You've seen them. You've heard about them. And, you may have trained with them. So, you may understand the entire craze behind kettlebells and the benefits of training with them. But, do you know the top 4 kettlebell exercises you should incorporate into your normal workout routine? Before we share that information, we want to point out that Summit Fit Dojo uses kettlebells quite a bit in their Small Group Personal Training progarms & 1-on-1 fitness clients. Why? You get the best of both worlds -- Strength & Conditioning. Rarely can you workout with one piece of equipment and get both types of training -- at the same time. But we'll discuss that on another day.
Top 4 Kettlebell Exercises
- Two Hand Russian Swing - This is your traditional, normal, kettlebell swing -- which goes up to your chin. To propel the kettlebell, one needs to engage the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and midsection (core muscles), while your arms are just relaxed like a rope holding the kettlebell. In addition, when the kettlebell goes down, your lower back muscles are engaged to prevent it from continuing down.
- Single Hand Snatch - This movement requires a little more body control because you are holding the kettlebell with one hand, swinging it down between the legs, back up, and then stopping the kettlbell above the head, inline with the spine. However, it's not a straight swing up, rather "snatching" motion and punch to the sky. With that said, by training in the single hand snatch you are using the same muscles above, but incorporating your back muscles (trapezoids & rhomboids) and some other muscles in between. Plus, since you're holding the kettlebell with one hand you're improving your grip strength and forearm muscles.
- Turkish Get Ups - By far my favorite exercise to perform because of the precision necessary to use for every movement and how it uses the entire body to move the kettlebell up. When getting up you use the abs to situp, deltoids to hold the kettebell above your head, obliques to straighten out the body, quads, hamstrings and glutes to drive to the top from the lunge position, and core muscles to stabilize the entire movement. The only thing you're missing are the pectoral muscles. You then repeat the same muscles being used, while going down.
- Windmills - This is exercise is a very isolated movement, but the benefits are so amazing. Whether you're doing a low windmill (kettlebell is on the lower hand), high windmill (kettlebell is on the higher hand), or high low windmill (1 kettlebell for each arm) your abs, obliques, core muscles, lower back, deltoids, and flexibility are all put to the test. Do a 3 to 5 sets per side with about 12 to 20 reps and your midsection will be burning!