The Best Kettlebell Exercises To Work Every Muscle Group
Updated: Jan 22
We’ve all been there; you've shown up to the gym ready for a great lift, just to find that all of the equipment you need is taken. All of the squat racks are full, the benches are occupied, and the dumbbells are all being used. Now, what do you do?
Rather than waste time waiting for equipment to open up or figure out something else to do that isn't in line with your training plan, you have another option. There’s really only one thing you need for a challenging, effective workout; a kettlebell.
Kettlebells are an extremely versatile piece of equipment that allow you to work every muscle group. Certified personal trainers call the kettlebell "the most underrated piece of equipment in the gym. The shape of the kettlebell allows you to train power, endurance and strength in one piece of iron."
According to Kettlebell Coach Jason Brown, there are 8 reasons you should train with a kettlebell:
Kettlebell training amplifies your power output
Kettlebell training teaches your body how to deal with a center of gravity that's constantly changing
Kettlebell training builds powerful forearms and a strong grip
Kettlebell training improves your cardio - respiratory fitness
Kettlebells don't require a lot of space
Kettlebell training allows you to reduce overall training time
Kettlebell training bridges the gap between strength training and cardio
Kettlebells ensure you'll never miss a workout since they can be done almost anywhere
Next time you're ready to workout, skip the other equipment, grab a kettlebell and try these three exercises. They'll give you the greatest bang for your buck and leave you coming back for more.
Exercise 1: Kettlebell Swing
The kettlebell swing is a powerful movement that involves a thrusting movement from your hamstrings and glutes. Starting with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart, bend your knees, and let the kettlebell swing back between your legs.
From there, drive your hips forward, keeping your back flat, and raising the kettlebell to shoulder height. Repeat the movement continuously to keep momentum. When performed quickly, kettlebell swings are an effective way to get your heart rate up and improve your anaerobic fitness.
Exercise 2: Kettlebell Thrusters
This full-body movement will challenge all of your muscle groups and requires a great amount of power. To perform a thruster, start by holding two kettlebells by the handle, resting the weight on the back of your shoulders.
From there, bend your knees slightly squatting down, and then drive through your legs to straighten them, and your arms as you raise the kettlebells above your head. Next, squat down and repeat the movement. This compound exercise is an effective one for a full-body burn.
Exercise 3: Kettlebell Clean & Press
Often known as a powerlifting move with barbells, performing the clean and press with a kettlebell allows you to build up strength and improve your grip. This movement starts by holding two kettlebells on the inside of your thighs, with your legs shoulder-width apart and knees bent slightly.
Next, slightly jump off the ground, while simultaneously raising your arms to extend above your head. You should land softly on your feet with your knees slightly bent, and your arms straight above your head, shoulder-width apart. This is a great movement to improve your overhead strength, as well as building a strong core.
Try These Kettlebell Exercises at Inspire Fitness Studio
Want to learn how to properly do these kettlebell movements at a gym near you? Come learn and workout with us at Inspire Fitness Studio in Arlington! We incorporate kettlebell exercises into our small group training sessions, as well as our personal training sessions. Contact us today to learn more or schedule a free consultation!
Joe Rindone, NCPT is a certified personal trainer and the Founder of Inspire Fitness Studio in Arlington, MA. Joe's passion for fitness has motivated him to become one Greater Boston's best personal trainers. An athlete throughout high school and college, Joe has always enjoyed being active. Currently he enjoys road races, working with his boxing coach, kettlebell training and getting out for a round of golf in his spare time.