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8 Of The Best Kettlebell Exercises

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8 Of The Best Kettlebell Exercises

8 great kettlebell exercises to help build muscle…

Kettlebells have been popular with Russian lifters for over a century, fortunately they are finally getting their dues State side, and with good reason. The thick handles challenge the grip, and the position of the weight in relation to the handle works the muscles extra hard.

They ideal for explosive exercises, building muscle and burning fat, they also add a new dimension to classic dumbbell workouts like chess presses and flys.

This great clip featuring UFC veteran Clay Guida preforming part of his strength and conditioning workout covers at least 3 of the most effective kettlebell exercises.

Kettlebell Swing

[0.05mins – 0.35mins] Stand with legs shoulder width apart. Using two hands pick up the kettlebell, bend your hips and arch your back, so the bell is between you knees. Swing the kettlebell upwards to eye level, make sure your arm is extended. Then bring the kettlebell back down between the knees.

One-Handed Swing

[1.17mins – 1.38mins] – for a more intense kettlebell swing, you can perform the exercise with one hand. Be sure to work up to the one handed swing, do not use the same weight you would use for the two handed swing.

Squats with two kettlebells

[2.45 – 2.59]– Clay performs his squats with two kettlebells. To do this simply pick up the kettlebells in the traditional fashion by the grip. Hold the weights up at shoulder height with your arms bent. To achieve the correct posture, keep you hands tucked near your chin and the weights of kettlebell resting in your forearms. Now bend at the knees whilst arching your hips back.

Now squat as low as you can, and push hard through your heels to return to a standing position. A good rule to note with squats; as you bend your knees keep them inline with your toes. If your knees stick out further than your toes it will put extra strain on the joint and can lead to knee damage.

Squats with One Kettlebell

If two kettlebells are too heavy, you can perform a squat using just one. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart. Pick the kettlebell up with both hands around the weight not the grip. Hold the kettlebell at eye level with your elbows bent – you should be able to see through the handle. Remember to keep you knees inline, not infront of, your toes.

Bicep Curl

A classic exercise that only gets better with kettlebells. Stand with your legs shoulder width apart, hold the kettlebell by the grip with your arm beside your body. Curl your forearm up, as you reach the top you can let the kettle bell touch the forearm, before being your arm slowly back down beside your body.

Kettlebell Clean

This exercise is almost an extension of the swing. It’s an advanced move so make sure you follow all the tips in the video as closely as possible. To perform a clean, stand with your legs shoulder width apart, hips back, and knees bent. Pick the kettlebell by the grip with one hand. Perform a one handed swing, without extending the arm fully. Instead turn your wrist, bend your arms at the elbow and bring the kettlebell up to your chest. The grip should be almost under the chin and the bell should be resting on the outside of your forearm inline with your elbow. Bring the weight back down with the same swing motion and repeat.

Upright Rows

Stand upright with your legs shoulder width apart. Hold the kettlebell by the grip with two hands and your arms extended, so the grip is just below your waistline. Bring the kettlebell up to your chest whilst making sure it’s close to the body. Bring the weight back down slowly, and repeat.

Bent Rows

Take one large step forward, crouch down wide a nice wide base and rest your elbow on your front thigh/knee. Hold the kettlebell by the grip with one hand, and pull it directly up to your chest keeping it inline with your armpit. Lower the kettlebell back down in a controlled motion without letting it touch the floor. Repeat.


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