Kettlebells are my favourite piece of gym equipment. Why you ask? Well, one kettlebell swing uses as many muscles as possible during one movement. A kettlebell is the perfect accompaniment to a busy lifestyle. Doing 10 minutes of kettle swings once or twice a day could be all that you need to stay fit and toned. The range of movement in the swings allow for an intense cardio session, too. What more could you want!?
The Kettle swing
A swing is a bit like a squat, except you don’t bend your knees as much. Stand with your feet at hip-width apart with your knees soft. Have your arms extended downwards so you are holding the kettlebell by it’s handle. As you lower your arms (keeping them extended), move the kettlebell so it is level with your knees. You should do this by pushing your butt back, keeping your abs tight and then allowing your knees to bend very slightly. Once in this position, use your abs to push your waist then butt forwards so you are upright. The kettlebell should follow so that when you arrive at an upright position, your arms out stretched out at around a 90 degree angle, depending on your strength. Then repeat! The aim is to use your abs and glue throughout the process to protect your back. You will feel this in nearly every muscle though, and definitely every large muscle group.
Doing this for 10 minutes straight might get a little tedious, though. Here are a few more moves you can do with your kettlebell…
Hold the kettlebell in your right hand. Standing upright, move your left leg back towards your right hand side, as if you’re about to curtsy to someone. Next, lower yourself down into a curtsy lunge position – this might feel strange at first, but push your left leg as far back as possible and you’ll feel it top to bottom of your left glute.
Hold the kettlebell upside down by the handle. It should be just in front of your chest. Moving with your butt first, lower down into the squat position, then using your glutes and quads, push yourself back into the starting position.
Kettle ab crunch
Lie on your back with your legs raised and knees at right angles. Hold the kettlebell above your head with your arms stretch out above your head. As you start to lower the kettle to your forehead, keep your upper arms still and move from your elbows. At the same time, lower one of your legs downwards – don’t lower too much or your back will arch which can cause injuries. Make sure your lower back is firmly pressed into the mat. Once both your arms and leg are lowered, move back to the original position and repeat with the opposite leg.