The kettlebell is one of the most powerful and underused pieces of equipment in the gym. If there are not some kettlebell movements into your training, then that should change right now.
The standard movements should already be there, Kettlebell swings, cleans, front squats, overhead presses etc. However, once you have mastered these movements, it can be time to spice up your love life with the kettlebell and try something new.
Have a go at the following moves, and revitalise your kettlebell training.
A gruelling combination of a strange situp, a lunge, and a static overhead hold, the Turkish getup is too often not used. Aside from it being great in stretching your brain to learn a complicated move, it is very difficult and works like hell. Throwing this in as a finisher to your training, or by adapting it to be a killer ab or leg move is excellent. A video below gives you a breakdown of how to do the movement. The trick is to cut the movement up into several pieces in your head. Another tip, always keep your eye on the kettlebell, and your arm locked out.
This can be done either with a light kettlebell for a high amount of reps, but what will really challenge you is to use a heavier weight and aim for around 5-8 reps.
Generally kettlebell training will involve a variation on the snatch, since you’ll be doing front squats and overhead presses. However, the snatch can be an excellent explosive movement. Whilst the path of the kettlebell in a snatch is going to be very different from the path of the barbell in a snatch, there will be some crossover.
It is also a great movement for someone looking to add more explosiveness to their training, but are not quite ready or willing to try out true Olympic lifts yet. The kettbell snatch feels great and works incredibly well.
The overhead squat can be a difficult move that requires adequate mobility to do properly. Trying it out with kettlebells can give you a chance to work on many of the stabilizer muscles that are required in the movement. Becoming a more flexible and dynamic lifter is not a bad thing, so even if this is way out of our comfort zone, it is a great idea to get good at this movement.
Enjoy as your other squatting gets better, and your abs get the beating of a lifetime.
This movement combines a plank and a row and makes both of them more difficult. The trick in this movement is to keep your abs very tight, and to squeeze the shoulder blades when you are rowing the kettlebell.
This movement will torch the abs and have you sweating buckets. Take a look at the video below for an idea how to perform this move.
Back squats aren’t often done with a kettlebell, since the same effect can be achieved with a bar. However, when training your squat, adding variations is only a good thing. Heaving the kettlebells onto your back will give an altered placement of the weight, and thus will affect your movement slightly. These small variations will make us better movers, and better squatters.
Doing this with two heavy kettlebells is a great idea. Aiming for super high reps isn’t going to yield as much benefit as lower reps with a heavier weight.
Clean and Burpee
Whilst this is not the most unique of exercises, it can be a fun little way to finish off a training session. The idea behind this is taking two kettlebells, performing a burpee, then leaping up and cleaning both kettlebells. Lower them, and start again.
The beauty of this movement isn’t only that it is very metabolically demanding, but it is adaptable. For instance, if you are looking to really push yourself, try adding in a renegade row at the bottom of the burpee. Or after you have cleaned the weight go into a front squat, overhead press, or both!
This is verging on the territory of crossfit, but doing a circuit that challenges your lungs and your metabolism is not a bad thing from time to time.
So hopefully this article has given you some ideas to spice up your kettlebell training, no go and try them!