If you’ve never used a kettlebell before at the gym, you’re about to fall in love with the unconventional fitness tool that’s rising in popularity. Eric Leija, a kettlebell expert at Onnit Academy (known as primal.swoledier on Instagram), passed along a few of his favorite kettlebell exercises for beginners to try out. “Taking the time to master the kettlebell techniques can help you take your overall training to the next level,” he told POPSUGAR. “With quality technique, you can have more fun and challenging workouts by seamlessly combining workouts together into kettlebell flows and complexes.”
But why pick up a kettlebell in the first place? “Kettlebells have various grips and ready positions that allow you to add load to more positions than dumbbells,” Eric explained. “When you get more comfortable with kettlebells, they are a great tool for working on your coordination by implementing more dynamic movements and exercises combinations into your training.”
Now’s your time. Check out these three beginner kettlebell exercises and their descriptions ahead.
1. Double Front Racked Reverse Lunge
- Use two kettlebells and hold them in the front rack position, with the bell on the outside of your wrist, against your shoulders.
- Step back into a reverse lunge, and stack your shoulders over your hips and your hips over your back.
- Tap your knee to the ground, and try to prevent any jarring in your structure.
- Inhale as you go down to help brace your core. Step forward, bringing your feet together, and then alternate sides. This counts as one rep.
- Do four sets of 10 reps.
2. Two-Handed Horned Squat
- Start in a standing position, with your feet about hip width apart, and grip the kettlebell by the horns.
- Try to stack your elbows underneath your wrists, and imagine you are trying to rip the handle over your chest. Do this to help engage your lats, and pull your shoulders back and down to help maintain a tall spine and proud chest.
- Plant your feet firmly into the ground and actively press into the outside edges of your feet to help activate your hips and lateral lines of tension.
- Initiate the squat by bending at the knees first, and sit your hips straight down in between your heels and get your knees out.
- Keep your elbows inside your knees and your chest proud. “I like to go down slow into the hole and then come up and out hard and fast with an explosive hip lockout,” Eric said. This counts as one rep.
- Be sure to keep your back straight and core tight throughout the entire movement.
- Do four sets of eight to 12 reps.
3. Kettlebell Halo
- In a standing position, hold the kettlebell upside down by the horns, with the bell facing upward, and rotate it around your head from shoulder to shoulder. The bell will face down as you circle the weight behind your head. Keep a tight core and focus on loosening up your shoulders.
- When you return to the starting shoulder, this counts as one rep.
- Do four sets of 10 reps on each side.