These days, many people are shying away from over-priced gym memberships and are choosing to complete their workouts from home instead. With at-home workouts, comes the task of finding resources and materials to use to enhance your workout - a bench, weights, a stability ball, a pull up bar, resistance bands, and yep - you guessed it - a kettlebell! Kettlebells are super versatile and are great for at-home workouts. Plus, you wouldn’t even believe how many awesome workouts there are that only require one kettlebell! Here are a few ideas to get you started.
1. Tricep Press
One of the most basic kettlebell exercises is the tricep press. Although this workout primarily targets your triceps, it’s actually great for strengthening and toning your entire body. To do the kettlebell tricep press, simply grasp the handle of the kettlebell with both hands and hold it behind your head. Keeping your elbows close to your ears, extend your arms straight up, lifting the weight above your head. Squeeze your tricep muscles at the top, hold for a second or two, and then slowly lower the weight back down behind your head. (Be sure to do this carefully, as to not hit your head with the weight). One up and down movement is one rep. You should shoot for at least 3 sets of 10 reps in all. If the weight is light, try doing only one arm at a time and then switching arms. In order to work the rest of your body during this workout, be sure to keep all of your muscles engaged - stand up straight, keep your abs pulled in toward your spine, and keep your glutes squeezed tight.
2. One-Arm Snatch
If you aren’t already aware, a snatch is basically a lift of a weight from the floor to above the head in one quick and controlled movement. I’m sure you’ve witnessed people doing them in the gym, or maybe you’ve seen one of the thousands of videos floating around YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram. Well, this exercise is pretty much the same thing, just done with a kettlebell and with only one arm at a time. Complete the kettlebell one-arm snatch in a rapid 2-step motion just like you would a traditional snatch workout: first, lifting the kettlebell from shin-level to chest, and then, flipping your wrist and pressing the weight up over your head. As long as you maintain proper form while completing this exercise, you’ll be certain to get a full-body workout in with just one kettlebell.
3. Sumo Squat with Lateral Raises
*Note: This video only shows how to do a Kettlebell Sumo Squat. The Lateral Raise is described in the section below.
Hamstrings, quads, glutes, core, arms, shoulders, back, chest - I really can’t think of any area of the body that this exercise doesn’t hit! So how do you do it? First, holding the handle of the kettlebell with both hands between your legs, get into a sumo squat position. Do to this, your feet should be a little more than shoulder-width apart and your toes should be pointed slightly outwards. To begin the exercise, lower yourself down into a sumo squat, so that the back of your legs are parallel to the floor (try not to let your knees go over your toes as you squat). As you’re doing this, bring your arms straight out in front of you, raising the kettlebell up to chest level. Then, lower the weight back down as you simultaneously stand up to starting position. This is one rep. Again, try to complete at least 3 sets of 10 reps.
4. Horizontal Press
*Note: The equipment used in the video above is not a kettlebell. Replace with a kettlebell for the workout described below.
Similar to the Sumo Squat with Lateral Raises, you’ll do this exercise as you perform a squat. The difference here, though, is that rather than lifting the weight out in front of you as you squat, you’ll be pushing the weight away from your chest as you squat. In addition, for this exercise, you can do a regular narrow squat, instead of a sumo squat. So this time, start with your feet shoulder-width apart and hold the ball part of your kettlebell with both hands. Squat down and hold this position. As you are holding, extend your arms straight out in front of you, pressing the kettlebell away from your chest, and then bring it back in towards your chest. Stand up after you have completed this in and out movement once. That is one rep. Squat back down and complete the in and out movement again. That is two reps. Continue doing this for at least 3 sets of 10 reps.
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5. Kettlebell Swings
Kettlebell swings are basic, effective, and actually pretty fun. Holding the handle of your kettlebell with both hands and letting it hang down to the ground underneath you, get into sumo squat position again, with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed outward. Lower yourself down into a sumo squat and grip your weight tightly. As you raise your body back up into standing position, swing the kettlebell out in front of you so that it is at about chest-level, and pop your hips forward, squeezing your glutes tightly. Then, all at once, relax your hips, squat back down, and lower your kettlebell back down between your feet. Continue this movement 10-15 times and aim for 3 sets in all.