If you want to update your workout routine or your gym time, you might try changing up your workouts from cardio to weight lifting or vice versa. However, what many people never consider is a kettlebell. This incredible little weight is made to feel like a little bowling ball, and it has several weights just like your trusty free weight. Instead of dumbbells with a solid bar in the middle, kettlebells have a handle to help you grip the weight. There are even a few interesting exercises that you can do with a kettlebell to kick your workouts up a notch. Here are five of them now.
We’re not talking about dance here. This swing is ideal for working your shoulders, hips, back, legs, and your glutes all at the same time. It is a beginner movement as well. To do this exercise, simply swing the kettlebell of your choice up with a single arm, using your empty arm to help with the momentum. Swing the arms down, and when the kettlebell is between the legs, alternate to the next hand. Try doing as many as 12 reps to get the most out of the workout.
Russian with a Twist
Instead of the typical Russian Twists without any weights or using a plate, try grabbing a kettlebell of the same weight. The bell makes it easy to hold on to the weight so you can focus on those abs and obliques as you twist. To get the most out of this workout, sit with your legs bent slightly. You can keep your feet on the floor to get you started, just be sure they are about hip-width apart. Once you’ve got your kettlebell securely in your grasp, lean your body back to about 45 degrees. Don’t worry; it doesn’t have to be accurate; just guess. Now, you just twist your torso from right to left, twisting that kettlebell right along with you. Be sure you just twist at the waist and try as many as you can without breaking your form. You will feel the burn.
Typical deadlifts can be difficult to do with free weights, especially if you are a beginner. Kettlebells can help you focus on your form since they are easier to hold on to. This exercise works your arms, abs, back, legs, and especially your glutes. Though it is more of an intermediate exercise, even beginners can do it with smaller weights. Stand on the floor with your feet hip-width apart. Put the kettlebell between your legs. As you squat down, keeping your back flat of course, grab your kettlebell in your hands. When you engage that core, rise with the kettlebell still in your hands. Make sure you tighten up your glutes to work your backside and keep the arms extended as you stand up. Try doing 12 reps while maintaining your form the entire time.
Push It Up
Who knew that doing regular push-ups could get more challenging right? This exercise takes the typical push-up, feeds it some spinach, and sets it lose. Grab two kettlebells, set up in a plank position, and get ready. Instead of putting your hands on the floor, grab hold of those kettlebells and slowly lower like a normal push-up. When you get close to the ground, push yourself back up to the starting position. While it doesn’t sound quite so bad at first, kettlebells help you learn to balance while your push-up. It will feel much more challenging than push-ups on the floor. Try for 10 or 15 reps if you can. If you want something a little less involved, try a static plank for 30 seconds.
Do the Squats
Instead of typical squats, you can make your squats more challenging by using a kettlebell. This workout targets your glutes, back, and legs. To do the workout, start by standing up straight, feet hip-width apart. Hold the kettlebell of your choice with both hands right in front of your chest. When you are ready, squat down by driving your heels into the ground and pulling your hips backward. When the thighs are just parallel to the ground, slowly rise back up to the standing position. Repeat this exercise for as many as 20 reps or until you feel the burn. Make sure you keep form while you squat.