Kettlebells provide an excellent workout for women. They work the most common problem areas: the butt, thighs and core, while also using the arms, shoulders and back, but to a lesser extent. If you have not tried them, then you really should. What makes kettlebells so good?
- Kettlebells are small and cheap. They can be stored anywhere at home and once you own one it will last forever. Probably the most durable fitness equipment money can buy.
- You do not need much space to exercise with kettlebells – just enough room to swing it between your legs.
- Kettebell exercises work the muscles that burn the most fat. The largest muscles in the body are the glutes (butt muscles). These require the most energy to function. So exercising them means that you burn more calories.
- Kettlebell exercises are dynamic and non-linear. This means that you work supporting muscles and tendons too. This makes you stronger and leaner.
- Kettlebell training is also aerobic, at least you will get out of breath. This means that you will get fit as well as improve strength.
- Progression is easy – you just get a bigger kettlebell.
- You can workout with partners, even if you are different strengths – just use different sized KBs
- Kettlebells work the core to tone the hips, waist, thighs and butt.
So, you now have a few reasons to use kettlebells, what about a good kettlebell workout?
The Kettlebell Workout
There are really two types of kettlebell workout:
- Short strength training workout with a heavy kettlebell
- Longer cardio / muscular endurance workout with lighter kettlebell
For most people looking to tone up and lose some weight the longer cardio / endurance workouts are best. Here is our favorite workout (learn more about each exercise here):
- Perform walking lunges while holding the kettlebell to your chest, either with both hands or in the “rack position”. Simple walk back and forth across a room. To work the legs more, stay low. Otherwise stand up straight between each step.
- 10 Push Ups. After working your legs, give them a quick rest.
- Two hand swings – the core kettlebell exercise. Perform 20 of these before moving on to
- Kettlebell cleans. This is when you lift the kettlebell up off the floor, using your legs, and lift it straight up into the rack position, leading first with your elbow before tucking your arm in to your ribs. After just drop the kettlebell down with a controlled movement and repeat with the opposite arm. Do 20 of these.
- Kettlebell alternating single arm swings. 20 in total.
- Kettlebell Waist circles. Keep the kettlebell level with your belly button while circling it around your waist, passing from hand to hand in front and behind. Do 20 in one direction then change direction.
- Kettlebell Power Cleans. A complex move, from the floor, lift the kettlebell up powerfully with a pull clean and before it comes to rest turn your hand inwards and thrust upwards, so that the kettlebell stops above your head. Use a light kettlebell to start with. Alternate hands.
- Kettlebell Figure of 8. Pass the kettlebell between your legs, circling around your thighs in a figure of 8. Squat on each change and stand slightly upwards as you come over the top of the thigh. You always pass the kettlebell through your legs from the front and grab it from behind before coming back over the other leg.
- Kettlebell Squat Jump. Just hold the kettlebell with both hands in front of you. Then squat down and in a powerful movement jump up. I read the other day that the squat jump is one of the best plyometric exercises for building powerful, athletic legs.
- Woodchop. Finish off with a good twisting movement. Hold the kettlebell in both hands to your left at waist level, then pull across your body upwards to stop above and beyond your right shoulder before returning to the start position. Do 10 on each side.
After the workout it is advisable to stretch out and then cool down with some gentle cardio. You can do this workout anywhere, so long as you have a kettlebell. Simple, but very, very effective. Add a kettlebell workout each week to our fitness regime and you will find that you can lose your belly super-fast!