If you're stuck at home without access to a gym during a lockdown, chances are you've explored your options. Body weight training (gymnastics) has quickly become popular as a result, and more people than ever are bashing huge sets of push-ups and sit-ups now.
But that is only one option. Another is to try a kettlebell workout routine!
A single 20 kg kettlebell offers a huge range of training options and replaces many of the equipment you may miss in the gym. Not only that, but the kettlebell workout hides a lot of hidden depth: it's just a matter of how far you want to go.
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Kettles are affordable, compact and do not require much shape. And while they've been out of stock for a while, Amazon now has plenty of options available again. But where do you start? Read on to learn everything you need to know – including how to come up with the best kettlebell workouts for amazing results.
Kettlebells: The basics
Kettlebell training comes from Russian farmers, who used the weights (known as girya) as a counterweight when measuring crops. That said, some similar tools have been found dating back to ancient Greece (called "halters").
Kettles look like cannonballs with a handle that protrudes from the top and a flat bottom. You can grab the kettlebell with one or both hands and handle it one or two at a time. They are measured in "pood", where one pood is 36.11 pounds. You will usually find kettlebells weighing 1, 1.5 or 2 poodles, but you can also buy them per kilogram.
The advantage of this unique shape compared to a dumbbell is that the center of gravity is not on the contact point by hand. That means you can create leverage, and it also means you can swing the weight . This is what distinguishes a kettlebell training from other forms of training.
Curling dumbbells or squatting barbells are great ways to get in shape, but it's all about moving in straight lines through a limited movement pattern, while keeping the weight in place
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In terms of real functional power, this isn't particularly realistic. When was the last time you had to lift or push something while everything around you remained perfectly static? When did you repeat the accurate the same movement more than once a day?
In a wrestling match, you have to shave your whole core against the torque delivered by an opponent, while simultaneously pushing your legs, hips and shoulders to move them. And when they change their strategy, you have to adjust to that change in an instant.
When carrying groceries, you have to carry an unstable weight while walking. And if you lift a pram from the trunk with one hand and hold your baby with the other … you get it!
When you swing a kettlebell, you are forced to contend with a constantly moving and changing force. This develops incredible core stability and athletic strength, while also building grip strength. This is fantastic for athletes, martial artists and anyone who wants to build strength useful in the real world.
When you swing a kettlebell, you are forced to contend with a constantly moving and changing force.  What's more, kettlebells lend themselves to continuous and repetitive movements. This is great for developing explosive power, but it also means you can train with lighter weights for a long time. For example, kettlebells can be used to burn calories quickly as a form of metabolic conditioning (resistance training performed as cardio).
Whether you want to build muscle, increase your mobility, develop athletic strength or burn fat: kettlebells are a brilliant choice.
How to train with a kettlebell – movements and tips for your kettlebell training
Are you tired of the theory and want to get started? Let's take a look at how to come up with a kettlebell workout by taking the best moves for your goals.
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First, choose a weight that's right for you. If you're just starting out with little strength training, it's a good start to find a weight that's about 15% of your body weight (about 10kg). For those with more experience, 30% is a better starting point.
The first move everyone should learn is the kettlebell swing.
The first move everyone should learn is the kettlebell swing. This is the "king" of kettlebell exercises and deserves a place in every kettlebell training routine.
How To Kettlebell Swing For Weight Loss
To perform a kettlebell swing, place a single kettlebell on the floor for up and then lift it slightly off the ground using a deadlift technique. That means the feet point forward or slightly outward and then hinge with a straight back at the waist while slightly bending at the knees to grasp the handle with both hands. Stand upright and, as you do, push forward to stretch the hips and push the weight up.
The goal is not to 'lift the weight with the shoulders'. and poor, but just to guide it through its natural trajectory. The explosive hip thrust should be sufficient to provide propulsion. Keep your arms straight with the weight hanging at shoulder height in front of you, then lead it back down and behind you as it moves through your legs. To facilitate this movement, bend forward again on the hips (without arch in the spine) and also bend the knees slightly. Once the weight has come as far as you can, click back and repeat the movement in the opposite direction: exploding through the legs and hips to send it back up. It should look like a pendulum once it is in full swing.
A brilliant tool for burning fat.
This move can be used for a variety of reps (50 or more!), Making it a brilliant tool for burning fat and building powerful glutes for jumping and running. Focus on guiding weight and using the stretch shortening cycle (the natural 'bounce' in your body) to generate momentum at the bottom of the move. You can also use this as a form of high-intensity interval training by setting timers – this will melt fat from your body!
This one move is all you need for effective kettlebell training when weight loss and toning your primary goals to be!
This one move is all you need for an effective kettlebell workout as weight loss and toning are your primary goals!
There are countless variations of the kettlebell swing for those who want more variety in their kettlebell workouts. How about the kettlebell skier swing, for example. This places a kettlebell in each hand and challenges you to swing them down your body.
You can also perform a kettlebell swing for a more explosive purpose – known as a & # 39; hardstyle kettlebell swing & # 39 ;. This method teaches muscle control concepts using goju ryu karate! This latter style is something more applicable to fighters and athletes, and I recommend you check it out if you want to know how nuanced kettlebell training can be!
Pressing movements and squats
Alternatively, you can use a kettlebell as a tool for pressing and squatting the entire body. This is perfect for replacing a barbell and rack if you don't have access to it at home (although the weight will be lighter for most people).
For example, by holding a single barbell in front of you with two hands, you can perform goblet squats that offer less resistance than a heavy barbell, but focus more on the quads. The same position also works for lunges or Bulgarian split squats.
If you need more weight, you can also take and hold two kettlebells. in the "racked" position while crouching. This means they are held at shoulder height, with your wrist straight and the kettlebell leaning against the side of your forearm and biceps. This position allows you to hold weight comfortably for a long time, while challenging your legs through a wider range of motion.
For more of a challenge, you can also try doing Cossack squats, which means that you fall down on one leg while keeping your other leg straight. This not only provides more resistance on a single leg, but also improves hip mobility.
You can also make it a whole body movement by cleaning and pressing. That means that you lift the kettlebell off the floor each time and then press it above your head. You can also add a press to almost any squat movement.
And if you're a little more ambitious and want to build up some explosiveness, you can even run snatches and shock with a kettlebell!
Numerous More Kettlebell Workout Options
There are countless more Kettlebell Workout Options that you can explore. For example, you can use other resistance cardio exercises like the ballistic kettlebell row if you want to burn fat and tone. If building more functional strength is your interest, kettlebell halos are fantastic for opening your shoulders, while Figure 8s develop amazing core stability. Here you wrap the kettlebell around your head and weave it through your legs respectively!
One of the most infamous moves of all, made famous by the kettlebell legend Pavel Tsatsouline, is the Turkish Getup. This move involves holding a single kettlebell over one shoulder and holding it there while standing up from a position where you lie flat on your back. Make sure to check out some tutorials before trying them. Once mastered, it represents a great full-body workout that works wonders for your shoulder and core.
If you want to develop your kettlebell workouts even further, here is a whole world to discover. Kettlebell & # 39; flows & # 39; are currently popular on Instagram and YouTube, for example. These include the transition between multiple different movements (about 3-6) for a single repeat and then repeat. This is a cardio-intensive workout style, which is perfect for challenging your ability to challenge the transition between those steady movements (which is where most of us are weakest).
If you're completely crazy, you can even add kettlebell juggling to your kettlebell workouts! And yes, that's exactly what it sounds like!
So that was kind of a whistle-stop tour, but I hope it introduced you to the basics of kettlebell workouts. You should now have a good idea of how to start using these great tools to build functional strength, or just to burn the fat. And hopefully now you understand why they are so popular and how deep the rabbit hole goes. See what appeals to you and then google!