Why I wanted to write this guide

 

When I discovered working out with kettlebells my thoughts about exercise and fitness changed.  I went from someone who really did not like to exercise and hated the idea of the gym or getting sweaty to someone who looked forward to the chance to swing my bell, learn new moves, get stronger and challenge myself with heavier weights.  But the kettlebell lover I am today was once a beginner that didn’t even know how to pick it up, let alone swing it and I really wish that I had found one place I could go that would teach me all the basics I needed to know to make my learning curve shorter.  So well, here is my attempt at just that!

 

It seems that not a day goes by without a new exercise or fitness trend being revealed.

Kettlebells are not a fitness trend or a gimmick, they have been around for 100’s of years and trusted by some of the best for the incredible results they can generate.

 

In fact, they are the forefathers of modern day weight training. But in my opinion, history or no, they are the perfect tool for women to focus on the most important part of fitness.  To build lean muscle and and get fitter whilst getting stronger, efficiently.

 

From Russia, With Love

Usually, the popularity of kettlebells gets traced to Russia, where it’s called the giro or girya. That term first appeared in Russian dictionaries in 1704 and originates from the Persian word gerani, meaning “difficult.” It’s also been traced to the ancient Slavic word gur, which means “bubble.”

The story goes that Russian farmers used kettlebells as counterweights to measure out grain at the market. As bored farmers learned the weights could be heaved and tossed in feats of strength and endurance, giros began enjoying a central role in farming festivals. Similar to what went on in the Scottish Highlands with Caber tossing, the results of these farmers becoming buff caught the eye of some influential people in the field of health.

Some time around the turn of the nineteenth century, a Russian doctor called Vladislav Krayevsky realized that the kettlebell deserved a place in sports medicine. Krayevsky (also called von Krayeski, Kraevskogo, and Krajewski) happened to be the personal physician of the Russian czar, who popularized kettlebell training in the Russian army after seeing the results it was getting for those buff and strong farmers, which eventually elevated it to a national sport.

 

Let’s start at the Beginning….

There are plenty of books about kettlebell training but I felt there was something missing, a guide that really starts at the beginning – like for those that have never touched a kettlebell- and focusing on the best exercises for women’s bodies only with the focus on getting you lean, strong and curvy.

 

I want to take you by the hand and walk you through exactly how to start on your kettlebell adventure and reap the rewards without all the hype, confusion or worrying about pain or injury.

 

After over 5 years since I took my first fitness qualifications and teaching nearly 500 kettlebell classes I want to show you how to get the basics right, the correct order of things, for safer, and better results.

 

Who this guide is for

I wrote this guide for women who have no, little or very limited knowledge of kettlebells.

I want to walk you through the complete guide so that you have the confidence to start kettlebell training either by yourself or with a qualified instructor just like me!

 

How much of this guide should you read

This guide is written to be read from start to finish. Each section builds on the one before it. It is my hope that you will develop an understanding of not only the key kettlebell exercises but why they should be performed in a certain way for safety and effectiveness.  It is my goal that kettlebell training is both fun and safe.

 

What are kettlebells?

A kettlebell is a solid metal heavy ball with an offset handle just large enough to place your hand through.

The origins of the kettlebell are a little vague though there is some evidence they even date back to Ancient Greece but they can be traced back hundreds of years for certain so they are not some flash in the pan notion.

Weights with handles were often used during fitness challenges for both carrying and throwing events and it’s believed that the kettlebell simply evolved from here.

Later the Kettlebell was adopted by the Soviet forces for training their soldiers and then finally gained popularity in the west.

Today you can find kettlebells in most gyms and in all shapes, sizes and colours.

 

Download the Best Beginner Workouts for Women: Click to download the 5 Best Beginner Kettlebell Workouts for YOU from complete beginner to just starting out

 

13 Benefits of kettlebell training

Lets get to the reasons why you should be using kettlebells rather than other types of exercise equipment…

 

#1 – Sculpts a Glorious Goddess body

Kettlebell training burns fat and increases muscle tone fast. Most of the exercises are multijoint (compound) movements that link the bottom half of the body with the top half via the core muscles. Great for your abs!

The body recruits 100’s of muscles in order to control and maintain balance of the kettlebell. The muscles time under tension is high resulting in fast muscle development throughout the body.

 

#2 – Superb for Fat Loss

Kettlebell workouts when designed correctly use multi joint movements incorporating over 600 muscles at a time. The more muscles you use the more energy that is required and hence the more fat and carbs you burn.

Kettlebell workouts can also be so intense that they disrupt your homeostasis evoking an afterburn effect that can continue to burn calories for up to 24 hours after your workout. Bonus!

 

#3 – Not expensive

For most beginners one kettlebell is all you require to get started and that kettlebell being made of solid metal will last you a lifetime. You don’t need any special footwear, in fact many people exercise without shoes at all. Don’t worry you won’t drop the kettlebell on your foot!

Also due to the way kettlebells are swung around the momentum actually increases the weight of the kettlebell so a small weight can become a larger weight when used correctly. One kettlebell can be used to push you to your limits with more advanced exercises or made very manageable with more beginner based movements.

 

#4 – Quick workouts

Kettlebell workouts when designed correctly are intense. The exercises can be made to flow from one movement to the next without having to change weights or rearrange your grip. The flow of exercises enables you to keep your heart rate elevated and muscles constantly engaged.

Due to the intensity of the full body exercises and the dynamic nature of kettlebells good workouts should not last more than 10 – 20 minutes.

 

#5 – Comfortable to use

Kettlebells just feel nice to use, especially for women with smaller hands and less height and are challenged using traditional gym equipment (like me if you are fairy ninja sized). If you buy the correct kettlebell (see my tips below) then you will find lifting, pushing and pulling a real pleasure with a kettlebell. In fact as you press a kettlebell the weight rests nicely on your forearm.

You will also find that when held in the racked position (more on this later) the kettlebell nestles nicely into the chest enabling weighted movements to become a real joy to perform without having to worry about the weight.

 

#6 – Answer to lower back pain and joint issues

When used correctly a kettlebell improves lower back pain and your joint stability and mobility specifically in shoulders, hips, knees and ankles. When you swing a kettlebell you learn to activate your posterior chain (the back of your body from heels to neck), often weaken by hours spent being sedentary and well, sitting on your ass! This is often overlooked by other exercise methods. You will learn to wake up this lazy and tired muscle to support your lower back plus working more in this area increases fat burn as your butt muscles require huge amounts of energy to function. What’s more, as you swing, the weight tries to pull the joints apart and it is your stabilising muscles that maintain the closure of the joint. Strong development of stabilising muscles ensure you have a stronger foundation for your larger muscles to operate from enabling less injury and an increase in strength. Kettlebells also force longer ranges of movement opening up your joints and increasing mobility and thus better movement freedom.

 

#7 – Build lean toned muscle (strong muscle, no bulk)

Explosive strength  is vital for sports, it drives you up to the basketball hoop, increases foot speed on the court and creates explosive pushes and pulls.

Kettlebell training is dynamic and involves absorption and regeneration of force in an explosive manner. In other words you need to decelerate and accelerate the weight very quickly. Mix force control with practical and natural movement and you can see why kettlebells are great for strengthening athletes.

 

#8 – Exercise Anywhere

You don’t need a gym membership, much space or anything other than one kettlebell in order to get all the health and fitness results you need.

Kettlebells are small and compact so they can be taken anywhere. You can get your heart racing like you have just run the 100 metres without even moving your feet.

In fact you should never require a space larger than 6 feet square for any kettlebell workout.

 

#9 – Great for team sports and activities

Whether you are into paddling, roller derby, pole dancing, running or rugby, explosive strength is vital for sports, it drives you when you need to sprint, change direction, increases foot speed and creates explosive pushes and pulls.

Kettlebell training is dynamic and involves absorption and regeneration of force in an explosive manner. In other words you need to decelerate and accelerate the weight very quickly. Mix force control with practical and natural movement and you can see why kettlebells are great for strengthening athletes.

 

#10 – Improves posture

Want to look great even into your golden years, then kettlebell training is for you. Many of the fundamental exercises work into your postural muscles counteracting sitting and modern day living.

Often the most important postural muscles are neglected but kettlebells prevents this from happening by working deep into the muscles that really matter.

 

#11 – Quick cardio

You will be surprised at how cardiovascular kettlebell training can be. Just by performing the kettlebell swing for 30 seconds can feel like you have just sprinted 100 metres without even moving  your feet.

If you suffer from bad knees then exercises like the kettlebell swing can give you an amazing cardiovascular workout without damaging your knees whilst at the same time strengthening your body from head to toe.

 

#12 – Ageing Monkey Grip

As you age your grip weakens, it’s a real sign of getting older. However, if you train with kettlebells this doesn’t have to be the case. Want to develop a strong monkey like grip?

Swinging a kettlebell increases its overall mass and takes added strength to hold onto. The more you use your kettlebell the better your grip becomes. Perhaps you won’t be able to bend nails but you will notice a definite improvement in your grip strength.

 

#13 – Fun and Addictive

Most of all, kettlebells are fun to use. The more fun something is the more we want to do it and that’s a win win for exercise. Kettlebell training will teach you exciting new skills, unseen exercises and a great feeling of achievement as you master new movements.

Your body will change and you will become addicted. I know people who have taken their kettlebells on holiday with them, personalised them by painting them, had birthday cakes made into the shape of them and had withdrawals from them after only a matter of days.

 

Download the Best Beginner Workouts for Women: Click to download the 5 Best Beginner Kettlebell Workouts for YOU from complete beginner to just starting out

 

Dangers for beginners

Just like everything in life there is a logical progression to exercising with kettlebells.

Kettlebells put a large strain on the body and although this is one of the main reasons why they are so effective it can also be the reason why you can get injured very quickly.

It is very important that you progress slowly when kettlebell training and allow time for your muscles, ligaments and tendons to adapt to the additional strain.

Kettlebells also involve a lot of eccentric movements meaning that you are lowering a weight under tension. Eccentric movements cause greater degrees of muscle soreness after your workouts so be prepared.

Ultimately it is better to train less and more often in the beginning than going in ‘all guns blazing‘ and then being sidelined with an injury that prevents any kind of exercise at all.

 

PLEASE NOTE: If you struggle with simple bodyweight exercises like Squats, Lunges, Planks etc. then you should master these first before progressing onto adding kettlebells.

 

Buying your first kettlebell

OK, so you have decided that kettlebell training is for you and you would like to give it a go. You are going to need to purchase your first kettlebell or use the one’s down your local gym or in my classes.

There are so many shapes and sizes to choose from where should you start?

 

Let’s start with the correct weight:

In Russia they use a measurement called Poods so traditionally kettlebells are measured in Poods, 1 Pood is approx. 16kgs. 

Most women will begin with a 8kg/15lbs with a smaller bell for upper body work for complete beginners like a 4kg or 6kg for more grind based moves.

You will come to realise that you can perform many exercises with both two hands or one. So you can make a kettlebell feel much heavier by using one hand or much lighter by using two.

Don’t be put of by the weight of the kettlebell. Many women get very nervous when handed a 15lbs/8kg kettlebell because it feels very heavy at first. You will soon realise that when used correctly 100’s of muscles are helping you and 15lbs/8kg is actually not as bad as you first think.

 

[Related article: Guide to Buying your First Kettlebell]

 

Women hold babies under one arm that are heavier than 15lbs/8kg or pull suitcases around that are twice the weight of a starter kettlebell!! And don’t get me started on the size of your handbags!

 

Download the Best Beginner Workouts for Women: Click to download the 5 Best Beginner Kettlebell Workouts for YOU from complete beginner to just starting out

 

Types of Kettlebell

There are 2 types of kettlebell, Competition and regular.

Competition Kettlebells

As the name suggests competition kettlebells are used during kettlebell competitions where certain exercises are repeated for certain amounts of time.

Competition kettlebells are all the same size even when the weight varies, this enables consistency for holding and movement regardless of weight. The handles are smaller and squarer in shape to allow for less movement of the hand. Most importantly they are designed to be used with just one hand so no good for beginners who should focus on two handed exercises first.

 

Regular Kettlebells (cast iron)

Regular kettlebells have more of a looping handle that enables you to hold them with either one or two hands, great for beginners. You will also find that the weight changes in size depending on its weight, so a 15lbs/8kg kettlebell is much smaller than a 35lbs/16kg kettlebell.

 

Kettlebells to Avoid

 

The popularity of kettlebell training has invited many manufacturers to come up with some weird and wonderful kettlebell shapes and sizes, but you should beware.

 

Here are 7 things to look out for:

#1- Plastic coated or just plastic bells.

They do not move well in your hand, can cause unnecessary pain from joins in the plastic on handles and really just don’t move well.  You may see one on sale or in a local supermarket but resist buying it… it is not a good investment!

 

#2 – Stainless steel handles.

Very slippy and uncontrollable when damp or wet through perspiration

 

#3 – Thick Handles.

If you can’t wrap your fingers totally around the kettlebell then control is very difficult and your grip will fail quickly so dangerous.

 

#4 – Large Handle Spacing.

 If the handle spacing is too large then the kettlebell will lie awquardly on your forearm and against your chest.

 

#5 – Small Handle Spacing

 If the handle spacing is too small then the kettlebell will dig into and bruise your wrist making the kettlebell impossible to use for many of the kettlebell exercises.

 

#6 – Sharp Edges 

Badly finished kettlebells can have sharp corners and edges that will cut into your hands, wrists and forearms

 

#7 – Too Rounded Body 

Often the body of the kettlebell is made too rounded and this over time will dig into your forearm and chest with many of the exercises

 

#8 – Foot on bottom.

Some manufactures, in all their wisdom, have decided to screw on a plastic or rubber foot onto the bottom of the kettlebell to help them stay upright when on the floor. Great for storage but really painful to use for most exercises.

 

Here’s a video explaining what to look for in the perfect kettlebell:

 

 

Download the Best Beginner Workouts for Women: Click to download the 5 Best Beginner Kettlebell Workouts for YOU from complete beginner to just starting out

 

How many kettlebells do you need?

 

You will get a lot of mileage from your 1st kettlebell. Even when you have outgrown your kettlebell with two hands you can start all over again with one hand.

Also as you eventually grow out of your initial kettlebell there will be more advanced exercises where you first kettlebell will still be needed.

I think that most women can do every move they need with an 8kg and a 4kg bell as a complete beginner.  However, you would get better investment in a 8kg and 6kg with the mind to moving to a 12kg for swings after your first 6 weeks.

 

[Related article: Guide to your First Kettlebell ]

Preparations for kettlebell training

 

Before we get started moving I want to quickly detail a few points on preparation.

Clothing – the last thing you want to do is get your kettlebell caught in your clothing as you are swinging and moving around. Ensure that your clothing is flexible enough so that you can move freely but not so baggy that it’s going to get in the way. Don’t get hung up expensive fitness wear or use this as your excuse to not get started!

Rings and watches – rings can be a real problem when holding a kettlebell, they can quickly pinch the skin and cause calluses. They will also get marked and damaged so best to remove these before training. Watches, bracelets and bangles should also be removed because the kettlebell often rests on the wrist.

Shoes or barefoot – the closer you can get your heels to the floor the better so very flat shoes or barefoot is best. Shoes with a raised heel pushes your weight onto the front of the body and makes it slightly more difficult to activate the correct muscles at the back. There will be no bouncing around so you do not need to worry about impact on the bottom of the foot. In my classes and workshops we have a no shoe policy as it really does make a massive difference to learning to ‘feel’ your body in relation to the moves, your shifts in weight and energy and for balance and grounding.  I have created a soft, spongey floor to make it warmer and more comfortable on feet and make floor based moves more fun.

Gloves/Wrist/Sweat bands – these are optional and with experience you will not wear them but some ladies like to wear gloves to avoid sweat getting on the handle and becoming slippy or sweat bands on their wrists just to give them a little protection from the kettlebell when holding it in the racked position (more on this later).  Honestly, I rarely wear gloves now as I find they actually restrict movement with the bell in certain moves.

Workout space – unlike a lot of exercise activities you will not be moving around too much so the space of a yoga mat is sufficent or up to a 10 foot (3 metre) clear space is the most you will need. Surprisingly I have very rarely seen anyone drop or let go of a kettlebell but you may want to ensure that the floor is solid for when you are picking up and putting the kettlebell back down.  Weather permitting, training outside is an excellent option.  I love a garden or park workout in my bare feet!

Tabata Soundtrack or Interval Timer  – to keep you on track and to help motivate you a timer will keep your workouts and rest periods honest. You can opt for Tabata Soundtrack (check out the one I recommend on my Resources page) or an interval timer like I use on my iPhone, a clock with a second hand. Wristwatches can get damaged so don’t use a timer on your wrist.

 

 

Download the Best Beginner Workouts for Women: Click to download the 5 Best Beginner Kettlebell Workouts for YOU from complete beginner to just starting out

 

Parts of a Kettlebell

Here’s what a great kettlebell should look like along with all the parts so when I make

reference to them later you know exactly what I’m talking about and a cute diagram to help you out.

 

Note the terms:

Horns

Handle

Ball, Bell or Body

Base

 

Here is the video explanation:

6 Kettlebell holding positions

 

The kettlebell is different from many other pieces of exercise equipment because due to the design of the kettlebell you are able to hold it in many different ways.

Different holding positions will allow you to perform variations of the same exercise and also totally unique kettlebell movements.

Two Handed – you’ll use this hold a lot as a beginner. If you purchase the correct kettlebell then you should be able to close your fingers from both hands around the kettlebell handle.

Single Handed – a similar holding position to the one above but only using one hand. Imagine you are just picking the kettlebell up off the floor. The hand will be in the centre of kettlebell.

By the body – hold the kettlebell by the body of the kettlebell. Keep the kettlebell close to the chest, thumbs at the back and with elbows tucked in.

Goblet – in this holding position the kettlebell is upside down with the handle pointing towards the floor. Grab by the horns of the kettlebell and keep the weight close to your chest with elbows tucked in towards your body.

Racked – here the kettlebell is held by one hand with the body of the kettlebell resting against your forearm and chest. Keep your elbow tucked in and shoulder down. Don’t let your elbow drift out like a chicken wing or your arm will get very tired, very quickly.

Bottoms Up– this is where you hold the kettlebell upside down where the weight on the bottom is up in the air. This requires hand and wrist strength and learning how to squeeze but no over squeeze the bell.

Straight arm hold – if ever the kettlebell is going to be held with a straight arm then you will hold the kettlebell on the inside corner. As the weight is pressed or held overhead then kettlebell will rest comfortably again the forearm.

There are a few other more advanced holding positions but you will find the ones above plenty for now.

 

Here’s a video showing you some of the finer points of holding a kettlebell:

 

 

Download the Best Beginner Workouts for Women: Click to download the 5 Best Beginner Kettlebell Workouts for YOU from complete beginner to just starting out

 

Warming up before kettlebell training

Before you start any workouts warming up is always a good idea to prevent injury and improve the activation of your muscles.

Your warm up doesn’t need to take too long (5-10 minutes) and shouldn’t be too strenuous so that you are exhausted but should be enough to raise your body temperature.

 

Start with joint mobility (part 1)

As you age your joints start to lose their freedom of movement. Lack of movement through your joints is a sure fire way to encourage an injury.

Beginning your warm up with some joint mobility will help to increase your joints freedom of movement but also release the body’s natural joint lubricating oil, synovial fluid.

Follow this 3-5 minute mobility warm up in this video:

  • neck
  • shoulders
  • hips
  • ankles
  • wrists

 

Movement specific warm up (part 2)

At this point you should already be starting to feel looser and warmer than when you started. Now you need to get a little more specific based on the kind of workout you will be performing.

It makes no sense to warm up with one movement and then use another in your workout.

There is a simple way to think about your warm up. Perform the same type of movements without a kettlebell as you would with a kettlebell.

If your workout involves a Squatting movement then some bodyweight squats are a great way to warm up and prepare.

 

Here are 3 movements that I want you to practice and perform:

 

#1 – Empty Swings & Hip Circles (x10) – this movement will prepare you for the Swing.

#2 – Bodyweight Squats or Yoga Squats (x 10) – this movement will get you ready for the Goblet squat.

#3 – Forward Lunges  (x 10 each) – this one will prepare you for Lunges and the Turkish Get Up

 

Each one of these is covered in a cool routine to music in the Warrior Goddess Body 28 Day programme video classroom where we share our specific class warm ups.

 

4 Most important kettlebell exercises

 

There are lots of kettlebells exercises, but not all exercises are created equally.

To get the most benefits from your kettlebell training I recommend that you focus all your attention on just 4 exercises.

The 4 exercises listed below will build a solid foundation, hit more muscles and burn more calories than any other.

In fact, you could stop your kettlebell training at these 4 exercises and still be getting a more efficient workout than most of the people and even personal trainers you know.

These exercises are listed by importance so learn and master them in this order for the safest and quickest results.

 

Download the Best Beginner Workouts for Women: Click to download the 5 Best Beginner Kettlebell Workouts for YOU from complete beginner to just starting out

 

#1 – Two Handed Swing

The kettlebell swing is the most important exercise you need to learn.

Benefits – you will use most muscles in your body but in particular your buttocks, legs, core and back. The swing is dynamic and very cardiovascular without you having to move your feet. The swing is also especially effective at working into the muscles at the back of your body and improving your posture.

How it’s done – the swing involves a hinging movement at the hips and NOT the lower back. The kettlebell is swung from between the legs to horizontal with the ground by forcefully driving the hips and contracting the buttock muscles.

Step 1 – Ensure that you understand and can perform the hip hinge movement.

Step 2 – Once you understand and can perform the hip hinge movement correctly then you can move onto the two handed kettlebell swing.

 

#2 – Full Body Halo

Finally when you are very comfortable with the swing and not before, move onto the full body halo.

Benefits – Warm up your shoulder girdle, improve your shoulder mobility and strengthen your shoulders with this exercise. For ladies with large chests who often feel they have

How it’s done – from a standing position, the kettlebell should be placed on the ground in front of you.  Pick up the kettlebell with both hands with your wrists facing out and then flip the kettlebell to the bottoms up position.  Move the kettlebell as wide to the side and then around your head, ensuring you have made as much space as possible around your head, taking care not to bump or knock yourself of course!  Be sure to alternate sides and work to bring the bell as far down your back as you can.

Step 1 – Pick up the kettlebell with both hands with your wrists facing out and then flip the kettlebell to the bottoms up position. If you feel more assured you can try this with a 4kg kettlebell and then progress to a 6kg.

Step 2 – Change direction and alternate sides working up to 10 in total. This is a great warm up exercise or as an alternate to the swing.

 

 

 

#3 – Goblet Squat

Now that you have mastered the swing and halo  you can move onto the goblet squat.

Benefits – this is one of our most natural movements and uses a huge amount of muscle mass especially in the legs, buttocks and core. It is also excellent for increasing your heart rate and lung capacity.

How it’s done – imagine you are sitting down and standing up from an invisible chair. Your weight should be on your heels, your chest held high and knees not allowed to cave inwards.

Step 1 – Ensure that you can perform the squat without a kettlebell first. If you struggle with the Y Squat below then don’t move onto the goblet squat until you can perform at least 20 repetitions.

Step 2 – Holding a kettlebell in the goblet position move onto the goblet squat.

 

 

 

 

#4 – The Standing or Static Snatch

Once you have mastered the kettlebell swing, halo and goblet squat move onto the Standing or Static Snatch with a smaller kettlebell such as a 4kg or 6kg.  For an 8kg or above, you will need to complete the Traditional Snatch or Swing Snatch which is an advanced move. This is a controversial move to teach to beginners but teaching it as a standing or non swing version means you are able to get the benefits in the beginning whilst you master the swing and other moves.

Benefits –The Kettlebell Snatch works the entire body from head to toe and is considered a pulling movement. Taking the kettlebell from the top position, absorbing the weight and then changing momentum at the bottom takes a lot of energy. The snatch uses hundreds of muscles in just one movement. The more muscles you use the more energy required and subsequently the more carbohydrates and fat you burn. When it comes to fat burning the snatch is one of the most demanding exercises out there.

How it’s done – start with the kettlebell on the floor with the handle turned and your grip denoting your thumb in the direction of your butt (thumb to the bum).  Pull the kettlebell up with your elbow just like the high pull exercise. Pull the kettlebell up and out with your elbow coming out from your body (this is the same move as a High Pull) and then twist the kettlebell around the wrist outside of the hand so that the ends on the back of the wrist with your wrist pointing out and your arm is fully extended close to your ear.

Step 1 – Begin with practicing the High Pull move and then you can add your twist around the wrist.

Step 2 – Once you can comfortably perform the High Pull, move onto the Snatch.  Then more advanced or progressive ladies can begin to work with Swing or Traditional Snatch

 

 

Download the Best Beginner Workouts for Women: Click to download the 5 Best Beginner Kettlebell Workouts for YOU from complete beginner to just starting out

 

Getting ready for your first workout

The key to kettlebell training is less is more and more often is better than more in one go!

Now you know the starting exercises it’s time to put them together into some workouts.

I always recommend that you start off exercising less but more frequently than a totally body annihilation once a week. You only need to workout for 10 minutes with a kettlebell to get some huge benefits.

Try to exercise 5 – 6 days per week using the following workout format:

  • Two Handed Swing – 20 seconds
  • Rest – 10 seconds
  • Repeat 3-6 rounds

When you first begin it is highly unlikely that you will be able to complete all 6 rounds. That’s OK. Complete as many rounds as you can and then stop and try again the next day.

 

“Most important is that you do not train so hard that your technique starts to fail. When you feel yourself losing form, stop and try again the next day.”- Lisa.

 

Think of each day as a kettlebell practice day rather than a workout. This is where your training is more like yoga than going to the gym.

Progressing your workouts after the swing

 

Once you can comfortably complete all 10 rounds of the kettlebell swing it’s time to add in the Halo and/or Goblet Squat.

Use the following format for adding Halos or Goblet Squats… The Dynamic Duo Workout

  • 10 Swings
  • 10 Halos (alternate each side)
  • Repeat up to 10 Times

OR

  • 10 Swings
  • 10 Goblet Squats
  • Repeat up to 10 Times

When you can comfortably make it through all 10 sets of the two moves without resting then you can add more moves or create Trios- the Terrific Trio- with little or no rest.

  • 10 Swings
  • 10 Goblet Squats
  • 10 Halos or Snatches
  • Repeat up to 10 Times

Once you add these additional moves ensure that you alternate your workouts with the Swings, like this…

  • Monday – Swings
  • Tuesday – Dynamic Duo
  • Wednesday – Swings
  • Thursday – Terrific Trio
  • Friday – Swings
  • Saturday – Dynamic Duo
  • Sunday – Rest

After 2 weeks of this format you can start to add in some upper body moves such as Snatches and Tricep extensions as you progressed the swings. Again you are trying to achieve the full 10 minutes with 10 rounds of these moves.  You can also increase your fitness and stamina by adding HIIT Tabata circuits.

Finally add in more HIIT Circuits.

This is what your full workout schedule will look like after 3-4 weeks…

  • Monday – Swings
  • Tuesday – Dynamic Duo
  • Wednesday – Swings
  • Thursday – Terrific Trio
  • Friday – Swings
  • Saturday – Dynamic Duo with One Set of HIIT circuits
  • Sunday – Rest

This is what your full workout schedule will look like after 5-6 weeks… you’ll notice that you can reduce your number of workouts after just a few weeks.

  • Monday – Swings
  • Tuesday – Dynamic Duo with 2 Sets of HIIT circuits
  • Wednesday – Rest
  • Thursday – Terrific Trio
  • Friday – Swings
  • Saturday – Dynamic Duo with 3 Sets of HIIT circuits
  • Sunday – Rest

 

Do not get ahead of yourself with these workouts, it’s all too common that people want to jump straight to the workout that uses all the exercises. Big mistake!

The exercises are ordered in this way so that you get the most benefit from the time that you put in. The swing is THE most important exercise to begin with so don’t mix it with other exercises until you can complete the full 10 minutes.

If you try and progress too quickly or push yourself too hard then you risk an injuryand that will put a stop to ALL exercise. So trust in the program and enjoy mastering each and every exercise in its own time.

 

To wrap this up in a bow for you

 

I hope you have enjoyed this guide and will use it as a point of reference to keep your kettlebell training on track.

Keep your workouts simple and learn to master each exercise and progress slowly allowing your body to change and adapt over time.

Kettlebells are a wonderful workout tool and I wish you every success with them in the future. Hopefully I can help you progress further once your have got these 4 exercises mastered.

Would love to hear your comments on this information below and remember you can access more beginners workouts designed for your level of newness right here.

 

Download the Best Beginner Workouts for Women: Click to download the 5 Best Beginner Kettlebell Workouts for YOU from complete beginner to just starting out

 

Let’s get you swinging!

 

Blessings,

 

Lisa Barwise

Author Lisa Barwise

Hi, I'm Lisa. I consider myself a Wellness Alchemist, the catalyst in the transformation of Strong Women around the world. Strong of mind, body and character.

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