Work It Out Wednesday

Keith here guys! Today I want to talk Kettlebells! Have you seen these lurking around your gym lately?    


Kettlebells have been around since the early 1700’s and started in Russia. Russians used these cannonball shaped weights to train their armed forces and their Olympians. Kettlebells made their debut in the United State in the early 1900’s especially after seeing the Russian success. Kettlebells have become more popular in recent years due to the resurgence of Russian Kettlebell Certification (RKC) training by Pavel Tsatsouline.    

Kettlebells can be used as a workout alone or substituted for dumbbells and barbells in traditional strength training workouts. To begin, just try adding in 1 or 2 movements into your already established strength circuit or using them as a cardio interval at the end of your circuit. Kettlebells force you to use your body’s momentum in a series of fast swings, jerks, and cleans. The core is always engaged and the workout is usually high repetition. This is ensures your strength training workout is also a cardio workout (second only to cross-country skiing in caloric burn according to recent studies) Kettlebell workouts have shown to be effective in burning fat, building muscle, and increasing strength and stamina. Sound like something you want to a part of? I would strongly suggest that if you are brand new to kettlebell you should meet with a trainer for the first few times to get comfortable with the movements and ensure proper form!    

The first basic kettlebell movement is called a Swing. It is the foundation for all other kettlebell movements. Here is how to do it:    

  • Step 1: Stand straight with your legs shoulder width apart.
  • Step 2: Lean forward at your waist slightly and bend your knees so as to go into a semi-squat. Keep your back arched and head facing forward steadily.
  • Step 3: Let you arms hang loosely and raise the weight with both hands over your head and inhale. Then, swing the weight with both hands in between the legs towards the back of you while exhaling. Move the kettlebell using power thrusts from the hip, thigh, and lower back muscles. A powerful hip snap on every rep is a must.
  • Step 4: Complete 5 to 10 sets of 20 to 50 reps of kettlebell swings with a minute pause between each set of repetitions. With heavier weights, inhale on the swing between your legs and exhale when you raise it above your head.

For a visual here is my YouTube video:    


Once you have mastered the Basic Swing there are 2 progressions that you can try:    

Progression 1: A Two-Arm Swing. Here you do the same movement but with 2 lighter kettlebells. Make sure you hold the handle in the center and really focus on balancing your weight on both side. Need a visual? Okay.    


Progression 2: Alternating One-Arm Swing. Here you are using one kettlebell and switching hands mid-air at the top of the trust. In my video I switch on every 5th repetition but you can switch on every one or every other one…it is entirely up to you.   


As always shoot me an email (via Kelly) or leave a comment if you have any questions and I will do my best to answer them for you! My last tip: REMEMBER TO BREATH! (exhale on the trust) See you next Wednesday!   

Challenge: Try the basic swing movements this week. Next week we will move on to cleans and jerks!   



23 Responses

  1. i LOVE these things! when my trainer first showed them to me i was like pshh those are for sissies! but DANG those thangs are hard! i was soo sore!

  2. Great post Keith…as a physio though I’m always wary of these things – if people aren’t careful they can wrench their shoulder or “throw it out” so to speak…hence be careful of the weight and ensure you have someone to teach proper form (like you 😉 ).

  3. i love kettlebells! we used them all the time in dry land training for water polo!

  4. I’ve always been scared of kettlebells, maybe I should check them out!

    Thanks Keith!

  5. I’ve been hoping to see a kettle bell class at my gym but no such luck. Thanks for all the info!

  6. great videos, kelly! and i love the whole kettlebell thing, i just have never tried them but want to!

  7. I’ve never actually used kettlebells before, but they are on my “fitness wish list.” I’ve read great things about them and this post makes me want to try them even more. Thanks for all of the great info on them. I really learned a lot and will be referencing this post in the future if I ever get my kettlebells!!

  8. I have never used these suckers, but I think I would like to try! I must go get some and add them to my gym routine!

    Wonderful videos!


  9. I love kettlebells!! great videos, next time you should smile, like it is easy 🙂

  10. I’ve seen the kettlebells at the gym. But I must admit that I am a little intimidated to try them. Maybe I will get the nerve to use them in the near future.

  11. i’ve been wanting to try kettleballs…plus so wonderful that if you get some of your own, you can totally do it in your living room.

    what weight do you recommend to start out with?

  12. Hi Kelly!
    I’ve been following your blog for since this year and you and your hubby are so awesome! personal, real, funny posts. love it.

    I’m in the midst of training for a marathon and it’s nice to just read your updates! I haven’t done Keith’s workouts yet either, but I’m incorporate his “wednesday” to my “monday”.

    anyhoo, thank you for your awesomeness! and I love Mr. P Manning too.

  13. I’ve seen these around the gym a lot, but have yet to use them. I think I’ll start with these beginner exercise ’cause it looks pretty hardcore!

  14. ooooh I have heard of kettle balls but never actually tried the, I have heard they give a killer workout though 🙂

  15. Oooh I LOVE kettlebells. We have a few of them in the gym in our garage. The husband and I went through a big crossfit kick last summer and I fell in love with them then. Glad you posted about them!

  16. Kettlebells kick my arse! But it’s a good pain! Can’t wait to see what you have in store for next week.

  17. I love my kb!! I got the book by Pavel and google different moves online when working out, I currently have a love hate relationship with halos and windmills but cannot believe what a great workout it is and how it gets my heart pumping!!

  18. I see NO good coming out of me trying these things. I hurt myself sitting at a desk. I can only imagine what type of damage I could do swinging kettlebells around!!

  19. I picked up one of the kettle bells at my gym yesterday, just to see how heavy it was. And then decided to google a kettlebell workout. So perfect timing with this post! You saved me some trouble. I’ll try the swing tomorrow. Only a few reps so I can get the hang of things.

  20. […] we started talking about kettlebells. I went over the basic swing movements. To see those videos go here. Today I want to move on the kettlebell clean and jerk […]

  21. […] missed me? This is week 3 of our Kettlebell instructions. To see what you missed in Week 1 go here or Week 2 go here. This week we are moving on to Kettlebell […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: