The Kettlebell Squat

by admin on January 6, 2010

The kettlebell squat is an exercise essential to the mastery of kettlebell basics.  We’ll cover in this article what makes the kettlebell squat a killer exercise and the basics of how to perform it properly.

The mechanics of a kettlebell squat are a little unique; they differ slightly from, say, your traditional barbell back squat.  Let’s take a look at each exercise for a starting point:

The Barbell Back Squat

KB Front SquatThe Kettlebell Squat

A close examination of body mechanics and position in each of these photos shows the difference between the exercises.  Among other things, the placement of the weight in the front of the body allows the individual to keep the body more upright.  The bar placement on the upper back in a traditional barbell back squat allows for the use of a greater load, but it also increases stress on the spine and knees.  I’d go as far as to say the kettlebell squat is a superior exercise for your average person who lacks the flexibility, mobility, and core strength to perform a back squat with good form.

The movement is performed by sitting back like you’re sitting in a chair.  The back stays flat, the spine stays lengthened, and the chest stays tall.  Everyone is going to have a slightly different foot position, but a narrower stance than ‘typical’ is indicated.  Most people will do well between shoulder and hip width apart.

You can integrate this exercise into your routine a lot of different ways – as always, practice the movement and perfect your form before you start plugging it into your regular workouts.  Check out some past ‘workout’ articles on this blog for a few examples of how to work it into your routine.

The kettlebell squat is another one of the essential basic kettlebell drills.  It’s a superior choice to other forms of the squat for many people.  Take the time to learn the movement properly and you’ll be glad you did.

If you enjoyed this post, be sure to check out Kettlebell Rx – it’s a video on how to correct three common kettlebell training mistakes.  And it’s yours free just for subscribing to the kettlebel basics newsletter!

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