Kettlebells have been around for a while, but if you are anything like me, you are both nervous and excited about anything that looks new to you in the gym or fitness equipment. I first came across kettlebells about 2 years ago in my gym and I was unsure how to use them until I asked others. They are like normal dumbbells, but they are shaped a lot different and this makes them perfect for some exercises that are a bit more challenging with a dumbbell. I like them because they are an even center of gravity so they lend themselves to someone who is a bit clumsy, too, like myself. Here are some great kettlebell exercises you can do in just 20 minutes. I promise you will be sweating by the end. I sure was!
I should note that kettlebells come in different weights just like dumbbells. I am using a 5 pound one here, but I have seen them all the way up to 50 pounds before. If you are new to strength training, start small and increase as they become less challenging.
Twist It Up- Start at center with your kettlebell in both hands and arms stretched out. Tighten your core and use it to slowly go from side to side in a twisting motion. Do this for one side and then the other, 10 each. Then, do both, 10 each.
Overhead Lift- As before, start with both hands on the kettlebell and arms stretched out. Tighten your core and using your arms, lift the kettlebell above your head while lifting your knee up. You can either lift it just as it is, or do a twist in your wrist and lift it upside down by the handle, whichever is more comfortable for you. Do this 10 times with a 15 second rest, then switch to the other leg. Finally, switch back and forth between legs and do 5 of each leg.
Kettlebell Swing- Stand with a lot of room in front of you. Hold legs wide and bring the kettlebell between them, bent forward as much as possible so the kettlebell goes as far back between your legs as possible. Tighten your core and bring you kettlebell up above your head while tightening your glutes. USIng your core, swing back down into the starting position. Do this 30 more times with a 15 second rest every 10.
Leg Lifts- This one is great for strengthening calves as well as working on balance. Depending on the size of your shoes and the handle hole of your kettlebell you may need to remove shoes for this one like I did. Simply place your foot between the handle’s hole and using your calves and thighs (not your hips) lift the kettlebell. Do this 10 times on each leg.
Behind the Back Pass- I love this one a lot. It really gets my heart going! Start with the kettlebell on one side and pass it to your other hand behind your back and then hold it out and go across the front and do it again. It should be a smooth circle around your midsection. Do this 10 times one way, then switch which direction you go and do 10 more.
Overhead Hand-Offs- Hold onto the kettlebell in one hand and bring it above your head while bringing your other hand up to grab it. Bring it back down with the hand that grabbed it. Pass it off 10 times with one hand leading and then switch directions and do 10 more.
One thing I would like to leave you with; make sure to use gloves that grip if you are not familiar with kettlebells. Also, make sure to not lift more than you can at the time as well as staying away from and TVs or other appliances. Because you are swinging the kettlebell, it is possible to lose control of it. I don’t speak from experience or anything. ;)
Read more by Christine here.