Kettlebells are like the more dynamic cousin of dumbbells. As compared to the steady reliability of dumbbells, kettlebells seem to have a greater barrier to entry, and have little place outside of CrossFit or personal training sessions, and maybe the occasional class. It's true that they're best suited for those at a more intermediate-level, but that shouldn't stop anyone from picking up a kettlebell or two to mix things up a little.
Kettlebells are the best for improving grip strength, and helping you improve your ability to perform explosive movements. This is most effective for people who do plyometrics, powerlifting, or sports like basketball.
They're also a great piece of equipment to use to build muscle and strength. Kettlebells may not replace the versatility of dumbbells, but they're a fun inclusion into your weekly routine and they get your heart pumping like no other. Do note that if you're a beginner to kettlebell work, you may want to start with lighter weights first.
DOUBLE FLOOR PRESS
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First off, using two kettlebells instead of one is far more effective, because it amps up the resistance, and allows for more hypertrophy of your muscles. This means an increase of size through the growth of your muscle cells, allowing you to build muscle more efficiently. The floor press is rather self-explanatory. You just swap out the bench for the floor and a mat, your dumbbells for kettlebells and get pressing. Your legs should be at 45-degrees, with your feet flat on the ground. As you press, ensure that the kettlebells are firmly held in a front grip, with the weight being on your outer forearm. Floor presses are also great for people with shoulder and back issues, as this alleviates rotator cuff strain and back strain from any arching.
DOUBLE FRONT SQUAT
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No matter how great your front squat, you can't say you've mastered it until you've been able to do a two kettlebell front squat. It's an exercise that will improve your stability tremendously, while endowing your lower body muscles with the gains and strength it needs. To start, clean the kettlebells up into rack position, meaning they're resting on your forearms, biceps and shoulders. Lock your fingers together, and have your feet shoulder width apart. Dig your heels into the ground, exhale and sit straight down. Unlike a normal squat where you sit back, a kettlebell squat would require you to sit down with your heels and feet under you. Take a deep breath once you're down, and press your body upwards. No matter how experienced you are, you might want to try doing this with a lighter weight to adjust to the movement.
Photo credit: coachmag
Kettlebell swings are the most straightforward movement one would associate with kettlebell work. Double down on the weights by holding one in each hand to perform this explosive movement. Stand with your feet shoulder width apart and your hips back. Your body should be bent, but your head remains upright with your chest out. Use your heels to keep balance, and feel your hamstrings engaged. Now, snap your hips for an explosive movement, swinging the kettlebell up until its parallel to the ground. Return to starting position and repeat. This is also a fantastic fat burning move.
TURKISH GET UP
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This is a highly effective core building move that's pretty familiar to most. Swap out the dumbbell for a kettlebell and place the kettlebell next to one of your shoulders. Roll to your side in a foetal position, and grab the kettlebell with one hand. The other hand should be used to cover the grip. Slowly roll onto your back with the kettlebell being placed on your stomach. Then lift it until your arm is straight, with your elbow locked. The knee on the same side that is holding the kettlebell should be bent, and your other arm flat on the ground at 45-degrees. With your eyes on the kettlebell, drive the motion up with your foot and opposite hand. Lift up your hips, and maneuver your body into a lunge position. Once you're there, move yourself into standing up, then repeat everything in reverse to move back to the starting position.
DOUBLE BENT OVER ROWS
Photo credit: skimble
Train your back, triceps and shoulder with this pulling exercise. Hold the kettlebells by the side of you, and bend your knees slightly. Your upper body should move forward while your back remains straight and head up. Breathe out, and lift the kettlebells up, squeezing your back muscles and holding for one second each time. Inhale, and return to starting position, then repeat.
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