Anyone who owns kettlebells knows that they are one of the most versatile workout tools available. They're small enough to tuck away in a corner between workouts or even to pack in your bags while traveling to places where you can't hit the gym. And, they give you the ability to create increasingly difficult routines that allow you to work every muscle. If you've mastered the basics, start adding these moves:
This isn't a single kettlebell move, but rather a series of moves that, done together, develop your strength while correcting any muscle imbalances. Doing them consistently can help you see gains in every other part of your workout, as well.
Start off lying on the floor with the kettlebell next to your shoulder on the side you are working. Roll to your side and cradle the ball with both hands. Roll back with the ball on your abdomen.
Next, raise the kettlebell so that your arm is perpendicular to the floor. Beginners do this move with both hands, but you can move up to one hand for the advanced workout. Bend your knee on the same side as your hand that's holding the kettlebell. Put the opposite arm on the floor.
Then, roll onto your elbow and then your hand. Lift your hips off the ground and move your outstretched leg under your body. Keep your arm totally extended during this move. From there, move into a lunge and stand. Repeat with the other side.
Add challenge to your push-ups by doing them while grasping the handles of a pair of kettlebells. By making your base a little less stable, you increase the amount of muscle work you need to do. Plus, it gives you an increased range of motion during the move. Aim for two sets of 10 reps.
Get back down on the floor for these twists. Start this one off sitting with your feet flat on the floor. Normally, this move is done with the kettlebell cradled close to your chest. To add difficulty, move the kettlebell a bit further away from your chest. Lift up your legs until your shins are parallel to the floor. Lean back to a 45 degree angle. Twist to the right and then left at the waist.
This part of your workout starts increasing the cardio. To do this move correctly, you need a stable shoulder. The move is, in most ways, identical to the two-armed swing. Start with your feet shoulder-distance apart and your toes forward. Get into a deadlift stance and keep your neck neutral. Straighten one arm out to your side and lift with the other. Use an explosive hip extension to project the bell forward. Do 10 reps on each side.
You can move straight from the single-hand swing into the high pull. Keep your chest high while you do this move. Lift the kettlebell from the ground and pull straight up to chest height. Start by doing these with both hands. To get a more advanced workout, move on to doing them with just one hand, then the other. Build up to 10 reps with each hand.
Remember to always couch your workout between good warm up and cool down routines. When you are trying out a new move, go smooth and slow to make sure your form is good. This helps you prevent injury and means that you are more likely to get the most out of every move. By incorporating the more advanced moves gradually, you keep challenging yourself and seeing more dramatic results.
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