The joy of working with a kettlebell should not be underestimated. With it’s constantly moving centre of gravity it makes kettlebell exercises for women, and men for that matter, much more difficult than simple dumbbell training.
Just a reminder that the kettlebell is a steel shaped bell of varying weights with a U shaped handle for easy grip. Why is it U shaped? Well it means that the centre of gravity is not in the middle of the handle, like a traditional dumbbell but is in fact permanently on the move depending on the exercise being performed.
For not only are you moving a weight but you are having to do it with control as it swings around your body thus you put extra effort through the core. The benefit of that is you are building stability and balance. It’s not simply to lose weight for using a kettlebell really is a total work out from head to toe using just once piece of equipment.
What to do?
As with anything a kettlebell exercise will only be any good if done properly. So if you are a first timer seek help to ensure that you gain maximum benefit from the exercise and avoid hunched shoulders, pulling you back muscles by putting extra strain on your back by not keeping it straight and general muscle damage.
You can’t just grab any old kettlebell, either. There’s always chat about the right weight but believe me there is no right weight. The average or best weight depends on where you are on your kettlebell journey and your personal goals. The other thing to bear in mind would be the kettlebell activity. Some exercises, particularly those working the legs lead to a heavier weight. Here’s the key takeaway from this whatever the move, start with a modest weight and work your way up.”
Kettlebell exercises for women: why so good?
Kettlebell workouts are great in that you can aim for a whole body workout from head to toe or just target a particular muscle group. Aim to combine a range of exercises to target all the main muscle groups using three sets of ten or take one muscle group within your gym routine and give them three sets of ten. You can combine a bunch for a solid, total-body routine, or you can hone in on a specific area. “
Here’s a great three to get you going:
Deadlifts are extremely effective for correcting your posture, with the added benefit of toning your bum! To start hold a kettlebell in one hand to do this single-leg deadlift. It’s key to remember that to prevent back strain bend at the waist while keeping your back straight and control your movements as you raise back up:
Off we go
- Hold a kettlebell (choose the most suitable weight) in your right hand, and lift your left foot slightly off the ground.
- Keep your back neutral, and then lean your entire torso forward while raising your left leg, which should stay in line with your body. Gravity will lower the kettlebell towards the ground. Maintain posture by keeping your left shoulder blade pulled down your back.
- With your back straight, return upright, coming to your starting position to complete the rep
- Relax you’ve done your first one.
- Do nine more with the right hand and then switch to the left hand and do ten more.
- Do ten reps on each leg, for three sets.
The squat is a great exercise for toning the glutes, and yes while you can use a dumbbell to complete a simple squat, as alluded to before using a kettlebell will work more muscles and help improve your balance.
Off we go
- Stand with feet body width apart with your toes pointing forward, and hold the heaviest kettlebell that you are comfortable with in front of you with your palms facing toward you.
- Keeping your chest lifted, and your back straight squat down until your thighs are parallel to the ground.
- Pause, and then rise up to standing position
- Rinse and repeat
- Aim for three sets of ten: remember better technique is greater than the size of the weight
This is the classic kettlebell move and possibly the most explosive and this will tone your back and shoulders while again working your core. This is high intensity so your heart rate will raise as well. This may sound daft but keep a firm grip on the kettlebell! You are swinging a weight so you need to stay in control, especially as you explode up from the squat swinging a kettlebell You hands will sweat as you exercise so be warned; we don’t want kettle bells flying around the gym or your back bedroom.
Off we go:
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hips-width apart, toes slightly pointing out. Remember that you will be swinging this kettlebell through your legs.
- Squat down, and hold a kettlebell at a weight that you are comfortable with, using both hands between your legs. Again keep your back flat
- As you breathe in, press into your feet and explode upwards as you straighten your legs and swing the kettlebell in front so that your hands are in line with your shoulders.
- Breathe out and under control, remember gravity is working here, lower the kettlebell back to the starting position, with kettlebell coming down to swing between your legs.
- It’s the leg explosion that is doing all the work: you are not to use your back!
- Aim for three sets of ten.
These are just three of the main routines that you can use a kelltebell for. We’ll explore more kettlebell exercises for women over future blogs. Remember choose the right weight for you, technique is better than pure weight and the afterburn is always a bonus. To your continued fun with kettlebells