Working out with kettlebells is a great way to get your heart rate up and your muscles firing from head to toe. Kettlebells take up little space, but are some of the most versatile weights at the gym — meaning you can get a full body workout using only a few pieces of equipment.
There are many good reasons to use kettlebells. According to the American College of Sports Medicine, free weights like kettlebells can increase muscle size and strength, improve power and endurance and increase bone strength.
If you’re new to working out with kettlebells, try this beginner workout. It’s only 20 minutes!
Minutes 0-5: Figure Eights
Move the kettlebell in a figure eight motion between your legs, switching the kettlebell between hands. Halfway through the five-minute rep, take a quick break if needed.
Resume the second half of the rep by moving the kettlebell between your legs in the opposite direction. If this movement feels easy, bring the kettlebell up to your chest between each figure eight for an added upper-body workout.
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Minutes 5-10: Kettlebell Goblet Squat
Squats are one of the most tried-and-true exercises for fitness enthusiasts of all levels. Add a kettlebell for an extra challenge. Hold the kettlebell near your chest with a firm grip on the lower sides of the handle, and spread your feet slightly wider than hips-width apart.
Keeping your back straight, your shoulders back and your weight in your heels (not your toes), lower your body toward the ground into a squat position. Repeat, taking breaks as needed.
Minutes 10-15: Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings are a popular exercise because they require a full range of motion and can boost cardio and strength levels. Grip the kettlebell by its top handle and start in a slight squat position with your feet hips-width apart and your chest angled a few degrees forward. Keeping your arms straight — but not fully locked — swing the kettlebell up until it reaches the height of your forehead.
If you can’t raise the kettlebell that high, go for a height that’s comfortable yet challenging. Keeping your ab muscles engaged, let the kettlebell swing back down until you return to a slight squat position again. Try doing sets of 10 swings with a short break in between.
Minutes 15-20: Kettlebell Russian Twist
Work your abs and obliques (and catch your breath after those kettlebell swings!) with the kettlebell Russian twist. Sit on your tailbone with your legs bent and feet flat on the floor. Grip the kettlebell by the sides of its base, holding it close to your chest.
Straighten your spine, lean back at a slight angle and move the kettlebell across your body toward the base of one hip. Then move back across your body toward the other hip. Repeat, taking breaks as necessary.
Cool down and stretch after you’re finished. When you’re not too sore, come back and try the routine again to see how working out with kettlebells can bring results.
Consult your doctor before beginning any diet or exercise program.
Get more information about specific health terms, topics and conditions to better manage your health on bcbst.com. BlueCross BlueShield of Tennessee members can access wellness-related discounts on fitness products, gym memberships, healthy eating and more through Blue365®. BCBST members can also find tools and resources to help improve health and well-being by logging into BlueAccess and going to the Managing Your Health tab.