The kettlebell is one of the simplest, yet most effective pieces of gym kit, and with the right methods you can use it to boost both your cardio and your strength. If you’re looking for new ways to use this free weight, consider these five exercises next time you’re at your Gfitness gym.
This Russian-style swing is one of the most popular kettlebell exercises around. Stand with your feet hip distance apart, ground your feet, and hold the kettlebell with both hands in front with your knuckles facing out. Lift the kettlebell directly in front of your shoulders keeping your arms straight, then with a straight spine swing the weight down between your legs to complete the rep. This targets a number of muscles in your body, including glutes, quads, hamstrings and shoulders.
The Goblet Squat
This exercise engages your whole core and key leg muscles when performed correctly. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hang the kettlebell vertically between your hands at shoulder height, pressing your shoulder blades together. Your elbows should be tucked in as you slowly move into a full squat and up again to complete the rep.
The Military Press
The strict press is a brilliant workout to develop your shoulders and core. Stand with your feet firmly planted on the floor with the kettlebell at shoulder height (hooked over your thumb with the weight resting outwards). With a deep belly breath, drive the weight up above your head until it locks into place, then bring it back down to shoulder height with control. Bonus points if you can work on both arms at once using a kettlebell on each side.
This one can be challenging to master, but it’s a favourite with cross-fitters everywhere looking to grow their guns. Start with your feet planted as before with your butt pushed out, and grip the kettlebell low in one hand with your knuckles facing away from you. With a breath clean the ball up to your shoulders and rotate your wrist to bring the weight outside of your shoulders. Bring down and straighten with control, then repeat.
The Turkish Get Up
This complex move develops serious core strength and stabilisation. Start lying on the floor with the kettlebell in one hand held straight up, then bend the knee on the same side. Keeping your spine and your weighted arm straight, turn your hips out towards your free hand. Then, use your free hand to bring yourself onto your opposite knee. Work up to a stand then perform the same in reverse, all while the kettlebell is locked into position above your head.
These exercises do require the correct technique, and working with a certified personal trainer will help you to get the best results out of all of your strength training.