This one is a Double Kettlebell Circuit, hits all your major muscle groups, is still ‘strength-based’ but with a bit more of a conditioning element mixed in – watch the video first, then read the notes below. Enjoy!
Do as many reps as possible of each exercise in the allotted time as possible:
:30 – double clean and presses
:30 – active rest (jump rope, jog, etc.)
:30 – Kettlebell Squats
:30 – Active Rest
:30 – Double Kettlebell Swings
:30 – Active Rest
Rest :60, repeat for a total of 4 rounds!
Make sure to pick a heavy weight for all these exercises; you’re only working for :30 so you won’t get a lot of reps.
Thanks for reading and talk soon –
P.S. To get more great kettlebell workouts + videos like this one delivered straight to your email inbox each and every week, PLUS for a free copy of my Beginner’s Guide to Kettlebell Training, sign up for the KettlebellBasics.net newsletter by dropping your name and email in the box at the upper right hand corner of the page!
Perusing the fitness/health/exercise section at the local bookstore last weekend, I stumbled upon a new kettlebell training guide I’d never seen before …
There were a huge variety of kettlebell exercises in the book – I’m talking like hundreds.
Sounds cool at first – lots of variety, lots of different kettlebell exercises to impress your friends, etc. …
The problem, though, is that with this much exercise variety, it’s almost impossible to learn all the moves correctly in any reasonable amount of time – especially if you’re a kettlebell beginner.
I can’t tell you how many folks I’ve trained that have started with kettlebells in this info-overload, learn-many-exercises-but-master-none, no-real-structured-program fashion, and upon meeting with me and being put on a steady diet of swings and TGU’s for a month or two, have seen their progress go through the roof!
So, that being said, the best kettlebell exercises for beginners are the swing and the Turkish get up. In this article, I’m going to talk about exactly why these exercises are the best for beginners, explain how to do them, and give you a sample beginner kettlebell workout.
Why the swing and the Turkish get up are the two best kettlebell exercises for beginners
In the HardStyle kettlebell system, everything is built upon mastery of the swing and the Turkish get up. The swing is the ‘base’ balistic exercise, and the get up is the ‘base’ grind.
And this makes perfect sense when you analyse the rest of the basic kettlebell moves (the goblet squat, the clean, the press, and the snatch). For example, in the clean and the snatch, the ‘bottom’ position is identical to the swing; so if you don’t really, really have the swing down, your clean and snatch are going to be jacked up.
The Turkish get up is fantastic for strengthening your wrists, conditioning your forearms, and building the necessary shoulder mobility and stability for doing a great press and snatch. If you can’t lock out the ‘bell overhead at the top position of a get up properly, you sure as heck won’t be able to while you’re doing a clean or a snatch.
How to perform the Turkish get up and the HardStyle swing
Here are two videos I made that show you how to do the swing and the Turkish get up:
Also, here are more detailed descriptions of each exercise that I covered in previous blog posts:
In short, the best kettlebell exercises for beginners are the Turkish get up and the swing. All other basic kettlebell exercises are built upon these two, so make sure you take your time to master and perfect them before moving on to more advanced drills; you’ll be glad you did. Good luck and keep training hard –
P.S. Signed up for my weekly newsletter yet? You’ll get a free copy of my Beginner’s Guide to Kettlebell Training when you do … just drop your name and email into the box at the upper right of the page to sign up now!
One of the most often asked questions folks have when getting started with KB training is what size kettlebell to use –
Here’s a video from Anthony DiLugo of www.artofstrength.com – he does a great job of explaining what size kettlebell to start with based on your fitness level, athletic training experience, etc. – I’ve also provided a recap of the points he touches on in the video in the bullet points below it:
Kettlebells, unlike American weights, go up incrementally in kilos – 4 kilos, 8 kilos, 12 kilos, 16 kilos, 20 kilos, 24 kilos, etc.
Your activity level, fitness level, weight, and size are all factors that go into what size kettlebell you should use.
Most inactive women starting outwill use an 8 kil0 ‘bell.
Active women, who are, for example, runners or used to having their legs loaded with some kind of resistance, could bump up to a 12 kilo or even 16 kilo to start.
An inactive man – for example, a 40-year-old who hasn’t worked out in several years, who’s been worried about his family, his career, etc. and not focused on staying in shape, should probably start out with a 16 kilo kettlebell. Very quickly that same individual will graduate up to a 20 or 24 kilo KB.
An athletic guy – maybe a runner, a cyclist, an individual who participates in recreational sports – will start with either the 20 or 24 kilo, and at some point may even work up to the 32 kilo (or more).
You need to feel your body being loaded with resistance to get proper benefit from kettlebell training. If you are a 120 pound woman and you are in good shape, have strong legs, etc., you cannot properly load your body with a 8 kilo kettlebell – it just won’t work.
After watching the video above, hopefully any questions you have about what size kettlebell to use when starting out have been answered; if you have any further questions, input, etc., please put in your two cents in the comment section below.
Keep training hard and thanks for reading –
Learn more about what size kettlebell to use, the best kettlebell brands, and more additional resources:
Mastering the basic kettlebell drills takes a lot of practice. And if your form is sloppy – or you make some of the other common training mistakes I mention in this article – it’s very possible to get injured. Here are three tips to help you avoid kettlebell injuries:
1. Be aware of your surroundings
Swinging around heavy iron kettlebells requires 1) open space and 2) a durable surface underfoot.
One would think this goes without saying, but very time I’m perusing kettlebell videos on the ‘net it seems I see someone swinging around a ‘bell in really close quarters, over their hardwood floor, inches away from their giant flat screen TV, family cat, etc. –
As a rule, use common sense, and be aware of your surroundings to avoid injury to yourself/objects/animals/humans around you.
2. Abort safely
If you’re doing a kettlebell exercise and you feel something weird, get into an awkward position, etc. – abort! Just drop the ‘bell (and move those feet 🙂 ) Trying to ‘save a lift’ has caused countless tweaked backs, wrists, shoulders, etc.
3. Learn good kettlebell lifting technique
Good technique is always important when you’re lifting weights. But it’s extra important when you’re training with kettlebells – there’s a lot higher chance you’ll get hurt doing a kettlebell swing the wrong way than, say, using improper form doing a bicep curl with 10 pound dumbbells.
In conclusion, kettlebells are fantastic training tools – but it’s very important to be aware of your surroundings when training with them, to know when to bail out of a failed lift, and to focus on using great technique to avoid kettlebell injuries.
Keep training hard and talk soon –
P.S. If you’re still looking to master the basics of proper kettlebell training technique, check out my Kettlebell Basics Swing Manual course – it’s a great starting point and is designed to take you from swing newbie to HardStyle kettlebell swing master in just 12 weeks – click the image below for more info and to sign up: