9 Fat-Torching Kettlebell Moves
Last Updated: Sep 17, 2013
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A kettlebell workout is a sure way to torch calories – and fast! According to the American Council on Exercise, the average person burns 400 calories in a 20-minute kettlebell workout. We asked World Kettlebell Club certified trainer and co-founder of the Cross Train Method David Schenk to put together a workout that will burn the most calories in the shortest period of time. This total body workout will get you squatting, pressing and pulling in functional ways that will enhance real life activities. Try doing these exercises with a Tabata interval timer (8 sets of 20 second sprints with 10 seconds rest in between) for a super fat-blasting routine.
This is a great exercise to hit all of the major muscle groups in your legs, especially your quads, says Schenk. HOW TO DO IT: Hold the kettlebell by the handles, and stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Squat down until your hips are parallel to your knees and your elbows are inside your knees while maintaining an upright posture. Then stand back up and repeat.
David Schenk, co-founder of CrossTrain.com and the Cross Train Method
This exercise is a total body movement that is a progression of the goblet squat. According to Schenk, this move will result in improved cardio, as well as increased strength in quads, glutes, shoulders and arms. HOW TO DO IT: Hold the kettlebell by the handle with both hands, keeping it close to your body and near your sternum. With your back flat and your weight evenly distributed throughout your feet, squat down until your elbows get close to your knees. As you straighten your legs to stand up, press the kettlebell overhead.
TURKISH GET UP (PART 1)
This movement is a total body movement that will hit all the major muscle groups in your body, especially your core, legs and shoulders. Because this move is a bit more advanced, we are breaking it into two slides – so read them both before you try it. HOW TO DO IT: Start off lying down on your back with your left leg straight and your right knee bent. Hold the kettlebell in your right hand. Keep your right hand pointed to the ceiling and your left arm by your side. You then use the strength in your core and in your right leg to drive yourself up to your left forearm. Next, you drive yourself up to your left hand as you lift your hips up high enough to plant your left knee all the way underneath your hips.
TURKISH GET UP (PART 2)
You then rotate until you are in a lunge position, and stand up. Once standing, you then return to the starting position in reverse or descending order. Be patient with this move and practice it kettlebell-free first to make sure you get the form down and avoid injuries.
This exercise strengthens the legs, glutes and lower back. Hold the kettlebell with both hands straight down in front of you. HOW TO DO IT: Keep the weight evenly distributed throughout your feet and squat down as low as you can while keeping your back and arms straight. Stand up to perfect posture and repeat.
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This is a simple movement that isolates the shoulders, biceps and back, says Schenk. HOW TO DO IT: Standing upright with feet hip width apart, hold the kettlebell with both hands directly in front of your hips. Bend your elbows and lift the kettlebell towards your chin, keeping your elbows higher than the kettlebell. Release back down until the arms are fully extended and repeat.
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DEAD-LIFT TO A HIGH-PULL
This is a great total body movement that is a natural progression of the high-pull. It will target your legs, biceps and shoulders, says Schenk. HOW TO DO IT: Start off in the standing position with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart and the kettlebell between your feet. Squat down and then stand up and pull the kettlebell handle to your chin while bringing your elbows up high. Bring the kettlebell back to the starting position and repeat.
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BURPEE TO HIGH-PULL
This is a big movement with lots of moving parts. It’s a progression of the dead-lift to high pull, and it will challenge your core, legs, biceps and shoulders while getting your heart rate up. HOW TO DO IT: Start off in the standing position with the kettlebell out in front of you. Place your hands outside the kettlebell, and then step or jump your feet back into a push-up position. Next, step or jump your feet outside your hands, grab the kettlebell and then stand up as you pull the kettlebell to your chin with your elbows up high. Set the kettlebell back down and repeat.
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This exercise will strengthen your back, shoulders, and biceps. HOW TO DO IT: Start out with your right leg in front of you, your right forearm placed on your mid-thigh and holding the kettlebell in your left hand with your left arm completely straight. With your shoulders facing forward and a neutral spine from your neck to your low back, pull the kettlebell up toward your left hip -- pausing at the top -- and then return to the staring position and repeat. If your form starts to degrade because the weight is to heavy, opt for a lighter kettlebell.
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This is a great exercise to not only challenge all of your back and biceps but the front of your shoulders, triceps and especially your core as well. HOW TO DO IT: Start off in a push-up position while holding a kettlebell underneath each shoulder. Position your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Alternate pulling one kettlebell at a time up to the side of your rib cage. Add an extra challenge by doing a push-up in-between each pull. However, be very careful if you’re using smaller kettlebells as this decreases their surface area and your ability to balance.
WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Have you used kettlebells before? Are you a fan of them? What other kettlebell moves have you tried? What are some of your favorite moves? What other type of kettlebell workouts (or other workouts) would you want to see on LIVESTRONG.COM?
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