FREE WORKOUT FRIDAY: Mighty Metabolic Kettlebells
If I was stranded on an island and could only bring once piece of fitness equipment with me, I’d without a second thought choose a kettlebell.
They may appear as just bizarrely-shaped hunks of iron, but kettlebells boost strength and metabolism and have the capability to transform your body into a confident, empowered, fat-burning machine. Unlike a lot of mainstream workouts that have you training one body part at a time, kettlebell movements are dynamic and multi-joint and engage your whole body all in one shot.
Kettlebell training combines mobility (stability + flexibility) strength, and conditioning – allowing you to simultaneously build muscle and burn body fat, rev your metabolism and improve your mobility.
This is why I get hyped introducing women to kettlebell movements.
Being able to train your entire body with just a handful of exercises means lack of time is no longer an incommodious issue. Instead of spending hours at the gym, you can bang out a full body kettlebell workout in 10-20 minutes, and get on with your life (:
Kettlebells also reshape your body (and specifically your rearview).
Strategically training with kettlebells will help you build lean, feminine curves, a strong, sleek upper back and a powerful backside while shaping a confident posture and inciting fat loss.
And if you’re looking for a butt lift, look no further. Nearly every kettlebell exercise necessitates the glutes to fire:
During KB work, the glutes are working as either a prime mover like in a kettlebell swing where we need to engage our glutes to explosively move the bell, or as a stabilizer like during an overhead press where we need to engage our glutes to steady our hips and protect our lower backs, as well as to generate force to press the bell up.
Same with the muscles of the upper back – they are always engaged whether working as prime movers or stabilizers. So if you want to build a healthy, aesthetic upper back, move some bells!
But I think one of my favorite things about kettlebell training is that it’s fun. How is tossing around a hunk of iron, while getting stronger not totally fun and gratifying?
Training and exercise is such an integral part of life, so it should be enjoyed. Enjoyment and a sense of possibility lie at the heart of being successful and consistent in your training regimen.
Kettlebells help bring simplicity, play, and enjoyment back to training.
Today’s Kettlebell Complex is a quick and mighty metabolic kettlebell workout to help you burn fat and build strength, to reveal your strongest self, save time and have a blast.
As usual, don’t be deceived by the simplicity of this workout. My heart was pumping just filming the demos!
Mighty Metabolic KB Complex
For reach round, complete 1 rep of each, 5 times on each arm, without putting the bell down:
–1-arm KB Swing
-1-arm KB Clean
-1-arm KB Front Squat to Press (aka Thruster)
Rest for 1:30, repeat (as many rounds as you’d like, up to 15 minutes).
–Ensure that your entire swing is coming from your hips, not your shoulders or arms. Actively push your hips back and snap them forward, clenching your butt as hard as you can. The harder you snap the more force you will generate and the more muscles and energy you will use.
-Keep your lower back flat, chest up and your weight on your mid-foot to heel.
-The height of your swing will be dictated by the strength and power in your hips (your hip snap!), but avoid going higher than your chest.
-The swing is the driving force behind the clean. So focusing on the above elements of the swing will help make your clean more fluid and powerful.
-Keep your elbow tucked in, as if you are holding a rolled up newspaper under your arm next to your ribs, and your forearm and wrist vertical.
-To get the bell up and into the “rack” position, think of needing to zip up your jacket while keeping the rolled up newspaper tucked at your side.
KB Front Squat to Press
-Maintain a strong rack position with your wrist vertical and elbow tucked.
-I like to hold my other arm out straight for counterbalance to avoid twisting or rotating.
-As you ascend from your squat, use your momentum to press the bell up overhead, while keeping your core engaged to avoid letting your ribs flare or lower back arch.
For kettlebell weight, if you are a beginner, I recommend starting with an 18-26lb kettlebell. If you are more advanced I recommend a 26-44lb bell.
Always remember to warm up prior to training to prep your body for movement and to reduce your risk of injury and improve your performance!
Please note, form is crucial and movements need to be performed safely and with integrity in order to be effective, especially with kettlebells. So do make sure that you are confident in these movements before adding load to them or performing them quickly.
Before performing a kettlebell clean or 1-arm swing, make sure your 2-arm swing is on point. And before performing 2-arm swings, make sure you are able to safely deadlift.
I hope you have a fantastic Friday, and that you choose to get strong and sweaty today and have fun while doing so.
Let me know how you do! Comment below or give me a shout on Instagram (tag @HurstStrengthCT), I’d love to see your pics/videos!
I hope you have a fab weekend filled with plenty of laughs, sunshine and thrills!
If you are a woman looking for a fun, safe and completely individualized program to help you maximize your results, look and feel your strongest, reach out – let’s chat! Erika@HurstStrength.com