Become Strong Like Bull: The Kettlebell Workout

by A Manly Guest Contributor on May 7, 2009 · 58 comments

in Health & Sports

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Editor’s note: This is a guest post from Jim Smith, CSCS.

You are a busy man.

You’re swamped at work, you’re swamped at home with the kids and you never have time for yourself, let alone getting to the gym. Those 1 hr – 1 ½ hr workouts that you used to do are a distant memory.

The time of foo foo workouts and long training sessions is OVER.

It is time to get back to real world, hard-core man training that is effective and can be done on a busy schedule.

Enter the kettlebell.

sig-klein-57

Sig Klein killing at 57 years old!

Kettlebells were used to develop strength, flexibility and endurance by physical culturalists, strongmen, wrestlers and weightlifters like Klein, Krylov, Poddubny and Alexeyev respectively.  These guys were not only leaders in their respective disciplines, but they were strong as hell!  I have always been fascinated by the strongmen of old and how they developed their super strength.

So, what is a kettlebell and why is it so effective?  Imagine a cannonball with a handle.

justkettle

Benefits of Kettlebell Training

“I have always found the kettlebell to be one of the most useful and fascinating pieces of weight training apparatus. It can be handled in so many diverse manners that its application in the field of body-building exercises is almost without limit. You will have to hunt for a long time to find a more versatile piece of training equipment.”Sig Klein

Kettlebells are unique in that no other implement can be used for such a vast array of exercises. Kettlebells will help you develop:

  • A solid strength foundation
  • Greater flexibility (and strength through that increased range of motion)
  • Accelerated recovery
  • Increased grip strength
  • Balanced musculature, which will eliminate weaknesses
  • Increased power and explosiveness
  • CRAZY conditioning

Because kettlebells are so versatile and portable, you can take them with you to the gym or anywhere that has a small open spot.

That is why kettlebells are such a great training device.  You can keep them in the trunk of your car and you can get a workout wherever you’re at; in a park, in the parking lot or in your yard.

Imagine taking a set of kettlebells into your gym, farmers walking them past reception and doing a killer workout while everyone else is struggling away on the elliptical.

So what exercises are we going to do and how do you structure your kettlebell workout?

The Kettlebell Workout

We are going to link several kettlebell exercises together with little to no rest, so that we can get the benefits of a high intensity workout in little time.

We are going to build muscle, lose fat AND get some great conditioning all at the same time.

We will structure our workout as a strength building circuit:

Workout Structure

1. Lower Body Exercise

2. Upper Body Exercise

3. Full Body Exercise

4. Bodyweight Exercise

5.  Core Exercise

We will move between each exercise with little to no rest – maximum 30 seconds.  This will keep the intensity high, shorten the workout and build muscle fast!

As you get stronger and better conditioned, you can complete the routine more than once, up to three times if you want.

Sample Workout

1.  Kettlebell Pullthroughs, 15 reps, 30 seconds rest

2. Beyond the Range Push-ups, 20 reps, 30 seconds rest

3.  Kettlebell Clean & Press, 12 reps each arm, 30 seconds rest

4. Lunge and Reach, 15 reps, 30 seconds rest

5. Russian Kettlebell Twists, 15 reps

6. DONE

You can repeat the workout if you still have some “gas” in the tank or some extra time.

Kettlebell Exercises

Kettlebell Pullthroughs (lower body)

How to Perform: Position your feet in a slightly wider than shoulder width stance.  Grab the two kettlebells and get them moving in a pendulum motion.  As the kettlebells move back between the legs, you have to bend the knees and absorb the momentum before reversing the movement with a powerful hip extension.

Benefits: Strengthen posterior chain and build explosiveness in the legs.

pullthrough1pullthrough2

Beyond the Range Push-ups (upper body)

How to Perform: Perform a normal push-up while holding on top of the kettlebells.  Really squeeze the handles to make sure the kb’s stay in place.  Squeeze the glutes and remain rigid in a straight line position while you lower (eccentric) and drive (concentric) throughout the movement.

Benefits: Strengthening the shoulders, chest and triceps in a full range of motion (ROM)

pushup1pushup2

 

Kettlebell Clean & Press (full body)

How to Perform: Perform a one arm kettlebell swing to get the kettlebell into a racked position. Once in place, drive the kb overhead and lock it out.  Return the weight to the racked position and back down into the swing.  Repeat.

Benefits: Strengthening the entire body including the legs, core, shoulders and back.

cleanpress1cleanpress2

cleanpress31cleanprsss4

cleanpress5cleanpress6

Lunge and Reach (bodyweight exercise)

How to Perform: Lunge forward while keeping an upright torso.  The reach should be done toward the side where the lead leg is forward.  Drive back to a standing position and repeat.

Benefits: Activating the quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes while stabilizing the core and knee.  The reach of the movement stretches the same side IT band, lats and shoulders.

lunge1lunge2

Russian Kettlebell Twists (core exercise)

How to Perform: Sit upright with your knees bent and legs together.  Grab the kettlebell and rotate it back and forth touching the ground on your left and right sides.

Benefits: Strengthening the core, shoulders, biceps and upper back.

twist1twist2

There’s nothing more manly than throwing around chunks of iron.  So get some kettlebells and get to work, anywhere and at anytime.  Change up the routine and throw in some more bodyweight exercises for variety or if you need to build up to use kettlebells.

________________________

Jim Smith, CSCS is a highly sought after lecturer, author, consultant and renowned strength coach. Jim is an expert for Men’s Fitness and a member of the Elite Fitness Q/A staff. Jim’s new product on how to build muscle, lose fat – all with only 3 short workouts a week will be out soon.  Grab their RSS feed.  Check it out!

{ 57 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Paul May 7, 2009 at 11:49 am

This post is great! I’ve really been wanting to start using a kettlebell in my workouts and didn’t know how to get started.

And I love the title…my dad always says that, “Strong like bull!”

2 Brett Legree May 7, 2009 at 12:50 pm

I’ve been working out with kettlebells for about 18 months and can vouch for the effectiveness (I work full time and have four kids, so not much time for long workouts like at college!)

I would suggest anyone new to see if you can find a local instructor to help you out, or if not (I didn’t have the luxury as I live in the middle of nowhere), a couple of books or videos.

One other thing – these things are very effective even at what might seem to be relatively low weights. The “recommended” starting weight for an average man is 16 kg (about 35 pounds), and believe me, that is enough for a start.

I have two of those, and a 24 kg bell, and the 24 is quite a bit more difficult :)

Whatever you do, have fun!

3 Matt Lynch May 7, 2009 at 1:06 pm

I was just going to ask what weight should an average man should start with. Sweet. Thanks.

4 Bunk May 7, 2009 at 2:39 pm

Already have one of these on order. I own a business and while I usually do a HIT workout which usually includes only 2-3 hours gym time per week, this piece fo equipment looks like it could up my efficiency even more. Deffinatly looking forward to giving it a try.

Wonderful info and history provided by the way.

5 Antoine May 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm

Average men should start with a 35lbs kettlebell, for extra workout look for DVDs and book on Kettlebells by Pavel Tsatsouline Those are a bit expensive but pretty interesting…

6 Jim May 7, 2009 at 3:30 pm

I’ve been using kettlebells for years, and it almost sort of pains me to see them becoming the “hip new thing” because all of these sheisters are coming out with half assed regiments. Did any of you catch that woman using them on Biggest Loser or see the kettlenetics infomercials? Pure garbage.

Dragondoor.com is the originator of the kettlebell craze in America, and they’ve been selling the absolute best kettlebells and kettlebell books since long before 2000. If you’re using kettlebells, Pavel Tsatsouline is the man you should be thanking.

DISCLAIMER: I do not work for dragondoor nor do I know anyone who does. I have been a loyal customer for nearly a decade. Their products speak for themselves.

7 Wayne May 7, 2009 at 4:33 pm

Finally, an excuse to buy some kettleballs! I’ve been doing pushups, burpies, deep knee bends, etc for reasons all already stated in the post. I’ve always dug on the manly, old school look of the kettleball, but never really understood their application. Now I get it, and that Russian Kettleball Twist is exactly what I need!

8 boobear May 7, 2009 at 5:41 pm

Rule #1:

Start slow!

9 Jason May 7, 2009 at 6:25 pm

I like these exercises. I am a very busy person and I’m always looking for quick but effective strength-training exercises to make up for those times when I can’t always make it to the gym!

10 TTTimo May 7, 2009 at 6:42 pm

Can kettlebells be used for increased strength training, or are they more for conditioning? Since kettlebell weights are mostly fixed, and you cannot increase the weights like with barbells.

So, if my goal is to increase my strength, should I go with kettlebells or stick to the more traditional squats, deadlifts, overhead presses, etc?

11 Daetan B. Huck May 7, 2009 at 10:52 pm

I’m in college, and also don’t have time for long workouts. The Crossfit methodology makes ample use of kettlebells. They make for a very intense workout! Oh, AoM, why are you doing this to your readers?

To answer your question, TTTimo, I would suggest incorporating kettlebell elements into your workout regimen as a whole. Kettlebells can be used in a lot of ways, but variety will stop you from plateauing.

12 Dermanus May 8, 2009 at 2:39 am

I’ve been using kettlebells for about six months to great effect. They did more than a year of weight training in the gym.
TTTimo, kettlebells are great for strength and conditioning. In the post, the author talks about pullthroughs. I learned it as a swing, but it’s a fantastic conditioning exercise. The snatch is a bit better, but it’s also a more advanced technique. There are others, but those are the two core conditioning moves.
It isn’t necessary to increase the weight in small increments like with dumbbells, since you can increase the difficulty by either changing leverage, or going to a different exercise.

If you’re interested, the best solution would be find an RKC certified instructor, but you can get far on books and DVDs.

13 Matt May 8, 2009 at 4:33 am

TTTimo – Kettlebells are a tool and can be used to improve strength but you will need to have a number of bells on hand. You can use kettlebells along with your normal workout to work certain muscle groups. They also make a great alternative to dumbells . For the most part whatever you can do with a dumbell you can do with a kettlebell.

14 Smitty May 8, 2009 at 4:52 am

Thanks everyone for the kind words on the article.

Smitty

15 Josh May 8, 2009 at 6:13 am

I used to do kettlebell workouts on a regular basis and not only are they totally manly, but they also seriously are the best workout I’ve personally ever done. Over the first three months I was doing them, and this was three fairly intense sessions a week, I lost about 10 pounds, dropped three inches from my midsection measurement and added two inches to my neck measurement. This was the only workout I was doing and my time for a mile and a half run dropped almost 90 seconds and I was able to do plenty more pushups and sit ups.

I haven’t done the workouts in close to two years now, but seeing this post makes me want to get back into it. Thanks!!

16 Scott May 8, 2009 at 8:17 am

Kettlebells are awesome. I use them occasionally to “spice up” my regular lifting routine.

17 Jacob May 8, 2009 at 8:57 am

This is a good workout BUT:

Not a thing about this workout is kettlebell exclusive. Dumbbells are more common, more commonly adjustable, and much, much cheaper. You can do every single exercise shown here in an identical manner with dumbbells.

So anybody with dumbbells on hand already, just use them. Kettlebells are a tool, and if you have a good set of weights already, you have literally no new use for kettlebells.

18 Michael May 8, 2009 at 11:19 am

Mix this up with a 5×5 workout and you have yourself a Strongman Workout right there.

19 Matt May 8, 2009 at 12:26 pm

I disagree with Jacob. The handle on the kettlebell is key and really does make a difference on these types of exercises. Yeah you could technically swing a dumbbell between your legs but it’s really not designed for that kind of movement.

20 Chris May 8, 2009 at 1:55 pm

Good stuff. Do enough and you’ll wind up like this, just like the strong men of old:

http://s27.photobucket.com/albums/c174/h_krustofski/famguyclips/?action=view&current=PhineasBarnaby.flv

Good article. Always appreciate hearing about different ways to work out, if only so I don’t get bored.

21 Sal May 8, 2009 at 4:08 pm

This a great primer to those interested in working with kettlebells but it is definitely not a substitute to finding an instructor and doing a lot more research on the subject by oneself.

Kettlebells are awesome tools to assist in maintaining a healthy lifestyle but they are more apt to hurt the person who tries to treat them like they are dumbbells (for they are not.) Kettlebells are off-centered in their mass, unlike dumbbells which are fairly stable. That is the reason why they are so effective. The body has to work harder to maintain balance and to prevent the kettlebell from jerking one over during a swing or press.

There is a lot of material on the net about kettlebells so I’m not going to go into it but if I had to throw two cents in to the well I would say Wear Stable Shoes. Stable shoes are not crosstrainers or basketball shoes or Air Force Ones. Those are shoes with a cushioned sole and are not a stable platform this type of exercise. Chuck Taylors are stable. No cushion whatsoever and that’s what one should be looking for. Old-school black-and-white just like dad used to wear (just a personal preference) Chucks are perfect for keeping the feet firmly planted and flat. Ever see an Olympic lifter wear Nike Shox while deadlifting? Nope. Never. If they’re not wearing lifting shoes (raised heel, low ankle) then 9 out of 10 they’re wearing Chucks.

What about the guy not wearing Chucks?

He’s lifting barefoot.

22 Brett May 8, 2009 at 7:57 pm

@Chris-

That clip cracked me up. Thanks for sharing it.

23 Aaron May 9, 2009 at 3:38 am

I agree with Jacob above. Everything listed here seems to be applicable to dumb bells. What would the practical and technical differences in a routine be between the two?

24 Brett Legree May 9, 2009 at 5:17 am

What Sal says is right on the money. If you’re going to try kettlebells, make sure you get some kind of instruction (an RKC instructor would be best, and if you can’t do that, get some DVD’s or books and look for help online – and start slowly).

And there is a *big* difference between kettlebells and regular dumbbells. Maybe you could do some of these moves with dumbbells, but the kettlebells will be more effective.

25 Gil May 11, 2009 at 1:14 pm

Excellent article, Smitty.

I’ve been using KBs for about 5 years now, in conjunction with BW excercises. I read a lot about technique from mainly Cotter, Maxwell and Maher early on.

I still have yet to master a few or the more difficult movements, but slowly getting there.

If you want a kick ass portable workout, the the KB is your best bet.

26 Cam May 11, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Awesome article!

@ Aaron – The difference between KB’s and DB’s is in the centre of mass. With a KB the centre of mass is offset, so you have to rely on grip strength and forearms to maintain control. With a DB, you don’t have to worry about the weight rotating in your hand, so the reliance on forearm strength is reduced. Additionally, using the KB’s for pushups works your stabilizer muscles and forearms, as you have to keep the weights upright as you’re going through the motions.

I’m not trying to plug a product here, but has anyone else tried using Powerblocks as an intermediate between kettlebells and dumbells? They have weights on the bottom that you could use as handles, which would offset the centre of mass similar to a kettlebell (though not as much), and they’re designed to be dumbells, so that side of it is covered. I’ve had them for a few years, and it just occurred to me yesterday as I was calling around to find kettlebells that they’d work as a go-between.

27 Aleks May 12, 2009 at 4:48 pm

I’ve been using KB for over 7 months now – simply great work out and lots of fun swinging those chunks of metal (no borring dumbells). My cardio and streangh increased exponentially. Recently i only added bench presses to work out my chest, its hard to work chest with KB effectively.

Q: can anyone recommend (maybe a link) some good work out routines? I am also looking to add exercizes besides swings, cleans, snatches, rows, clean and press and turkish get up. Tx.

28 gjy May 19, 2009 at 7:40 pm

Just got a pair recently and IMHO I find the 15 pounders to be just right for me for two handed workouts (i’m a 40′s father who works in IT). Been looking for a way to do workouts indoors in a small space and these really fit the bill. Also, they are quite different to handle versus dumbbells, kettlebells are easier to swing/grip/transfer and there is a notable difference in the difficulty of the exercise (I have a pair of dumbbells to work with too that have been gathering dust). And FWIW Sports Authority (no affiliation) has 20% off a lot of their free weights right now (including some kettlebells), it’s where I got my pair. I might get a single larger one eventually for single kettlebell exercises.

29 USGSF Staff May 20, 2009 at 5:28 pm

It is awesome to see your website mention kettlebells!!! I find it interesting timing since I just started training with them a few months ago shortly before I found your website.

Kettlebells ROCK…they beat any other form of strength training BAR NONE!!!!

Keep up the great work on your site..I have to forward this to my coach…you guys rock.

30 shelly June 5, 2009 at 7:18 am

Just got a pair recently and IMHO I find the 15 pounders to be just right for me for two handed workouts
your article help me.thanks

31 Iraida June 10, 2009 at 12:18 pm

I would suggest anyone new to see if you can find a local instructor to help you out

32 Phililp June 15, 2009 at 12:13 pm

Good article. For those of you who can’t afford kb’s, most of this can be done with dumbbells. KB’s are a great versatile piece of equipment. that can be used for lot’s of things. The only thing I’d advise is use light weight to start when learning a KB C&J or KB Snatch.

33 kettlebell July 9, 2009 at 1:47 am

Those who have have disproportionate hips, have risk of suffering from bone degeneration, back problems, joint aches, rheumatism. To achieve fat-weight loss, exercise is important. One can go for kettlebell exercises. Various exercise can be performed with kettlebell. It helps to get fat reduction and taut muscles. And it is great for hip training.

34 kettlebell workout July 26, 2009 at 11:54 am

I’d disagree with Phillip, doing many kinds of kettlebell excersises with a normal dumbell is asking for trouble

35 RICHARD SANDERS August 4, 2009 at 4:49 pm

At 66 with 4 years of K.B.’s behind me and about 30 years of regular weight training; i only regret not having KB’s available when I was in my 20′s. For efficiency in gaining endurance-strength, flexibility, grip and toughness use the K.B. a chinning bar and dips. If you choose more power throw in barbell deadlifts. Variations in kettlebell routines are infinite. No time for more than 10 minutes of workout? then do continuous double kettlebell clean and jerks and/or snatches or swings . See http://www.mikemahler.com/ . There’s a plethora of info. out there You Tube them also. But i’m blessed because KB’s help me keep a 48 pulse and about a 105/60 bp. Kettlebells are natural medicine, iron pills with a handle

36 Steve-O September 28, 2009 at 5:35 pm

Hey guys, I have a solution to many of your problems….

Kettle Stacks!!

http://www.kettlestack.com/?a=763

That’s right, adjustable kettlebells!!

37 Over43 December 7, 2009 at 2:59 pm

I have used Kettlebells on and off for about 5 years. An excellent piece of fitness and strength equipment. They aren’t “cheap” but a pair will last several lifetimes. If your great grandkids don’t sell them at a garage sale they can tell everyone they were yours.

38 Charles Long December 21, 2009 at 7:28 am

Kettlebells are great. Expensive but worth it.

39 Mike December 25, 2009 at 12:02 pm

I tried this workout this morning. I’m new to Kettlebells, and I’ve just started this year using classic lifting moves, like cleans and dead lifts. This workout was real good; you start sweating right away. By the third time through I could feel my heart beating in my whole body. One change, I switched out the lunge & reach for lunges with 35lbs KB’s. Also, If you want to make this more difficult, shorten the rest time from 30 seconds to 10.

40 mark December 29, 2009 at 2:55 pm

The dif between DB swings & KB swings: Whichever tool you -use- is the tool you become -adept- at using. The positioning difference required to swing a DB is no big deal..guys have been doing it for 100yrs. in one breath, KB guys say KBs are ‘made’ to swing,(ie: swing more easily), in the next breath they praise the greater -difficulty- of doing other lifts as being an advantage! Thats fine, but same goes for the DB: The positioning adaptations need to swing a supposedly more difficult DB are a -good- thing! The average trainee will fall into a fine DB swing with no speacial instruction.) As far as not needing small weight increases: If your technique is good, and you’ve reached the volume you intend to maintain, your next option is to increase weight. With DBs, you can make a big increase or a small one. With KBs it’s a big jump or no jump at all. I prefer the choice.

41 sophie December 30, 2009 at 6:27 am

The Physical Fitness Test is a three-event physical performance test used to assess endurance. It is used to measure a your physical strengths, abilities, and cardio-respiratory fitness.
=======================
Workout Routine

42 brian January 11, 2010 at 9:05 pm

Has anyone found that kettle bells are tough on or i njur the joints or wrists?

43 mike February 1, 2010 at 11:18 pm

Check out Crossfit guys. We use them all the time.

44 Scott February 2, 2010 at 8:01 am

I can’t say enough about K-bells. For those of you who say that you can use a dumbbell the same way, I say you’re wrong. K-bells are made for doing swings, made to do power exercises, and simply have a heavier feel than a traditional dumbbell. Dumbbells were made for bench pressing, k-bells were made for multi-joint power exercises.

45 Brian February 9, 2010 at 11:43 am

I am 47 and do a fair amount of running and want to build muscle. Just want to be stringer and lean.

I recently joined a gym, but also bought a kettlebell set up.

I was wondering in anyone had any advice on combining kettlebell training with weight machine training like nautilaus. Would it be better to alternate doing nautalis for 3 moinths and the kettlebells for 3 months and so on? or combine them as one apprach.

It was my understanding that one should vary their weight routine and technique so ylou don’ plateau and varying helos with muscle confusion.

Any thoughts appreciated thanks

46 Hackos February 17, 2010 at 11:54 am

I’ve been on the Kettlebells for about 3 months. They’re awesome. Excellent for both cardio and strength. Noticed the difference very quickly. Have lost weight and strengthend all over by short 30ish min sessions a few times a week.

The whole dumbell vs kb debate is a non-starter. Anyone who’s happy swinging a dumbell around is liable to injure themselves. Can’t see how you’d begin to do ‘the snatch’.

Advice form a newby – start out with a light weight, it’s all about technique. By the time you have the technique you will be strong enough to handle something a bit heavier. Moves like the snatch can seriously hurt your wrist if you don’t get the technique right so again start out light. Definately find a qualified trainer if you can as you could easily hurt your back if technique is wrong, especially if you are too proud to start out light!

I’m hoping it will benefit my running in terms of speed and stamina. Can’t see why it wouldn’t, it seems to be beneficial in every way.

47 Shane Grossman March 2, 2010 at 10:36 am

I was working out steady for a couple of years and then started on a 35 pound bell,It was to much .start much lower and work up to the 35 pound bell

48 Keep it simple April 19, 2010 at 5:47 pm

Buy two 24kg kettlebells. Go online and look up how to do the full cycle (basically two bell c&p). Start with a set of 1, when that is easy do a set of 1 then a set of two. Keep going up until you can cycle all the way to 20. You will be stronger and in better shape than ever. Do it every day. Do it!

49 Sara May 3, 2010 at 2:11 am

I know this post is old, but I just wanted to add a few things. To those who say you can do the same exercises with a dumbell, that lets me know that you have not actually gone through a kettlebell workout. Once you do, you will realize that the movements are not functionally equivalent with a dumbell. The weight of a dumbell is distributed differently and even if you do the same exercise, you won’t get the same workout. A lot of the movements involve your entire body and moving the kettlebell with your body – not necessarily just your arms – those movements rely on the fluid movement of the kettlebell handle in your hand and the distribution of weight that holding a ball of iron offers. Dumbells just aren’t built for a lot of the movements – although there are some kettlebell exercises that would work as well with a dumbell. I’m a woman and I had been lifting weights and exercising to maintain a good weight. Once I started with Keith Weber and kettlebells, I stopped doing anything without a kettlebell. The strength and endurance you gain with the kettlebell is just superior to anything out there. I need it. I love it. I can’t get enough of it.

50 Jamie August 9, 2010 at 11:29 am

You can get fast adjustable kettlebells at http://www.getpowerbell.com from Weider. Weights change out fast and the workout is great.

51 Ben Walker November 5, 2012 at 2:07 am

Damn, that Sig Klein was a beast wasn’t he!

I’ve been a big, big fan of kettlebells for years now. Their unique ability to hit muscle groups that are hard to hit through traditional weight training techniques is second to none.

My favorite exercise by far is the kettlebell swing. I would even go as far to say that I’m addicted to doing it :)

Thanks for the great article and spreading the word about kettlebells.

Ben

52 Duncan Shepherd January 7, 2013 at 10:38 pm

Wot!
No Turkish Get Ups?

The single most bastardly KB exercise invented.

Not sure what the Turks were thinking of when they imposed this on the world, possibly T.E.Lawrence.

53 Rick February 26, 2013 at 2:06 pm

I have single KBs 60, 70, 80, 88 and 96.5 lbs. The owner of my gym lets me keep them locked in a corner so nobody who has no clue how to use them doesn’t hurt themselves, or anyone else. However, one of the owners’ sons, a fat and out of shape crack pot, does things to them like pour WD-40 on them, tampers with them to the point of chipping and damaging them.

Yet, I am 48 and can swing that 96.5 lbs. kb for 45 reps and push press it into position for an overhead squat (among other things).

I prefer single arm movements to two arms, though. I think, for me, it helps core strength when the body is out of balance as it is being worked one side at a time. Plus, I have bulging disk in my lower back that I feel is better protected by training one side at a time.

54 RJT March 31, 2013 at 6:25 pm

I’m afraid I don’t have time to check if this has been mentioned but in response to the comparions to dumbells in the comments, one big advantage KBs have over dumbells is the unstable nature the handle gives them. Training in one direction can sometimes lead to injury which may be avoided by training those little stabiliser muscles which can be neglected, if not needed to stabilise a swinging KB for example. Great article.

55 Chris Andersen May 25, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Great article!
I think the provided workout program looks really well balanced. It’s a good idea to ensure that both the upper and lower body is hit. And a full-body exercise like the clean will ensure no muscle is left behind :-)

I wonder a little why the kettlebell swing is not included, though. I think it would make for a nice conditioning addition, and it’s the easiest movement to learn.

56 Kevin Schneider June 8, 2013 at 4:45 pm

Keith Weber’s Extreme Kettlebell DVDs are amazing.

The first DVD is your graduate degree the second is your PhD.

You can find them at Onnit.com.

57 Mike Romero August 18, 2013 at 6:21 pm

Thank you for this! How often should this be done?Every day? Every other day? 5 days a week? Thank you!

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