A Beginner’s Guide To Kettlebell Exercises

A Beginner’s Guide To Kettlebell Exercises

Kettlebell training is the latest trend in town. This workout tool resembles a cannonball with a handle on it. Kettlebells are available in a variety of sizes and are best suited for folks who would rather not use barbells or dumbbells.

What Is Kettlebell Training?

Kettlebell training offers a unique combination of cardio and strength exercises using a kettlebell. As mentioned above, a kettlebell is an unconventional workout tool that resembles a cannonball with a handle attached to it.

It can be used for building strength, improving balance, agility and endurance whilst promoting weight loss. To help you get started, here are a couple of kettlebell exercises you should include in your everyday workout routine. Some popular exercises include:

Kettlebell Clean

The kettlebell clean is a power packed exercise that swings the bell to the rack position. This allows you to build strength and improve coordination. The kettlebell clean is a safe and efficient way to bring the kettlebell to a rack position and is beneficial for your overhead exercises.

Man Showing Steps for Kettlebell Clean Exercise

How To Start

Adopt a deadlift position with the kettlebell resting a few feet away from you. Now, hike the bell between your legs, like you would with the center of a football. Then drive your hips forward, swinging the kettlebell back to rack position. Now repeat.

You may have trouble if the kettlebell slams on your arm instead of rolling there. This happens when you use your arm to pull the kettlebell, causing it to fly away from you. To prevent this, swing the kettlebell up, keeping your elbow jammed to your ribcage.

Spin your hand while resting the kettlebell there. Another simple tip is to begin the exercise in the rack position. Once you have memorized the feeling, swing the kettlebell between your legs and go back to the rack position.

Kettlebell Snatch

Kettlebell snatching is an advanced skill that requires plenty of practice. Almost everybody that has been introduced to a kettlebell wants to hit to the gym and rush to kettlebell snatching. The kettlebell snatch is an excellent power exercise that requires you to the swing the kettlebell in an overhead position. The snatch utilizes more power and uses more strength compared to a swing or a clean.

Steps for Kettlebell Snatch

How To Start

Start by adopting a deadlift position, resting the bell a few feet away from you. Now, hike the kettlebell back like you would with the center of a football, explosively driving your hips forward. Now, swing the kettlebell at an overhead position similar to a push press. Imagine zipping up your coat as you pull the bell over your head. Now drop the kettlebell back between your feet and repeat.

A common problem associated with kettlebell snack is when the kettlebell slams the top of your forearm. Whip your hand around the bell for better results.

Kettlebell Side Plank

A strong core is likely to give you a competitive edge, especially if you are athlete or simply obsessed about fitness. The kettlebell side plank sculpts power that not only reaches your abs but tones your legs, back and shoulders.

Man Doing a Kettlebell Side Plank

How to Start

Start by lying down on your left side with your left elbow bent under your shoulders. Your legs should be extended in line with your hips. Use your right hand to hold the kettlebell while resting it on the back of your forearm. Your right hand must be extended overhead and must be in line with your shoulder. Brace your abs and press down through your left arm to lift your hips off the floor.

Try lengthening up your right arm while pressing down your left arm, keeping your shoulders away from the ears. While keeping your right arm stable, lower your hips and resume back to the starting position. Try 3 sets of 8 or 12 reps per side.

How To Do A Kettleball Swing

The kettlebell swing is an awesome exercise that tones and builds muscles in your core and hips. To perform a kettlebell swing, try to master the two-handed swing if you are a beginner. Once you are thorough with this method, you can try other variations as well. To protect your core, keep it tight and do not attempt to perform this exercise if you suffer from sciatica or back problems.

Man doing a Kettlebell swing

Here are a couple of tips that will help you master the perfect kettlebell swing:

Keep Your Feet Firm

One of the most troublesome parts of performing a kettlebell swing is learning how to keep your feet firm. Since the kettlebell is likely to pull you as it swings forward. To reap maximum benefits, you must retain your body weight in the ball of your feet and your heels.

Additionally, resist the tendency to roll your toes forward as the kettlebell swings out. If you are unable to hold the weight, try switching to a lighter kettlebell that won’t be difficult to handle. If you are a beginner, opt for a lighter weight until you learn how to continuously swing the kettlebell while keeping your feet firm.

Do Wall Touches

Performing wall touches will teach you hold to get your stance right when you are performing a kettlebell swing. Wall touches will teach you how to appropriately shift your weight, allowing you to maintain a correct posture.

Here’s how you can perform a wall touch:

  • Stand half a thigh-length away from a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Adopt a squat position while bending your knees. Keep your shins straight so your knees rest over your ankles instead of your toes. The sides of your hands should rest between your legs.
  • With the help of your hands, push yourself towards the wall. Do not put additional weight against the wall. Resume to the starting position and repeat. Complete at least 10 reps.
  • Now move further away from the wall and complete another 10 reps. Then, move a little further and then repeat. This exercise will help you carry your weight and momentum.

Kettlebell Deadlift

Practicing deadlifts is an effective way to become familiar with the equipment. Use lightweight kettlebells for practice and focus on building form and perfecting your technique. You can later build your way up with heavier weights if you plan on doing kettle swings.

Woman Doing Kettlebell Deadlift

Follow these simple rules to perform a deadlift:

  • Start by warming up. If you have been warming up with wall touches, you can skip this step. If not, warm up by doing some jogs or by performing squats for about 5 minutes.
  • Adopt the same position as you would for wall touches. However, rather than reaching down using your arms, bend forward instead while rounding your back. Bend your knees while flexing your hips back to lower yourself down.
  • It is now time to reach the handle. Pull yourself slightly towards the handle and then follow a reverse motion by standing tall and pushing your hips forwards. Pause for a couple of seconds at the standing position and then lower the kettlebell. You must focus on how to use the glutes while lifting weights.
  • ​As you lower the kettlebell, work the hips. Do not simply bend down and rest the kettlebell on the floor. Use firm force to push your feet on the floor to maintain your stance.
  • Once you have learned how to contract your glutes, lift the kettlebell. Try repeating this movement to swing the kettlebell forward using your arms. The goal here is to achieve smooth continuous motion while raising the kettlebell up and down. In time, you will learn to build up your speed and will not experience the need to pause between movements.

Add A Step To Your Swing

If you have already mastered the art of one-handed swing, it is time you opt for something even more challenging. Try adding some movements to make your workouts more effective or consider side-stepping or walking forward when you are performing the swing. Follow these simple steps to make your workouts more effective:

  • While performing the kettlebell swing, take a short step forward or sideways. This requires immense focus and will make the exercise more challenging. Ensure you have a strong technique before attempting this or you could risk an injury.
  • Additionally, ensure you have plenty of room to exercise and move around while performing the kettlebell swing. It is best not to perform these exercises when you are in a crowded gym or have kids nearby. Consider going outside or exercise in your backyard.
Woman Swinging Kettlebells

Conclusion

Include these simple exercises in your workout routine. If you are a newbie, it is probably a good idea to seek help from a professional or talk to a physical instructor. If you suffer from back pain, speak to a doctor before performing such exercises.

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