Kettlebells have been featured in many sports over the years and are very effective for overall exercise and muscle building. It can help improve your cardiovascular fitness as well as build core strength, it burns fat too which is a must when aiming to kick start a healthy fitness regime. A kettlebell can be built into a normal workout routine and really help target core areas such as your abs. Infact the kettlebell swing is perfect for working your muscles all over. The downside to kettlebells is that they can be used wrong, and this can lead to many problems like pulled muscles and even long term damage. But before you panic and swear never to touch a kettlebell again, read the following steps, these will ensure that you will learn how to use a kettlebell properly.
Some basic rules apply first when handling a kettlebell. It may be tempting to use one like a dumbbell but kettlebells are not designed to be held over your head, and they can place strain on your wrists and arms so it’s vital to ensure you handle it properly. Never slouch your back when handling a kettlebell, this will protect you from pulling any muscles. When doing kettlebell swing it’s important to keep a good posture and keep your feet firmly planted on the floor, maintaining your weight in your heels.
Steps to doing the perfect kettlebell swing:
Spread your feet to your shoulder width apart and lean forward while holding the kettlebell, allowing it to hang down between your legs, keeping your back slightly arched with your knees slightly bent.
Keeping your feet where they are, push away from the ground, allowing the momentum of your legs to swing the kettlebell up away from your body. Keep your arms straight.
Aim to swing the kettlebell to the height of your head, and as you do this flex your hips forward, then reverse the motion backwards as the kettlebell comes down..
Aim for the kettlebell to come no lower than above your knees, ideally at your thighs as this will maximise the efficiency of the exercise.
A good tip is to aim the kettlebell for the horizon rather than aiming for your head or chest. A good kettlebell technique will not place strain on the shoulders, rather focusing on the other areas such as the abs and legs. Click here to find out more about perfecting your kettlebell swing.
Practice in a place with a reinforced floor incase you drop it and always start with a lighter kettlebell, aim to build up the weight of the kettlebell as you get the hang of the technique. Here’s a good workout that will target your abs:
Warm up first, this is always important!
Begin as if you are doing a normal kettlebell swing, focusing on keeping your back arched your shoulders down and your feet planted. Use one hand rather than both for this exercise, this will work on your arm but also work on one core side of your body. Do 5-10 swing one hand, then swap over and repeat again with the other hand.
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