5 Explosive Kettlebell Workouts & Exercises to Bulletproof your Body

Used for hundreds of years to build strength, conditioning and toughness, Kettlebells are the real deal. So how can you use them more frequently in your training?

Kettlebell workouts are a great way to build strength, conditioning and mental toughness, but where did it all begin? The Kettlebell as we know it today originated in Russia approximately 350 years ago. The first appearance of the word in a Russian dictionary appeared in 1704. They were originally used as handled counterweights to weigh out dry goods on market scales.

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People started throwing them around for entertainment and they were later put to use for weight lifting.

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The forefather of the modern fitness gym, Dr. Vladislav Krayevsky, founded the St. Petersburg Amateur Weightlifting Society on August 10,1885, considered the birth of weightlifting in Russia. A proponent of what he called “heavy athletics”, in 1900 Krayevsky wrote “The Development of Physical Strength with Kettlebells and without Kettlebells”. He was one of the most influential pioneers in fitness of his day. His students included the legendary strongman George Hackenscmidt, “The Russian Lion”, who credited him with teaching him everything he knew and Eugene Sandow, “The Father of Modern Day Body Building”.

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THE BENEFITS OF KETTLEBELL WORKOUTS

  • Both cardio and strength training
  • Losing weight, toning up and increasing muscular definition
  • A highly efficient form of training (quick workouts are possible in a short space of time with excellent results)
  • Unparalleled core conditioning exercises
  • Training the entire body with a choice of hundreds of Kettlebell exercises
  • Scalable training suitable to people of all ages, abilities and gender

They are especially good at improving your grip, back, and shoulders, which is why Kettlebells are very popular in the Russian military. Russian Special Forces personnel pride themselves on their “wiry strength, lethal agility” and consistent staying power

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There is no better way to burn fat than with sets of Kettlebell Swings, Snatches and Clean and Jerks. These ballistic exercises work your body as one unit and require a great deal of hard work. The harder you work, the more calories you burn. High rep Snatches work more muscle groups and will build strength in the lower back, shoulders, and hip flexors.

KETTLEBELL WORKOUTS FOR ACTIVE RECOVERY

Recovery is crucial for athletes. However, programs in which you train to failure and take a week off afterwards to hang out are not effective for athletes. The key is to improve performance and conditioning. Doing a few light workouts per week will speed up recovery by getting some blood into the worked muscles.

female athlete kettlebells
Great for strength and conditioning

KETTLEBELL EXERCISES

Of course the Kettlebell swing is the most famous and most common exercise. But this multi-functional tool gives you far more than this:

TURKISH GET-UP

The Turkish get-up is a slow, deliberate movement that’s been around for decades. Start by lying on the floor, then stand up, then lie back down again in a specific sequence of movement transitions. The get-up will help you with functional tasks as well as higher-level exercises. It teaches you to move fluidly, and when you add the load it requires strength, mobility, and skilled movement

If you’re looking for an exercise that bulletproofs your body, this is it. It’s a powerful full-body exercise that requires attention to detail and a respect for human movement. For strong, resilient shoulders, improved hip and trunk strength, and enhanced mobility, the Turkish get-up is essential.

crossfit athlete kettlebell carry
Kettlebells can be used in many different ways in workouts

GOBLET SQUAT

The kettlebell goblet squat isn’t just a leg exercise, it’s a total-body juggernaut that offers more mobility—the ability to move easily so you can safely train with heavier loads—and improved conditioning. This is one of the easier kettlebell exercises to learn and apply immediately in your training. The goblet squat makes a nice addition for your maximum leg strength and development barbell squat.

STRICT PRESS

The kettlebell press is another brilliant movement to learn. While it looks like an overhead press, it’s not just a shoulder exercise, as you use your entire body for maximum pressing power and strength. The unique shape of a kettlebell and offset handle allow you to press in the natural plane of motion relative to your shoulder joint.

CLEAN

Similar to the kettlebell swing, the clean is another explosive exercise for total-body strength and conditioning. The difference here is that the kettlebell finishes in the rack position as opposed to being projected horizontally away from your body.

The clean can take time to learn, but once you have it down it’s an essential movement to use for kettlebell complexes. It can be used alone, but it’s also effective with a complex like the clean and press, which is reflected one of the best combination lifts. When cleans are used by themselves with appropriate-sized kettlebells, they’re a powerful exercise.

SNATCH

The kettlebell snatch is the ultimate display of full-body power. It´s nothing like the barbell snatch, except that it begins with the weight in a low position and projects the weight overhead.

The kettlebell snatch is physically demanding and technical, but offers outstanding total-body strength and conditioning benefits. It can help transcend athletic performance to new levels, build explosive strength, and strong, powerful shoulders.

The snatch requires proper technique, explosive hip power, and athleticism. This exercise should not be attempted until the kettlebell swing hip-hinge pattern and explosive hip drive are established!

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Kettlebells are a perfect way to strengthen mental toughness

KETTLEBELL WORKOUTS

Enough talk. Time to hit the Box and try these Kettlebell Workouts:

1. WOD 1

  • 4 Rounds for Time
  • 400m Run
  • 10 Pull Ups
  • 20 Fr Rack Walking Lunges
  • 15 Push Ups
  • 10 KB Snatch each side

2. KETTLEBELL KAREN

150 Kettlebell Thrusters

3. WOD 3

  • For Time
  • 50-40-30-20-10
  • KB Goblet Squats
  • KB Swings

4. WOD 4

  • 4 Rounds for Time
  • 10 Pull Ups
  • 10 Shoulder to Overhead
  • 15 Push Ups
  • 20 KB Swings
  • 20 Wallballs

5. DEATH BY KETTLEBELL SWINGS

1. Min 1 KB Swings
2. Min 2 KB Swings

X. Min X KB

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About The Author

Simon is the Assistant Editor at BOXROX.
He has been Sport addicted since childhood and comes from a swimming and bodybuilding backround to Crossfit, which he does for 4 years now and it still challenging him every day. He tries to combine his passions for sport and writing.

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