A kettlebell workout is a great way to make the most of your (maybe brand new) at-home exercise routine. Now that most of us are spending our time indoors in order to help flatten the curve of the new coronavirus, anyone who previously relied on the gym or group exercise classes is having to be a bit more creative if they want to get their workouts in. (Like bringing cardio workouts indoors, dusting off those dumbbells, and finding creative ways to actually enjoy at-home workouts). If you’ve been curious about kettlebells but never taken the plunge, now is a great time to do it.
First of all, you can get a good workout with a single kettlebell, which is great for anyone who has a small space to work out or isn’t into the idea of stocking their home with a bunch of fitness equipment. Dick’s has a decent selection and is offering curbside pickup, which is a great option for avoiding crowds while you practice social distancing.
Once you have a ‘bell and get used to it, you might just want it around long after you return your normal exercise routine because they’re just so useful. For example, although in many exercises dumbbells and kettlebells are somewhat interchangeable, the handle and ball allow for a swinging motion that dumbbells just can’t match. When you hold the kettlebell with the ball up, there’s also a stability because the ball wants to fall one way or the other, and your body has to work to resist that movement.
“Kettlebells are versatile, portable, and taxing on the entire body during most movements and movement patterns,” Lacee Lazoff, a trainer at the Fhitting Room in New York City, tells SELF. “Just holding a heavy bell at the chest is an effective way to strengthen the core, back, arms, and shoulders.”
To take full advantage of the kettlebell, we asked Lazoff to put together a quick and effective kettlebell workout routine you can do with just a single ‘bell. The workout below will take around 20 minutes to complete (more if you choose to add more rest in between circuits) and works your entire body. If you’ve never used a kettlebell before, Lazoff suggests starting light and slow, focusing on proper form first and foremost.
“This workout is focused on total-body movements in functional patterns (aka ways in which we as humans move every day),” Lazoff says. “I created short intervals with various movements in sequences to keep the body moving, increase heart rate, and balance upper- and lower-body work.” Lazoff adds that moving with a kettlebell continuously for a few minutes at a time requires both cardio endurance and strength. By stringing kettlebell moves together into an interval workout (like the one below), you can keep your heart rate high and get the most out of a shorter workout.
You’ll notice that there are some bodyweight-only moves peppered into this workout. This is to give your grip, forearms, core, and shoulders a slight break from the weights. Trust us, you’ll be grateful for the chance to put the weight down every now and then.
The workout is also focused on time instead of rep counts. Lazoff, who demonstrates the moves below, says this makes it easier to focus on quality versus quantity.
Here’s how the workout is set up:
- Kettlebell Swing — 30 seconds
- Forearm Plank — 30 seconds
- Jump Squat to Reverse Lunge (bodyweight) — 30 seconds
- Do three times.
- Squat With 3-Second Hold — 30 seconds
- Push Press — 30 seconds
- Thruster — 30 seconds
- Do three times.
- Dead Clean — 30 seconds right side
- Lateral Lunge — 30 seconds right side
- Bent-Over Row — 30 seconds right side
- Dead Clean — 30 seconds left side
- Lateral Lunge — 30 seconds left side
- Bent-Over Row — 30 seconds left side
- Do two times.
- Kneeling Halo With Twist — 30 seconds
- Around the World Lunge — 30 seconds
- Walking Push-up — 30 seconds
- Do three times.
Take anywhere from 30 seconds to two minutes to rest in between each circuit.
Here’s how to do each move: