Photos by Stevie Dee Photography
Top and bottom – The Upside
I love a good kettlebell workout. It’s so easy to incorporate kettlebells into your workout routine, and can be done anywhere!
I’ve compiled a few of my favorite exercises that I do with my 12 pound kettlebell at home. Feel free to use some of these great back exercises in your current routine, or do a full on kettlebell workout as outlined below! Your back, butt, and arms will thank you later:)
Repeat all 5 kettlebell exercises (and their assigned reps) 3x through, only taking a one minute break between each round of the exercises. Refer to the images above and descriptions below.
KETTLEBELL DEADLIFT (illustration above)
Hold the kettlebell with both hands, your arms hanging straight down. Begin the exercise by sitting back into your hips, only as deep as they will allow without rounding your back or shoulders. Keep your feet flat. Next, return to a standing and neutral position without leaning back. Make sure your hips have returned directly under you, without pushing them forward. Don’t forget to squeeze those glutes!!
AMERICAN KETTLEBELL SWING (illustration above)
The Kettlebell should pass just under the groin. Make sure the power is coming from your hips not your knees as you sit back into your hips. The American Kettlebell swing moves through a full range of motion overhead where the bottom of the kettlebell is aligned with the spine. The force should not come from the shoulders, but again should be propelled by hip drive.
*Note: because the American kettlebell swing moves through a full range of motion (ROM) overhead (as opposed to the Russian Swing) working with a lighter kettlebell weight is advised to allow the full ROM without compromising the shoulder joint positioning.
KETTLEBELL SUMO HIGH PULL (illustration above)
Begin in a wide stance with the kettlebell positioned on the ground between your feet. Drop into a sumo squat by sending your hips back as far as possible with your knees bent while keeping your chest and head in an upright position. Start in this sumo squat position while holding the handle of the kettlebell, then begin to extend the hips and knees as you pull the kettlebell to your shoulders. Make sure your elbows raise in a wide position as you pull upward then return to the sumo squat position and repeat.
KETTLEBELL BENT ROW (illustration above)
Begin on the right side. Bend at the knees slightly and sit back as far as possible while bending slightly from the hips while maintaining a straight back. Begin to row the kettlebell by extending your arm downward and then lifting the right arm upward tight to your side, squeezing your back muscle. Alternate sides.
20 reps (10 on each side)
KETTLEBELL ALTERNATING LUNGES (illustration above)
Stand upright with your kettlebell in your right hand. Step forward with your left foot and lunge. As you lunge, pass the kettlebell under your front leg to your opposite hand. Press through the heel of your foot as you go back to the upright position and repeat the movements as you alternate lunging legs.
20 reps (10 on each side)