Kettlebells are gaining in popularity for a good reason, they are great for training your body for strength and conditioning. And they are very convenient, all you need is one kettlebell at home for complete body training.
The following are our favorite kettlebell exercises that you can do with one kettlebell at home or in gym.
One of the most popular kettlebell exercises, and we’ve included it in conditioning and explosive strength building workouts many times. You’re training your full body with this exercise but most load goes to the hip thrust, so it’s mainly used as a core strength builder. It can get your heart racing pretty quickly so it’s great for conditioning too.
The most important thing to remember is the correct movement of your hips throughout the kettlebell swing. Keep your knees slightly bent and in this stance thrust your hips forward in an explosive movement. The involvement of your arms and shoulders should be minimal to move the weight, and make sure to keep your back always arched.
As an alternative to the barbell squat, the goblet squat is another full body exercise that works more than just the legs. By holding the weight in front of you at the chest level, you’re training your arms, your core and upper body at the same time. Performing squats this way can be as intense as heavy barbell squatting because it involves so much muscle.
When it comes to shoulder training the kettlebell variation of the shoulder press is actually your healthiest choice. Unlike the dumbbells (let alone barbell) you can lift the weight in the most comfortable position for your shoulder joints. That way you can exert most power without risking your shoulder health. It makes the kettlebell press a great exercise for shoulder mobility, stability, as well as strength.
Shoulder to Shoulder Press
This is another variation of the shoulder press but involving more movement in the shoulders thus providing even more strength and conditioning training. As a bilateral exercise it works your both shoulders at the same time and provides the rotation movement for functional training.
The kettlebell windmill press is as much a shoulder exercise as it is a great exercise for the core. By bringing the weight up and extending the motion while pushing your hips to the side, you engage your abs and obliques as well as low back. Focus on ab contraction in the reverse movement of the exercise.
Clean and Press
While the swing is our favorite single exercise, the clean and press has to be the best complex kettlebell exercise there is. It consists of the clean – lifting the weight off the ground, and the press – the regular kettlebell shoulder press. It’s very effective for explosive power training as well as conditioning.
As a complex exercise it takes a little time to master the form. The initial part of the clean is where it can get tricky for beginners. Essentially, you’re performing a deadlift so all the same rules apply. You should always keep your back arched and lift with your hips. Thrust your hips forward explosively to generate momentum and bring the weight up to your chest. Continue with the press from there.
Finally, the exercise that takes most explosive power to perform and a great showcase of strength and conditioning. It trains all the major muscle groups of your body in a functional way. To perform, stand with feet shoulder width apart and swing the kettlebell between your legs and back while hinging your hips back. Keep your back arched during the movement. Then, reverse the motion and thrust your hips forward to swing the weight up. Keep the involvement of your arm to the minimum just so you can control the motion. Swing the kettlebell straight up over your head and rotate it to the backside of your wrist. Reverse the motion and move it back down in a controlled movement.
So there you have it, the best 7 kettlebell exercises to add to your workouts for extra explosiveness and functional strength training as well as conditioning.