Healthy Tips

Three Exercises for Kettlebell Newbies

man lifting kettlebells

Kettlebells engage your muscles with momentum—momentum you control. A kettlebell’s handle is meant to rotate as an axle inside your grip. One of the reasons kettlebell workouts are effective is that your body has to respond to and counterbalance a kettlebell’s independent momentum. It’s a much different feeling than lifting barbells, which isolate different muscle groups. Using a kettlebell may feel a little awkward at first, but TRX suggests these three exercises to get you started:

1. The Kettlebell Deadlift

  • Start with your feet hip-distance apart and your TRX kettlebell on the ground in front of your toes.
  • Hinge at your hips, pushing out your backside, and try to minimize the bend in your knees.
  • Grab the kettlebell handle by the corners and start your return to a standing position. As you straighten your body, power that lift through your glutes (not your back!).
  • Don’t bend your arms. This exercise is for your backside and hamstrings.
  • Keeping a grip on the handles of your kettlebell, repeat the hinge-and-extend motion. Focus on keeping your back flat and your shoulders pulled down and back.

2. Goblet Clean

  • Start again with feet at hip-distance and the kettlebell slightly in front of your toes.
  • Squat down and grab the kettlebell by the corners. Your palms should be facing your legs.
  • Get ready to use the muscles in your legs and glutes to power yourself to a standing position. As you lift, you’re going to use that momentum to change your grip.
  • Drop your elbows toward your hips. As your elbows drop, slide your palms to the horns (close to the ball) and power up from the squat.
  • The kettlebell should be by your chest at the top of this motion. It should look like you’re holding a goblet, of course!
  • When you repeat the exercise, dropping back into your squat, slide your grip back to the corners.

3. Kettlebell Swings

  • Start again in your deadlift position.
  • Hinge at your hips and reach forward to grab your kettlebell by the handle. Hike the kettlebell into the backswing position.
  • Hinging at your hips, swing the kettlebell from just behind the upper thighs up to your shoulders. You won’t be setting the kettlebell back on the floor.
  • Power the movement by thrusting through your hamstrings and glutes instead of lifting with your shoulders. Keep the momentum going.

Once you’re comfortable with these exercises, why not combine them into a quick workout? Do each exercise for 30 seconds with a 15 second rest in between. Repeat for two rounds and you’ve got a great workout in less than eight minutes. Keeping physically active is key to a healthy lifestyle, and it's best to check with your doctor before you start a new exercise routine.

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This content is not intended to substitute for informed medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or condition. Always check with your doctor before changing your diet, altering your sleep habits, taking supplements, or starting a new fitness routine.


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