Before you start any kettlebell training, it’s important to know the basics. Here are four fundamental moves if you want to explore kettlebell exercises.
The hip-hinge is a great way to warmup for any kettlebell exercise. It is used in most movements, which is why it’s so important to learn. Plus, it’s the base for building lower body strength. Make sure you’ve got this move down before you go on to learning other kettlebell movements. Even advanced athletes warm up with a hip-hinge.
Movement: With your knees slightly bent and your spine in a neutral position, sit back into your hips with minimal knee bend, and snap forward, contracting your glutes at the finish. That’s it! The idea is that you first flex then extend through the hip joint.
Master the Hip Hinge by Bloom to Fit
The deadlift is arguably the most beneficial exercise out there, and definitely one of the first things to learn with a kettlebell. Just like the hip-hinge, don’t move onto any other moves until you’ve mastered this one.
Movement: Start with your legs hip-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Holding the kettlebell with both hands using an overhand grip, engage your core and straighten your back as you tip forward in a controlled motion. The weight should hang ‘dead’ a few inches from the ground. Squeeze your glutes and stand up straight. That’s one rep.
The Kettlebell Swing
This move covers everything. It’s a mind-body exercise that requires, well, your mind and body to remain focused.
Movement: Standing with your feet hip-width apart and your shoulders rolled back, squat and take the kettlebell with both hands using an overhand grip. Stand up tall with your chest out. While gripping the kettlebell with long, loose arms, engage your core, soften your knees, shift your bodyweight back to your heels and lower your bum towards the wall behind you. Now you should have momentum to swing. Drive through your heels and explode through your hips so that the kettlebell swings upwards from your quads to your chest with your arms extended. During the movement, as you snap your hips through, your core and bum cheeks should be engaged – squeeze ‘em like you mean it. Now you can let the weight do the work as the kettlebell drops and you prepare for the next rep. Shift your weight back to your heels. Rotate your hips and engage your hamstrings and glutes. Let the kettlebell move back between your legs and repeat the movement again.
Kettlebell Swing Technique by T-Nation
This is a great all-around movement for strength and power.
Movement: Straddle the kettlebell with feet hip-width apart. Squat with your arms extended between your legs and use an overhand grip to hold the kettlebell with one hand. Straighten your back and engage your core. Snap your hips forward and extend your knees to lift the kettlebell up off the floor. Raise your shoulders above the kettlebell while you keep the weight close. Jump as you extend your body. As you raise your shoulders, pull the kettlebell upward with your arm allowing the elbow to bend out to the side. As you drop back down, rotate your arm so that you’re under the kettlebell, catching it on the outside of the arm with your wrist straight as you move into a partial squat. Rest it there for a moment before letting it fall back down for another rep.
If you prefer crossfit exercise without equipment, check out this post: Crossfit workouts without equipment.