The kettlebell or girya is a cast-iron weight that looks like cannonball, but with a handle. It was used to do exercises that include aerobic, strength and flexibility routines. Kettlebells were invented in Russia during the 1700s. The Soviet army used them extensively for their physical fitness programs in the 20th century. You will see many vintage photographs of early bodybuilders handling kettlebells. Unlike dumbbells, the kettlebells center of weight is beyond the handle, which makes it ideal for swinging type of movements. Kettlebell exercise requires added grip, arm, wrist and core strength due to the way its weight shifts. These were the equipment of choice of Russian lifters more than a hundred years ago.
Kettlebell exercise routines, however, have been gaining popularity lately as our insatiable appetite for new ways to workout never slows down. These weights offer similar benefits to dumbbell workouts, and then some. Their thick handles challenge your forearm strength, and the awkward weight positioning challenges your core, which is why kettlebell exercises for abs is getting attention. They are very versatile, and are very effective for explosive movements that builds muscle and burns calories, while creating strength. They are also more cost effective since you don’t need a whole set of them. A pair with the right routine will do. Basic kettlebell exercises used regularly will provide the surprise your body needs from your humdrum weight routine. Presuming you are new to this exercise tool, let’s take a look at kettlebell exercises for beginners.
1. Around-The-Body Pass
Grab the kettlebell with both of your hands in front of you. Stand with your feet approximately hip width apart. Now place the kettlebell on your right hand then move both your hands to your back. As you do this get the kettlebell with your left hand and bring it back to your front. This would complete one rotation of the kettlebell around you. This accounts for one repetition. Do another one immediately without stopping until you are able to make 10 circles around your body.
Standing with your feet around shoulder width apart, grab a kettlebell using both of your hands and hold it in front of you, with your arms parallel to the ground. Now bend your hips backward, swinging the bell between your legs. Stop very briefly there then make an explosive swing, bringing the bell back in front of you approximately at eye level. Do 10 reps.
3. Bent Row
Get a kettlebell in one hand and take a stance as if you were going to dive into a pool, knees bent, body bent forward from the hips with your back slightly arched. You will want to stop short of your body being almost parallel to the ground. Allow the kettlebell to hang freely from your arm. Now pull the bell upward, bending your arm at the elbow, keeping it close to your body, just as if you were rowing a dumbbell. Lower the kettlebell back. Do 10 reps, and then repeat with other arm. A variation to this would be to row both hands with a kettlebell each at the same time.
Standing with your feet approximately shoulder width from each other, hold a kettlebell in front of you, arms outstretched at the height of your head. As you keep your back perfectly straight, do a deep squat getting your upper legs parallel to the ground. Push back up with the heels of your feet. Do 10 reps.
Place a standard kettlebell on the floor in front of you between your feet. Standing with your feet around hip wide from each other, squat down to get the handle of the kettlebell with both your hands. Keep your back flat as you do this.Tighten your entire core especially your abs, and then squeeze your butt, slowly pushing downward with your heels as you stand with the kettlebell with your arms extended. Do 10 reps.
Standing with your feet shoulder width apart bend your knees very slightly and lean forward just a bit. Holding a kettlebell in each hand dangling at your side and with your palms facing upward, raise your arms by bending them at the elbow. Keep your elbows pressed against your ribs to get maximum bicep isolation. Lower your arms back down, while resisting the weight. Do 10 reps for both hands
7. Chest Press
Lie on a bench with a kettlebell in each hand, holding them by the handles with the round part dangling over your forearms. Mimicking the same stance and form you would if you were doing dumbbell presses, push the kettlebells upward until they are directly over your chest, arms outstretched, but avoiding elbows locking. Pause, squeeze your pecs then lower to start position. Do 15 reps
Lying on your back with knees bent at around 90 degrees, get a kettlebell and hold it by the round base placing it around chest level with both hands. Tighten your abs as you lift your upper body upward, doing the sit-up motion. Lower yourself to starting position slowly, feeling the weight of the bell as you go down. Do reps till failure.
Standing with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, carry a kettlebell in your left hand. Now raise it next to your left shoulder similar to an upright row movement, and then press it overhead like a one arm dumbbell press. Twist your upper torso to the left and look up at the kettlebell as you attempt to touch your right foot with you right hand, while bending at the waist. At this point your arms would both be outstretched to the sides of your body. Stop a moment and return to start position while keeping your left arm extended. Do 10 reps per side.
These exercises should are all good kettlebell exercises for beginners. As you progress, there will be more challenging moves that can suit just about any fitness level. Get yourself onboard this new craze and find out how the Russians have been keeping in shape thru kettlebell exercise.