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6 At-Home Kettlebell Workouts to Try

Fitness • June 6, 2018

You’ve taken the initiative and bought the equipment. What’s next? For all you home exercisers, we’ve rounded up 6 of our favorite at-home workouts you can do with just a single kettlebell. Make sure you’re comfortable with your chosen weight, ensure you have plenty of space around you, and try these 6 moves for a total-body workout! As always, it’s best to start out with lighter weights and slowly add more weight as your body starts to become better prepared for it.

1.     Swing
This is the perfect workout if you’re looking to get that pesky cardio into your routine while also building muscle. That being said, this exercise helps you burn unwanted fat and build muscle. Fortunately, this exercise isn’t very demanding of your joints while it targets a variety of your muscles. It’s a simple exercise but it calls for your abs, hips, hamstrings, shoulders, lats, quads, pecs, and glutes to all chip in. Ah, the classic kettlebell move. To perform a proper kettlebell swing, be sure to:

  • Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Gripping the top of the kettlebell horns with both hands, bend your knees slightly.
  • Hinge forward at the hips to swing the kettlebell between your legs.
  • Quickly stand back up and use the momentum from your lower body to swing the weight to chest height.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.

2.     Weighted Squat
This exercise demands work from a few large muscle groups in your body such as your quadriceps, hamstrings, and gluteus maximus. For those who are working with a limited amount of time, this is an efficient exercise that gets a lot done in a short amount of time. Think of this like an air squat, just… tougher. The movements are pretty much the same, but in case you need a refresher:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes slightly pointed out, gripping the sides of the kettlebell horns with both hands.
  • Hold the kettlebell at chest height.
  • Bend your knees and push your hips back to lower into a deep squat. Try to bring your butt down past your knees.
  • Drive through your heels and return to the standing position.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.

3.     Push Press
This move uses power from your lower body to press (hence the name) the kettlebell into the air. When this exercise is done correctly, it touches on almost every muscle group in your body. The strength that you will build in your upper body will prove to be useful even in your daily life. Your heart and lungs will also get a workout as they have to work harder than usual to make sure that your circulation remains consistent even when your hands are over your head. This exercise also improves the balance and stability of your body as it forces your body to align perfectly.

Here’s how to do the exercise properly:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the kettlebell at the base of the horns, arms bent so the weight is resting near your chest.
  • Bend your knees as if you are about to lower into a squat (but don’t go into a squat!)
  • As you stand up, press the weight straight up overhead in one fluid motion.
  • Bring the weight back to your chest, and repeat.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.

4.     Thruster
The muscles that you’ll be working in this exercise include your glutes, quadriceps, deltoids, hamstrings, triceps brachii, and even those core muscles that so many people are eagerly looking to work. The thruster is similar to the push press, but with a deep squat. Here’s the difference:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Grip the sides of the kettlebell horns with two hands, holding the weight at your chest.
  • Bend your knees and hinge your hips back to lower into a deep squat, ensuring your butt is down past your knees.
  • Drive through your heels to return to standing. As you stand up, press the kettlebell overhead.
  • Return the weight to your chest in a steady, controlled motion.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.

5.     Dead Clean
What combines speed and power with coordination for the ultimate move? As expected, the ultimate move works a number of muscles throughout your body. While the glutes are a synergist muscle in this workout, there are a number of primary muscles that are worked. Those primary muscles include hamstrings, deltoids, side deltoids, quadriceps, and traps. To properly execute a dead clean:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with the kettlebell sitting between your feet.
  • Bend your knees and push your butt back.
  • Grab the kettlebell by the horns with one hand, ensuring your palm is facing out.
  • In one continuous motion, stand up straight as you lift the kettlebell up to your shoulder.  By the end of the move, your palm should be facing in toward your chest.
  • Lower back down, pushing your butt behind you, as you return the kettlebell to the ground.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.

6.     Bent-Over Row
This exercise is the perfect way to strengthen both your back and shoulders, as well as several other locations such as your biceps, lats, and forearms. This move is as popular as it is due to the fact that it is a compound exercise and therefore requires work from a significant amount of muscle fibers. Learn how:

  • Hold the kettlebell in one hand by your side.
  • Step one leg forward, bending your knees into a shallow lunge.
  • Rest your empty arm on your front thigh, and hinge forward at the hips so your chest is facing the floor and your back is flat. Keeping your hips far back will help protect your back as it takes away from the stress your back could potentially feel from the exercise itself.
  • Keeping your body in this position, lift the kettlebell up to chest level, keeping your elbow in.
  • Maintaining a controlled pace, lower the dumbbell back to starting position.
  • Repeat for 30 seconds.