Six Minute Total Body Kettlebell Workout
by Angie Miller
Why train with kettlebells?
Kettlebells are one of the most versatile, time efficient training tools for all over body conditioning. They provide an excellent cardiovascular and strength-training workout that targets your core and improves your flexibility. Kettlebells deliver results; maximizing calorie expenditure and helping you redistribute your weight and lose inches.
Unlike traditional weight training, Kettlebell exercises focus on movement patterns vs. specific muscles. Their unique design allows the body to move through large ranges of motion. With a kettlebell, the weight is offset from the handle so the center of gravity is displaced. This trains the core, and makes the kettlebell more dynamic and challenging. Kettlebells can do anything a dumbbell can do, but not vice-versa.
Kettlebells are fun to work with, and we see and feel the results. Check out my tutorial below, which focuses on safety tips, alignment, and execution, then start swinging.
Double Arm Swings- With this move you will send your hips back, load them up, and explode forward. Begin by sitting back with the hips, knees slightly bent. Keep your chest open, and shoulders down and back. The weight is in your heels, rooted to the ground. Looking straight ahead, swing the kettlebell back between the legs, snap your hips, and stand up tall and strong. Lock out your knees and squeeze your glutes as you do this. Don’t try to lift the bell with your arms, or “muscle the bell.” All the power comes from your hips. Breathing is important here. Take a deep inhale in through the nose on the way down, and exhale as the kettlebell comes up. You should not feel any pain in your lower back. If you do, check your form, and remember your breathing.
Windmills- Begin with a wide stance. The knee of the front leg may be slightly bent, and the foot will be turned out. The back leg should be straight. Stack your hips, one on top of the other, and lower the trunk toward the kettlebell as the hips flex, then extend and stand up tall. The Kettlebell arm remains upright and extended throughout the entire movement. Remember to look up at the bell. Initially, knees may be slightly bent, but as you become more flexible you may be able to accomplish this move without a bend in the knees.
Cleans- Begin in rack position. In the rack position your thumb should be able to touch your chest and your elbow should be snug against your abdomen. As you let your arm come down, bend your knees, squat slightly, and let the bell hang as in the bottom position of a dead lift. Point the thumb back, and as you stand up tall simulate zipping up your torso with the kettlebell. Snap the hips and squeeze the gluts at the top, bringing the kettlebell back up into the rack position. Picture a vertical line from your groin to your chest. Hitting yourself in the shoulder or bicep with the kettlebell as you bring it up is an indication of improper form. Be patient and keep practicing.
Be sure to check back next week for more fitness tips and information, and feel free to reach out with any questions.
Best in Health
Angie Miller, M.S., is a fitness educator, university instructor, and Licensed Professional Counselor who blends her skills and expertise to empower individuals, mentally and physically, and provide them the tools they need to succeed. A veteran group exercise instructor and personal trainer, Angie is the star of acclaimed exercise DVD’s, including the Bedroom Body™ workout. Her passion for progressive education brought her to Northern Illinois University, where she teaches in the Dept. of Kinesiology & Physical Education. Outside of the university, she presents at fitness conventions worldwide and leads industry trainings as an AFAA Certification Specialist and Kettlebell Concepts Master Instructor. Angie writes for fitness journals and digital communities, and blogs for Collage Video. Connect with Angie at: http://www.angiemillerfitness.com