Muscles as hard as steel: Kettlebell training has become the norm in the gym. The small ball also has a great effect at home. Learn which exercises you need to know!
Do you want to get the most out of a workout with free weights, improve your endurance, train the muscles in a complex way, boost your metabolism and lose a lot of fat?
Then give this a try: high-intensity kettlebell training that gets the entire body in shape.
The kettlebell is a free weight in the shape of a cannonball with a handle. There are kettlebells in different sizes, from 2 to 32 kilograms.
Which weight is right for me?
The weight of the kettlebell depends of course on the exercise and your fitness level. In general, you can remember: beginners train with 6 to 16 kilograms, advanced users with 16 to 24 kilograms and professionals with 24 to 32 kilograms.
Why is kettlebell training important?
With a kettlebell workout, you train several fitness components at the same time: strength and endurance, flexibility, speed and coordination skills.
Heavy dumbbells for maximum strength, light ones for endurance
The mostly explosive execution of movements with heavy kettlebells improves your maximum strength.
Because with most kettlebell exercises you do not train in isolation, such as with barbells, but rather perform complex movements, you train your coordination and mobility at the same time.
Lighter kettlebells, with which you can do more repetitions, are also suitable for strength endurance and cardio training. You can use it to increase your condition and boost fat burning.
Which muscles are trained with the kettlebell?
In contrast to training with a dumbbell, the center of gravity of the kettlebell is outside the hand.
Advantage: the torso-stabilizing muscles always have to work. These include abs and back extensors.
Even if each exercise has a different focus – shoulder girdle, arms, legs or buttocks – you train your core every time. That is why the kettlebell is the ideal whole-body training device.
Who is suitable for kettlebell training?
If you want to increase your strength endurance or are looking for a change or a supplement to your training routine, you should try kettlebell training.
You can do a complete kettlebell workout or integrate individual exercises into your training plan.
Who is not suitable for kettlebell training?
If you are aiming for maximum muscle building, you should not focus completely on the kettlebell. Classic dumbbell training has a greater effect here because you can train individual muscle groups in a more isolated manner.
The kettlebell is also used less often in health sports. The reason: the exercises are demanding. Wrong movements can lead to back problems or damage the joints.
Anyone who has weak points here should never dare to try the kettlebell alone, but seek advice from a professional coach.
Step-by-step: The three most important kettlebell exercises
In the following we show you three basic exercises for your kettlebell training at home or in the gym. Once you have mastered these exercises, you are well prepared to face further challenges with the ball.
Important: If you are unsure about the execution, let a professional coach look at it at the beginning. He can correct your posture if in doubt.
Correct breathing during kettlebell training
As with classic strength training, you should also use your breathing consciously during kettlebell training. This means: you breathe out during the active exercise phase. As you go back to the starting position, you breathe in.
1. Kettlebell Swing
This basic exercise trains your strength endurance. Above all, the core muscles – stomach and lower back – as well as thighs and buttocks are addressed.
- Stand hip-width apart, the kettlebell is on the floor in front of you.
- Bend your knees and lean your upper body slightly forward, grab the kettlebell with both hands.
- Pull the dumbbell back through your legs explosively.
- Swing the kettlebell up using the strength of the core of the body to shoulder height.
- Extend your legs, tilt your pelvis slightly forward. As you move upwards, tense your core and buttocks.
- Let the kettlebell swing back and bend your legs at the same time.
2. Kettlebell Goblet Squat
The focus here is on the thigh and buttock muscles. The core is also trained. The exercise is ideal as a preliminary step to the classic squat.
- Grab the kettlebell with both hands and bring it in front of your chest.
- Slowly lower yourself into a crouch until your elbows touch your thighs. The knees and tiptoes point outwards in one direction.
- Push up again with the force of your heels. The upper body remains upright, the stomach and back are stable.
3. Kettlebell Turkish Get Up
Body tension is required here! The exercise trains the entire body and particularly strengthens the shoulders, stomach, back and thighs.
- Lay on your right side, grab the kettlebell with both hands.
- Bring the kettlebell to your stomach, turn on your back and place both feet close to your body on the floor.
- Bring the kettlebell over your head with your right arm, stretch your left arm and left leg on the floor. Right leg remains bent.
- Press off over your right foot and roll over your left shoulder onto your elbow.
- Stand up, place your left arm behind your upper body and push your pelvis upwards
- Pull your left leg under your body and lower your knee.
- Straighten your upper body, align both legs forward and stand shoulder-width apart.
- Perform the sequence of movements in the reverse order: from standing back to lying position. Repeat on the other side.