If you are a beginner to fitness or looking for a new way to challenge yourself, kettlebells are a great workout tool to incorporate into your routine. They are versatile, effective, and can be used for a variety of exercises that target different muscle groups. However, if you’ve never used kettlebells before, it can be overwhelming to know where to start. In this post, we’ll cover the basics of kettlebells for beginners, including what they are, when to use them, basic workouts, weight and sets to start with, and more.
What is a Kettlebell?
A kettlebell is a weight with a handle that is used for a variety of exercises. They come in different shapes, sizes, and weights, but most are made of cast iron or steel.
Kettlebells are different from traditional weights. They have a unique shape that allows for a wider range of motion during exercises. The handle makes it easy to grip and swing the kettlebell, which can help to improve grip strength and overall fitness.
Today, fitness enthusiasts of all levels , beginner and pros, use kettlebells for group fitness classes and personal training.
You can find kettlebells in most gyms and if you want to buy a pair of kettlebells, you can use Amazon or a local retail store near you.
When to Use Kettlebells
Kettlebells are a versatile workout tool that can be used for a variety of exercises. They can be used in place of traditional weights or added to bodyweight exercises for added resistance. Workout routine that focuses on full-body movements and functional fitness are best for Kettlebells.
One of the benefits of using kettlebells is that they can help to improve your balance and coordination. This is because many kettlebell exercises involve multi-joint movements that require you to engage multiple muscle groups at once.
Kettlebell exercises can also help to improve your cardiovascular fitness. They often involve high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and can help you burn calories and fat. For example, take a look at my kettlebell calf workout.
You can also use kettlebells to help target more specific muscles. For example, if you are suffering from lower back pain. There is a whole range of kb exercises that cn help build strength in the lower back.
7 effective beginner Kettlebell Workouts
Kettlebell exercises are great for building strength and toning muscles. Here are seven basic kettlebell workouts that are perfect for any beginner to start with:
- Kettlebell Goblet Squat: Hold the kettlebell at chest height, with your elbows pointing towards the ground. Squat down as low as you can go, keeping your back straight and your knees in line with your toes. Push back up to standing, squeezing your glutes at the top.
- Kettlebell Swing: Hold the kettlebell with both hands, hinge at the hips, and swing the kettlebell between your legs. As you stand up, swing the kettlebell up to chest height, then let it swing back down between your legs.
- Kettlebell Deadlift: Place the kettlebell on the ground in front of you. Hinge at the hips, keeping your back straight, and grip the kettlebell with both hands. Stand up, squeezing your glutes at the top, then lower the kettlebell back down to the ground.
- Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up: Lie on your back with your right arm extended towards the ceiling, holding the kettlebell in your hand. Bend your right knee and plant your right foot on the ground. Use your left arm to prop yourself up onto your left elbow, then onto your left hand. Push up onto your left foot, coming into a kneeling position, then stand up. Reverse the movement to return to the starting position.
- Kettlebell Press: Hold the kettlebell in your right hand, with your palm facing forward. Bring your elbow in towards your body, then press the kettlebell up overhead. Lower the kettlebell back down to your shoulder, then repeat on the other side. This is a great exercise for training shoulders.
- Kettlebell Row: Place the kettlebell on the ground in front of you. Hinge at the hips, keeping your back straight, and grip the kettlebell with your right hand. Pull the kettlebell up towards your chest, squeezing your shoulder blades together. Lower the kettlebell back down to the ground, then repeat on the other side.
- Kettlebell Lunge: Hold the kettlebell in your right hand, with your palm facing towards your body. Step your left foot back into a lunge, bending both knees. Push back up to standing, then repeat on the other side.
What Weight and Sets to Start With
For beginners first starting out with kettlebells, it’s important to choose the right weight and sets to avoid injury and ensure proper form. As a general rule, men typically start with a 16kg (35lb) kettlebell and women start with an 8kg (18lb) kettlebell. However, this can vary depending on your fitness level and experience with weight training.
It’s also important to start with a lower number of sets and reps and gradually increase as you become more comfortable with the movements. A good place to start is with 2-3 sets of 8-10 reps for each exercise.
Can You Train with Kettlebells Every Day?
While it’s possible to train with kettlebells every day, it’s not always recommended. Overtraining with kettlebells can lead to injury and burnout, so it’s important to listen to your body and take rest days as needed. A good rule of thumb is to aim for 2-3 kettlebell workouts per week for beginners, with at least one rest day in between each workout.
How to Structure a Kettlebell Workout
A typical kettlebell workout should include a warm-up, a series of exercises, and a cool-down. A good warm-up should include dynamic stretches and movements.
Such as jumping jacks, high knees, and arm circles to get your heart rate up and prepare your muscles for the workout.
When it comes to structuring your kettlebell workout, a beginner can start by following a circuit-style or pyramid-style format. In a circuit-style workout, you perform a series of exercises back-to-back with little to no rest in between. In a pyramid-style workout, you start with one exercise and gradually add more exercises as you go, then work your way back down the pyramid.
As for the length of your kettlebell workout, it’s important to focus on quality over quantity. A good kettlebell workout should last anywhere from 20-45 minutes, depending on your fitness level and the intensity of the exercises. Remember to take breaks as needed, and don’t push yourself too hard if you’re feeling fatigued or experiencing pain.
Q: What muscles do kettlebell exercises work? A: Kettlebell exercises work a variety of muscles, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, abs, back, chest, and arms.
Q: Can kettlebell exercises help with weight loss? A: Yes, kettlebell exercises can help with weight loss by burning calories and building lean muscle mass.
Q: Do I need to have any prior experience with weight training to start using kettlebells? A: No, kettlebells are a great option for beginners who are new to weight training. However, it’s important to start with lighter weights and proper form to avoid injury.
Q: How often should I switch up my kettlebell workouts? A: It’s a good idea to switch up your kettlebell workouts every 4-6 weeks to prevent plateaus and keep your muscles challenged.
Q: Are there any safety tips I should keep in mind when using kettlebells? A: Yes, it’s important to always use proper form and technique when using kettlebells to avoid injury. Start with lighter weights and gradually increase as you become more comfortable with the movements. It’s also important to warm up properly before each workout and take rest days as needed.
Q: What weight should I start with? A: This depends on your current fitness level and experience with weight training. As a general rule, it’s recommended that beginners start with a lighter weight, such as 8-12 kilo kettlebells for women and 12-16kg for men. From there, you can gradually increase the weight as you become more comfortable with the exercises.
Q: Can I train with kettlebells every day? A: While it’s possible to train with kettlebells every day, it’s important to give your muscles time to rest and recover. It’s generally recommended to have at least one rest day in between kettlebell workouts to allow your muscles time to repair and grow.
In conclusion, kettlebell workouts are a great way to build strength, improve cardiovascular fitness, and burn calories. If you’re a beginner to kettlebell workouts, start with lighter weights and focus on proper form to avoid injury. Incorporate a variety of exercises into your workouts, including swings, presses, squats, and lunges, and aim for 20-45 minutes of exercise per session. Remember to warm up properly and take rest days as needed, and switch up your workouts every 4-6 weeks to keep your muscles challenged. With dedication and consistency, kettlebell training can help you achieve your fitness goals and improve your overall health and wellness.