Kettlebell workout: 5 best kettlebell exercises to get stronger from head to toe

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Grab a kettlebell (or two) to build stronger muscles with these five effective exercises. 

A kettlebell is one of the most versatile pieces of equipment – it can be used in a number of different exercises and helps build strong muscles from head to toe. In fact, there are at least 90 different moves you can do with a kettlebell and many of these exercises include compound exercises (moves that target multiple muscles at a time). 

Kettlebells are also ideal for increasing core strength and improving balance. If you only have a short period of time to work out, however, try a circuit with these five efficient moves. 

In addition to strengthening your muscles, kettlebell exercises can also be used for cardio by increasing your heart rate with fluid movement. Be sure to check out our top three tips below for staying injury-free while doing these kettlebell exercises. 

KETTLEBELL SWING

Kettlebell workout: Strong Women trainer Risqat Fabunmi-Alade demonstrates kettlebell swing

Swing the kettlebell between your legs by hinging forward at the hip. At the top of the swing, the weight should come parallel with your chest; any higher and the weight is too light for you. Check for proper form here.     

KETTLEBELL SQUAT

Weight training
Kettlebell workout: the goblet squat is a classic move for strengthening your lower body

The goblet squat “improves mid-line stability due to the front rack position and it can also be kinder to your back,” says fitness instructor Laura Hoggins

Grab your kettlebell by the handle or bell to squat, while holding the weight close to your chest.

KETTLEBELL DEADLIFT

Kettlebell workout: Strong Women trainer Emma Obayuvana demonstrates kettlebell deadlift

When doing deadlifts, you can choose between different variations: single arm, single leg, Romanian or the standard form seen above. This is ideal if want to have better grip while performing a more challenging balancing exercise. 

You can also use two kettlebells – one in each hand – if you’d like to. 

KETTLEBELL ROW

woman free weights kettlebells working out exercise fitness health workout
Kettlebell workout: grab two kettlebells to do kettlebell row, or use one kettlebell to train one arm at a time

Your options are to either use two kettlebells (one weight in each hand) to row both arms at the same time, or one kettlebell to train one arm at a time. 

While keeping your back straight, bend the elbow to bring the kettlebell towards your hips. 

Another variation is the ‘Gorilla Row’ – holding on to one kettlebell with both hands.

KETTLEBELL LUNGE

Lunge one leg either forwards or backwards as usual, but do so while carrying a kettlebell in both hands to improve your balance, stability and capacity. This is a great exercise for runners to strengthen their lower body and prevent injury.

IMPORTANT TIPS TO REMEMBER:

1. Start with a light weight and progressively increase the weight over time.

2. Keep rest times in between exercises short to improve your cardiovascular endurance.

3. Maintain form over your weight increase (ie lift lighter if you think your form will be compromised by going heavier).

Follow @StrongWomenUK on Instagram for the latest workouts, delicious recipes and motivation from your favourite fitness experts.

Image: Getty 

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Miranda Larbi

Miranda Larbi is a freelance fitness and wellness journalist, and qualified personal trainer. When she’s not finding new vegan places to eat, she can be found training for the next marathon or cycling across London on a Tokyo bike.

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