Your Complete Guide to Kettlebells and How to Exercise at Home
If you want an athletic and well-trained body, you need to add kettlebells to your workout. Here are the best tips for kettlebell exercises at home.
Offering a great full-body workout, they strengthen muscles, shape your athletic body, improve endurance and speed. Exercising with kettlebells also improves coordination skills and body awareness. Another advantage is that Kettlebell training activates multiple muscle groups in a short time. Even a 20-minute exercise program at home is highly effective and burns more than 300 calories.
What is a kettlebell?
A kettlebell is a flat-bottomed ball with a handle. It can be used to perform the Kettlebell Swing, Thrusters, Clean and Press, Snatch, and other vigorous exercises.
Originating from Russia, where it was mainly used in circus performances. Later, the military recognized the advantages of the kettlebell. It is still an integral part of the training of many special units worldwide. Security personnel, martial artists, and strength athletes also keep fit with kettlebell exercises. For several years, they have been an important part of extremely popular functional fitness all over the world.
Benefits of Kettlebell Exercises
What are the benefits of exercising with a kettlebell?
Kettlebell exercises are the perfect full-body workout and are ideal for home gyms or small spaces. Unlike training with dumbbells, muscle groups are not used in isolation. Rather, you address entire muscle chains through swinging motions. This does not lead to massive muscle growth, but it does lead to a defined and well-trained body.
Particularly good for working out your core area, being the entire back, abdominal, and core muscles. Studies have shown that regular training with the kettlebell can aid in preventing and eliminating back, neck, and shoulder pain.
Kettlebells for beginners
What weight should I use for kettlebell training?
Where to begin depends entirely on your fitness level. Kettlebells are available from 2 to 32 kg. If you haven't done any sport for a long time, you should only start with a weight of 2 to 4 kg. A person of an average fitness level can work out with 6 to 20 kg. And even if you are already really fit but have never worked with a kettlebell, you should not increase the weight at first. First, getting the correct handling of this equipment is important.
What do I have to consider when doing kettlebell training?
We advise you make use of relatively sturdy shoes. With bare feet or light running shoes, there is a lack of stability, especially with somewhat higher weights. If you enjoy kettlebell training and want to do it regularly, you should even think about buying weightlifting shoes. They are slightly raised at the heels. This enables better power transmission. In addition, kettlebell training can cause calluses on the palms of the hands. That is why hand care is very important. Special gloves or stretch straps can be useful for sensitive hands. If you want to train without accessories, you can also use magnesia or chalk. This helps to keep your palms dry. It is also advisable to lay out a few floor protection mats.
You can find the perfect training accessories to workout at home HERE
Types of kettlebell exercises
What types of exercises are there for kettlebells?
You can choose between several exercises. Beginners should first work with the repetition or time variation to build a good muscular base. Advanced and pros can also do circuit training.
- Repetition method: 3 times 6 to 12 repetitions per exercise with 60 seconds rest. You do a total of 4 to 6 exercises.
- Timing method: 3 times 30 to 60 seconds of exertion per exercise with 30 to 60 seconds rest. You do a total of 4 to 6 exercises.
- Circuit training: 30 seconds of work and then 30 seconds of rest. Switch to the next exercise and again do 30 seconds of work and 30 seconds of rest. After each round of 4 to 6 exercises, take a 3 to 5 minute break. Depending on your fitness level, you will complete the circuit 3 to 5 times.
Kettlebell exercises for beginners
Which kettlebell exercises can you start with?
It's best to train two or three times a week on non-consecutive days. After 6 to 8 weeks you will have built up a good muscular basis and will be much more confident in using the kettlebell.
Here are 6 exercises that are perfect for beginners:
1: Kettlebell Squats
Trains your glutes, thighs, back, shoulders, and biceps.
You grip the handles of the kettlebell with both hands and hold them tightly in front of your chest. Stand between hip and shoulder width, feet turned outwards about 30 degrees. Then you squat down in a controlled manner with a straight back. The knees point in the direction of the toes and you push yourself back up without going into full extension.
2: Kettlebell Deadlifts
Trains your entire back muscles, core, and glutes.
You stand hip-width apart and upright in front of the kettlebell, which is between your toes. Then you push your butt back and bend forward with a straight back. You grab the kettlebell with both hands and stand up a little so that the kettlebell leaves the floor. Then slowly straighten up and bend back down without the weight hitting the floor again.
3: Kettlebell Overhead Press
Also called the press, trains your entire upper body, shoulder, neck, and arms.
You grip the kettlebell in one hand and bring it to your shoulder. Your elbow is under your wrist. You stand hip-width apart, bend your knees very slightly. Begin the movement by raising your shoulders and lifting the kettlebell overhead until your arm is fully extended. Then you lower the kettlebell again in a controlled manner to your shoulder and change sides.
4: Kettlebell Floor Press
Trains your shoulder, tricep, and chest muscles.
Lie on your back with your knees bent, grip the kettlebell in one hand and put your elbows on your side. From this position, push the kettlebell up like you would bench press and lower it again without touching the floor with your elbow. change side.
5: Kettlebell Swing
Trains your back, buttocks, and shoulder muscles.
Grip the handle with both hands, stand up straight and hold the kettlebell in front of your body with your arms stretched. Then squat down with a straight back, butt stretched out backward. Now swing the kettlebell back through your legs, then swing it up by straightening your legs. Bring the kettlebell up no higher than your chest. Then return to a squat position.
6: One-arm row with kettlebell
Trains shoulder, arm, and back muscles.
You go into the lunge and place the front bent leg next to the kettlebell, which you grip with one hand. Then pull the weight up to your chest. The elbow is over the hand. Lower again.
Advanced kettlebell exercises
Which kettlebell exercises make you fitter?
Have you have been training regularly and are now looking for a few exercises that will challenge you even more.
Here are four exercises for anyone who already has some experience with kettlebells:
1: Kettlebell Lunges
Trains the buttocks, thighs, and torso muscles as well as the coordination skills.
Grip the kettlebell with both hands, with the handle of the kettlebell pointing down, and then bring it in front of your chest. You stand up straight and then take a wide lunge forward. The back knee almost touches the floor. Then push back up. change side.
2: Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift
Trains your hip and back muscles and coordination skills.
You stand up straight and hold a kettlebell on your side. Then you shift your weight to one leg, bend your straight upper body forward while at the same time stretching the other leg backward. The dumbbell is guided slightly forward. Stand up again and switch sides.
3: Kettlebell One Hand Swing
Trains the entire back muscles with deep muscles as well as the buttocks, shoulder, and arm muscles.
You stand up straight and hip-width apart. Grab the kettlebell with one hand and hold it at your side. Then you make the kettlebell vibrate by moving your hips and upper body.
4: Kettlebell Jerk
Trains the entire shoulder, arm, torso, buttocks, and leg muscles.
You grip the kettlebell so that the ball is on the outside of your forearm and bring it to your shoulder with your arms bent. Stand hip-width apart and upright. Then you crouch slightly and then push yourself up with the momentum, while at the same time stretching your arm with the kettlebell. Then lower back down in one fluid motion. change side.
Kettlebell exercises for professionals
Which kettlebell exercises are the ultimate challenge?
Are you physically fit, experienced in using the Kettlebell, and want to expand your program?
Then here are four exercises that offer a unique challenge:
1: Kettlebell Snatch
Fullbody workout, especially the glutes, core, shoulders, and arms.
For this exercise, it is important that you master the kettlebell swing safely. Stand shoulder-width apart, squat down with your back straight and grip the kettlebell with one hand. Lift the kettlebell off the floor and swing it through your legs, then use your hips to swing it up and forward. When you reach the top, let the kettlebell roll over your hand so that it rests on your forearm. Then lower again in a controlled manner and lead through the legs with momentum. change side.
2: Kettlebell Unilateral Squat
Trains the thigh, buttocks, torso, and shoulder muscles.
You stand a little more than shoulder-width apart, grab a kettlebell and bring it to chest height. The weight is on the forearm. Then you do deep squats, bringing your knees straight over your slightly slanted feet. Hold down briefly, then straighten up again without fully stretching your legs. change side.
3: Kettlebell Alternate Shoulder Presses
Trains the torso, shoulder, and arm muscles.
You stand hip-width apart, your toes point slightly outwards and then you bend your knees very slightly. Holding a kettlebell in each hand, bend your elbows so the weight rests on your upper arm. From this position, you alternately stretch one arm towards the ceiling and lower it again in a controlled manner.
4: Kettlebell High Pulls
Trains the thighs, buttocks, torso, shoulder, and arm muscles.
You stand hip-width apart. The kettlebell is centered between your feet. Then you squat down with a straight back and grasp the handle of the kettlebell with both hands. The backs of the hands face forward. From this position, push yourself upright in a controlled manner and use the upward momentum to bring the weight close to your body and towards your chin. The elbows point downwards. Then lower back down in a controlled manner.