I don’t know about you, but the winter really puts a damper on my running. I love to run in the cold, but the short days and icy sidewalks make it a hazardous way to begin or end my day. With all this winter weather we have experienced lately, I need to really mix up my workouts to avoid boredom. One of my favorite ways to strength and cardio train is with Kettlebells. These portable friends are never boring and deliver a seriously high metabolic cost when you are throwing the bell around. Kettlebells will push your max heart rate to a new high, which is the most effective approach to cardio fitness (when done safely). So as I sit at my desk and type this post, I’m still scorching fat from my morning workout.
The off centered weight recruits more muscles at one time, especially when moving through a full range of motion (like swings). These exercises are a great way to strengthen from head to toe without logging hours in the weight room. Additionally, the exercises are fun. With kettlebells you are focusing more on the movement than a specific muscle group you are working. If you are worried about bulking up…Don’t! Kettlebells enhance your natural shape and keep you lean.
My puppy Petey saw his life flash before his eyes this morning as I started my Kettlebell routine. He learned quickly to keep his distance. Keep reading for a heart gargling routine!
I am a huge proponent of workout videos. They are the best use of your time, especially for mornings. I try and keep my workouts no shorter than 40 minutes of continual exercise with no rest (ideally 45-60 minutes), but that for a lot of people should start as a goal. When you are following a video you are more likely to complete reps with the correct form and speed. Below is a link to a YouTube Video from RyanRaw who has fantastic Kettlebell videos and instruction. This video is 8 minutes long. You should do a minimum of 4 circuits. I recommend watching the 8 minute video before completing your first circuit. Complete circuit number one with the video, and then 3-4 more times. I personally run through the workout 5 times which takes about 40 minutes.
If you don’t own a bell you can find them at Target, Walmart and even Marshalls/TJ MAXX or any sporting goods store. The minimum weight you should be using is 10 lbs. I use a 15 lb bell.
Here is a Breakdown of the moves:
- KB Front Swings (20 reps)
- Alternating Back Squat Lunge with KB Pass under (20 reps)
- High Plank with KB Alternating Row (20 reps)
- Figure 8 to Twist (20 reps)
- Half Turkish Get Up (10 reps on each side)
- Soccer Step Up “Quick Feet” (1 minute)
- During KB swings, power comes from your lower half, NOT YOUR SHOULDERS
- Your legs, butt and hips should be doing the majority of the work while swinging, allowing your KB to float into the air
- When performing the Back Squat Lunge, the passing hand is the same as the moving leg
- When performing a Half Turkish Get Up, your push should be EXPLOSIVE
- Always keep your core tucked and tight
- A 10-30 minute yoga cooldown is the best way to recover and stretch all the muscles you recruited during this workout.
Please post any questions or comments below!