Unlike the exercises with dumbbells or barbells, kettlebell exercises often involve large numbers of repetitions. Kettlebell exercises are in their nature holistic; therefore they work several muscles simultaneously and may be repeated continuously for several minutes or with short breaks. This combination makes the exercise partially aerobic and more similar to high-intensity interval training rather than to traditional weight lifting.
In one study, kettlebell enthusiasts performing a 20 minute snatch workout were measured to burn, on average, 13.6 calories/minute aerobically and 6.6 calories/minute anaerobically during the entire workout – “equivalent to running a 6-minute mile pace”. Because of their high repetitions, kettlebell progression should start out slowly to build muscle endurance, support the joints and prevent injury.
Get started: Warm up 10 minutes of light cardio to get your body moving. Perform the exercises in order, one move after the other.
Beginners: 2 sets of 15 reps for each move, resting for 45 seconds between moves.
Advance: 3-5 sets of 20 reps for each move; no rest between moves.
1. One Arm Swing: The kettlebell is swung from just below the groin to somewhere between the upper abdomen and shoulders, with arms nearly straight. The key to a good kettlebell swing is effectively thrusting the hips, not bending too much at the knees and sending the weight forwards, as opposed to squatting the weight up, or lifting up with the arms
2. Two Arm Swing: The swing can also be performed with a release and catch of the kettlebell, which helps train the proper swing pattern where the arms aren’t pulling up at the top. This can be done with two hands switching to a supinated catch.
3. Overhead Swing: Also called the overhead swing, this swing variation ends with the kettlebell directly overhead instead of at chest level
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