Curious about kettlebells? Here are 14 great beginner exercises to try!
- Squats- stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, the grip the sides of the kettlebell handle with both hands. Hold the kettlebell at chest height, then bend your knees and hips into a deep squat. Return to standing and repeat.
- Deadlifts - hold the kettlebell in front of your thighs with both hands. Make sure your palms are facing inwards, then hinge at your hips and push your butt back as you lower your torso and the kettlebell towards the ground. The most important part of any deadlift: keeping your back flat and shoulders back - your torso should be almost parallel to the floor. Next, push through your heels to stand up straight, lift the weight back to the starting point, pause, and squeeze your butt muscles, then repeat.
- Lunges - similar to the squat exercise, start should-width apart. Keep your arms by your sides and hold a kettlebell in each hand. Next, take a big step forward and lunge. Keep your back straight, your shoulders back, and your core engaged during the entire exercise. Push back up through your heels, and repeat.
- Sit-ups to kettlebell press - start in a normal sit-up position; lying on your back with knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Hold the kettlebell with both hands at your chest. You'll want to grip the ball. As you roll up to perform a normal sit-up, push the weight out, then bring the weight back down to your chest and return to starting position. Repeat.
- Kettlebell swings - again, start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Grip the top of the kettlebell with both hands, bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at your hips. Swing the kettlebells between your legs. Stand back up, then use the momentum to swing the weight to chest height. Repeat.
- Sumo deadlifts - your form here will be similar to a traditional deadlift, except start with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, your knees slightly bent, and your toes angled out. Additionally, choose a lighter kettlebell, as you'll be adding some arm work. Repeat movement for deadlift (above), but once you've stood up straight after completing the movement, pull the weight high up, towards your face. Return to original position, pause, and squeeze your butt muscles, then repeat.
- Hand to hand swings - stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettlebell with one hand. Bend your knees just slightly, then hinge forward at the hips to swing the kettlebell between your legs (with one hand). When you stand back up, swing the weight to chest height, then switch the kettlebell to the other hand. Continue swinging, alternating sides.
- Figure 8s - surprise! this one also starts with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettlebell with onehand. Bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at the hips, and thread the kettlebell between your legs. Bring your opposite hand behind your body and under your butt to meet the kettlebell, then hand it off. Stand back up as you pull the weight from the side of your body forwards, to your chest. Repeat.
- Push presses - set up a wide stance, then grasp a kettlebell in each hand. Face your palms out, and bend your arms slightly, so the weights are resting at each shoulder. Next, bend your knees just a bit, and as you stand back upright, press the weight straight up, overhead. Bring the weights back to your shoulders - slowly - bend your knees, and repeat!
- Triceps presses - again, stand with a wide stance, then grip the kettlebell by the ball (at the base of the handle). Raise directly overhead. Keeping your elbows close to your ears, lower the kettlebell behind your head to neck level. Pause, then straighten your arms back out to raise the kettlebell overhead.
- Halos - this one's a fun one! Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. Grip the kettlebell by the grip, with the ball facing up (the kettlebell will be upside down) - hold it at chest height. Next, lift the ball to eye level and circle it around your head to the left - slowly! Return to the starting position, then repeat the movement in the opposite direction.
- Bent over rows - start in a lunge (see directions above), with your left leg out just a few feet in front of your right leg. Hinge at your hips to bend forward, but be sure to keep your back flat! Also make sure your shoulders and hips are square/in line with the floor. Hold the kettlebell by it's handle in your right hand, with your arm hanging straight to the side. Rest your left arm on your left knee. Next, lift the kettlebell to your rib cage, engaging your back as you pull. Pause, then lower back down.
- Flutter kicks - another ab killer! Lie on your back and hold the kettlebell in both hands by it's bell. Hold the weight straight above your shoulders, then lift your shoulders and upper torso of the ground slightly. Next, raise your legs a few inches off the ground and flutter kick your feet.
- Box step-ups - for this one, you'll need a box or step. Stand in front of said box or step, holding a kettlebell byt he handle with both of your hands. Make sure the kettlebell is at chest height, then step up with your left foot and drive your knee up towards your chest. Step your right foot back to the starting position, then step your left back as well. Repeat the movement starting with the opposite (right) leg.
Workout credit: Self.com (click the link if you'd like instructional videos for all the above exercises!)
If you're interested in taking a group fitness class that focuses on Kettlebells, check out our weekly offerings:
- Mondays 18:00-18:40 with Dani
- Tuesdays 06:15-07:00 with Dani
In case you might be wondering - yes, Dani is our resident kettlebell extraordinaire! Follow her on Instagram for more kettlebell workout ideas and motivational videos!