The kettlebell is a unique fitness tool and the way in which they are used is fairly unique. This, I believe is another reason why kettlebell training has become so popular, the workouts never get boring when you have an unlimited way in which to train. Below I explain some of the more popular ways to use them and give example workouts. The workouts below only require one kettlebell, this shows you how one kettlebell can replace a gym membership. These workouts incorporate strength, cardio, flexibility, agility, balance and will help you forge a lean physique that is as strong as it actually looks.
After a good warm up using some bodyweight exercises and joint mobility choose 2 or 3 of these drills, perform for the desired amount of rounds.
1. Metabolic pairing – A metabolic pairing is taking two exercises that work to increase strength and cardio but also involve all of the major muscle groups. In this example we are using the swing which uses about 80% of your musculature and the push up. The push up hits the muscles that the swing didn’t.
10 push ups
Perform 5 rounds of this with a 30-60 second break between rounds.
2. Complex ladders – This means all reps of each movement are completed before moving onto the next movement in the sequence. Note – you will perform the all the exercises/reps on one side of your body before moving to the other side.
Swing, Clean, Lunge, Press complex ladder – Reps go 2, 4, 6, 8.
So starting in the right hand go, 2 swings, 2 cleans, 2 lunges, 2 presses. Pass to the other hand and repeat. Now come back to the right hand and go 4 swing, 4 clean, 4 lunge, 4 presses. Pass to the other hand and repeat. Keep this going until you reach the top of the ladder. The aim with ladders is to try to get to the top before putting the bell down.
3. Complex ladder
Clean, squat, snatch- Reps go 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
With this one you go – 1 clean, 1 squat, 1 snatch, pass to the other hand and repeat. Now come back to the first hand and go 2 clean, 2 squat, 2 snatch, pass back to the other hand and repeat, keep going all the way to the top of the ladder.
10 one handed swings
10 high pull
Pass to the other hand and repeat. Wait 30-60 seconds and go again. Repeat for as many rounds as desired.
10 forward lunge
20 two handed swings
10 squats (kettlebell in rack position)
Pass to other hand and repeat. Wait 30-60 seconds and repeat.
6. Complex ladder
Two handed swing, one handed swing, thruster, snatch. Reps go 2, 4, 6, 8
7. AMRAP – This is an abbreviation, I believe it is “as many rounds as possible” in the example below it would be “as many reps as possible” either way you get the idea 🙂
As many snatches as possible inside ten mins, record the number, attempt to beat by at least 10 reps next time.
8 . AMRAP
10 snatch L/R, 10 clean and press L/R, 10 goblet squat = one round, get as many rounds as possible in 15 minutes and attempt to beat next time.
9. Chains – A chain is where you will perform all of the movements back to back for and this would equal one rep. For example using these exercises one hand swing, clean, high pull, squat, press, perform one rep of each movement, when you have completed one rep of each movement in sequence that would equal one rep. Go back to the start of the chain and perform another run through the movements, that would be two reps. Get it?
So to use chains in a workout using those five exercises above, perform 5 reps left and right. Rest and repeat 4- 5 times.
Swing, snatch, swing, clean, squat, press.
In this example you run through the chain and then pass to the other hand, run through it on that side then pass back, Keep passing from right hand to left hand for 5 mins without putting the bell down.
11. Metabolic pairing
Burpee to high pull – 10
Swing – 20
Rest 1 min and repeat 5 times.
So there you go, 11 different workouts, now all that you need to do is train!