More women are discovering the benefits of kettlebell workouts. Numerous reasons are there why kettlebells are the perfect choice for those who want to tone their bodies and remove the body fat. While men are drawn to resistance based training using weight training machines, dumbbells and barbells, women tend to avoid the weight section, opting for aerobic exercises like running, Zumba style dance classes and spin classes. But there are a lot of reasons women should spend time performing resistance style workouts and using the kettlebell.
Benefits of Kettlebell Workouts
#1 Tones the Body
Effective and efficient kettlebell workouts for ladies need to be dynamic and cardiovascular in nature. While the resistance element of kettlebell training is in place, it does not cause a lot of muscle growth or hypertrophy. Therefore, women who want to add muscle tone without adding bulk can choose kettlebell workouts. Women have 100X times less testosterone than men, so putting on muscles is virtually impossible.
#2 Full Body Workouts
Kettlebell workouts offer full body movements. If you have received the correct workout instructions, full compound movements are there to target each body muscle. The more muscles are targeted, the greater is the energy required and the more fat will be burned. Kettlebell workouts target a lot of muscles in one go, so time is not wasted to target different areas of the human body on an individual basis. Full-body workouts are hard to start with, using lots of energy and tiring at the same time. But, the end result is that kettlebell workouts are time efficient. Using the correct kettlebell exercises are important. Kettlebells are not the same as dumbbells. If correct exercises are used, workouts are only needed 15 minutes in a single day.
#3 Kettlebells target all parts of the body
Kettlebells reduce fat in the hips, thighs, glutes and waist. Targeting the really important muscles are important. Larger muscles include quads, glutes and hips are targeted. It increases the metabolic rate. More muscle tone in the body leads to higher energy required by muscles at rest, and fat can be burnt everyday.
Kettlebell exercises like the swing hit important muscle groups in a single fluid movement. It also ramps up the metabolic rate.
#4 Exciting Dimensions in a Fitness Routine
While most people enjoy exercise, kettlebells offer a new dimension to the fitness routine.Training correctly with kettlebells takes a lot of skills, dedication and time. Women can enjoy a fitness boosting workout.
Using the Right Kettlebell Weights
One of the biggest misconceptions is that women should use 3lb weights to prevent bulking up. Women have less growth hormone, so bulking up is not an issue. When kettlebell exercises are correctly performed, the entire body is used. Drive with the hips and legs to burn many calories and use hundreds of muscles in one go. Lift heavier weights to activate different muscles.
The starting weight should be 8 kgs or 15 lbs. For athletic women, within a span of 6 weeks, the transition is made to 12 kg or 25 lbs. This is more so for two handed swings. For stronger women, the weight should be around 16 kgs or 35 lbs.
#1 Kettlebell Single Arm Deadlifts
The muscles used in the single arm deadlifts include the back, core, hips, quads, hamstrings and glutes. This is one exercise all women should focus on. Single arm deadlifts send the focus onto the body’s back and into the glutes. For strong and well shaped glutes, this is the right exercise to work on. The single arm deadlift raises the heart rate and also burns plenty of calories. Once the technique is mastered, you can increase the weight.
#2 Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlifts
The muscles used are the glutes, hamstrings, front and back core and the hips. The body connects the hips and legs with the arms and shoulders through the core muscles. The single leg deadlift works to connect to the core muscles, linking the shoulder with the opposite hip through the cross body sling system. Mastering a single leg deadlift provides a stunning torso and protects the spine from additional exercise injury. It conditions the glutes, hips and hamstrings too.
#3 Kettlebell Swing
The muscles used are hips, quads, back, core, glutes and hamstrings. Once the above deadlifts are mastered, kettlebell swings become the leading fat burning exercise. Kettlebell swings hit as many as six hundred muscles in the human body. They also provide cardiovascular benefits. Boost cardio, strength and exercises into one.
#4 Kettlebell Turkish Get Up
The muscles used are hamstrings, glutes, quads, core, triceps and hips. The Turkish get up is an exercise that works the entire body and goes deep into core muscles, apart from improving joint mobility. If there is stiffness or tightness, the get up exercise can help.
#5 Kettlebell Row
Making rowing movements using the kettlebell exercises the glutes, hips, quads, core, back, shoulder, biceps and hamstrings. The row is an exercise focusing on the rear and back of shoulders. Performing the standing row works out the core and the legs too. The row exercise helps to pull shoulders back and improve the appearance of the chest. This is great for counteracting the sitting we inevitably do each day.
#5 Kettlebell Squat and Press
There are not many muscles left untouched by the squat and press. The exercise can be performed with one hand and changed after some repetitions or two hands can also be used. This exercise uses muscles like the quads, core, triceps, hips, glutes and hamstrings. One of the most critical things to watch out for is squatting deeply. The exercise involves working hard to get thighs at level with the floor. This activates the glutes.
#6 Kettlebell Side Lunge
The muscles used for this include the core, hips, quads, hamstrings and glutes. These side lunges open up the hip and condition the legs and the backside. Deeper lunges are better. Start off steady and get working on deeper and deeper into the movement with each repetition.
#7 Push Ups
Kettlebell push ups use the glutes, chest, core and triceps. Men have a naturally bigger upper body. Women tend to avoid push ups for this reason. For firming up the core, chest and backs of the arms, kettlebell push ups are perfect. If full push ups are tougher, increase the elevation of the hands to the table. Once around 10 repetitions are performed, lower your hands to the bench and then the floor.
#8 Russian Kettlebell Swing
This exercise targets the back. hips, shoulders, glutes and legs. For carrying out the perfect swing, stand up straight, with feed wider than hip distance apart. Next, grab the handle, with both hands, with palms facing down and arms ahead of the body. Maintain a slight bend in the knee while driving hips back. Lower the body, though not too much. Following this, in a fluid motion, drive the hips forward and swing the kettlebell. This keeps the core and glutes engaged. The motion should be from the hips and not the arms. As the body returns to standing. Lower the weight between the legs and keep the swinging motion on for 12 to 15 reps.
#9 Single Arm Kettlebell Swing
This exercise targets the shoulders, backs, glutes, hips and legs. It is a beginner intermediate exercise. The movement works like a two handed swing. Using a single hand at a time, swing the kettlebell. While one arm drives the momentum, the other one swings the kettlebell. When the kettlebell is behind the legs, aim for alternatiing the sides with 10-20 reps for every side.
#10 2 Arm Kettlebell Row
This exercise targets the back, arms and shoulders. Grab two kettlebells, one in each hand. Bending the knees slightly, place them in front of the feet . Bend to grab both kettlebells and pull these closer to the stomach. The elbows should be close to the body and the back should be straight. The lower the weights are, the more reps can be repeated.
#11 Kettlebell Figure of 8
This is an intermediate level exercise influencing arms, abs and back. Stand with legs a bit wider than hip-width distance apart. Lower yourself in a quarter squat posture. The back needs to be kept straight and the chest up. Grab the kettlebell with the left hand and swing it outside of the left leg and back. Next, pass the kettlebell to the oter hand and swing it outside the right leg and backwards. Replicate a basketball drill.
#12 Kettlebell High Pull
The kettlebell high pull targets glutes, backside, shoulders, arms and legs. For this exercise, point toes at 45 degrees with feet placed wider than a shoulder width apart. Placing the kettlebell on the ground between the legs and begin to squat, keep the core engaged. Grip the kettlebell in a one-handed grip. Using the force from the hips, push the heels back to stand tall. Pulling the kettlebell upwards, the elbows need to drive up. Lower back down and switch arms and shoot for 10-12 for each arm.
#13 Kettlebell Sumo High Pull
The kettlebell activates back, legs, arms and shoulders. Start with the kettlebell positioned between the feet, hip distance apart. Grab this onto the handle with knees bent and hips back. Pull the kettlebell to the shoulders with straight knees and rising elbows. The force emanates from the hip of the body. The arms are pulled till the end. Keeping the core engaged, move the weight down back by ground repeating for 12 to 15 reps.
#14 Kettlebell Russian Twist
This kettlebell exercise targets abs and obliques. Sit and bend your legs hip distance apart. Feet need to be flat on the floor. Hold the kettlebell with both hands placed at the chest and lean forward, pointing your body to a 45-degree anglee. Rotating the torso from left to right, twist the waist and swing the kettlebell across the body.
#15 Kettlebell Windmill
This exercise targets abs, hips, obliques, shoulders and back. Holding the kettlebell in the right hand, the feet need to be angled 45-degrees from the right arm. Raise the kettlebell overhead, locking the arm and keeping the eyes on the weight. Keeping the shoulders aligned, lift the weight onto the right leg. Bend at the waist keeping the right arm overhead as bodies bend forward and the left arm is pointed towards the ground. Lift back slowly, staying in control. Around 6-8 reps need to be completed for each side.
#16 Single Arm Kettlebell Floor Press
This exercise targets the arms, core and chest. Lie on the ground with legs straightened. Grab the kettlebell by the side with the palms facing inwards, pressing the weight while rotating the wrist. Palms face the feet. Bring the kettlebell back into starting position and repeat for anywhere from 6 to 8 reps.
#17 Kettlebell Slingshot
Use this exercise to target the abs, back, arms, obliques. To do this exercise, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Holding the kettlebell in front of the body, arms need to be extended at chest level. Swing the kettlebell behind the back with one hand, reach back to the opposite side and grab the kettlebell to the front. Continue round and round for 6-8 reps and then move in the other direction.
#18 Side Step Kettlebell Swing
This exercise targets muscles in the back, glutes and leg. This move is like a kettlebell swing. Take a kettlebell and start with a two handed swing. When the bell is down between the two feet, step the right foot to the right. On the other hand, when the bell is up, bring the left foot up to meet the right. Keep side stepping your way to the right and head back the other way with the left foot.
#19 Kettlebell Clean
This exercise targets the back, butt and legs. Start with the kettlebell between the feet. Swing upwards, shrug the shoulders, pulling the body and bell up to the shoulders. The kettlebell should end in the rack position, resting on forearms tucked close to the body. The fist should be at the chest. Bringing the weight back down in the floor, repeat for 10-15 reps.
#20 Two-Arm Kettlebell Military Press
Opt for this exercise if you want to work out back, arm and shoulders. Grab two kettlebells and clean them to reach the rack position. Press the kettlebells up while leaning at the waist so weights are positioned behind the head. Bring them to the shoulder and continue pressing for anywhere between 10 and 20 reps based on the weights being pushed.
#21 Single Arm Kettlebell Split Jerk
This exercise targets the shoulders, back, legs and chest. Start by cleaning the bell to the shoulder. Finish with the palm facing front. Bend the knees and press the kettlebell overhead while jumping to a split jerk position. Return to the position standing while the kettlebell remains overhead. Lower an repeat the exercise. Shoot for 6-8 reps on each side.
#22 Single Arm Kettlebell Snatch
This exercise targets the chest, back and shoulder. Start with the kettlebell between the feet with the knees bent. Move up onto the toes, pulling the kettlebell till it reaches the chest with elbows tucked in. Bring the weight overhead and bring it to the ground. Try for 6-8 reps like these.
#23 Kettlebell Power Plank With Row
This kettlebell exercise involves working out the muscles of the arms, abs and back. Start in the plank position with hands grasping the two kettlebell handles. Lift a kettlebell up so it reaches the hip. Keep the elbow in and lower back down. Repeat with the opposite arm. Carry out 6-8 reps on each side.
#24 Kettlebell Half Get Up
This exercise uses the abs, back and arms. Lie on the back with legs pointing outwards. Extend the right arm up, kettlebell in hand. Bend the left knee and start rising with the left arm keeping the body proposed. Sit all the way up and carefully return to the starting position. Repeat the exercise for 8 to 10 reps per side.
Kettlebell workouts are very essential for toning the complete body. Kettlebells are essentially apparatus for weighted workouts resembling a small bowling ball for easy handling. Kettlebells can be at differing weights and much like dumbbells, their weights are free making them ideal in terms of portability and practicality for a wide range of workouts. These include cardio, flexibility and strength training. Kettlebell workouts are never boring, because there is simply so much variety.
The format of the workout, however, depends on not just your fitness goals, but also your fitness experience or ability. Both experience and goals need to be clearly defined before formulating an effective workout program. Both elements should be considered keeping the frequency-intensity-time-type principle in mind to tailor a fitness program as per your needs.
#1 Total Kettlebell Workout
This workout targets as many muscle groups as possible, while moving the heart rate up to affect cardiovascular fitness. This is a 20 to 30 minute workout which includes the following:
A full warm-up to raise flexibility and prepare the body and the muscles for an awesome workout. These include planks, side planks, static stretches for quads, bridges, pecs, lats, hamstring and hip flexors.
The core workout includes pushups, some squats with variations such as lunges, squat splits, step-ups, kettlebell swings and deadlifts.
Core stability exercises at this stage include planks, reverse ab curls, spiderman climbs, hip touches, mountain climbers and more. Traditional sit-ups and crunches are not needed.
Then, there’s a strong finish where the focus is on Kettlebell swings.
#2 Kettlebell Cardio Workout
Kettlebell workouts can be used for high intensity interval-training circuits. Combine the cardio intervals with kettlebell moves for a sculpted body to achieve a calorie burn up to 20 calories per minute and increase cardiovascular fitness too.
#3 Body Sculpting/Strength Training Kettlebell Workout
For this workout, try the swing targeting hamstring, shoulders and glutes. Then comes the Clean to Rock targeting the biceps, thighs and chest. The push press targets the shoulders, glutes and quadriceps. This was followed by the chop lunge targeting the abs, glutes and thighs. Then, there’s a lateral lunge and bicep curl targeting the inner thighs, quadriceps and biceps. Finally, there’s the halo targeting the triceps. Each exercise is only repeated for 30 to 90 seconds.
#4 Kettlebell Flexibility Training Workout
For any workout program, flexibility is one of the most important aspects. This is a six-move stretching routine which combines with any kettlebell workout routine. You start with the Cobra, stretching your arms, abs, chest and thighs using the kettlebell. The second version works out the chest, abs and thighs. Then, there is a half bow pose stretching the chest, legs and back. Additionally, the bow pose stretches and strengthens the back. The down dog split targets the hamstring, arms, back and calves. The Down Dog split second version is with a bent leg extension. This is a good workout for women to choose from.
Kettlebell enhances functional fitness by exercising major groups of muscles in unison. It boosts explosive strength and power. Additionally, there is muscular and cardiovascular endurance. Intense kettlebell workouts burn plenty of calories, burning at the rate of 20 calories per minute. This also strengthens and stabilizes the core vital muscles and works out the mid and lower back muscles which are often neglected.
Kettlebells are different from dumbbells or barbells. Their real advantage is that they can be used as a foundation for ballistic activities combining functional fitness, endurance and fat burning in one single exercise. Kettlebells make you seem like a bodybuilder. If one is interested in a toned, sleek look and supercharging fitness and cardio levels, this is an ideal tool for you.
Stance While Working Out With Kettlebells
Stand with your feet shoulder width apart. The weight should be on the heels and knees should stay in accordance with the toes. The point six feet ahead of a person needs to be focused on. Additionally, the back posture is also important.Those working out with kettlebells need to maintain a neutral spine position rather than overflexing or overextending the spine. Pull back and downwards with the shoulders, placing equal pressure on both feet and draw the ribcage backwards slightly.
Grip While Working Out With Kettlebells
For swings, make hook type connections between the hand and the kettlebell, while leaving thumbs free. Clean type movements are next in line. Wrap the index finger plus the thumb around its handle. Leave the rest of the grip looser to permit the bell to rotate. Wear tight fitting clothes so that the natural movement is not impaired. Positioning the kettlebell ahead of you, ensure that feet are firmly set with heels pushing onto the floor.
Leading from the hips in every movement, squat down by pushing your hips back. Focus on snapping the hips by pushing the butt back. Creasing at the hip flexor, you need to sit back on your hips as far as possible, maintaining a vertical posture of the shins and moving the hips as far back as possible. In upright position, abs need to be tight and braced. The quads are held tight.
Breathing While Using Kettlebells
Breathing in through the nose and out through the mouth is important. Additionally, you need to stay relaxed and breath evenly without lips pursing. Maintain tightness in the abs.
Workouts Using Kettlebells
#1 Fat Loss
This workout functions to burn maximal calories in the shortest time period. It includes around 10 intervals spaced at 20 seconds and equaling a total of 40 seconds. The resistance suggested is an 8kg kettlebell.
Exercise #1- Alternating Kettlebell Swings
Swinging the kettlebell between the legs involves a partial squat motion. Maintaining the neutral spine posture completely is important. The hips need to be snapped as you come out of the squat to create momentum. Swing the kettlebell to shoulder height and alternate hands at the motion top.
Exercise #2- Crush Curl
To do this exercise, you need to squeeze the kettlebell on either side without gripping the handle. Use only the palm of your hands and not your finger to grip the kettlebell. Keeping elbows in at the side, curl the kettlebell up to the chest and back down again. You need to also keep your abs tense and maintain tightness of the core.
Exercise #3- Clean and Press
Grab the kettlebell with a single hand. Squat down and power up and clean the kettlebell to shoulder height through the rack position. Perform a mini squat to provide momentum that drives the kettlebell overhead. The back needs to be kept straight at this time. Fluidity and seamlessness of the motion is important. Alternate this with your right and left side.
Exercise #4: Halo Triceps Extension
Grab and hold the kettlebell inverted, so the weight is above the hands, as it is held to a chest level. Bring the kettlebell around the head in a halo motion. Keeping the head in line with the body and looking ahead is important. Stop when the hands are behind the head, and placing the elbows in, perform the complete tricep extension, bringing the kettlebell in front of the chest on each revolution. Alternating directions back and forth are important.
Exercise #5 – Burpee Jacks
This combines a burpee with a high row. Start the burpee by kicking the feet back and dropping into a push up posture, Jump back and grab the kettlebell. Stand up straight and row the kettlebell right up to the chin level. Drop it back down and move to the next burpee. Ensure a straight line is maintained with the body on the row.
Exercise #6- Toe Touch Crunch
Lie on the mat on your back with the knees up. Grab the kettlebell on the handle’s side. Straighten the legs to form a 90-degree angle with the torso. Hold the kettlebell at arms length pointing towards your toe. Perform a crunch by contracting the abs tightly, keeping the core tight even while dropping back on the floor. Crunch the hand to the toes as high as possible. Keeping the lungs open, ensure a smooth range of motion throughout.
Exercise #7: Lunge Drop and Row
This exercise combines the lunge and a one-armed row. Starting at a wide lunge posture, grab the kettlebell with your right leg. The right leg should be the back in the lunge position. Keeping the back in a straight line with the extended leg, the kettlebell needs to be rowed up towards the ribcage. The elbow needs to be at the side. As the kettlebell is lowered, a lunge needs to be performed simultaneously. Touch the rear knee right down to the ground. Then, alternate between the row and the lunge. Alternate between the left and the right side.
Exercise #8: Kettlebell Swing
Grab the kettlebell with a two-handed overhand grip. Keeping the spine neutral, begin the swing by causing the hips to snap to get the kettlebell going. Bring the kettlebell to a shoulder height. It should be at a 45-degree angle pointing away from the body. Keeping the lungs open, the core motion tight and the chest arched, move back.
#2 Intense Workout
This is a super-intense maintenance workout for those days when one is super busy and lacks the time for a 30-minute workout. Realizing that workout effectiveness does not rely on session length, but the intensity and consistency of training is important. This routine is excellent. Do wear wristbands while working out.
Exercise #1: Snatch with Kettlebell
Placing the kettlebell ahead of the body, take a wide stance and grab the kettlebell with one hand. Use an overhand grip. Begin by carrying out a one arm kettlebell swing. Bring up the kettlebell till it is almost overhead. Start bending the elbow slightly as the kettlebell is raised. Then punch the kettlebell overhead. This causes the bell to rotate and rest against the lower arm and wrist. Keeping the kettlebell in an overhead lockout position is important. Keep your wrist neutral and your hand open. Hold this for a few seconds and then bring the kettlebell back to the floor. This completes one repetition.
Exercise #2: Kick Through Push Ups
Start with the top push up position. Place your left foot up to your left hand. Kick through the right leg across and past the left foot. Then you need to return to the start position. The right foot should not touch the floor till it returns to the start position. Complete a full push up. Perform 4 reps on every side and alternate between the two sides. Go back to 5 snatches at one each side.
#3 Kettlebell Challenge
This is a challenging workout designed to fast track the burning of calories, while strengthening the core and enhancing functional fitness. This workout involves 5 rounds of a circuit comprising 5 exercises. Every exercise needs to be performed for 20 repetitions. The extra equipment needed apart from a kettlebell is a pull-up bar. If full pull-ups cannot be carried out, the chair or training partner is used to perform assisted pull ups.
Exercise #1- Kettlebell Swing
Grabbing the kettlebell with a 2-handed overhand grip, keep the spine neutral and begin the swing by snapping hips and getting the kettlebell moving. Bring the kettlebell to shoulder height. At the high point, there should be a 45-degree angle, pointing away from the body. It is important to keep the lungs open, the core motion nice and tight and the chest and back arched.
Exercise #2- Spiderman Push Ups
Performing regular push-ups, bringing the knee to the elbow each time works best. Keep your hips flat.
Exercise #3- Goblet Swing Lunge
Grabbing the kettlebell on the side of the handles is the first step. Hold it up to the chest level. Then you need to step forward into a deep lunge. Bring the rear leg down till it touches the ground. Form a right angle between the front hip, knee and ankle. Step back to a start position. Now opt for the rear lunge. Keeping the dumbbell at chest level, complete the reps required.
Exercise #4: Pull Ups
Grabbing the chinning bar with the underhand grip that is shoulder width, hang with the elbows slightly bent. Pull the chin up above the bar, hold this for a few seconds and then lower the body in a controlled way. For maximal contraction and stretch, you need to lower yourself to the bottom of every rep and pull up until the chin touches or goes above the bar. If one rep is impossible on the bar, try reverse push ups.
Exercise 5: Sumo Deadlift
Take a stance with your feet wider than shoulder width. The feet should be pointed outwards. Maintain a neutral spine as one bends down to grip the kettlebell with an overhand, 2-handed grip. Further, hinge the hips and push the butt back. Keeping abs tight, drive the thighs to lift the kettlebell as you stand upright. Once the kettlebell returns to the ground place it behind you heels. This prevents the back from rounding.
While working out, you need to consider age, nutrition quality, workout intensity, daily activity, genetics and athletic experience too, besides gender. These impact workouts.
Kettlebell workouts are good for women and highly effective. Cardio based workouts involve resistance based workouts. Try the kettlebell pushups, side lunges, row, squat, press, swing, arm and leg deadlift. Busy women want to work out, but feel their lives don’t permit a one-hour gym session. Kettlebells could be the solution. Given the intensity of the workouts, the duration should be kept for around 15-20 minutes. Squeeze cardio, flexibility and strength training into the schedule. Building lean muscle raises the resting metabolism and enables women to burn calories even while sitting down.Improve your strength without bulking, strengthen muscles from the head to toe, improve flexibility and posture besides decreasing body fat. Tone the tummy and bum and sculpt the arms.
Kettlebell decreases workout time by half, saves cash, offers a full-body workout and easy to carry. So what are you waiting for? Get ready to swing the kettlebell and work your way to fitness.