flutter Kicks

    When doing sit-ups, placing the kettlebell above your head will challenge your core and lower abs, as will the flapping movements of your legs.

    • Lie on your back and hold the ball base of the kettlebell with both hands. Keep the weight above your shoulders.

    • Lift your shoulders and upper torso off the ground.

    • Lift your legs a few inches off the ground, then flutter kick your feet.

    • If your back is unstable or feels any pressure, raise your legs by two inches.


    12. Sit-Ups to Press

    Adding weight will increase and an extra challenge for your core when you doing sit-ups. The top pressure can also exercise your shoulders and arms. For these sit-ups, you can either keep your knees bend or put them in the butterfly position, just depends on which feels comfortable for your hips.

    • Begin with a sit-up position, lying on your back with your knees bend and feet on the floor.

    • Hold the ball base of the kettlebell with both hands at your chest.

    • Push the weight out when you roll up for sit-ups. When you reach the top of the sit-up, push it all the way up.

    • Pull the weight back to the chest, then roll down to the beginning.

    There are really a lot of benefits when you work out with a kettlebell. A good starting set for a male would be 12kg, 16kg, 18kg, 20kg and 24kg while a good set up for a woman would be 8kg, 10kg, 12kg, 16kg and 18kg.

    Looking for home gym equipment in Singapore? 
    Find out more on our Facebook page and website. 
    If you are interested, you can order through Gym 51!



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