As Christmas is approaching let's replace our jingle bells with kettlebells and add a new exercise to our work out plan. The offset weight and longer grip of the kettlebell provides an option to perform a variety of different exercises and drills compared to using dumbbells alone. The smooth surface of the grip allows the kettlebell to move freely in the hand so that we can perform ballistic and dynamic exercises. Here are a few exercises we can perform with kettlebells and how to do them…
First up, a classic, the kettlebell swing. A fantastic exercise for developing power and the ballistic nature of the exercise gives a slightly aerobic effect, so it can be included in metabolic conditioning cardio workouts. The exercise is commonly performed slightly incorrectly with people adopting a squatting technique rather than the hinging motion we are looking for. Our start position is with knees slightly bent with back flat, almost parallel to the ground. From here, activate the glutes and ‘snap’ the hips forward. The momentum from this movement will bring the kettlebell up to eye level. The arms act as a lever; ideally they shouldn’t produce any force.
A derivative of a front and back squat and an excellent way to add load to a bodyweight squat and reinforce squatting mechanics before using a bar. Placing our hands in a goblet position, the kettle bell is held between them with the weighted part of the kettlebell staying in contact with the body through the movement. The weight held on the front of the body gives us a counter balance allowing us to squat to a deeper position whilst holding a neutral spine throughout.
Bottoms up kettlebell press
A fantastic shoulder prehab, or injury prevention exercise. Once the shoulder is set in a neutral position we hold the kettlebell upside down and press overhead. The natural concept of having to balance the kettlebell activates and strengthens the surrounding stabilizing muscles in the shoulder, while the neutral grip allows for correct scapula tracking through the movement.
Thank you for reading, and as always if you have any questions regarding any of these exercises, please don't hesitate to ask a member of the fitness team.