Boring gym routine? Stop with the “death by treadmill” and add some spice to your gym life. Let’s talk about kettlebells and some of the fun ways you can use them.
Sometimes kettlebells are looked at as “well those look cool, but what do you do with them?”
They can be kind of intimidating if you’re unsure of them because they’re not shaped like a dumbbell. Plus, they may not look that heavy, but then you pick one up and realize quickly that you’re mistaken.
Here’s a couple of tips and then we’ll dive in.
- Choose an appropriate weight. If you are going for higher reps (10+) then go for a lighter weight. If you’re going for moderate reps (6-9) then a medium weight, and a heavier weight for reps of 5 and under.
- Kettlebells can get away from you, especially if your hands are sweaty, so if you need to, put some chalk on your hands to give you some grip. No shame in sweaty hands. I mean, I sweat like someone going into traffic court, soooo no shame in that. Okay? 🙂
- Turn the kettlebell in your hands so you have a solid grip for whatever movement you are doing. If that means holding the bell by the handle, then by all means, hold it by the handle. Sometimes though, holding it by the bell and upside down gives you more stability. That said, be smart, and don’t be afraid to turn it around in your hands for what works for your grip.
Okay! Let’s dive into these awesome exercises.
Kettlebell Full Body Workout Exercise 1 – Kettle Bell Swings
Take a kettlebell and hold it with both hands in front of you. Your feet should be about shoulder width apart. Drop your butt towards the floor and with the power of your legs and keeping your core tight, swing the bell up to just above shoulder level, then back down to starting position.
Kettlebell Full Body Workout Exercise 2 – Kettlebell Squat Taps
With feet planted wide and toe pointed out, brace your core and drop your butt straight down and grab hold of the handle of the kettlebell. Then, pushing down through your legs and keeping your arms straight, stand straight up, then drop your butt back down to tap the floor with the weight and stand back up through the same method.
Kettlebell Full Body Workout Exercise 3 – Kettlebell Elevated Split Squat
Using something of a small bit of height – it could be a medicine ball that will flatten on the bottom (as you see in this picture), a bumper plate, or a low box – place your foot back where the top of your foot is resting on the elevation of choice. Bracing your core, drop your knee straight down towards the floor and pick up the kettlebells. Then, repeat the lunge motion straight up and straight down. Be sure to do both legs!
Kettlebell Full Body Workout Exercise 4 – Kettlebell Squats with Elevated Heels
Take two kettlebells and lay them flat on the floor where the handles are flush with the ground. Then rest your heels on the handles of the kettlebells on the floor. Then, hold the third kettlebell close to your chest and upside down like a goblet. Shoot your butt back and down into a low squat position then push down through your legs and return to standing.
Kettlebell Full Body Workout Exercise 5 – Kettlebell Bent Row
Take two kettlebells and stand with feet hip width apart. Bending forward at your hips brace your core and keep your back straight. Keeping your elbows right by your side, pull your elbows back and squeeze those shoulder blades together, then return to lowered position.
Kettlebell Full Body Workout Exercise 6 – Kettlebell Front Raise
Take two kettlebells of a lighter weight and stand with feet shoulder width apart and have soft knees. Bracing your core and keeping your elbows only slightly bent, raise the bells straight up in front of you to shoulder level, then lower back to starting position.
Kettlebell Full Body Workout Exercise 7 – Kettlebell Lateral Raise
Take two kettlebells of a lighter weight and stand with feet shoulder width apart and have soft knees. Bracing your core and keeping your elbows only slightly bent, raise the bells straight out to the side up to shoulder level, then lower back to starting position.
Kettlebell Full Body Workout Exercise 8 – Kettlebell Bicep Curl
Take two kettlebells and stand with feet shoulder width apart and have soft knees while holding the bells with an underhand grip. Curl the kettlebells up towards your shoulders, then lower them back down to starting position.
Kettlebell Full Body Workout Exercise 9 – Kettlebell Russian Twists
Sitting on the floor, brace your core and lean back so that you are resting on the top part of your glutes and raise your feet up off of the floor. Holding the kettlebell around the base of the handles (so you have a solid grip) and keeping your core nice and braced, twist from side to side to engage those obliques and abs. (Note- if you have a bad back, do not attempt this exercise!)
Kettlebell Full Body Workout Exercise 10 – Kettlebell Overhead Raise
Lying flat on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor, hold the kettlebell around the base with a solid grip and keeping your elbows at a 90 degree angle, brace your core and pull the bell up over your head then back so start position, with the kettlebell right above the navel.
Kettlebell Full Body Workout Exercise 11 – Kettlebell Clean
Standing with feet shoulder width apart and soft knees while holding a kettlebell in each hand, pull your elbows straight up towards the ceiling (as pictured below). Once reaching this position, let the kettlebells slide around to the back of your hand so they are resting on your hand and wrist, and drop into a squat (See photo below) then stand back up and return to starting position with kettlebells straight down in front of your legs. This one takes practice, so don’t stress! Keep trying, you’ve totally got this and it’s a functional movement that is so important to everyday life!
Kettlebell Full Body Workout Exercise 12 – Kettlebell Around Body Pass
Standing with feet hip width apart and knees soft, hold the kettlebell in front of you with straight arms. Then, while bracing your core, pass the bell around your body to the back so you are now holding it behind you and continue the circle on around your body. Be sure to go both ways!
Kettlebell Full Body Workout Exercise 13 – Kettlebell Figure Eight
Stand with your feet nice and wide and bend at your hips and drop your butt down. Hold the kettlebell in front of you with one hand and pass it around the outside of your right leg, then through the middle of your legs and then around the outside of your left leg making a figure eight. It’s really important in this one to keep your butt low and the load in your legs and not your back. Keep your core braced and remember to breathe!
These exercises can be mixed and matched
If you’re focusing on arms one day or legs one day, or you can do them all together for a full body day.
The possibilities of awesome things you can do in the gym are endless.
Don’t get caught up in doing the same thing over and over again! There simply isn’t a reason to get bored with your routine.
Remember, you will have to have some repetition of exercises to get stronger, but mixing those exercises up with other exercises and focusing on your goals and what you’re looking to achieve is important.
Your gym routine never has to be boring. For one, it’s a matter of mindset, and for two, having a plan and working that plan will keep things interesting as well. You CAN reach your goals. Stick with me, sister and you’ll learn a great new lifestyle, not just a gym routine.
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