Remember the days when going to the gym was a regular occurrence? Those were fun, right? You know what wasn’t fun? Waiting for people to finish with the equipment you needed to use to complete your workout. There’s one piece of equipment that put an end to all of that waiting: the kettlebell.
For the average home gym, the kettlebell is the perfect piece of workout equipment. There’s no need for benches, elaborate dumbbell sets, plates, barbells, pulley systems, or squat racks. The kettlebell is perfect for full body circuits that tone the major muscle groups.
While the exercises in this article will help tone your entire body, it’s important to accompany them with a clean diet. Eating the right foods will take your body to the next level, just like the following exercises.
#1: The Kettlebell Swing
If there’s one exercise to know how to do with a kettlebell, it’s this one. It works the core, glutes, legs, shoulders, abs, and back. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the kettlebell with both hands between your legs. Hinge at the hips and bend your knees slightly. In one powerful motion, press your weight into your heels and swing the weight upwards to shoulder height, thrusting with the pelvis. Don’t lift the weight with your shoulders. Drop it back down and repeat this swinging motion, engaging the glutes throughout. The motion of this exercise is mainly driven by the glutes as you thrust forward, so keep that in mind.
#2: Goblet Squat
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and point your toes slightly outward. Invert the kettlebell so that the bulbous part is facing up. Grab the handle with both hands and hold it close to your chest like a goblet. Squat down and engage your lower abdomen to protect your lower back. Squeeze your glutes and drive through your heels to return to the starting position.
#3: Kettlebell Push Press
This is an explosive move that helps to tone the traps, triceps, and deltoids. It also works to build core stability. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart and hold the kettlebell in your right hand at chest height. Hold your left arm out to the side or keep it down and relaxed by your side. Lift your chest, keep your back straight, and lower into a subtle squat, but only a couple inches before exploding upward, extending your right arm above your head. Your right bicep should be by your ear. Finish your reps and then repeat on the other side.
#4: Russian Twist
It’s all about the abs and obliques with this exercise! Take a seat, no literally, please take a seat on your buttocks to start the exercise. Sit with your knees bent and your feet pressed into the floor in front on you. Hold the kettlebell with both hands by your right hip. Contract your abs as you twist toward the other side, bringing the weight with you. Try to tap the kettlebell on the floor each time you twist.
#5: Bent Over Row
When engaging in this exercise, proper posture and form is key because you don’t want to injure your back. Stand in a lunge position with your right leg out in front and bend your right knee slightly. Keep your chest up and back straight as you lean forward at an angle to be in line with your back leg. Hold the kettlebell in your left hand and pull it back, drawing a line with your elbow as the guide. Your upper arm should be in line with your back, engaging your back to hold the weight. Return to the starting position in a controlled manner; you don’t want to release the weight. Repeat on the other side once you finish your reps.
#6: Kettlebell Offset Squat
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the kettlebell in a rack position with your right hand at shoulder-height. Extend your left arm out in front of you and lower into a squat, engaging your glutes and core. While down in the squat, make sure that your back is straight and that your knees don’t extend beyond your toes. Drive through your heels to return to the starting position. Finish the reps and then repeat with the other hand holding the kettlebell.