Find out 15 must-do kettlebell exercises for improved muscle growth.
Kettlebells stand out in the fitness world for their unique design and the dynamic, functional training they offer. Unlike traditional dumbbells, kettlebells have a compact, ball-shaped structure with a handle, allowing for a wide range of movements that mimic real-life activities. This design encourages a more natural and fluid motion during exercises, engaging multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
The offset weight distribution challenges the body to stabilize itself, promoting improved balance, coordination, and overall functional strength. This, among other things, is paramount to improve your muscle-building ability.
One of the key distinguishing factors of kettlebell training is its emphasis on dynamic movements. Many kettlebell exercises involve swinging, snatching, and other ballistic movements that require explosive power. This dynamic nature not only enhances cardiovascular fitness but also promotes the development of fast-twitch muscle fibres, contributing to increased power and athleticism.
The continuous flow of movements in kettlebell training creates a high-intensity workout that efficiently burns calories and builds both strength and endurance, making it a time-efficient and effective training method.
Furthermore, kettlebells are versatile tools suitable for all fitness levels. Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced athlete, the adaptability of kettlebell exercises allows for gradual progression. You can easily adjust the weight and intensity of your workouts, making it accessible for those looking to start their fitness journey and challenging enough for seasoned gym-goers.
Kettlebell training’s versatility extends beyond traditional strength workouts, as it seamlessly integrates with other forms of exercise like HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) and functional fitness, making it a holistic approach to achieving overall health and wellness.
But enough of the beauty of training with kettlebells. Let’s get down to business and talk about this list from Chris Wilson about 15 must-do kettlebell exercises to increase how much muscle you are packing.
Chris Wilson is a renowned strength coach at Critical Bench, a website focused on health and strength that delivers many tips on how to get stronger, fitter and healthier with a YouTube channel with more than 1 million subscribers.
Check it out below.
15 Must-Do Kettlebell Exercises for Improved Muscle Growth
These are Wilson’s opinion of 15 kettlebell exercises you should be doing to get strong from head to toe.
- KB Deadlift: Stand with feet hip-width apart, place the kettlebell between your feet. Hinge at your hips, keep your back straight, and bend your knees slightly. Grip the kettlebell handle, engage your core, and stand up straight, pushing through your heels.
- KB Swing: Start with the kettlebell on the ground, a bit in front of you. Hinge at your hips, grab the handle with both hands, and swing it between your legs. Using your hips, not your arms, thrust the kettlebell forward, standing tall. Let it swing back between your legs and repeat.
- KB Clean: Begin with the kettlebell between your feet. Hinge at your hips, grasp the handle, and swing it back. Explosively stand up, pulling the kettlebell to shoulder height. Flip your hand, catch it at your shoulder, and lower it back down.
- KB Press: Hold the kettlebell at shoulder height, elbow bent. Press it overhead, fully extending your arm. Lower it back down with control. Repeat on both sides if using one kettlebell.
- KB (Goblet) Squat: Hold the kettlebell close to your chest with both hands. Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Lower your body into a squat, keeping your back straight and chest up. Push through your heels to return to the starting position.
- KB Snatch: Start with the kettlebell on the ground. Hinge at the hips, grab the handle, and swing it back. Explosively stand, pulling the kettlebell up, flipping your hand, and catching it overhead. Lower it back down with control.
- Double KB Swing: Similar to the KB swing, but use two kettlebells. Hinge at your hips, grab both handles, and swing them between your legs. Thrust your hips forward to swing the kettlebells to shoulder height.
- KB Row: Place a kettlebell on the ground between your feet. Hinge at your hips, grab the handle with one hand, and row the kettlebell towards your hip. Lower it back down with control.
- KB Chest Press: Lie on your back, holding a kettlebell in each hand at chest level. Press both kettlebells upward until your arms are straight. Lower them back down with control.
- KB Bottoms Up Curl: Hold the kettlebell upside down by the handle. Curl it towards your shoulder, engaging your biceps. Lower it back down with control.
- KB Arm Extension: Hold the kettlebell with both hands, arms extended overhead. Lower the kettlebell behind your head by bending your elbows and then extend your arms back up.
- KB Turkish Get Up: Start lying on your back, holding a kettlebell in one hand. Follow a series of movements to stand up, keeping the kettlebell extended overhead. Reverse the movements to return to the starting position.
- KB Farmer’s Carry: Hold a kettlebell in each hand by your sides. Walk forward with a controlled, upright posture, engaging your core. Keep the kettlebells from swinging too much.
- KB Rack Carry: Hold a kettlebell in each hand at shoulder height. Walk forward with a controlled posture, engaging your core. Keep the kettlebells close to your body.
- KB Waiter’s Carry: Hold a kettlebell overhead in one hand. Walk forward with a controlled posture, engaging your core. Keep your arm straight and the kettlebell stable. Repeat on the other side if needed.
Incorporating these 15 kettlebell exercises into your workout routine is a surefire way to achieve a full-body transformation. Whether you’re aiming to build strength, improve stability, or enhance your overall fitness, these exercises offer a diverse and effective approach.
So, grab a kettlebell (sometimes two), embrace the challenge, and witness the incredible benefits these exercises bring to your body and fitness journey. Remember, consistency is key, and soon enough, you’ll find yourself not only mastering these exercises but also reaping the rewards of a stronger, more resilient physique.
Watch the video below to see Wilson performing each of those kettlebell exercises.
Here are some tips for building muscle with kettlebells:
- Choose the right weight. You should be able to complete 8-12 repetitions of each exercise with good form.
- Focus on form over weight. It is more important to do the exercises correctly than to use a heavy weight.
- Use progressive overload. This means gradually increasing the weight or volume of your workouts over time.
- Eat a healthy diet. Make sure you are eating enough protein to support muscle growth.
- Get enough rest. Muscle growth occurs during rest, so make sure you are getting 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
With hard work and dedication, you can build muscle with kettlebells. Just be sure to listen to your body and take rest days when needed.