Full-ish Body Kettlebell Routine
Most of these exercises fall under the “hard style” of kettlebell training, so when doing these exercises please remember to do the following:
- Dig your feet into the ground
- Crank your quads on (that should partially happen from digging your feet into the ground)
- Squeeze your glutes
- Engage your abs
- Point your ribs down
- Breathe by pushing your tongue to the roof of your mouth and exhaling in a “hiss”
The breathing helps to engage your entire core, which helps protect your low back.
Feel free to use a variety of weights and sizes as you move from exercise to exercise, do what you are capable of handling.
I’ll list three variations for each of these, so you can shake up this routine to get some variation for the month.
Good Morning / Deadlift / Kettlebell Swing
The Good Morning is a good way to get introduced to the “hip hinge” to make sure your glutes, back, and head are all in alignment. You can use a wooden dowel (like the one in your closet holding up your clothes) when you’re beginning to learn this movement. Or you can bodyweight it once you know what you’re doing / hold a kettlebell behind your head.
The movement pattern for the Good Morning, Deadlift, and Swing are all the same, with the only difference being how far back you stand from the bell. The deadlift the bell should be around your feet, the swing the bell should be about a foot in front of you.
Kick back your glutes, bend you knees, and lean forward, doing your best to keep your back flat. Then thrust forward and up. Breathe out as soon as you thrust forward and up. If it’s a swing let the bell come to about shoulder width (with your lats engaged) before swinging back down. If its a deadlift the bell will come up to about your belly button (depending on the length of your arms.) Repeat the hinge thrust breathe pattern.
Two Arm / Single Arm Kettlebell Overhead Press
If you’re using two arms, hold the bell by the handle (the handle facing you, the actual bell away from you) then press overhead (exhaling up, inhaling down.) If it’s a single arm you’ll want the bell in the “rack” position (handle will be over your hand, wrist neutral.) You can either place the bell in the rack position or you can hip hinge clean it into position. On the single arm, press the bell up, rotating towards the top (similar to rotating a punch in boxing.) Bring the bell down in a controlled fashion.
On the two hand the hold is the same as above, handle starts facing your chest and bell starts pointed away from you. Bring the bell overhead as you did in the overhead press, then bring the bell behind your head bending at the elbows. Variations here would be going up bell size or doing a single hand grip instead of a double hand grip.
Foot placement and bell size will be the variations here. Feet on the floor is the easiest, then cross your feet on the floor, lift your feet off the ground (bending your knees slightly), and finally crossed feet off the floor. Hold the bell by the handle, twist, place the bell down slightly behind you, pick it up, return to center, then twist to the other side, place the bell down, center.
If you have a bench or box jump you can do this standing. Place your non working hand down on the bench then get into a lunge position. The knee of your non working arm should also be bent. Pull the kettlebell up by the handle with your working arm, keeping your elbow close to the rib cage. The trick to this exercise is keeping your body neutral, try not to rotate.
If you want a bit more of a challenge, get into a plank position (with your feet more than shoulder width apart) and perform the same rowing motion. Your non working arm should be in line with your chest / shoulder.
Goblet / Front Rack Squats
The goblet squat will be with one bell, the front rack squat can be done with one bell (to create an anti-rotational challenge), with lopsided bells (which is also anti-rotational although slightly less lopsided), or with two equal weighted bells. On the goblet squat hold the bell upside down by the handle. On the front rack squat clean the bells into position before stepping out.
Squat to parallel (or a bit below) then come back up. Try holding in the down position for at least a second or two before coming back up. Breathe in going down and breathe out coming up.