Working out doesn’t have to involve an expensive gym membership, a flaky trainer or even a basement full of fancy equipment. With just 1 or 2 props, you can bust a sweat like a Navy Seal. One of my favorite tools for a make-me-sore workout is my 12kg kettlebell.
I love the efficiency of using my entire body in kettlebell workouts as opposed to a simple dumbbell bicep curl or squat. And best of all, I keep my kettlebell tucked away in a corner of my office. When I’m not using it, it works double-duty as a door stop, a weapon for the would-be intruder and a constant happy reminder that I can do a home workout anytime.
Kettlebells are handles with heavy cast-iron balls underneath, similar to a purse or grocery bag. Using momentum is the name of the game, here, and they’re great for explosive power movements, too. Before embarking on your kettlebell journey, know proper form. Learn the ins and outs of swings, snatches, snatches, high-pulls, cleans, catches and jerks. What lingo, right?
Here are some basic moves to get you started:
1. Kettlebell swing with 2 hands
A favorite among kettlebell enthusiasts, this basic move targets shoulders, back, hips, booty and legs.
How it works: Stand tall, feet parallel and a bit wider than hip-distance apart, core engaged. Grab kettlebell with both hands, keeping the palms face down and arms in front of the body. Keeping back flat and maintaining a slight bend to the knees, drive the hips back, lowering the body — but keeping shoulders above hips. Then, squeeze glutes, engage core and thrust hips forward explosively, allowing kettlebell to swing in front of your body. Remember: The motion should come from the hips (not the arms!). Keep the momentum going and repeat the swing 12-15 reps (or more!).
2. 2-arm high pull
This awesome full-body exercise targets shoulders, biceps, glutes, hamstrings and quads
How it works: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width. Place the kettlebell on the ground between both legs. Draw navel to spine, squat down and grab kettlebell with both hands. Then, using force from the hips, drive heels into floor, stand tall and use momentum to zip kettlebell straight upwards through the center line of body, elbows at shoulder-height, kettlebell just below chin. Repeat a million times (or just 12-15 again.)
3. Kettlebell push-up
Targets: Chest, triceps, shoulders, core, quads
This move is simply a push-up, but with the kettlebell lying on it’s side with 1 hand on the kettlebell’s “belly”. Do 6-8 reps on each side.