My 7 Favorite Kettlebell Exercises

By , SparkPeople Blogger

Kettlebells continue to lead the way as one of the biggest fitness trends of 2011. Having participated in an eight week kettlebell class with a certified kettlebell instructor this past spring, it is now one of my favorite of all-time cross training activities that I do outside running.

Kettlebell training incorporates cardio using strength training moves when you transition quickly from one exercise to another. However, performing individual exercises can be quite challenging as well, while giving your body the same benefits as conventional strength training exercises.

Because you do not use the same movement as you would when performing conventional strength training exercises, a few things to consider before beginning a kettlebell workout include:
  • If you can, sign up for a few sessions or a class with a certified kettlebell instructor so that you can learn proper form and movement
  • Wear shoes that have little or no cushioning
  • Keep your weight in your heels
  • Do not death grip the kettlebell handle, but instead lightly grasp it. Doing so will help prevent strain on the wrist and forearm
  • Don't forget to breathe
  • Stand tall and thrust with your hips
  • Don't forget to do a nice 5-10 minute cardio warm-up before beginning any of these exercise moves
Below are links to my favorite kettlebell exercises.

The Swing

Reverse Lunge with Pass Through

Sling Shot


Figure Eights

High Pull

Goblet Squat

Do you incorporate kettlebell exercises into your strength training workout routine? If so what is/are your favorite moves?

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Curious why we should not wear shoes with any cushioning? Seems like one might want some protection in case you drop a kettlebell on your toes? Report
Got some now need to learn how to use them properly. Report
Sounds interesting! Report
I have these and don't use them-I must start! Report
Thanks for inspiration. Report
A kettlebell is essentially best for reaching that six pack abs you've for ages been dreaming of.
Get more details, please check my video :
I love my 20-lb. kettlebell! Report
I have been doing Kettlebells since December 2011. I generally go 5 times per week. I began swinging the 26 - I now swing the 53. I began turkish get-ups with no weight - I now do TGU with a 45lb. Finally, I began snatching with an 18 - I now snatch the 44. I absolutely love Kettlebells and am looking to get certified within the next year! Report
Darn! I have been thinking of buying a Kettle Ball, but after reading this blog I realize I can't do it. Due to foot problems I require a lot of cushioning (my doc advised Shape Ups, and they help a great deal). I also have to keep my heels above the toes (thus the Shape Ups). But it was an interesting and informative blog. Thank you, you saved me $$$$!!!!!! Report
Too many people I know--athletic people, intelligent people--have been injured with kettlebells because they thought they could do them on their own, so, no, they won't be part of my routine any time soon. There are ways to get the benefits without the risks, and I can't afford private instruction, am too apt to injure myself. Case of "know thyself."

Others I know use them with pleasure and profit, but I'm not willing to risk me. Report
would like to see a review by spark of the best kettlebell dvds out there, plus the best kettlebells for purchase - for those of us interested whose gym doesn't offer a class or have kettlebells. Report
Yay I love kettlebells! Easy and fun way to get cardio since I hate it but love weights lol Report
I love Kettlebells!! I have 2 Ten# ones that work great as I can use them together for 20# if I want, or one in each hand. YouTube has lots of Kbell exercise Videos. Steve Cotter is the best expert on training & he has YouTube vids. Report
We do Sumo deadlift highpulls with kettlebells, also swings (both arms and single), and Turkish Getups. Loads of fun :-) Report
I LOVE kettlebells and would certainly like to see them added to the short video options and demos on SP.

I do question some of the calories burnt info on the fitness tracker. Has anyone else wondered about that? I'd think a lot would depend on the weight of the KB being used. Report
These are great! Thanks for sharing! Report
I love kettlebell work outs! Thank you! Report
I'm going to give these exercises a try. Report
I go to a Kettlebell class 2 times a week. I just love it! Report
Do Kettlebell exercises put alot of strain on hands and fingers?
If not, I would totally be interested in trying these as something new to me! Report
Add me to the list of those wishing SP kettlebell videos and exercise of the day!
As for me I love overhead circles, figure eights and alternating swings. Report
I've been THINKING about purchasing some kettlebells and I noticed that someone put up a website (thank you Chicky Hip) that I will DEFINITELY look into. Report
this article is very timely. I have my first kettlebell class tonight. good to get a preview of the moves. One question. what shoes do people wear? I was planning to wear gym shoes but should I move to sneakers. Report
I love kettlebell workouts and I couldn't agree more! SP you're awesome at giving your members what we need…we need kettlebell videos! Thanks Report
Ooohhh!! I love kettlebells! Thank you so very much for this blog!! It's one of my three strength training workouts I do a week in addition to the traditional strength training exercises and a strength training class at the gym. I would LOVE it if Sparkpeople could add kettlebell exercises to their exercise demos and even have sparkpeople videos of kettlebell workouts exercises like they have for abs, cardio, etc... I have so many favorites: the two-handed swing and the one-handed swing, alternating single-hand swings, the snatch, figure eights, the military press, front squat, rack squat press, reverse lunge with pass through, overhead chest press Report
My daughter got me kettlebells for my birthday. They are awesome..
I have been in a kettlebell class now for about 2 months and I love it. I do think it is best to take a few classes before trying it yourself just to practice good form from the start. Report
Someone recommended a video by Lauren Brooks (On The Edge Fitness), a certified Russian kettlebell instructor. I also would like to see kettlebell(s) incorporated into the exercise offerings here at Spark. Report
I like doing Turkish Get-Ups! I've only been doing kettlebells for 5 weeks, but that is something I never thought I'd be able to do.

If anyone is interested try for free kettlebell work outs. Report
try for KB instruction with proper form and appropriate weight. Report
I love kettlebell workouts. Thanks for sharing some new moves! Report
I would love for there to be a spark kettlebell video. There are too many vdeos out there with people instructing improper form, its so hard to know which videos are good or not. Report
Love kettlebells. My favorite way to incorporate strength and cardio! Report
I love doing the Figure 8 and the Russian Twist. Report
I tried a Kettlebell class once and loved it...can't wait to go back. I really felt it in my butt the next day :) Report