Kettlebells are definitely my favorite tool for fitness.
(I think you already knew that.)
I can’t think of another tool that is as versatile and accessible as the kettlebell; it’s why it’s still easy for me to come up with a new workout every week even after a year! There are an unlimited number of ways to put together a kettlebell training session.
I do tend towards my favorite exercises, however, a few of which I included in today’s workout. Turkish Get Ups, Snatches, Thrusters… (oh my!). You might even get some burpees in there if you choose wisely. Enjoy!
Here’s my first workout for you of 2018. It’s a test of sorts, where you’re going to max out for 1 minute on 7 basic exercises, and then complete a Snatch endurance test. A test of your kettlebell “prowess”, if you will. (Prowess is an awesome word and it came to me while I was uploading this video, so just go with it.) If all goes well, we’re going to retest this workout at the end of the year so you can see how much you’ve improved!
When you’ve completed the workout, please leave a comment on YouTube with the kettlebell weights you used and your numbers for each test. That way, you can easily find your numbers when we retest at the end of the year.
Ahh, the eternal fitness question: how do I get six pack abs?
You’ve probably heard that kettlebell training is good for your core, and it’s true. (FYI, your core is not just your abs – the core encompasses all of the muscles that stabilize your spine.)
Since you are training the entire body as one and requiring your core muscles to stabilize for you throughout, lifting kettlebells is a great way to train your core. I wouldn’t say it’s the ONLY thing you should do to train your core, however.
The muscles that stabilize the spine should ideally be trained in all different planes of movement (i.e. sagittal, frontal, and transverse), which means you should add rotational and lateral movements into your repertoire. Additionally, crawling exercises are crucial for core health, and can be practiced at any fitness level.
So will kettlebell training give you a six pack? I think you all know the answer to that question… abs are made in the kitchen. Your level of leanness (plus genetic factors) is the biggest factor in determining whether or not the rectus abdominis will be visible. However, I believe function is so much more important than aesthetics – and in terms of a functioning core, kettlebells are a great tool to help you get there!
Try out today’s “Hard Core Kettlebell Workout” and let me know what you think!
One of the things that made me fall in love with Kettlebell Sport training was the fact that it was the most difficult type of workout I had ever done. If you know me, you know I like a challenge, and this challenged me like nothing else. Not just technically, but physically and mentally as well.
As a runner who thought she had pretty good cardio to begin with, I was shocked by how much training to last 10 minutes under a kettlebell improved my cardiovascular fitness. As someone who already trained with weights, I was pleasantly surprised to find how much my strength increased from lifting kettlebells for endurance. Continue reading →
Kettlebells are made for high-repetition exercises
There’s a reason why a 10 minute set of clean and jerk is completed with kettlebells, not dumbbells or a barbell. The way the kettlebell can be gripped and held in the rack and overhead positions makes it a great tool for endurance-based work.
Swings and snatches especially are two of the best kettlebell exercises to build your cardiovascular base. They are incorporated into today’s workout, plus one other exercise, for high-repetition sets. Test your work capacity!!!
This week’s workout incorporates six exercises that I consider “basic benchmarks” for your fitness and strength level. Four of them utilize a kettlebell, and the other two are bodyweight exercises (although you can weigh yourself down with a kettlebell for pull ups if you really want to!).
The goal for this workout isn’t to crush yourself – the goal is to have perfect form and really hone each movement. The rep ranges are low so you can focus on quality of movement. Doing less repetitions doesn’t necessarily mean you’re not getting as good of a workout, especially if you do each repetition with intention.
Think of this like a practice session. Take your time with each movement. Breathe. Rest in between sets as needed. Building skills takes time.
(PS – if the assisted pistol squat is too challenging with a kettlebell, just work without one!)
My absolute favorite conditioning exercise with kettlebells is the Clean & Jerk (also known as Long Cycle). If I had to choose just ONE kettlebell movement to do to get in shape, this would be it. There’s something about the combination of a hinge movement plus bringing the bells overhead that just gets your heart rate going like crazy!
Don’t believe me? Try the workout below and let me know how you feel afterwards.
(And if you don’t know how to do a kettlebell Jerk – no problem. Just do a push press and you will get the same result.)