The Ultimate Kettlebell Workout

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Amelia Phillips

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Referred to as a “cannonball with a handle” this one piece of equipment will build strength, power, improve balance and get that heart pumping (i.e. improve cardiovascular). In fact one of the American Council on Exercise (ACE) studies earlier this year found that during a typical Kettlebell workout participants burned approximately 20 calories per minute!

On Kettlebells they say  “Kettlebells not only offer resistance training benefits, they also will ultimately help people burn calories, lose weight, and enhance their functional performance capabilities”.

Before You Start: What You Need To Know

Before you get stuck into Kettlebell training though be sure to go for a lighter weight – this is not a reflection of your fitness, just that a lot of technique is involved in Kettlebells and as we know its safer to work on technique before adding heavier weight. If you happen to work out in a gym – get your friendly gym instructor to give you some tips and demonstration.

The Technique

The swing – first things first – you don’t use your arms. Here is a quick breakdown of the swing: the swing is all hips, glutes and core. It’s an explosive move through your legs and hinging at the hips:

  1. Feet are hip-width apart with your shoulders back and down (flat back).
  2. Kettlebell is sitting to the centre of your feet with your hands around the handle – don’t squeeze, soft knees sitting into your heels, like you would for a squat.
  3. Arms are in full extension but not locked at the elbows. Stay tight through the core and lean into your heels as you drive up through your glutes.
  4. Hinge at the hips, squeeze the pelvis (cheeks of your butt) forward and raise arms to shoulder height.
  5. Catch the weight back into your heels and glutes as the weight comes back down. Kettlebell comes back through your legs.

Have 20mins to spare? That’s 400 calories if you go at intensity and do I have a workout for you – click on the attached photos that demonstrate each move.

Warm up – 7 minutes including high knees, butt kicks, star jumps, skipping;

Set the clock for 9 mins:

Exercise Reps/Time Comment
Kettlebell (KB) Swings  X20 Technique as above
Push Ups on KB  X10 Elbows tucked into ribs, body weight forward, shoulders back and down (knees or toes)
Sumo Squat High Pull  X20 Legs wider than shoulder width, knees tracking over toes and pushed out. Butt down drive through glutes into a high pull

Continue rotating through exercise for 8 mins.

Plank rest 1 min

Set the clock for 9 mins

Exercise Reps/Time Comment
Kettlebell (KB) SwingsSingle Arm  X20 (10 each side) Technique as above
Lunge press with KB  X20 (10 each side) Ensure quads are 90deg angle, drive through the front heel, arm – full extension
Squat press   X10 Feet hip width apart, KB at chest. Squat drive arms to full extension, push through heels. Keep chest proud.

Continue rotating through exercise for 8mins.

Plank rest 1 min

Cool down and stretch.

Please tell me – did the heart pump and sky rocket?

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