The kettlebell is often heralded as a fantastic training tool thanks to its ability to train the body in a less conventional manner that involves more of our supporting muscle groups and challenges balance and focus at the same time.
This is only one advantage of the kettlebell though. What’s just as impressive is just how versatile the tool is – allowing you to train every muscle group in a vast variety of different ways. In fact, a kettlebell is versatile enough to provide an entire body workout and can be a ‘home gym’ all on its own!
Here are some kettlebell movements that demonstrate this nicely:
The kettlebell curl is a movement that works similarly to a regular curl and targets the biceps. The difference is that the center of gravity is lower down, thereby altering the angle and changing the direction of the force.
Something that is very hard to do when training from a home gym is work the legs using squatting motions. Squats are widely regarded as some of the most functional movements and are particularly popular thanks to their ability to engage lots of large muscles in the posterior chain. The problem is that they require a large, heavy and unwieldy squat rack and bar! Or do they?
Using a kettlebell, you can hold the weight against your chest and then squat from there. This moves the weight forward slightly but is otherwise effectively the same movement as any other squat!
Straight Legged Deadlift
The deadlift is another movement lacking from most home workouts and once again, the kettlebell comes to the rescue. A deadlift can be performed as normal, simply by squatting and grabbing the handle with both hands.
Likewise though, you can also train similarly while keeping both legs straight and bending only at the back to hit the erector spinae. This works better considering the slightly lighter and taller nature of a kettlebell.
Turkish Get Up
Now for something entirely unique. The Turkish get-up is a movement that requires you to lie on the floor next to your kettlebell and then simply stand up with it. This is much harder than it sounds and involves a complex sequence of movements that train the muscles in unison.
This is perhaps the king of kettlebell movements and involves performing a squat like motion while swinging the kettlebell behind yourself between your legs and then up in front of yourself. The key is to use a continuous motion and to use your hips to thrust the weight forward rather than engaging your legs or back too much.
Kettlebell Clean and Press
This movement is good in all kinds of ways and involves squatting down to grab a kettlebell in on hand, then throwing it up to lean against the shoulder, standing up and pressing it over head. This trains a huge range of different movements but what’s perhaps most effective of all about it is that you are training on just one side of the body – meaning you need to work very hard to maintain balance and to stabilize yourself.