A lot of people don’t realize that kettlebell exercises aren’t simply for weight loss. For the most part, kettlebells are largely ignored by people who are trying to bulk up.
That’s because when it comes to building muscle, most people usually think of lifting barbells or dumbbells in the gym. But in reality, almost any type of resistance training helps build muscle, including kettlebell exercises.
The great thing about kettlebells is that they’re extremely versatile pieces of equipment. What makes kettlebells unique is that they’re not just simple weights. Because of the handle, kettlebells are much easier to grip compared to dumbbells. This means that you can lift heavier weights and do it for longer compared to regular dumbbells.
Additionally, exercises that involve kettlebells are usually whole-body workouts, so you’re working a lot of muscle groups with just a single exercise.
10 kettlebell exercises for strength
The important thing to know when it comes to these exercises is that there’s going to be a bit of a learning curve if you’re not used to kettlebells. However, once you get your technique down, the exercises will be way easier.
1. Kettlebell swing
Kettlebell swings are a staple for anyone working out with a kettlebell. They’re also pretty simple to do.
Stand with your feet about shoulder width apart, bend your knees, and grab the weight with both of your hands. Swing the weight in front of you, up to shoulder level, and make sure to straighten your knees and your back.
Once the kettlebell goes back down, bend your knees and then swing it back up again.
2. Kettlebell clean and press
The movements involved here are similar to that of a clean and press using barbells. Stand up and hold two kettlebells by your thighs.
In one brisk motion, jump up, and then lift both of your arms, extending them above your head. Make sure to land on your feet as if doing a squat, keeping both of your arms raised.
3. Double kettlebell deadlift
This exercise really works if you want to bulk up your shoulder and core muscles.
In order to do it, stand up straight with your legs about shoulder width apart with two kettlebells in front of you. Next, bend down to pick up the kettlebells and lift them up to right below your waist. Make sure to keep your back straight and engage your shoulders when doing this workout.
4. Kettlebell snatch
To do this exercise, place a kettlebell on the floor and squat down to pick it up with one hand. Next, quickly lift the kettlebell and raise it above your head, making sure that your back and arm are both straight. Then just squat down back to the start position and do it all over again.
5. Kettlebell pistol squat
This exercise combines a regular pistol squat with the weight provided by a kettlebell.
It’s pretty simple to do. Just hold a kettlebell right under your chin with both of your hands. Next, lift one leg off the floor and squat down with the other leg. Now, lift yourself back up using your leg, making sure to keep your other leg raised.
Make sure to keep yourself straight and to keep your balance when doing this exercise.
6. Kettlebell squat
In order to do the kettlebell squat, just hold a kettlebell with both of your hands right under your chin.
Next, squat down as low as possible while keeping the kettlebell as stable as you can. Go back up and then repeat the exercise. Make sure to keep your back straight whenever doing this kettlebell exercise.
7. Farmer’s walk
This one’s pretty easy, but it can get tiring if you do it enough times.
Just stand straight and hold two kettlebells by your sides. Make sure to keep your arms flexed, and walk forward a few steps, turn around, and then walk back. Keep your back as straight as possible and tense up your arm muscles whenever doing this exercise.
8. Strict press
To do a strict press, stand up straight and hold one kettlebell near your shoulder with your elbow bent. Next, lift the kettlebell straight up and then bring it back down. This exercise helps build your biceps and strengthen your shoulders and your entire body.
9. Goblet reverse lunge
The goblet reverse lunge is pretty much just a reverse lunge, but with the added difficulty of a kettlebell. In order to do this exercise, stand up straight and hold a kettlebell near your chest. Next, do a reverse lunge with one leg, and then do it with the other leg. Make sure to squeeze your glutes when doing this exercise.
10. Crunch with legs raised
To do this exercise, lie down with your back on the ground. Next, lift up both of your legs straight so that they’re in a 90-degree angle. Hold the kettlebell with both of your hands extended straight up and do a crunch. The added difficulty really works your core and back muscles.