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How to get a good workout with a kettlebell



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Kettlebells are great exercise tools to integrate into your routine.

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When you are new to training, or that Weight Training in general, there is something really scary about facing a weight room or even a set of dumbbells (if you even manage to find them right now). Go into the kettlebell, a type of dumbbell that is round (like a clock) and has a handle, which makes it easy to lift and carry around.

Because they are simple yet versatile, they are perfect for both beginners and training veterans. And as a bonus, they are relatively inexpensive and you only need one to get a good workout throughout the body.

Read more: The best kettlebells for 2020: JaxJox, Apex and more

Kettlebells are available in different weights and styles and can be used for many different workouts. “The kettle clock is probably the most underrated equipment in the gym. The way the clock is shaped allows you to train strength, endurance and strength in a small piece of iron,” says Lauren Kanski, certified personal trainer and founder of the K-method.

Getting started with a kettlebell workout can seem as easy as picking one up and turning around – but it can lead to injury. You need to know a few basics before you start to be sure and get the best results. Continue reading for Kanski’s advice on how to get started with a kettlebell workout routine below.

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Kettlebells come in different weight stages, but beginners should start with a lighter weight.

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What a kettlebell to buy

If you have never trained with kettlebells, it is important to start with a light model so that you do not injure yourself while learning the basics. Kettlebells involve a lot more range of motion besides lifting them – so just because you can easily lift 15-20 pounds does not mean you can easily swing it over your head.

Although the weight you use depends on your personal fitness level and background, Kanski generally recommends that you start with an eight to 10 kg (approximately 17 to 22 kg) kettlebell for exercise that involves any movements in the air and 10-14 kg (22-30 kg) for beginners who want to learn how to make kettlebell swings (instructions below).

If you have experience with lifting weights or currently strength training, you can try to start with a heavier weight. Maybe say these people can start with 12-24 kg (26-52 lbs) for each workout which involves lifting it overhead and 24-32 kg (52-70 lbs) for kettlebell swings.

Kettlebell basics and mistakes to avoid

If you are hesitant to exercise with kettlebells, do not be intimidated. Although you can do lots of advanced moves and workouts with them, they are completely beginner friendly.

“Anyone can use kettlebells, regardless of their training history. I train a broad demographic from athletes to the elderly to those recovering from injuries. It is a very functional tool for targeting multiple movement planes,” says Kanski. “The greatest thing for beginners is to learn to hold the watch and work with that grip strength.”

The two grip positions to improve strength

Standard grip: The standard handle is when you hold the horn or handle that you would lift groceries in the handle.

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The kettlebell’s standard handle is similar to how you would take a bag of groceries.

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Front position: “The front position is where the wrist is intertwined through the horn to place the watch between the chest, collarbone and bicep. This position is great for loading squats and serves as a starting point for any pressure over the head,” says Kanski.

Start slowly

As with any new workout routine, it is important to take things in stride. Be sure to take the time to understand the correct shape before making each move, and make sure that heat properly before exercising.

According to Kanski, one of the biggest mistakes she sees people make is jumping directly into more advanced moves such as swings and jerks before they are ready. “Make sure you have the movement patterns mastered before doing anything explosive or with heavy loads,” she says.

Beginner kettlebell training routine

Master these three moves from Kanski and you will get off to a solid start with your kettlebell training routine.

Offset squats

“This is really good for your core because you are charged on one side and not on the other. Your core stabilizers fight hard through squats to keep you balanced,” says Kanski.

  • Start with the kettle in the front position – sitting at the chest, rocked in your bicep, with the horn (handle) under the collarbone.
  • Then proceed to a regular front squats.

The farmer’s berries

“This is exactly what it sounds like, like bringing groceries home,” says Kanski. “This is great for your core, grip strength and body strength. Depending on the load, do 30 seconds to 1 minute for each set.”

  • Start holding a kettlebell in each hand at your sides and keep them away from your thighs.
  • Pull back your shoulders and walk a straight line as slowly as you can.

Kettlebell swing

“Remember that this is a hip-dominating movement, not a squat. Your hips move the clock, your arms control it in place. This requires a lot of practice, so play with it,” says Kanski.

  • Start with the kettlebell about an arm’s length from your body and rest on the ground. Your feet should create a tripod with the clock.
  • Squat down to grab the kettlebell by hand.
  • Hold your core, grab the watch and throw it between your legs as if you were hiking a football.
  • Then quickly extend your hips forward to toss the watch in front of you, while holding your lights vertically. Hang the kettlebell throughout the movement.
  • The end position should be as if you are standing on a standing high plank.

The information in this article is intended for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health goal.


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