Kettlebells are a great addition to any gym because they don’t take up much space and they can be used in a number of different ways. They come in a variety of weights and they’re usually cast iron, making them extremely durable. Most of the time when you see personal trainers or gym goers with kettlebells, they’re performing kettlebell swings.
A Kettlebells swing is a powerful exercise that definitely gets the heart rate up and utilizes the total body with dynamic movements but it can also be challenging to perform correctly. Proper form is a must when performing these swings and many people don’t perform this exercise well enough to prevent injury.
So if you’re not sure about your technique and form with the swings, here are 3 exercises that can be done with kettlebells that aren’t as challenging yet still pack quite the punch.
Remember, please get approval from your doctor before starting any exercise program and be sure that the weight you’re using is appropriate for your current fitness and strength level.
Walking Lunges with Kettlbells
Walking lunges is a lower body exercise that works your hamstrings, glutes, and calves.
First, grab your kettlebells and stand with your feet hip-to shoulder-width apart. Make sure your core is engaged.
Then, step forward into the lunge to form a 90-degree angle at the knee. Make sure you have a good squeeze on the handles of the kettlebells to prevent your arms from swinging with the lowering movement. The opposite leg may or may not come down to the floor. If it doesn’t, that’s okay.
Finally, give the glute on the lunging leg a good squeeze and press your heel into the floor to drive yourself back up to a standing position and repeat on the opposite side for one repetition.
Remember that the goal during the lunge is to maintain control throughout the movement. It’s not about how fast you move; it’s about how well you move. Using the kettlebells with lunges is an excellent progression of a standard lunge because it adds a stability element to the exercise.
*If you’re feeling adventurous, use kettlebells with different weights to make the exercise more challenging.
*If you’re not able to walk with the kettlebells, stay in one spot and lunge, alternating each leg for one repetition.
Squats are another lower body exercise which targets the glutes, quads, and gastrocnemius. Most of the time you’ll see people performing this exercise with a barbell on their back. That’s the way I typically do my squats but it’s always good to keep the mind and body guessing especially if you want to see progressive changes.
First, grab your kettlebell with your hands securing around the handle and stand in a shoulder-width stance with your toes pointed forward.
Then, brace your core and slowly lower, bending at the knee as if you were trying to find a chair behind you. Be sure to keep your torso upright as you lower. Your booty doesn’t have to get super close the floor. The main thing to focus on here is making sure your torso doesn’t end up falling forward.
Finally, lower to a point that feels comfortable and dig your heels into the floor to drive your body back up to the original starting position. Down and back up is one repetition.
*If you want a challenge, go deeper in your squat and/or grab a heavier kettlebell.
*If you’re a bit challenged with this exercise, try lowering the weight of the kettlebell.
Side Shoulder Raises
Side Shoulder Raises are also known as lateral raises. They’re an upper body exercise that targets the deltoids.
First, grab your kettlebell and stand with your feet hip-to shoulder-width apart. Make sure your core is engaged, your heels are driving into the floor, and your hands are tight around the handles of the kettlebells.
Then, slowly raise both your arms until your body looks like a “T”. Try not to shrug your shoulders in an attempt to raise your arms. Your shoulder and elbow should move as a single unit. Pretend you have a pencil between your shoulder blades as you squeeze at the top. Raising your arms then lowering them count as one repetition.
*If this exercise is too easy, add some more weight or slow down the reps to increase the time under tension.
*If this exercise is too difficult, try a seated side shoulder raise instead.
I’d love to hear from you. What kettlebell exercises do you incorporate into your workout regimen? Leave a comment below or contact me.
In Health and Wellness,