It’s now possible to get a great fat-loss workout at home or the gym with one simple piece of equipment…
These 8 kettlebell exercises for weight loss are easy to master and fun to perform.
They’re guaranteed to target stubborn fat, sculpt your entire body and give you a streamlined and toned appearance.
What’s more, studies have shown that weight training keeps your metabolism elevated for hours after your workout.
And an American Council on Exercise study found that just 20 minutes of kettlebell exercises can burn up to 400 calories (the time it should take you to complete the workout below!).
What are Kettlebells?
A kettlebell is a large, cast-iron weight with a single handle.
A new addition to many gyms, kettlebells have actually been around since the 1700’s.
It is arguably the most versatile piece of weight equipment out there.
There are hundreds of ways to lift, swing, squat, press, push, or pull a kettlebell.
Kettlebell Exercises vs Dumbbells and Barbells
Dumbbell and barbell exercises typically involve a controlled, mindful movement that attempts to eliminate momentum and swinging.
Kettlebell exercises, on the other hand, involves a more ‘ballistic’ style of training.
Ballistic training is a form of strength training in which the athlete uses explosive power to rapidly accelerate the weight into free space.
Best of all, kettlebells tone and strengthen your core as their uneven center of gravity, force your stabilizer muscles to work overtime.
Benefits of Kettlebell Exercises
- It involves doing an intense cardio session
- It doesn’t get boring since it is based on functional strength
- It consists of varying movements
- All you need is a few kettlebells and none of the fancy exercises apparatus that you need with other workouts
- Anybody can do them!
- It blasts away fat unlike anything you may have tried before
- It’s a combination of strength training and cardio
- You’ll skyrocket your metabolism
Why Are Kettlebells So Effective?
Kettlebell exercises are renowned for burning an unprecedented amount of fat.
Because you’re not only working against your own bodyweight, but that of the kettlebell, whilst getting a great cardio burn.
This helps to vastly increase your metabolism.
But that’s not all.
A kettlebell workout also helps your body produce muscle.
This means that you’ll burn more fat to keep those muscles in functioning order.
It also means that your resting metabolism will increase – so you’ll burn more fat, even at rest!
Advantages of Kettlebell Workouts
You can do these kettlebell exercises in the comfort of your own home.
They will help boost your metabolism, tone your muscles and burn fat without going to the gym.
Best of all, it should only take 20 minutes or less.
These kettlebell exercises are therefore the best solution for people who are too busy for extended workouts.
All you’ll require for this workout is your kettlebells and a place where you won’t be disturbed.
How Much Weight Should I Use?
There’s no one size fits all answer to this question.
Because ‘weight’ is not only subjective, but also depends on your existing fitness levels.
However, my first rule of exercise is to avoid injury!
So, if you’re a beginner, never attempt to use a weight that causes you to struggle.
Instead, choose a weight that allows you to complete your target rep range using proper form and one that matches your skill level.
Therefore, start with a light kettlebell, which you can then gradually increase as you become more proficient.
However…don’t go SO light, that you lift using isolated muscle strength rather than precise ‘ballistic’ form.
In other words, if the kettlebell exercise demands a combination of major muscle groups and correct lifting technique, but you’re able to complete the lift with, say, your shoulder strength alone, then it’s too light!
Each kettlebell exercise will also play a factor in how much weight you can use.
For example, our first kettlebell exercise in this post, the Windmill, will involve a lighter kettlebell.
However, exercises such as a kettlebell swing, goblet squat and deadlift will call for heavier weights.
Start low, and remember to keep a training diary so you can record the weights you use for each exercise.
How Often Should I Exercise?
For maximum results, attempt this workout on non-consecutive days, two or three times a week.
If you’re a raw beginner, it’s best to keep reps low and rest periods long.
Perform each kettlebell exercise for 10 reps and rest for at least one minute between each exercise.
This should be attainable for most beginners, even if you consider yourself very unfit!
As you become more proficient, you can then begin to challenge yourself. Only you will know when that time comes.
Listen to your body and work with it, not against it.
Use a rep range of approximately 15 reps and rest between each exercise for around 30 seconds.
Remember, these are guidelines and you may need to adjust these figures depending on your fitness levels.
Perform 20 reps and rest for just 10 seconds for maximum effectiveness. If you’re feeling particularly energetic, you can do two rounds!
8 Easy Kettlebell Exercises for Weight Loss
This is a great way to warm up your entire body, strengthen your core increase hip flexibility and add shoulder stability.
- Bring your feet hip-width apart, and turn your left foot out by 90 degrees.
- Send your hips to the right, pick up the kettlebell with your right hand and send it overhead keeping your elbow locked.
- Keep both palms facing forward and then send your left hand down your left leg as low as you can manage (ideally touching the floor).
- Once you’ve finished the set, repeat on the other side.
2. Kettlebell Deadlift
Learning how to deadlift will not only help you perform every other kettlebell exercise, it helps strengthen your core, legs, butt and hips.
- Place the kettlebell on the ground in front of you.
- Stand with your feet hip-width apart and bend at the waist, knees slightly bent, to grasp the handle of the kettlebell.
- Look straight at the wall in front of you and imagine an imaginary thread holding your chest to that wall.
- Stand up, holding the kettlebell in front of you and slowly return it to the ground.
- Be sure to drive through your heels as you stand to keep the correct tension in your body.
3. Around the Body
A great way to warm up, tone and strengthen the shoulders.
- Swing the kettlebell around your body, passing it from one hand to the other as you do.
- For an added burst, pass the kettlebell once around your body, then lift it to one side, as though you are elbowing someone in the face!
- Then, pass the kettlebell around your body the other direction, lifting the other elbow.
- Repeat, alternating elbows.
4. Kettlebell Goblet Squat
Squatting is very beneficial for toning and shaping beautiful thighs and is great for heart health!
Good squatting form is essential to avoid injury to the lower back. Squats may seem simple, but most of us do them incorrectly!
- Holding the kettlebell by the horns (the area below the top handle), bring it into your chest and place your feet hip width.
- Squat down until the tops of your legs are parallel to the floor.
- Keeping your chest up, facing the wall in front of you and bending at both the knees and the hips will prevent back injuries.
- Press through your heels to stand for maximum effectiveness.
5. Kettlebell Shoulder Press
The kettlebell shoulder press forces your whole body to work as a unit.
You need to keep your entire body tight to avoid rotating or leaning to the side.
- Using one hand, ‘clean’ the bell to your chest.
- Keep your left arm, core and glutes tight and then press the kettlebell overhead and lock out your arm.
- As you press, follow the most comfortable path without letting your elbow to excessively flare out to the side. (I prefer to keep my elbow very much in front of my body).
- Lower the kettlebell slowly and under control, leading and guiding its descent with your elbow.
- Once you’ve completed the entire set, repeat using your other arm.
6. The Kettlebell Swing
The infamous kettlebell swing is one of the best ways to get a total body workout in a short amount of time.
It can be done with one hand or two handed, depending on your skill level and desired intensity.
- Start with your feet spread hip-width apart and your toes turned slightly out.
- Holding the kettlebell in either one or both hands, squat down and swing the kettlebell between your legs.
- Then, stand up swinging the kettlebell in front of you until your arms are parallel to the floor.
- Repeat and be sure to keep your chest up, facing the wall in front of you and push your weight through your heels as you stand up.
7. Kettlebell Snatch
Once you have mastered the one-handed kettlebell swing, it is time to add the snatch to the end.
- Holding the kettlebell by the handle in one hand, swing the kettlebell between your legs.
- Instead of finishing the move with your arms parallel to the ground, swing the kettlebell over your head, allowing the kettlebell to swing from the front of your arm to the back of your arm as well.
- Turn the kettlebell over in your hand, allowing it to swing between your legs once again. Repeat.
8. Kettlebell Push Press
The push press is identical to the kettlebell shoulder press but includes a drive with your legs.
The use of your legs, therefore, provides greater endurance because you are distributing effort over your entire body.
You can also perform the push press with both arms to handle even more weight.
- Clean the kettlebell to your chest and then sink down slightly with your knees.
- Immediately follow this movement with fast and explosive lifting, pressing your heels firmly into the ground.
- It’s important to begin the lifting of the kettlebell using this momentum which should now be halfway to the top
- Complete the lift, by pressing through the triceps and shoulders until your arm locks out.
Most people quit a new exercise regime because they’re over-zealous and push themselves past their bodies natural thresholds.
This can lead to overtraining and a state of extreme muscle soreness the next day.
If you’ve never used kettlebells before, take it slowly at first.
If need be, you can even perform the above kettlebell routine on a two-day split.
A split routine, is when you complete just half the exercises on day one and them finish the remainder the following day or even the day after.
Lastly, when you practice your kettlebell exercises, you will not just be banishing fat. You will also be strengthening your entire body.
And this will all take just a fraction of the time of your usual gym workout 🙂
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