Use the best training tool ever invented to build your best body: The Kettlebell.
Directions: This is a ladder workout, where you start with 1 rep of every exercise in the list of the following circuit. Then do 2 reps of each, followed by 3, and all the way up to 10. Then you work your way back down to one. For beginners, do single hand kettlebell work (right hand then swap to left hand), so it’s 1 rep on either arm. If you’re an advanced athlete, you can attempt this with double kettlebells. And remember, all the above programmes and exercise must be exercised with weights that are manageable.
The Benefits: “Improved strength, work capacity (endurance), enhanced athleticism (flexibility, coordination and balance), weight loss, mental toughness, lean muscle, strengthening of your posterior chain and core.”
1/Kettlebell Swing – Let’s start at the beginning. Squat down to pick up the kettlebell, and grip it so your thumb is pointing inwards and backwards, locked over your index finger. Pull the bell underneath you, allowing your knees to bend, but only as much as necessary to generate the required power to swing the bell. Using a hip drive, swing the bell up, where your arm should then bend, with your elbow facing upwards and thumb facing downwards, keeping the kettlebell close to your body. Pause at the top of the swing, then swing back with control back to the start. Breathe out when you’re in the bend motion of a swing, clean or snatch, and breath in when you’re lifting up – this will help inflate the core, therefore helping assist the lift in an upward motion.
Advanced: Hold a kettlebell in each hand, and do a double swing.
2/Kettlebell Press – The press is defined as lifting the kettlebell overhead from the rack position without the use of your legs. To start, the lifter should safely swing, clean and rack the kettlebell. In the rack position, power is generated from the hips, which then transfers into the shoulders and triceps, which push the bells upwards until you’ve got a straight arm in the lockout position (elbows are locked and the bells are located directly above your shoulders). Keep your elbows directly below your hands when pressing for best power transfer. From the lockout position, relax and rise up onto your calves to absorb the downward motion.
Advanced: Hold a kettlebell in each hand, and do a double press.
3/Kettlebell Rack Squat – The double bell rack squat is as follows. Bring the kettlebell up into a rack position, keeping your spine straight you squat down, much like a barbell squat, but keeping your elbows tucked in close to the core.
Advanced: Hold a kettlebell in each hand, and do a rack squat.
4/Kettlebell Push Press –The push press is defined as pressing the kettlebell overhead from the rack position with the use of the legs. Launch the bell, using an upwards hip drive, with the legs locking out so that the arm locks overhead. You should safely swing, clean and rack the kettlebell before beginning the push press. Then bend your knees slightly, keeping your heels flat on the ground. As you explode upwards, the energy you generate from the legs goes up into your elbows, which helps push the bell upwards. Your arms still do some power work to carry the bells the rest of the way up, but it saves a lot of energy in your arms.
Advanced: Hold a kettlebell in each hand, and do a double push press.
5/Kettlebell Clean – Squat down to start, and reach forward to take hold of the kettlebell in a hook grip. Then lean back and pull it through your legs. Then use your hamstrings and back to act like a spring to explosively bring the kettlebell upwards. Keep your knees relaxed until the kettlebell reaches the rack position – then your legs need to be locked out. Your shoulders should be relaxed; if you’re too tense you’ll use up too much energy when performing this lift. Then turn your wrist slightly inwards on the drop down to the start, and your elbow should pop up to reduce tension. When the bell drops it’s important that you allow your palm to rotate internally slightly to allow the bell space to drop.
Advanced: Hold a kettlebell in each hand, and do a double clean.
6/Kettlebell Lockout Squat – The lockout squat is as follows: bring one kettlebell up into lockout position above the shoulder. You keep your eyes locked on the kettlebell. With your feet slightly wider than a normal squat stance, you squat down – allowing your free hand to reach for the floor in the middle of your legs. You should pivot slightly under the kettlebell, keeping your weight and stability in your feet (which must stay flat on the floor). Drive back up to the start position using your quads and gluts, and keeping your core tense until you are at a full lockout position again.
Advanced: Caution! Only the really experienced lifters can attempt this with a kettlebell in each hand.
7/Kettlebell Jerk – It’s defined as lifting the kettlebell overhead from the rack position with the use of your legs, in a double-dip action. It has the same action as the push press, but the force of the launch raises your heels off the ground briefly. Then your hamstrings retract – pulling the body down to lock under the kettlebell. (The arm locks out before the legs do.) The energy generated by your legs travels upwards into the hips, then into the elbows, which launch the elbows upwards, pushing the bells up into a lockout position. You’ll feel a “wave” or double-dip motion – once the bell has been launched upwards from the first dip (bend)of the legs, the double-dip is when you slam your heels back down onto the floor, allowing you to sit below the bells you have just launched, locking out your arms. Then you stand up to lock out your legs.
Advanced: Do a jerk with a kettlebell in each hand.