Are you ready to sweat a lot? Here’s why kettlebell workouts are excellent for sculpting and toning every muscle in your body.
Kettlebells make an appearance in many CrossFit training regimes. In addition, personal trainers love using these pieces of equipment as they provide a great strength-training workout and help to improve cardiovascular fitness.
These odd-shaped weights, when used effectively in a high-intensity programme, give a killer full-body workout with only a few moves.
And we’ve picked two of the best kettlebell workouts to give your body a total blast in a short span of time: the bent over row and the swing.
In addition, we’ve included a few kettlebell dos and don’ts to keep in mind when utilizing these phenomenal pieces of equipment.
Bulking Versus Sculpting
Most people who’ve spent time at a gym or similar fitness establishment will know that to build muscle mass, you do a few reps with heavy weights.
To cut and tone, you do many reps with lighter weights. Bulking involves more stationary exercises while sculpting and toning exercises often involve bodily movement.
Kettlebells can be used in a number of full-body exercises that build flexibility, joint support, and muscular strength. This helps to sculpt a person’s physique as a whole.
Kettlebell Bent Over Row
This is a kettlebell exercise that beautifully sculpts your triceps. Here, we will look at how to do the kettlebell bent over row:
- Stand upright. Hold a kettlebell in each hand – by the handle – in a pronated grip. This means that you need to be holding the handle of the kettlebell in the palm of your hand.
- Bend forward at your hips. Keep your knees slightly bent and your back straight. Keep your head up.
- Inhale and raise the kettlebells slowly to your sides. Bring your upper arms up and bend at your elbows at 90 degrees.
- When your upper arms are parallel to the floor, squeeze the contraction for two seconds.
- Exhales and slowly lower the kettlebells to your sides.
Always make sure that the kettlebell isn’t too heavy for you. If it is, you could end up compromising your form just to lift the weight.
Kettlebells And High-Intensity Training
Kettlebell training is ballistic in nature. This allows you to improve your cardiovascular ability (seriously, you’re going to sweat), while also strengthening the core and legs like crazy.
When you repeat kettlebell workouts in a high-intensity environment, you’re going to sculpt and tone your entire body while becoming a much stronger version of you! Pretty cool if you ask me…
The cardiovascular nature of the movements increases the need for oxygen during recovery, which boosts metabolism – even up to 48 hours after a training session!
This assists with cutting body fat, allowing for the strengthening muscles underneath to show.
This is a fantastic exercise to get the heart rate going. You can do this with either one or two hands.
Here, we will look at how to do the one-handed kettlebell swing:
- Place feet in such a way that allows you to generate the most power. Your stance will usually be at shoulder width or just outside shoulder width.
- Turn the kettlebell to a 45-degree angle. Take hold of the inside of the kettlebell, which is called the horn, with your left arm. Keep your head up and your eyes on the horizon.
- Maintain your back in an extension by pulling in your core and retracting your shoulder blades.
- Push your hips back so that you are ready to swing.
- Drag the kettlebell back and between your legs. Keep it as close as possible to your groin. (Don’t make it lower than your knees).
- You pull the kettlebell back, turn your wrist so that your left thumb points behind you. When you cannot pull the kettlebell back any further, squeeze your glutes so that you are able to generate enough power through your hips to swing the kettlebell.
- As you swing the kettlebell up, turn your wrist so that your thumb points up by the time the weight is by your chest. Make sure you finish with your body in a straight line.
- Let the momentum bring the kettlebell back down between your legs. As the weight comes down, turn your wrist so that your thumb points behind you. Repeat your swing.
Kettlebell Workouts Dos And Don’ts
DO: Start with light kettlebells. Work up to heavier ones over time. This is especially true for a foundational kettlebell exercise, such as the kettlebell swing. If you use a weight that is too heavy, too quickly, you may end up putting the strain on your lower back that could result in quite serious problems.
DON’T: Think kettlebell training is a walk in the park. Seriously, it’s hardcore.
DO: Take a sweat towel, because you’re going to sweat. A lot.
DON’T: Learn the correct form! It’s important both to ensure move effectiveness and to avoid injury. This is equally as important as not choosing weights that are too heavy for you.
DO: Learn the basic principles of kettlebell training and master the bread-and-butter moves.
DON’T: Hold the kettlebell like a dumbbell with a pronated grip. Keep a firm but loose grip to allow the kettlebell to swing.
Kettlebell workouts are indeed fantastic methods of sculpting and toning your body. However, you need to work out with this equipment correctly to reap the benefits.
Get more like this
in your inbox
Sign up for our daily email with fitness and nutrition tips, diets and weight loss programs, health news, and more.