A full body workout, with one superstar fitness tool.
The kettlebell has been hailed as a superstar fitness tool. That’s because it works many muscles in just one movement and also has cardiovascular benefits. Infact, studies have shown that an hour kettlebell workout burns more calories than most other workouts.
Use a kettlebell that challenges you. Don’t shy away from the heavier ones.
- Squat with a kettlebell in the rack position x 10 each side
- Kettlebell swing x 20
- Alternating backwards lunge with kettlebell tricep press x 10 each side
- Romanian (straight leg) deadlift x 20 each side
- Tricep dips x 20
- Single leg deadlift x 10 each side
- Sumo squats x 20
Repeat moves 1-10 twice to complete the full workout
Starting: place the kettlebell in the rack/clean position, with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, in the squat stance.
Movement: squat as low as you can go while keeping your feet at on the ground, especially your heels. Keep your eyes up in order to maintain a straight back. Don’t bounce. Control your movement up and down, squeezing the glutes as you stand up (think about holding a credit card between your bum cheeks – you wouldn’t want to lose that now would you?)
2. Romanian single leg Deadlift x 20 each side
Starting: place your feet shoulder-width apart and hold a kettlebell with both hands, with your arms both out in front of you.
Movement: move the hips backwards with the shins staying more or less vertical and your weight back on your heels. Your legs should remain straight with a slight bend in the knees. Keep your back relatively at with only a slight arch. Keep looking upwards with your head neutral to your torso, which helps to keep the back straight. Only lower the body as low as it can go without rounding the lower back. Let your arms hang without any tension on them. Control the movement and avoid any jerking. The kettlebell may not touch the ground initially, but as your hamstring flexibility improves the kettlebell eventually will. Anyone with exceptional hamstring flexibility or long arms should stand on a stair/box to be able to lower the kettlebell further. Aim to lower the body until the back is horizontal with the ground, like a tabletop. Be careful that the extra depth is not accomplished by rounding the back. Use hip flexibility to extend and achieve depth. Having reached the bottom of your range of motion stand up straight again, with your shoulders back.
3. Kettlebell Swings
Starting:Stand with your feet positioned just wider than shoulder-width apart in a squat stance. Set the kettlebell out in front of you, then hinge at the hips. Push your hips back while keeping your chest up as you grab the kettlebell with two hands.
Movement: Initiate the first swing by pulling the kettlebell back between your legs. Drive the kettlebell forward by using an explosive hip extension movement to propel the weight forward. As the kettlebell ‘floats’ up lock out your entire body, then wait for the kettlebell to fall on its own. At the last second hinge at the hips again to repeat the movement in a fluid motion.
4. Tricep Dips x 20
Starting: select two heavy kettlebells or a bench/box. Place your hands on the support, with your fingers facing your body. Your arms and back should be straight and perpendicular with the ground, with your knees bent.
Movement: lower your body by bending at the elbows, until the back of the elbows are at shoulder height. Press yourself back up by using your triceps. Avoid doing all the pushing with your legs.
5. Halo circles 10 each side/ direction
Starting: Hold the kettlebell by the horns, with the bottom up, in front of your body at chest level.
Movement: start moving the kettlebell around your head in one direction, past the ear, around to the back of the head, past the other ear and back to the chest. When the kettlebell is behind your head your elbows should be facing forwards, with your shoulders back. The core is used to ensure that your body is stable when making a wide circle around your head. Remember to squeeze the glutes and pull the navel towards the spine. Alternating backward lunge with tricep press
6. Single leg deadlift x 10 each side
Starting: place the kettlebell next to and on the outside of the ankle of your standing/active leg, creating an off -balanced load (you may use two kettlebells, with one placed on either side of the supporting foot).
Movement: lift the foot of the opposite leg off the floor. Bend at the hips, push the glutes out and slightly squat down to pick up the kettlebell/s. Try not to lean to the non-loaded side. Go down as far as you can while keeping the foot completely on the floor, without lifting the heel. Stand back up with a straight posture, holding the kettlebell with a relaxed, straight arm. Do not drop the raised leg. Rather try to balance on your active leg. If you feel like you’re losing your balance, lightly place the toe of the raised leg on the floor.
7. Sumo Squats x 20
Starting: Think big guy wearing strange ‘underpants’ in his wide stance for this movement. Place your feet wider than hip distance apart, with your toes facing outwards. Track the toes with the knees. Hold a kettlebell with both hands, with your arms straight and next to the body.
Movement: squat low until the thighs are horizontal with the floor, then squeeze your glutes in a controlled manner stand back up.
Photography by: James Patrick (www.jamespatrick.com) | Performed by: Tiffany Gaston
Author: Tanja Schmitz
Founder and Editor of Fitness Magazine. You’ll find her behind her computer or on her bike, dreaming up new ways to improve or create content for you.