We are true believers in the kettlebell — a small piece of equipment with big dreams. The kettlebell is probably the most versatile piece of equipment you will find in a gym. You could use it every single day of the week in a different way. Whether you are looking for a shoulder burner or a spicy leg workout or you want to work your CNS, kettlebells got your back. Here are five kettlebell exercises you should be incorporating into your training.
5 Must-Have Kettlebell Exercises
1. Kettlebell Swings
Perhaps the most basic and well-known of kettlebell exercises, the kettlebell swing should not be underestimated. KB swings are a full-body workout. Your core, shoulders, quads, hamstrings, and glutes will all benefit from this movement. Throw lighter Russian kettlebell swings (eye-level) into your warm-up or challenge yourself by throwing heavy American kettlebell swings (overhead) into your WOD. Do them with one arm or both!
2. Turkish Get-Ups
Although challenging and quite complex, the Turkish get-up is another kettlebell exercise that comes with a list of benefits about a mile long. When performed correctly, your core is working extremely hard throughout the entire movement. Turkish get-ups also build strength and increase overall body stability, awareness, balance, and coordination. This movement is good for working shoulder stability, which will benefit you in many other aspects of functional fitness.
3. Goblet Squats
Goblet squats are another tremendous kettlebell exercise that really works the core. With the load (the kettlebell) in front during this movement, a more upright torso position is allowed, and it makes the movement easier on your spine. To perform these squats properly, your core muscles must engage, which makes this movement beneficial for not only your quads, glutes, and hamstrings but also your abs, obliques, and other core muscles.
4. Farmer’s Walk
Need a stronger grip? Pull out the heavy kettlebells for some farmer’s walks. These can be done as single arm or a kettlebell in each hand. Of course your core will be challenged with this exercise, but grip strength in your hands, wrists, and forearms will also benefit from doing these walks.
5. Kettlebell Snatch
You have heard of dumbbell snatches, but have you ever snatched a kettlebell? Although it is important to learn the proper technique for this movement, when you do have it down, this powerful exercise will help you strengthen, stabilize, and improve aerobic capacity. The kettlebell snatch is also a great alternative to overhead presses if you are having shoulder issues.
All of these kettlebell exercises (and many more) can also be done outside of the gym. You just need a kettlebell, and you can easily get your hands on one at TWL.
If you are not already picking up a kettlebell at least once a week, it’s time to make a change. Test these different kettlebell exercises in your upcoming training sessions. They can be incorporated into your warm-up, strength, or WOD. Then, tell us in the comments what your favorite kettlebell exercise is.