Kettlebell workouts for women

kettlebell workouts for women



In case you didn’t know, kettlebells are basically cast-iron cannonballs with a handle attached. You may have spotted people working out with kettlebells in the gym or in exercise videos. They invariably have hard, lean bodies. You may think to yourself: these people look pretty badass. You may be asking yourself: Can I possibly be as badass as these people?

My answer is: Yes you can.

Check out my kettlebell workouts for women:

A brief history of kettlebells

Kettlebells originated in Russia about 300 years ago. They were used by the Soviet army to train the military and Olympic athletes. Kettlebells were introduced to the USA for the first time in 1998 by Pavel Tsatouline, a former trainer of the Soviet Special Forces.

So kettlebells have been used by some pretty tough dudes. But are they suitable for a normal girl who wants to lose weight and look good?

Kettlebells will destroy your fat

Kettlebells are certainly a potent weapon in you arsenal in the war against fat loss. Kettlebell workouts are a form of circuit training in that they combine high intensity cardio with strength training. Strength training and high intensity cardio are the most effective methods to burn fat, build lean muscle and get a flat stomach.

The benefits of Kettlebell training

  • Kettlebell exercises are very athletic and work the whole body at once
  • Kettlebell workouts combine strength training and high intensity cardio
  • Kettlebell workouts are very time efficient

The drawbacks of Kettlebell training

  • Kettlebell exercises are very technical and can cause injury if executed improperly
  • Some people find they make more progress if they separate their strength training and cardio workouts
  • You cannot adjust the weight with kettlebells as you can with dumbbells

Are kettlebells for you?

The most important aspect of choosing a workout routine is that you find one that you are going to stick to. If try kettlebells and you enjoy them, by all means use them. If you don’t, try my flat stomach workout which combines dumbbell exercises with sprinting.

How to choose a kettlebell

If you are a beginner, chose an 8 kg kettlebell. If you have been working out for 6 months or more, you can start with a 12 kg kettlebell.

Introducing the kettlebell swing

Allow me to introduce you to the kettlebell swing. The kettlebell swing is the most fundamental kettlebell move. It is also one of the most brutally effective fat burning exercises you can do.

The kettlebell swing is a whole body exercise. It works the muscles in the backs of your thighs, your butt, your lower back, your stomach and your shoulders. That’s a whole lot of muscle for one movement! After a few swings, you will feel your heart rate increase and you will start to feel out of breath. This means your body is burning fat. At the same time you will be building lean muscle. So it’s a win-win situation.

Some of you have expressed concern to me about losing your curves as you follow my workout and diet plans. Now the kettlebell swing is one of the best exercises for working your glutes. The glutes are the muscles in your butt. If you want a butt that’s round and firm, the kettlebell swing is the way to go.

How to do the kettlebell swing

Watch this video for a demonstration: VIDEO

The most important points are:

  • Keep your lower back straight at all times. If you round your lower back, you risk spraining your back. You can check your form by watching yourself in a mirror. You can also place your free hand on your lower back whilst learning the swing so you can feel if your back starts to round.
  • Move your knees as little as possible throughout the exercise. Your knees should remain above your heels throughout. Your knees should not come forwards so that they are above your toes.
  • When lowering the kettlebell, bend at the hips and stick your butt out.
  • Do not use your arms to lift the kettlebell. The power comes from your hips and your legs, not your arms.
  • During the lower portion of the swing, open your hips explosively to power the kettlebell forwards and up. During the upper portion of the swing, the kettlebell should feel almost weightless.

Beginner kettlebell workout for women

The kettlebell swing is such a great move that you can base a whole workout around it. This workout should be done 3 times a week. It will burn fat and develop lean muscle tone over your whole body. The workout is broken into sets of 20 swings for each hand. I am not going to prescribe rest periods because everybody is different, depending on their level of fitness. Just rest as long as you need to recover your breath between sets. The important thing is that you complete the workout.

  • 20 kettlebell swings each hand
  • Repeat 3 times
  • Rest as needed between each set of 20 reps

Adding the kettlebell clean and jerk

It will take you a few weeks to master the swing. When you have reached this stage, you can consider adding one more move to your workout. This move is the kettlebell clean and jerk [sometimes called the clean and press]. It’s an awesome move which will give you the body of an athlete.

Watch this video for a demonstration: VIDEO

Like the swing, the clean and jerk is a full body movement. You will be working the muscles in your thighs, your butt, your abs, your lower and upper back, and your shoulders. Because the movement is different to the swing, you will be using slightly different muscles, which is good for overall development of your physique.

The most important points to watch are:

  • Keep your lower back straight at all times to prevent injury.
  • The first stage of the movement [the clean] involves using an explosive opening of the hips to pull the kettlebell off the floor and onto your shoulder. The power should come from your hips, not your arm. The kettlebell should feel weightless and your arm only needs to guide the weight to land on your shoulder.
  • The second stage of the movement [the jerk] involves using an explosive extension of the legs whilst thrusting the kettlebell overhead with your arm. About 50% of the power should come from your hips, and 50% from your arm.

Advanced kettlebell workout for women

Now you will add the clean and jerk to your workout. As before, rest as needed between sets. The workout should be done 3 times a week.

  • 20 kettlebell swings each hand
  • 20 kettlebell clean and jerks each hand
  • Repeat 3 times
  • Rest as needed between each set of 20 reps

Have fun and remember to eat well!

Have fun with your kettlebell workouts for women. Kettlebell movements are very challenging and you are advised to seek the advice of a personal trainer if you need help with your technique. Make sure you stick to a wholefood diet free of sugars and processed food to maximize fat loss.

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