Kettlebell training is one of the best methods for gaining muscle strength and volume, this type of training is used by those who opt for CrossFit and other high-intensity sports.
However, if you are a beginner at kettlebell exercises, you should emphasize technique. Otherwise, you risk injury, particularly to the shoulders or lower back.
This article describes the best kettlebell exercises with their correct execution technique.
Kettlebells or kettlebells? What are they?
Kettlebells or kettlebells are a sports tool or accessory with potential uses to achieve muscle hypertrophy. Kettlebell exercises and workouts are becoming more prevalent in CrossFit methods.
In history, kettlebells are nothing new. They were first used centuries ago as a tool to build muscle strength and endurance before battles.
Although its origin is not clear, there is evidence that shows the use of kettlebells since Ancient Greece. In the archaeological museum of Olympia (Athens), there is an ancient 143 kg kettlebell on display. (1)
In Russia, kettlebell exercises were an activity for farmers and circus performers in its early days. Then they were transformed until they reached what we know today as kettlebell workouts. It is even currently considered a new Olympic sport.
The seven best kettlebell exercises
The advantage of route weight training is that it does not require more than a single accessory; the entire muscles can be worked on with minimal space. Here are the top 7 kettlebell exercises:
- Kettlebell squats
This is one of the kettlebell exercises that cannot be missing from the routine. It is analogous to the classic bar splints.
In this exercise, the legs and the core muscles are mainly worked. The technique is to take the weight with both hands, and by bending the hips and looking straight ahead, begin to descend. The movement should always be controlled, keeping the abdomen tight.
- The swing
This kettlebell exercise mainly works the middle area and the shoulders. The legs and buttocks are worked secondarily.
Technique: Pick up the weight off the floor with both hands. As if preparing to squat but with less leg width, pick up the weight off the floor with both hands. With your abdomen and hips thrust, raise the importance into a straight line with your eyes. The legs should remain extended at the end of the movement, and the glutes contracted.
- Renegade kettlebell row
This is one of the ideal kettlebell exercises for the work of the back muscles, the biceps, and the middle zone.
Technique – start in the abdominal plank position, with a kettlebell to the side. Keeping your abdomen tight and your back straight, you must raise the kettlebell perpendicular to the ground, using the force of your back muscles.
- Kettlebell push-up
A kettlebell exercises to target your triceps, chest, and midsection.
Technique: Rest the kettlebell on the floor to one side of your body, and get into a push-up position with your legs extended. Put one hand on the weight and the other on the floor. Lower yourself, reaching almost ground level, push your torso back, pressing on one side with the weight. Shift the weight by alternating one side to the other.
- Sidewinder kettlebell
This is one of the kettlebell exercises for advanced athletes. If it is done with an incorrect technique, damage to the spine may appear.
Doing this exercise works the oblique muscles, legs, and arms. With your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees bent, you should hold the kettlebell in the center of your legs.
With both hands and abdominal strength, lift the kettlebell to shoulder height. Return to the starting position and repeat with the opposite side. It is essential to feel the conscious work of the abdomen and not force the spine.
- Swin clean kettlebell
In this exercise, the muscles of the shoulders and legs are mainly worked simultaneously.
- Stand with your feet apart using the width of your shoulders as a reference and your knees slightly bent.
- Bring the weight to ear level; the grip is palm forward, taking care of the wrists.
- Immediately extend your legs and trunk while bringing your hands up, and return to the starting position.
The key is to use your legs to build momentum.
- Kettlebell curl
This is one of the best, most straightforward kettlebell exercises. It is used for the work of the biceps. Standing, hold a pair of kettlebells at the sides of your body. Without moving the trunk and keeping the abdomen firm, bend the elbows and concentrate on the strength of the biceps, bring the weight towards the shoulders, and return to the starting position.
Can a beginner train with kettlebells?
Kettlebell training is suitable for both beginners and advanced athletes. The important thing is not to neglect the technique. It would help if you started with those light ones and always respect the biomechanics of the movements. Otherwise, sports injuries are likely to appear.
Kettlebell training is suitable for increasing muscle mass and beginners under weight-loss processes. The difference lies in the weight and the number of routine repetitions.
A kettlebell training plan is recommended for anyone looking for a variation on gym routines and seeking to improve muscle strength. For best results, if you decide to carry out kettlebell training, it should always be accompanied by a proper eating plan.
Common mistakes in a kettlebell workout
Common mistakes in a kettlebell workout are:
- Neglecting technique
Generally, a fitness beginner finds the kettlebell more “friendly” than the bar. While this may be true, neglect of exercise techniques should not be underestimated. This can lead to sports injuries if it frequently occurs, especially in the lower spine area.
- Do not do a physical warm-up before
A kettlebell routine must include prior physical warm-up exercises in all training. Kettlebell exercises are dynamic. If your muscles are cold, you are at risk of tears and joint injuries.
When starting a kettlebell workout, it is essential to be motivated. However, performance loss occurs when the desire to train exceeds the body’s limits, and chronic overtraining can develop. It is necessary to respect the recovery phases and include muscle recovery programs to speed up this process.
Kettlebell Training A New Olympic Sport?
Kettlebell workouts are considered one of the new Olympic sports. Kettlebell training allows not only to improve muscle volume but also strength and endurance at different levels of the athlete.
In training with kettlebells, sports performance is increased both at a morphological (or structural), physiological (or functional), and psychological (or attitudinal) level.
Over the years, the official sport has been modified, therefore also its rules. One of the essential elements to evaluate according to the official regulations is the technique or performance of each exercise. Ultimately it is what defines a participant’s score in the competition. (1)
- Kettlebell training focuses on increasing athletic performance and musculature holistically.
- Both beginners and advanced athletes can do it.
- Performing kettlebell exercises with the correct technique is key to avoiding back injuries.
- Exaggerating with weight, overtraining, and not doing a physical warm-up are the most common mistakes of a kettlebell workout.