What Is A Kettlebell?

Kettlebells are cast iron or steel balls with a handle attached to the top. You’ll find them in pretty much every gym as they are a staple of strength training everywhere.

Kettlebells pack a lot of weight into a relatively small space, much like dumbbells. For this reason, they can contribute to both strength training and cardiovascular workouts!

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Benefits of Kettlebells

Aside from the general benefits of weighted exercises…

Kettlebell exercises have also been found to improve posture and balance. They are also a great form of low-impact cardio, making them accessible to most gym-goers, they work on your core, improve your grip strength, and many more benefits you can read in this article from Byrdie!

If you’ve never added kettlebells into your workout, here are 5 great exercises to get you started  and enjoy the health benefits. 

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Kettlebell Swing

This is a well-known kettlebell exercise, and for good reason!

Kettlebell swings work your legs, your lower back, and your glutes. Based on this muscle focus you could use a heavy kettlebell for this exercise. However, if it is your first time doing it, it is best to start with a lighter weight to make sure you get the form correct before moving onto a heavier weight.

Here’s how to do it:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettlebell handle with both hands.
  • Bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at the hips to swing the kettlebell between your legs.
  • Stand back up; use the momentum from your hips to swing the weight to chest height.

Kettlebell Snatch

According to a study by the University of Washington, participants burned approximately 20 calories a minute doing kettlebell snatches. This makes this a key move for weight loss (read more on the study here).

  • Holding a kettlebell in one hand between your legs, squat down until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  • Drive upwards through your hips and knees and as the kettlebell rises to shoulder height, rotate your hand and push it upwards until your arm is locked out.
  • Squat down and return the weight to the start position. Repeat with one arm, then swap sides.

Kettlebell Farmer’s Walk

This is an ideal exercise for building your grip, which can help with other workouts such as lateral pull-downs and pull-ups. This is also a good exercise to add to the end of your workout session, as it is low-impact and not too demanding. 

However, this is still a very effective fat burning workout, especially as it is functional. 

  • Hold two kettlebells by your side.
  • Keep your arms strong and walk short, quick steps as fast as possible.
  • Turn around and walk back.

Bright Kettlebells 8KG

Hand to Hand Kettlebell Swings

This is a similar exercise to the kettlebell swings (above) but by working on isolating one side of your body at a time, it is more challenging and requires more stability.

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettlebell handle with one hand.
  • Bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at the hips to swing the kettlebell between your legs.
  • Stand back up as you swing the weight to chest height. At the top of the swing, switch the kettlebell to the other hand.
  • Continue swings, alternating sides.

Kettlebell Goblet Squat

The kettlebell goblet squat is an ideal intermediate-level kettlebell exercise. 

  • Hold the kettlebell upside down in both hands.
  • The movement of the goblet squat is the same as a regular squat – lower your body until your thighs are parallel to the ground, then drive back up through your heels
  • The goblet squat helps improve your squatting movement pattern because of the position the kettlebell is held in throughout the movement.
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Kettlebell Classes at Beckwith

If you fancy getting started with kettlebells but would like some guidance, join a class!

Our experienced gym instructor Crystal runs ‘Power Kettlebell’ classes at Beckwith Health Club (check out her profile here!). This is a great opportunity for a fat-burning kettlebell workout, with an instructor present to coach you through the proper form. 

Check out our timetable on the Beckwith website here to join the next kettlebells class.