If you are a gym-goer, you probably have already tried or seen others working out with some kind of a weighted steel ball with a handle attached on top for that extra grip.
For the uninitiated, that wonder ball is nothing but a kettlebell, and working out with it can tone up while strengthening your core like nothing else will.
“Usually, kettlebell workouts are built on a high-rep range which involves several muscles at once and offers similar benefits to an aerobic workout or the benefits of HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training). They are great for improving cardiovascular health and your fat-burning mechanism,” says celebrity fitness expert and wellness coach, Grandmaster Akshar.
“Kettlebell training usually focuses on your lower body, back, and shoulders. But, it also engages the core region and thus, helps tone it up too,” he adds and recommends the following kettlebell exercised that can help you achieve a tight, strong core. Check ‘em out:
1. Kettlebell swing
-Keep your feet apart making sure they’re planed wider than your shoulder-width and bend your knees to grab the kettlebell with both your hands.
-Keep your back straight as you swing the weight up to your shoulder height.
-Return to the start position and repeat the move without losing momentum.
-Aim for 5-10 reps
-This move works on your hamstring and glutes.
-It improves your anaerobic fitness drastically.
-It accelerates your heart-rate.
-It promotes fat-burn
2. Kettlebell thrusters
-Hold two kettlebells by their handles so that the weight is resting on the back of your shoulders.
-Bend your knees slightly and squat down, keeping your legs in line with your shoulders.
-Swing the kettlebells through your legs and straighten them, extending your arms as you do to raise the kettlebells above your head.
-Squat down and repeat 5-10 times.
-It serves as a full-body workout.
-It particularly strengthens your shoulders and back.
-It is a multi-joint exercise that demands full-body power.
-Start by standing with your feet hip-width apart holding the handle of a kettlebell with both hands in front of your face.
-Keep your elbows bent and wide at the sides while standing still.
-Slowly, move your arms in a circular motion around your head once, keeping the weight at eye level.
-Aim for 5-10 reps of this exercise.
-It targets the deltoids.
-It also strengthens the pectoral muscles and the triceps.
-It engages your core and makes it stronger.
4. Kettlebell single-leg deadlift
-Stand with your feet together, holding a kettlebell in each hand in front of your thighs.
-Shift your weight to your left leg while keeping your back straight and the left knee slightly bent.
-Hinge forward at the hips, and raise your right leg straight behind your body as you
lower the weight toward the floor until you feel a stretch in your left hamstring.
-During this time, keep your core tight, push through your left heel to stand up straight, and pull the weight back up to the starting position.
-Now, bring your right leg back down to meet your left, but just let your toes tap the floor
Lightly. Don’t put any weight on your right foot.
-Complete all your reps on one side and then repeat with the other leg.
-Aim for 5-10 reps.
-It targets the gluteus maximus.
-It improves the flexibility of the hamstrings.
-It works on your quadriceps, back, and core.
5. Sit-up to press-up
-Lie down on your back with your knees bent and feet flat, holding a kettlebell with both
hands at your chest.
-Using your abs, lift your body up until you are sitting upright with your back straight.
-At the same time, press the weight overhead, extending both arms until your elbows are straight.
-Slowly, lower back to the starting position. This makes for 1 rep.
-Now, repeat this at least 5-10 times.
-This move targets the core region.
-It engages your pectoral muscles as well.
-It makes for a great workout for the deltoids, biceps, and triceps.
Don’t miss out on these precautions while working out with a kettlebell
Surely, a kettlebell workout can give you a toned body of your dreams. However, Akshar warns against the possibility of a lower-back injury due to carelessness while using a kettlebell.
“This can happen especially during the kettlebell swing workout because of its dynamic nature. This momentum of moving back and forth quickly at the hip joint may not end there and this could put a lot of force on the lower back. Hence, it is best to practise this with caution and maintain the correct stance in terms of avoiding arching of the back and not engaging your glutes to perform this workout,” he says.
So, as long as you keep these pointers in mind, you’ll be just fine!