11 of the Best Kettlebell Exercises for Burning Fat and Building Muscle

1. Kettlebell Swing

  1. Stand with feet set wider than shoulder-width and bend your knees to grab the kettlebell with both hands.
  2. Drive your hips, keep your back flat swing the weight up to shoulder height.
  3. Return to the start position and repeat without losing momentum.

Why? Initiated by a powerful hip thrust from your hamstring and glutes, opting for heavier weights (once the move is mastered, of course) for up to 90 seconds a set will vastly improve your anaerobic fitness, accelerating your heart-rate and ignite a fat-burn that the bench press can only dream of.

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2. Kettlebell Thrusters

  1. Hold two kettlebells by their handles so the weight is resting on the back of your shoulders.
  2. Slightly bend your knees and squat down, keeping your legs in line with your shoulders.
  3. Drive through your legs and straighten them, extending your arms as you do to raise the kettlebells above your head.
  4. Squat down and repeat.

Why? As one of the most criminally under-rated full-body exercises, the punishingly effective thruster offers a full-body blitz that other moves can’t even get near. A move reserved for CrossFit zealots, this is not. By combining a front squat with an overhead press, you’re transforming a drab move into a compound exercise that builds full-body power.

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3. Kettlebell Clean and Press

  1. Stand holding two kettlebells by your thighs, knees slightly bent and legs shoulder-width apart.
  2. In one swift movement, slightly jump off the ground and raise your arms to extend above your head.
  3. Land softly on your feet with your knees bent as though you’re doing a squat and extend your arms straight above you shoulder-width apart.

Why? Powerlifting moves needn’t be restricted to barbells bending under crippling weight loads. Instead, the kettlebell clean and press offers the opportunity to increase grip strength, become stronger in overhead movements (your shoulder press will thank you) and will help you learn the lesson of maintaining a rigid core during all lifts.

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4. Kettlebell Snatch

  1. Holding a kettlebell in one hand between your legs, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  2. Drive upwards through your hips and knees and as the kettlebell rises to shoulder height, rotate your hand and push it upwards until your arm is locked out.
  3. Squat down and return the weight to the start position. Repeat with one arm, then swap sides.

Why? Studying the benefits of the kettlebell snatch, the University of Wisconsin found that participants burned around 20kcals a minute while performing kettlebell snatches, during a work/rest split of 15 seconds on and 15 seconds off. Plus, the researchers found that participants performing the kettlebell snatch usually maintained 86 to 99 per cent of their maximum heart rate, making it an essential move for easy weight loss.

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5. Kettlebell Pistol Squat

  1. Hold one kettlebell with both hands just under your chin.
  2. Lift one leg off the floor and squat down with the other.
  3. Drive through the heel and bring yourself back up to standing position, without letting your leg touch the floor.
  4. Lower back down and repeat.

Why? Functional and an easy gym brag, the kettlebell pistol squat is the king of mobility moves. Ideal for oiling the stiff joints of desk-jockeys and gym bros, it’ll also set your Instagram feed ablaze. Helping you master the holy trinity of fitness — stability, strength and mobility — it’ll challenge your core (there’s more to a six-pack than crunches and planks, after all) and will build sportive-worthy quads while increasing balance.

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6. Kettlebell Goblet Squat

  1. Stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, clasping a kettlebell in each hand in front of your chest with palms facing each other.
  2. Bend your knees and lower yourself into a squat, keeping the kettlebells in the same position and ensuring you don’t round your back by tensing your glutes throughout.
  3. Drive back up and repeat.

Why? When it comes to simple fat-burning, it’s hard to beat the squat. As one of the royal compound moves (alongside the deadlift and the bench press), the kettlebell goblet squat builds huge lower-body strength and more powerful glutes that can be transferred to your deadlifts and your running technique.

exercises to build calf muscles

7. Kettlebell Farmer’s Walk

  1. Hold two kettlebells by your side.
  2. Keep your arms strong and walk short, quick steps as fast as possible.
  3. Turn around and walk back.

Why? Ideal for building grip and plugging onto the end of a tough workout, farmers walks also pack heavy-duty muscle onto your upper back while fighting lower-back pain and being a useful conditioning tool and fat-loss. There’s nothing a kettlebell farmer’s walk can’t do.


8. Alternate Kettlebell Shoulder Press

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding two kettlebells at shoulder height.
  2. Press one of the weights above your head until your arm is fully extended.
  3. Lower and repeat with the other arm.

Why? All the benefits of a traditional shoulder press – that is, building functional strength in almost every single upper-body muscle in your body – without needing a dumbbell to get it done. It’ll bolster your bench press and solidify your core, too.



9. Alternate Kettlebell Floor Press

  1. Lie on the floor holding a kettlebell in each hand.
  2. Press the kettlebells up towards the ceiling.
  3. Lower back to start position, one at a time.

Why? No bench? No problem. Get your chest pump with this move instead. While it may limit the range of motion you would achieve with a bench, you’ll still build serious strength in the top portion of the lift – placing emphasis on your triceps and stabilizing shoulder muscles.

10. Kettlebell Toe Touch with Pick Up

  1. With your legs shoulder width apart, hold a kettlebell in one hand and extend it above you.
  2. Slide the opposite hand down your leg, keeping your arm with the kettlebell in completely straight, and another kettlebell.
  3. Lift your body back up, raising the kettlebell to your thigh, then slowly move back down to place the kettlebell back on the floor. Return to starting position and repeat.

Why? It might not pump up your hard rate, but that doesn’t mean it’s ineffective – as you’ll soon find out. Give your arms, abs and shoulders a complete workout with this move, which requires coordination, flexibility and tenacity in equal measure.

11. One Arm Kettlebell Swing

  1. Stand with feet set wider than shoulder-width and bend your knees to grab the ketllebell with one hand.
  2. Drive your hips, keep your back flat swing the weight up to shoulder height.
  3. Return to the start position and repeat without losing momentum.

Why? By doing kettlebell swings with one arm, you’ll increase the demand you place on the shoulder stabilizing muscles and correct any muscle imbalances. The result? Growing guns for fun, one arm at a time.


Source: shorturl.at/dhRZ9

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