9 Kettlebell Exercises to Improve Full Body Strength and Conditioning

3 Turkish Get Up

Typical one handed movement that engages the whole body. It is fairly complex and a movement that you should not rush through.

One hand is holding the kettlebell but the whole body gets it up.

  • Start lying down with the kettlebell over you pressed up
  • The knee on the same side must bend up
  • Raise yourself up on the other elbow, raising the kettlebell even higher
  • Raise yourself onto the extended arm, keep it close, always keep a straight line from the kettlebell to the ground, through the body.
  • Take the straight leg and bring it to a kneeling position behind you
  • Lift the arm from the floor and then you are kneeling
  • Stand up from the kneeling position and still with the kettlebell in a raised hand with locked elbow.
  • The same way down, to a kneeling position,
  • Arm on the floor
  • Bring the leg in the front
  • Elbow on the ground
  • Lay down

Always start slowly and stop for a few seconds at each movement. It helps to look at the kettlebell the whole time, be careful not to drop it onto you, or others around you. As with all kettlebell movements you must keep the tension the whole time. The elbow must be locked and keep the kettlebell on top the whole time.

When you have laid down again, you can either put the kettlebell down to your side or behind you. Don’t switch hands over your body, so the kettlebell wont crash on your face.

To make it even more difficult try to hold the kettlebell bottom up, then the grip must be tighter.

4. Wood Chopper

Like a lumberjack would chop down a tree, you must swing the kettlebell from either shoulder to the hip on the other side.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  • Bring the kettlebell up to one shoulder while using both hands to hold the handlebar, like in a regular swing
  • Keep the kettlebell controlled while you perform a movement like wood chopping.
  • Raise the kettlebell back up to the shoulder

This movement is most straining for the core, to keep stable, don’t let the body sway with the kettlebell. The arms can get a little awkward because both are holding the kettlebell side by side, very unlike the hold on the ax for the lumberjacks.

In this video he has another grip, which you can try as well.

5. Swing

Most people know the kettlebell swing best of all the kettlebell exercises. It is the most popular one, and often the only kettlebell exercise some people know.

  • Stand with feet shoulder width apart
  • Have the kettlebell under your body, between your legs
  • Use both hands to hold onto the handlebar, bend you knees to take the kettlebell up, don’t round the back
  • Keep your arms straight, think of them as ropes
  • Use the hip to thrust the kettlebell up
  • The arms are not supposed to lift, just go with the kettlebell
  • Let the weight of the kettlebell bring it back down, but keep tension to stop it between your leg
  • Slightly bend the knees, don’t squat
  • Don’t let the kettlebell touch the floor between reps,
  • When you put it down, the same rule as before, bend your knees, don’t round the back

There are two main types of kettlebell swings. One is called Russian, the other American.

In the Russian version the kettlebell only needs to reach eye level before going back down.

The American version the kettlebell must do overhead, there you need better hip explosion. This one is more popular in CrossFit.

You can also alternate arms if you feel confident enough to let go of the kettlebell in mid air. Be careful if there is something in front of you if you lose the grip.

6. Bottom Ups Press

Normal grip for a kettlebell press, clean, snatch has the kettlebell handle diagonally in the palm and the weight on the outside of the wrist or forearm. Where as this movement forces you to keep the kettlebell bottom up.

  • You must grip it really hard to keep it straight up. That requires more tension in the whole arm as well as much more balance.
  • Keep the kettlebell upside down all the way from your shoulder to an overhead position with locked elbow.
  • Look at the kettlebell at all times.

Because this is way harder then a regular press the weight cannot be that heavy. Because it is an one arm press the core must make up for the unbalance. Try to lift the kettlebell straight up, don’t let the arm get swayed away with the weight.

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