Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebell Upper Body Workout


Kettlebell upper body workout

Men’s Fitness has revealed that the biggest mistake you can make when exercising with a kettlebell is not to follow the proper form.

It also says that the most common area of the body that is at risk is the lower back. (1)

If you are not completing the exercise correctly, it doesn’t matter what you are looking to improve, i.e. your core, legs, shoulders or abs, your lower back is always the most at risk area.

When working out with a kettlebell one of the assurances that you will get is that it works out your upper and lower body both at the same time.

It could be that you only want to focus on your upper body, but the kettlebell will work your whole body in all different ways anyway.

Kettlebell Press

1 or 2 kettlebells can be used for this exercise and in a few different ways. Start by setting yourself back on your heels, in a neutral position keeping your abs and core tight.

Hold the kettlebell by its handle with one hand and keep your palms facing towards the back of your body.

If you are using one kettlebell, bring it up to your chest level and in the midline of your body.

Do not bring your hand out further from your body as this will result in externally rotating your shoulder and will add a lot of pressure onto your joint.

Lift the kettlebell from the middle of your chest to above your head staying in-line with your nose.

Then bring the kettlebell back to the middle of your chest and repeat the movement 10 times.

Complete the same repetitions with your other arm.

If you want to use 2 kettlebells you can complete the same as above and press both at the same time (military press.)

Or, you could alternate the kettlebells, for example as you raise one of them, bring the other one down and vice versa.

By doing these exercises with 2 kettlebells, it will help with any imbalances in your upper body strength.

If you wanted to work your core and lower legs to improve your balance you could use 1 kettlebell and complete the same motion.

Press on one side and on the same side; raise your foot off the ground. Complete this 10 times and then switch to the other side of your body.

The Cross Hold

Your shoulders and core are worked here by using 2 kettlebells. Hold them with your palms facing the back of your body.

Stand in a position so that your weight is over your heels and your arms by your side.

Lift your arms to the side so that they are parallel with the ground. Remain in this position for as long as you can.

Whilst you are working your arms, use low weight kettlebells so that it lessens the load that will be on your lower back.

The High Pull

Hold 1 kettlebell with both of your hands, keep your weight onto the back of your heels and face forward whilst standing straight.

Bring the kettlebell up to as far as you possibly can and this will work your trapezius muscles and your shoulders.

Your lower back will be protected as long as you remember to keep your abs and core engaged.


(1) Men’s Fitness: 10 Dangerous Kettlebell Mistakes


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Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebell Squats v the Zercher Squat


kettlebell squats


The squat is a terrific exercise to complete in a number of different ways.

They need to be completed correctly in order to reduce any injuries and pressure on the lower back as the weight is all on the back of your heels whilst you bend your knees and hips and keep a straight back from head to hip.

Your knees should remain inside your feet and behind the toes whilst you lower yourself as far as you possibly can.

Keep your abs tight and make use of your glutes and quads to keep yourself steady.

An option is to lower your hips as low as possible whilst keeping the correct form and stay there for a count of at least 10.

When you start to feel tired or wobbly, you can raise your body somewhat in order for your quads and glutes to help with your stance.

One or two kettlebells can be used to complete a kettlebell squat, this will all depend on the weight you are using.

The kettlebell squat has a great advantage compared to other squats as it is more awkward to complete with the weight and this will increase the intensity to your abs and core.

It may not be noticeable at the time, but your abdominal muscle will develop and improve over a period of time as you will be using your core to stabilize your whole body.

The Zercher Squat is a squat that is completed with a traditional weighted bar just held in a different position.

Since the 1930’s Ed Zercher was a strongman and this exercise was named after him.

The position of the bar in a Zercher squat means that it gives you less compression on your spine and that is one of the great benefits.

You can then get into a deeper squat and develop an improved posterior chain.

For safety reasons you should complete this squat in a squat cage ideally, or near a power rack.

You should start with the bar positioned in the crook of the arm and your elbows shoulder width apart.

Bend your elbows and have your hands together with your knuckles facing the ceiling. With the bar close to the body you start the squat, knees behind the toes and inside the feet.

Keep your head facing forward and your back straight whilst engaging your glutes and this is how to complete a Zercher squat.



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Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebell Back Workout


kettlebell back workout

You may want to consider incorporating a kettlebell back workout into your routine to begin with rather than heavy barbell weights, as they can help you to slowly build your back muscles before you attempt the heavier stuff.

The majority of us don’t actually know how to exercise or use exercise equipment correctly and this is the reason so many of us get injured.

This is exactly the same as what happens when people use a kettlebell.

In general, it is our lower back that will feel the brunt of the injury first and when you are adding weights into the equation this makes it worse as you are adding more stress to your muscles and lower back.

A lot of the time, the pain that we feel in our lower backs is due to disorders of the interverbral disks. (1)

These disorders usually happen as a result of an injury.

In order to prevent lower back injuries and promote a good posture, The National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases suggest exercises to develop strong back muscles. (2)

The weight that is suppressed onto our lower spine is one of the main reasons we get lower back injuries, this, along with poor posture and poor muscle development.

The lower back is in such a vulnerable position and we take for granted that it can withstand a lot of pressure.

The kettlebell swing is a popular exercise, however it is responsible for a lot of the lower back injuries and discomfort that you can get when using this piece of equipment.

If you are going to have a go at this it is important to get it right and get some advice on the correct way to perform it, as if done poorly you are more or less guaranteed to end up with a sore lower back and even worse case an injury.

It is an exercise that is designed to give you a full body workout as your whole body is engaged all at once.

The participant will swing the kettlebell from shoulder level, through the upper thigh and then back to shoulder level.

Your upper arms, hamstrings, lats, core strength and more are all engaged and worked.

It is important not to bend down too far so that the weight load is on your back, it should be on your legs.

Everyone that is looking to exercise with a kettlebell should research the correct ways to do so before attempting it.

It may even be a good idea to get some training from a gym instructor first as when used correctly it will strengthen your posterior chain muscles that relieve your lower back pain.

But, if it is used incorrectly you are more than likely going to injure them!

A lot of specialists in the rehabilitation field will use a kettlebell to strengthen the lower back thus reducing potential lower back injuries in the future.


(1) Journal of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons: Low Back Pain

(2) National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases: What is Back Pain


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Kettlebell Workouts

The Kettlebell Long Cycle


Kettlebell Long Cycle


The kettlebell long cycle has been used in Olympic style lifting for quite some time and is usually knows as the clean and jerk.

It is one of the most important exercises of a lot of powerlifting and training programs.

Weightlifting has been included in the Olympic Games since 1896, however in 1920 was when it was officially part of the program.

One handed lifts using the kettlebell were removed in 1928 by the International Weightlifting Federation which included the snatch, clean and jerk and the press.

1976 was the date the press was dropped.

The participant that was taking part in the lift and jerk in the Olympic Games would have 3 goes at successfully completing the lift at the appointed weight.

It is viewed as the definitive test of power and strength.

The first part of the lift copycats a deadlift but when you get to halfway up the thigh, the position of the lifter and barbell alters as the wrists flip and the elbows rotate.

The purpose of this is to allow the bar to ultimately rack across the clavicle and shoulders.

The remaining second part of the lift is what is named the jerk and will start as soon as the weight comes to rest on the shoulders.

The knees of the lifter should be bent and they will then proceed to blast the weight upwards.

The lifter will then push them-selves under the bar and then hold the bar overhead with locked arms.

The long cycle is an extremely effective kettlebell exercise that will increase your functional capacity and physical endurance.

During the workout your arms, legs, back and shoulders and glutes will all be worked. It is also a great workout for your cardiovascular system.

You start the long cycle by holding the kettlebell to your chest and then complete the jerk overhead, repeatedly a number of times.

You do this without putting the kettlebell down at all. It is common for men to use 2 kettlebells to complete this, whilst most women will do the cycle with 1.

The movements you will complete are a jerk overhead keeping your elbows locked.

You will then lower them back to your chest and then to arm’s length, followed by swinging in between your legs.

You will repeat this again and again until the fatigue starts to set in and you cannot perform the maneuver correctly any longer.

There are rules that must be obeyed when completing the long cycle in competitions.

Using the correct technique the participant must complete as many as possible within a 10 minute time frame.

They must ensure that the kettlebell does not touch the floor at any point and any time they drop the rack from a jerk, they must start again.

You will need to be trained to have to correct technique and form to avoid injuries if you wanted to complete this exercise.

It is certainly not for beginners to try!



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Kettlebell Workouts

2 Killer Kettlebell Leg Workout Routines

kettlebell leg workout

The kettlebell is fast becoming a very popular weight and cardiovascular fitness option that a lot of people are starting to take interest in.

It can be used in a number of ways for instance to build a strong upper body, core and even your legs.

It is an extremely effective way to exercise as long as conducted in the correct way.

It is important when starting out to get some help and advice from a personal trainer that is familiar with the piece of equipment as injury is very common when using a kettlebell.

You can quickly become tired from your workout and this is going to increase the risk of injury to your lower back, legs, shoulders and even your head.

It is surprising, but the kettlebell can be used to improve the strength of your legs as well as your core.

By using the kettlebell for this, you will be getting a workout for your abs and shoulders at the same time.

Take a look at a couple of these exercises that you can try in order to start building stronger legs and improving your stamina:

Kettlebell Leg Workout Lunge:

You should only attempt this if you have had some sort of training with the kettlebell as it is for an intermediate user.

Start by standing straight with the kettlebell at your chest level in both of your hands. Bend your arms with your palms facing each other.

Lunge forward and keep your knee behind the foot and your back foot straight without externally turning the back knee.

Whilst you are on the way down lift the kettlebell as high as you can towards the ceiling.

When you return to your standing position, bring the kettlebell back down to your chest and the starting position.

Once you are more confident with this move, rather than starting with the kettlebell at your chest, you can start raising it.


Your glutes, legs and posterior chain are all worked when you complete squats and there are a number of different ways to do a squat with or without weights.

Always remember that your knees should never go further than the level of your toes and always keep your back straight.

Squats are more effective the lower you go, but only go as low as you can whilst still keeping the correct form.

You may have noticed that some weight lifters actually point their toes outwards and have their knees outside the plane of their feet.

It may look impressive as they are able to go lower, however this is placing a lot more strain on their lower back.

You can introduce the kettlebell into your squat by holding it either to your chest, above your head or by the handle at your lower back.

You can also use 2 by putting one on each of your shoulders and allowing them to rest on the outside of each straight wrist (the weight here is supported against your arm.)



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Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebell Workout Routines


kettlebell workout routines

A lot of fitness programs today are completed at either a steady rate, or in order to raise your heart rate, they are completed in short to moderate interval bursts of high intensity exercise.

The reason they are named intervals is because they are completed in all kinds of varying intervals, lengths and intensities.

This will vary depending on the type of program that you are working with.

Interval training is possible when doing kettlebell workout routines because it will not only raise your heartrate, but your cardio fitness and overall body training as well.

A lot of people think that you only use a kettlebell to exercise if you are just into weight lifting but it really isn’t.

By completing kettlebell workout routines using interval training, this will teach your heart and your muscles to respond under intensity, improve your endurance and also giving you a more improved workout.

Your metabolism will be boosted which will give you an ‘all day burn,’ your lung capacity will be improved and the amount of calories you burn off will be increased. (1)

One form of interval training is called tabata.

This is where you will work out as hard as you possibly can for a period of 4 minutes.

For example what you may do it complete your favourite exercise for 20 seconds, rest for 10 seconds and then complete this 8 more times.

By doing this you will develop your aerobic and anaerobic function within a shorter period of time than if you were to complete a regular fitness program.

But if you use a kettlebell workout routines for interval training this is something completely different.

In one fitness session you are completing both a cardiovascular workout and also strength training, not simply running faster for short bursts of time.

In order to keep your exercise regime with the kettlebell fun and interesting you can complete a number of different exercises with or without it.

One thing that should always be remembered is the more tired you get from working out, or the quicker the pace of your fitness routine, the more likely it is that you will injure yourself.

Always make sure you are aware of when to stop your interval training to avoid such injuries.

Your lower back is at the biggest risk as your form deteriorates so just do the best you can to achieve your goals without putting your body at risk.

(1) American College of Sports medicine: For an All-Day Metabolism Boost, Try Interval Training


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Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebell Workouts for Abs


kettlebell workouts


If trying to gain that muscular ripped ab look is up there on your list of body parts to develop, then you won’t go far wrong in using kettlebell workouts to get them popping out.

A kettlebell can be an excellent piece of equipment to use when working out as they improve your flexibility, stamina and strength.

A lot of people may not realize that you can also build up great abs with it as well.

Our core is actually the main thing that helps us to perform our day to day activities with ease.

It includes muscles from front to back not just your abs. It is these muscles that keep your posture straight and safeguard your spine and organs in your abdomen from injury.

So how can kettlebell workouts improve your core muscles at the front of your body?

If you have strong abs this is going to help you to lift things more easily and reduce your risk of incurring any back injuries.

Excellent core training is going to benefit you by stabilizing your spine and not work it through flexion and extension.

The kettlebell can be used when you are doing sit ups, however we have seen through research that improved results will be shown without the additional stress on your back through the flexion.

Figure 8

Some people may think that this reminds them of a children’s game, but it is a fantastic exercise for your shoulders as it puts them through a full range of mobility.

Your abs and core are also worked and adds to an isometric squat exercise.

You will need to hold the kettlebell with both of your hands, keep your back flat but your hips and knees bent.

Keep your knees inside your feet and weight towards your heels and hips back.

You should then proceed to move the kettlebell in a figure of 8 around your legs.

Aim to get your upper body moving but at the same time keep your abs and chest firm and still.

It is not unusual for you to find yourself slightly swaying whilst you complete this movement.

Ab Twist

For this you should keep your upper body very stable to ensure you do not put a twisting force on your spine.

By standing up straight with the kettlebell in both hands and your weight pressing on your heels, lift your left knee.

Maneuver and twist the kettlebell to a position where it touches your left hip.

Go back to the same position and do the same again on your right side.

Half Get Up

Get in a position so that you are lying on your back and your left knee is bent at a 90 degree angle.

Place your left arm flat on the floor with your palm facing downwards.

With the kettlebell in your right arm above your right shoulder, move upwards and at the same time support your weight and balance with your left elbow.

Come back to your starting position and do this movement 10 times.

Once you have completed it 10 times with the kettlebell in your right arm, switch hands and do the same again with your left arm.

This is a very popular exercise with NFL players which their world class trainer Todd Durkin uses a lot.
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Kettlebell Workouts

Crossfit Kettlebell Workouts


crossfit kettlebell workouts

If you are looking for variety in your crossfit training then look no further than crossfit kettlebell workouts, they are a great addition to your armoury of crossfit exercises.

Plyometrics and weightlifting are movements that are used in crossfit training in order to test your physical fitness.

You are required to complete a certain number of repetitions in a workout within a certain amount of time.

It is extremely intense and focuses on explosive muscle action.

Due to the intensity of the workout, the risk of injury is a lot higher than your normal aerobic workout if you do not complete it correctly.

The aim of the person that invented the program was to design something that would prepare the participant for any physical possibility.

With that in mind, it means there is no specialty in the sport, it is simply designed to improve the endurance and strength of the participant.

Coach Greg Glassman planned the program over a period of several decades to enhance fitness.

Meaning that, he designed it to increase the ability of the participant and for them to work across a broad range of time and modalities of exercise.

Crossfit also has a community of competitors who have improved the efficiency of the program by building a community of people who compete against each other and support each other.

The kettlebell is one of the pieces of equipment that is used in crossfit among others.

With its round iron shape and handle that is attached it was used back in the day by Russian farmers to weigh their grain.

It has since been introduced into a lot of sporting activities and to the US in the 1940’s.

It has become more and more popular over time not just in the gym but at home as well.

It is important to know how to use the kettlebell correctly as it has been known to cause extra strain and stress on your lower back.

A lot of physical therapists however, use the kettlebell to mend and stabilize the spine and also improve the strength of the spine.

If it used in the correct way, it is great to help shape the health of your back, but at the same time can cause you problems if used incorrectly.

Crossfit kettlebell workouts can be used for a number of different exercises due to its flexibility which is why it is used by a lot of crossfit trainers.

It will give you a complete body workout and that is why it is becoming such a popular piece of equipment to use.

You may have heard of some of the popular kettlebell exercises such as; kettlebell clean, kettlebell press and thrust, Turkish get up and kettlebell figure 8 to name a few.

With most of those exercises, your upper and lower body and your core will be worked giving you an overall body workout.

This is the reason why the kettlebell is perfect for a crossfit workout in order to increase your strength and stamina.


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Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebell Workout a Basic Introduction


kettlebell workout


This piece of equipment is called a Girya in Russia and is their focal piece of equipment used in the sport of Girevoy.

When they first came about a kettlebell was a cast iron weight which resembled a cannonball and had a handle across the top.

Farmers would use them in the 1700’s to weigh crops and they came to the US in the 1960’s.

They are a popular piece of equipment used in home gyms nowadays and are commonly coloured with the weight being coated in a softer vinyl material.

Generally their weight ranges from 4 pounds to 175 pounds.

To benefit from a kettlebell workout the awkward way in which you need to hold a kettlebell is what makes it so good for you and great for improving your strength and balance.

As it is not just a normal weight, you need to hold it farther from your body and this is why it becomes more difficult.

The handle is not the same as that of a traditional hand weight and that is why if not used correctly can cause injury.

If you are a beginner you should start with the lightest weight there is in order to minimize injuries to your lower back, shoulders etc.

Ideally you should have a personal trainer show you the ropes initially so you can reap all of the amazing benefits.

In general, when you are working with other weights, you are usually standing upright with your heels on the floor to enable to you to have a strong foundation.

You will need to ensure that you do not raise the kettlebell directly above your head like you may do with other traditional weights as if this fell onto your head it could be a disaster.

Your lower back needs to be protected when doing a kettlebell workout, the same for a lot of your joints.

Avoid rounding your back and drooping your shoulders as doing this will heighten the weight load that is on your lower back.

Everybody’s needs are different and if you are looking to increase your power and strength only then you are better off working out with just traditional weights.

Kettlebell workouts are becoming more and more popular but may not be what you need to use in order to achieve your goals. If you want to develop explosive action and motion then they are for you.

They should be used for fast and high repetitions in order to get more muscle groups moving.

The main purpose of training with a kettlebell is to increase your muscles ability to perform fast and powerful movement’s one after the other.

For example if you are a golfer and are at the 16th hole, you will still be able to accurately swing your club that late in the game.


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Kettlebell Workouts

Benefits of a Kettlebell Workout

kettlebell workout

Kettlebells are very adaptable and a fun piece of equipment to use that is why they are so popular at gyms and at home.

Kettlebell workout exercises are becoming more and more popular across the world and especially at the moment in the US.

They have a lot of benefits and can be used to emphasize sport specific activities.

You will need to be careful however, because if they are used incorrectly, you have a higher chance of sustaining lower back injuries.

If you are using these as part of your exercise regime you should also ensure that you never raise the kettlebell so that it is directly above your head in case it slips and you end up with a head injury.

If you get the right training from a professional that knows how to use a kettlebell correctly and efficiently, you will gain a lot of benefits.

The main thing a kettlebell workout does is improve your endurance.

If you complete a large amount of reps and sets along with explosive force, you will notice your endurance and your strength improving.

You can focus on certain areas of your body when working out with a kettlebell such as your legs or arms, but it is most commonly used as a full body workout as it involves the whole body.

Your back and your abs will become stronger as your core will be worked to the max. You will notice an improvement in your health, posture and reduction in back injuries.

You will feel really tired when exercising with these as you will complete a higher number of reps and sets but your mental durability and your flexibility will improve.

This is due to your body having a better build-up of muscle and endurance and you will need your mental toughness to get you through your program.

If you plan your workout well, you can reduce your workout time by half and with the right training you can complete a full body workout in the comfort of your own home.

Other benefits include burning calories as well as speeding up how quickly you burn fat.

If used correctly the kettlebell is a cardio workout along with a muscle building workout. It has the ability to rehabilitate an injury and make your everyday tasks easier.

After reading all of these benefits it is no wonder a lot of people are starting to introduce a kettlebell into their weekly routines.

Weight lifting traditionally will help you build muscle but only that one specific muscle group that you are working on.

Overall body conditioning is what a kettlebell workout will do for you and this burns a huge amount of calories per minute.

You can think of it as a type of cross training and strength training put together.

It is becoming more and more popular and the isolated strength training could soon be a thing of the past!



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