Kettlebell Workout Routines

A kettlebell is a smooth cast iron ball that can weigh anywhere from 5 to 175 pounds. The iron ball is fitted with a handle on the top. Just imagine a cannon ball with a handle.

Kettlebells can be swung in a dynamic motion or lifted in a basic resistance movement. Kettlebell workout routines can be extremely effective in adding strength due to the versatility of the movement.

Kettlebell History

kettlebell workoutKettlebells have recently become recognized in America, but they have been around for a long time.

Kettlebells became popular in Russia around the start of the 18th century. At that time, Russian kettlebell training incorporated ballistic swings and other explosive movements.

These workouts became well-liked by Russian athletes, who were looking to gain overall body strength and power. Kettlebells have since been adopted by the mainstream fitness community as an efficient alternative to dumbbell training.

Benefits of Kettlebell Workout

Kettlebell workout routines offer cardiovascular benefits, while also increasing strength and muscle endurance. Here are a few reasons why you may want to include kettlebell training into your workout program:

  • The combination of cardio and muscle conditioning exercises will serve 2 purposes at the same time. A kettlebell routine can get you the quickest results in the shortest amount of time.
  • Kettlebell exercises frequently involve quick swinging movements. Those types of actions recruit many muscles of the body. The movements assist in strengthening your core by training the often neglected stabilizing muscles. When you strengthen your core, your other muscles will have a strong foundation to build on.
  • The anaerobic nature of this exercise will get the heart working hard. The natural effect of this is an increased metabolism along with quicker weight loss.
  • The techniques that are used to lift kettlebells are moves known as the swing, clean, jerk, snatch and squat. These are full-body movements that will assist you in gaining total body strength.

Kettlebell Training Tips and Techniques

As with any form of resistance training, proper technique is important to reduce the chance of injury. Start with light weights, until you master the movement. Wear comfortable shoes with a low sole for stability.

kettlebell workout routines

When using kettlebells, make sure you breathe correctly. For example, in a swing, inhale as the kettlebell swings towards you, and exhale as you swing the weight up. In the bench press movement, you should exhale as you push the weight away from your chest and inhale on the way down.

As you gain confidence in your form and breathing, you will be able to add speed to the movements. Many of the kettlebell exercises require speed and momentum. Remember to start with a lighter weight, but don’t be afraid to use speed during the lifts.

Kettlebell Workout Routine

Kettlebell Bench Press

Start this exercise on your back and grasp a pair of kettlebells. With palms facing towards your feet, press the kettlebells straight out above your chest.

As you lower the kettlebells, simultaneously rotate your wrists inward, so your palms are facing each other.

Perform 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions of this exercise.

Kettlebell Military Press

Hold two kettlebells level with your shoulders. Your wrists should be facing each other and just in front of your chin.

Press the kettlebells straight up over your head. Remember to keep the kettlebells parallel as you press them upward. Lower the weight to your shoulders and repeat the movement.

Perform 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

Kettlebell Bent Over Row

Place a pair of kettlebells between your feet. Bend your knees slightly and bend over to grasp the weights. Arch your back and keep your abdominal muscles tight.

Pull both kettlebells up towards your chest and then lower them to the floor.

Perform 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

Kettlebell Squat

Hold two kettlebells at your shoulders in the same manner that you did during the military press. With the kettlebells at shoulder level, squat down towards the floor.

After your knees are parallel with the floor, stand back up and repeat the movement.

Perform 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

Kettlebell Swing

Place one kettlebell between your feet. Bend over and grasp the kettlebell. In this position, swing the kettlebell between your legs, as if you were hiking a football to someone.

After the kettlebell swings back between your legs, raise it up quickly to about chest level. Repeat this movement with the other arm.

Perform 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions with each arm.

Kettlebell Snatch

Place the kettlebell between your feet. This exercise is essentially the same movement as the swing, but with one added step. As you perform the swing through your legs, instead of raising the weight to your chest, raise it all the way up over your head.

Remember to push hard through your hips and explode on the way up.

Perform 3 sets of 10 to 12 repetitions.

This kettlebell workout routine will work just about every muscle in the body, including the heart. Prior to starting a kettlebell program, you may want to consult a kettlebell instructor to maximize these exercises and ensure safety.