3 Essential Kettlebell Exercises You Should Be Doing

February 1, 2013 | Andrew Ciccarelli

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Kettlebells are becoming an increasingly popular fitness tool around the globe. Although the round ball with a handle traces its history back to the origins of weight training in Eastern Europe, the 'bells are now causing a revolution in training.

Kettlebells are extremely versatile. The unique shape shifts the weight load away from the hand, which allows users to perform a variety of ballistic (or swinging) exercises that are difficult to execute with dumbbells. The shape also causes the resistance to change during a movement, engaging the muscles throughout.

Many people have started incorporating kettlebells into their training, but most stick with the standard Kettlebell Swing. Yes, this is the king of kettlebell exercises, but you can get more out of your training by adding a few others to your repertoire. Start expanding your kettlebell workout with the exercises below, then check out our Kettlebell Exercise library.

Double Kettlebell Squat and Press

This is an exceptional combination strength and power exercise. Holding the weight on the front side of your body allows you to squat more efficiently and with greater depth. It also forces you to engage your core to keep you from falling forward.

  • Assume athletic position holding kettlebells between your legs
  • Clean both kettlebells into the rack position at your shoulders
  • Squat down as deep as you can
  • Push into the ground to stand up and simultaneously drive the kettlebells straight overhead
  • Lower the kettlebells back into the rack position and repeat

Sets/Reps: 3x10-13

Kettlebell Turkish Get Up [TGU]

Imagine an exercise that will increase upper-body strength, shoulder mobility and stability, leg strength, hip and pelvis mobility, and flexion and rotational trunk strength at the same time. Enter the Turkish Get Up, otherwise known as simply The Get Up.

  • Lie on ground holding a kettlebell overhead with your right arm, right knee bent and opposite arm extended to side
  • Slowly sit by shifting your weight to your left hand and bringing your feet toward your butt
  • Drive through your left hand and right heel to extend your hips
  • Swing your left leg under your body and assume a kneeling position
  • Drive though your right heel to rise to a standing position
  • Return to start position through same movement pattern with control
  • Repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with opposite arm

Sets/Reps: 2x10 each side

Look up at the kettlebell throughout the movement

Kettlebell Snatch

If you are already doing Kettlebell Swings, the Snatch is the next progression. The Snatch combines techniques from the Swing, the Clean and the Press into one explosive movement.

  • Assume athletic stance with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell in one hand between your knees
  • Squat slightly, then quickly press off the ground using a jumping movement
  • Extend your knees and hips while pulling the kettlebell out and up
  • Allow momentum to carry the kettlebell up and over your shoulder
  • Hold fully extended position for one second, then lower
  • Repeat for specified reps
  • Perform set with opposite arm

Sets/Reps: 3-5x8-12 each arm

Check out the following articles for more even more kettlebell exercises:

Photo: www.fitgent.com


Andrew Ciccarelli
- Andrew Ciccarelli is a sport conditioning coach, certified personal trainer and kettlebell instructor in Toronto, Canada. He owns Brash Fitness & Conditioning, specializing in sport-specific...
Andrew Ciccarelli
- Andrew Ciccarelli is a sport conditioning coach, certified personal trainer and kettlebell instructor in Toronto, Canada. He owns Brash Fitness & Conditioning, specializing in sport-specific...
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