Here are some basic things to know before getting stared:
Weight: Women typically use kettlebells that weigh between 8 and 16 kg in weight. Men tend to opt for the 16 to 32 kg variety. Always start a bit lighter than you think constitutes "heavy" for your lifting ability. This way, you will be able to perform full sets of each exercise.
Reps & Sets: Perform the kettlebell exercises as described below in sets of 2-5 with 10-30 reps for each. Focus on your form throughout the exercise and you will get the most out of your kettlebell routine.
Beginners who aren't yet comfortable with kettlebells will find the kettlebell row to be quite easy to learn. The exercise works the shoulders, arms and back. You will need two kettlebells for the kettlebell row. Place the kettlebells in front of your feet and bend at the knees ever so slightly. Lean over to lift the kettlebells. Pull them toward your midsection as you hold your elbows close to your body. Maintain a straight back throughout the kettlebell exercise.
The Kettlebell Swing is one of the easier exercises involving the kettle bell. It works the hips, back, legs, glutes and shoulders. Begin by standing up straight with your feet set apart at a distance that puts them just outside of the hips. Hold onto the kettlebell handle with both hands. Keep your palms face down as you hold your arms in front of your body. Hold a slight knee bend, move the hips back and lower the body. Then move the hips forward as you swing the kettlebell. Keep your midsection and glutes flexed throughout the kettlebell swing.
The kettlebell squat really works your legs, butt and back. It modifies the traditional squat motion by incorporating a kettlebell. Begin by standing straight and tall. Grab the kettlebell with both hands and hold it out in front of your chest. Hold your elbows close to your body throughout the duration of the exercise. Squat by pushing your hips and driving your feet down. Once your thighs are parallel to the ground, you can return to the standing position. Focus on maintaining an excellent form rather than performing the exercise as quickly as possible.
Kettlebell Lunge Press
This kettlebell exercise works nearly the entire body. It certainly adds variety to the traditional lunge. Start out by standing straight and holding a kettlebell out in front of your chest with both hands. Bend your arms and allow your palms to face one another. Lunge forward with a leg and lift the kettlebell up high. Return to the standing position and bring the kettleball back to your chest.
Kettlebell Figure 8
The Figure 8 is an intermediate level exercise that works the midsection, back and arms. Begin with your legs set apart a bit wider than your hips. Lower your body into the quarter squat pose. Hold your chest up high, straighten your back and hold onto the kettlebell with your left hand. Swing it around your body so it moves to the outside of your left leg. Then move the kettlebell back in between your legs. Now pass the kettlebell to the right hand and swing it around the inside area of your other leg. Continue the motion for as long as you can.
Whether a beginner, someone looking to diversify their typical routine, or a trainer that wants to incorporate these workouts into a fitness class, kettlebells are a great addition. Attacking several muscles at once, these workouts, among many others, are guaranteed to burn calories while building lean and strong muscle.