Kettlebells have been a popular choice among fitness enthusiasts for quite some time now, as they offer a unique way to train the entire body with minimal equipment. The kettlebell is most commonly used for exercises targeting the whole body.
A strong, healthy body is essential for proper posture and overall physical well-being. In this article, we will look at the 15 best kettlebell exercises you can start trying out today to build strength and improve your posture.
From basic moves like rows and lifts to more advanced variations like windmills and halos, these exercises are sure to build muscle and help you achieve your fitness goals.
15 Exercises With Kettlebells
An effective exercise regimen incorporating kettlebells can help you build strength and tone your body for a leaner, more sculpted physique.
1. Assisted Single-Arm Bent Over Row
The first exercise will consist of a single-arm bent-over row with assistance. You only need one kettlebell, and you don't need super-heavy ones.
- To do this exercise one of your hands will be placed on the chair.
- Check that your hips are not too far back or that you are not leaning too far forward.
- You should stack your wrist directly beneath your shoulder. Flatten your back.
- Remember to engage your core by tightening your lower back if you are having difficulty and your back is rounding out.
- Your feet should be hip-width apart.
- In addition, you will lift the kettlebell as if you were attempting to tuck it into your armpit pocket.
- After performing 12 repetitions, switch hands and perform the opposite side.
2. Bent Over Tricep Kickback
For the second exercise, we will perform a bent-over tricep kickback.
To do this exercise, hold your weight. Begin with your arm bent and your kettlebell close to your sides.
- Assume a bent over position and bring your elbows up by your sides.
- Kick your arms back by extending your hand as far as possible, as if trying to touch the back wall.
- Remember that you should always keep your elbow raised. If your elbow begins to sink, reset your position.
3. Kettlebell Bicep Curl
We will perform a standing single-arm bicep curl while the other arm performs an ISO hold. Therefore, we will get a real burn.
- Take hold of both kettlebells while standing with your feet hip-width apart.
- Curl the kettlebells towards your shoulders, keeping your elbow under your shoulder the whole time.
- Once at the top, squeeze your biceps before slowly returning to the starting position.
4. Kettlebell Renegade Row
- As you take the plank position, ensure that your wrists are stacked directly beneath your shoulders.
- For the renegade row, you will raise the kettlebell toward your hip. You should avoid allowing your hips to twist open. This indicates that your core muscles are beginning to disconnect. When this begins to occur, reset yourself. Bring it to your knee and then return to the starting position.
- Once you have pulled the kettlebell to your hip, slowly return it back to the starting position before switching sides.
5. Double Kettlebell Swing
Double Kettlebell Swing is one of the best full-body exercises you can do to get in shape. With a double kettlebell swing, you are engaging your hips and legs for explosive power, working your core and back muscles, as well as building your grip and arm strength. Doing this exercise can improve balance and flexibility and increase muscular endurance.
- To perform it correctly, make sure to position two light-medium weight kettlebells between your legs with a wide stance and your feet pointed slightly outwards.
- Then grab both handles in an overhand grip and lift the kettlebells off the ground as if performing a deadlift by driving through your whole body with your hips extended on the back side of the movement.
- As you move up, retrace your steps back down and let the kettlebells swing backward through a full range of motion for momentum before rapidly extending them up again.
- Keep in mind when completing this movement that it should be done with caution and good form—saggy hips, lower back, or knees will minimize its effectiveness, so focus on keeping it tight throughout all reps.
6. Kettlebell Halo
The kettlebell halo is an incredibly versatile and beneficial exercise that is a great addition to any fitness routine. It not only works muscles in the neck, shoulders, and thoracic spine, but also helps build core strength by forcing the user to activate their midline stability.
Not only does it provide full body strengthening, but it also emphasizes balance and coordination as the user rotates around their base of support. This simple, yet highly effective movement can help improve posture while increasing muscular endurance, leaving you looking and feeling better than ever!
- Start in a standing position holding a kettlebell in both hands, the top of the kettlebell should be facing away from your body.
- Now slowly rotate the bell around your head in a halo motion; keep your arms bent and core engaged for stability.
- Once you have finished one rotation, switch direction and complete another set on the other side.
- Be sure to go at a controlled pace; too much momentum can result in muscle strain or worse! With consistent practice, you will soon start feeling stronger and more confident - so give it a go!
This move works the lat muscles.
- Start by lying on your back and grabbing a kettlebell with a neutral grip. And hold it above your head.
- Then lower the kettlebell behind you keeping a slight bend to your arms.
- Lower it down just before touching the ground.
- From here, with control return it to the top position.
8. Kettlebell Reverse Lunges
Kettlebell Reverse Lunges are a powerful exercise that can benefit both strength training and cardiovascular work. Not only do they engage almost every muscle group in the body, but they also promote balance and stability, which can help decrease the risk of injury.
- Stand with your feet about where your hips are.
- Hold a kettlebell in each hand with your palms inwards.
- Step back one foot and drop down into a lunge. You will need both knees to be bent 90 degrees.
- Bring your back foot back to the middle, which is where you started.
- Drop the other foot back into a lunge and back up to make a move again. Then, finish the set by switching legs.
9. Kettlebell Bob and Weave
The Bob and Weave exercise with a kettlebell is a great way to work the leg and core muscles. The squatting motion helps strengthen the legs and core, and the kettlebell adds resistance to make the exercise more challenging.
- Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a kettlebell.
- Hold the kettlebell close to your chest, palms facing each other.
- Now simultaneously squat down and shift yourself to the right.
- Stand up straight before doing the same thing on the opposite side.
- Use a combination of speed and control as you perform this exercise for an allotted amount of time or a number of repetitions.
10. Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift
Kettlebell single leg deadlifts are the perfect compound exercise for people looking to benefit from a full-body workout. This powerful exercise targets core strength, stability, and balance all at once, making it ideal for athletes and weekend warriors alike.
By using only one arm at a time these deadlifts also engage the obliques or side muscles which is often overlooked during traditional workouts.
- Begin by standing with your feet placed hip-width apart, core engaged, and back straight.
- Hold a weight in one hand, and with the same side leg, hinge at the hip and lower the weight towards the floor until you reach a comfortable depth.
- Engage your glutes and hamstrings as you drive through your hip to return to a standing position.
- Feel free to perform multiple repetitions on one side before switching sides for an even workout.
11. Kettlebell Clean
To maximize upper body workouts, kettlebell cleans should be included in any fitness routine. This exercise puts work on the biceps, back, and core - muscles all needed to gain strength.
- Start with the kettlebell on the ground in between your legs.
- Squatting down, grab it with one hand.
- Explosively extend your body and pull the kettlebell upwards keeping it close to your body.
- Rotate your elbow and wrist so that the kettlebell lands in between your forearm and bicep.
- Return the kettlebell to its original position on the ground reversing the order or operations.
- Repeat for the desired number of repetitions, ensuring the proper form is used throughout each rep in order to maximize results and avoid injury.
12. Two-Handed Kettlebell High Pull
The two-handed kettlebell high pull is a great exercise. It helps to strengthen the lumbar muscles and increase spinal stability, which in turn reduces overall stress placed on the lower back.
It is relatively low impact at the same time, making it easier to fit into a workout routine than other exercises that require a lot of strain.
- Start in a standing position with the kettlebell placed between your feet.
- Grasp the kettlebell handle with both hands and pull it up towards your chest, keeping your arms close to your body.
- Keep your back straight, your shoulders down and away from your ears, and engage your core muscles throughout the movement.
- Look straight ahead as you raise the kettlebell until it reaches chest level or slightly above.
- When finished, slowly lower the kettlebell back to the floor between your feet.
Deadlifts with kettlebells can bring tremendous benefits to the lower back. In addition to building strength and stability, deadlifts with kettlebells can be an effective way to strengthen core muscles, improve balance and posture, and reduce pain in the lower back.
- Start with the feet shoulder-width apart and the kettlebell placed between them.
- Reach for the kettlebells handle with both hands, and keep your back straight.
- Lift your chest and squeeze your shoulder blades together. This will help ensure proper form throughout the motion.
- When ready, push through your heels to propel yourself up from the ground. As you stand up, drive your hips forward and use momentum to lift the kettlebell off the ground. Keep it close to your body as you stand up.
- Once standing upright, pause for a moment at the top of the movement to ensure that your upper body is properly braced before beginning to lower down into a squat position again.
- Finally, drive through your heels once again to stand up tall; this completes one repetition of a kettlebell deadlift.
14. Alternating Row
Alternating row is known to be a major benefit for lower back health. This exercise technique can help reduce both pain and stiffness, while also increasing mobility and overall strength.
- Begin standing with the feet hip-width apart, a kettlebell in each hand.
- Hinge at the hips and lower into a squat position, extending both arms towards the floor as you go.
- Lift one arm away from the floor and row it towards your side.
- Alternate rowing and lowering it back down before repeating on the other side for the desired number of reps.
15. Kettlebell Bottoms Up Carry
This is an effective way to strengthen your core and shoulder stability
- Begin by holding a medium-weight kettlebell in each hand with an overhand grip facing the ceiling.
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and engage your core muscles to stabilize your body.
- From here keep the kettlebells stable as you walk for a set distance or time.
Tips to Get the Most Out of Your Kettlebell Workout
Kettlebell workouts are an excellent way to strengthen and tone your muscles, boost your metabolism, and increase overall body strength but it's important to know how to make the most of your sessions. Here are 6 tips for getting the most out of your kettlebell back workout.
Start With a Light Weight
When beginning a kettlebell workout, it is important to start with a light weight and gradually increase the intensity as you become more comfortable with the movements. This will help prevent injury and ensure that you are targeting the right muscles while avoiding strain.
Maintain Good Posture
Proper posture is key in kettlebell workouts, as this will help you maximize your efforts and get the most out of each movement. Make sure to keep your spine straight, chest up, and shoulders back throughout all exercises for maximum efficiency.
Focus on Mind-Muscle Connection
Paying attention to your form during a kettlebell workout is essential in order to target the correct muscles and ensure that the movements are being performed correctly. A good way to do this is by focusing on the muscle contraction throughout each exercise instead of simply going through the motions without really thinking about it.
Engage Your Core
Many people forget about engaging their core during a kettlebell back workout, but this is essential to maintain balance and stability while also helping to strengthen your core muscles and those in your back.
Use Controlled Movements
For best results, ensure all movements are slow and controlled instead of jerky or rushed. This will help prevent injury while also allowing you to focus on muscle engagement throughout each exercise for better results overall.
Listen to Your Body
Pay attention to how your body feels during each exercise and take breaks when necessary in order to avoid overtraining or straining yourself too much from an intense workout session.
Give your back the attention it deserves with these kettlebell exercises. A strong and healthy back is crucial for stabilizing your whole body and avoiding injury not to mention a toned backside looks great.
These 15 exercises with kettlebells target all of the muscles in body for a complete workout. And we've included 6 tips to help you get the most out of your workout so you can build strength, improve posture, and achieve that sculpted look you're after. What are you waiting for? Grab a kettlebell and let's get started!