Kettlebells are extremely popular and you can find them in every commercial gym, and most home gyms. With kettlebells you can do many types of exercises, including strength, cardiovascular and flexibility training.
Once you master the basic principles of weightlifting, kettlebell will become an important tool for achieving your goals, burn a bunch of calories and do a workout that will leave you breathless.
The kettlebells have originated from Russia and the original purpose had nothing to do with physical exercise. Russian farmers used kettlebells as counterweights to measure out grain at the market.
Over time, they realized that kettlebells can do much more and began to use them on strength competitions at various fairs, which were popular at that time. Some of these competitions consisted of throwing a dumbbell in the distance or the maximum number of repetitions of a particular movement. After a while, the systematic use of the kettlebell in training started.
It is often believed that Pavel Tsatsouline is responsible for making the kettlebells popular after he emigrated to the United States in late 90s.
No wonder kettlebells became so popular. Kettlebell is a multifunctional free weight used for performing many classic bodybuilding exercises.
When it comes to kettlebell weights, we suggest choosing a kettlebell between 8 – 20 kg for men and between 4 – 12 kg for women, according to their own capabilities and goals. For this training, you only need one weight kettlebell.
Below we bring you a full body kettlebell workout program that is performed in the tabata protocol, which means that the work interval lasts 20 seconds, followed by a rest interval of 10 seconds.
The workout consists of 4 exercises:
- Kettlebell Goblet Squat
- Single Arm Kettlebell Thruster
- Kettlebell Swing
- Kettlebell Triceps Extension
Although the original tabata protocol lasts 4 minutes, our training lasts 16 minutes. The exercises are performed in combinations of two exercises and you do each combination for 8 minutes:
Kettlebell Goblet Squat + Single Arm Kettlebell Thruster
Kettlebell Swing + Kettlebell Triceps Extension
An explanation of each exercise:
1. Kettlebell Goblet Squat
The starting position is upright with feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed slightly outwards. Hold the dumbbell with both hands at chest level. From an upright position, lower yourself into a squat and return to the starting position. Make sure your back is straight at all times and do not let your knees buckle inwards.
2. Single Arm Kettlebell Thruster
The starting position is upright with feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointed slightly outwards. Hold the dumbbell in one hand with the palm facing the middle of the body and the dumbbell hanging on the back of the hand. Make sure that your palm is in the extension of your arms, i.e. that it does not bend backwards under the weight of the dumbbell.
From this position, we perform the exercise by extending the arm upwards. When the arm is fully extended, lower it in a controlled manner to the starting position. You work your hands in each subsequent series, so you work the left side for 20 seconds, and then the right side for 20 seconds.
3. Kettlebell Swing
The starting position is upright with the feet slightly wider than shoulder width and the toes pointing slightly outwards. The knees are slightly bent, the back is straight and the head is in extension of the body. Grab the kettlebell with both hands, pull it back and between your legs, as if you want to hit your buttocks with it.
The first phase of the swing begins with upward swing that starts from the hips. By pushing the hips forward and stretching the legs, we move the kettlebell forward and upward. Activation of gluteus muscles is crucial in this part of the movement. The swing is performed to chest or eye level, but never above that point.
When the kettlebell is in a downward position do not let gravity do the work for you but actively control the second phase of the movement by pushing the kettlebell down and back. The movement of the body along the vertical axis can be compared to the movement when performing a deadlift.
4. Kettlebell Triceps Extension
The starting position is upright with the feet slightly wider than shoulder width and the toes pointing slightly outwards. In the starting position, hold the kettlebell with both arms and raise overhead with elbows pointing forward, at 90 degrees. From this position extend the elbows just before full extension and lower slowly and under control.s
Focus on pointing your elbows inward throughout the movement.
I hope you liked this full body kettlebell workout that can help you lose weight, tone your body and increase cardiovascular fitness and strength.