3 Kettlebell Exercises for Beginners

The kettlebell is a fitness tool nearly everyone is using. Affordable, portable and easy to use, the kettlebell can be found at studios, gyms and Cross-Fit alike.

Historically, the kettlebell was originally used by the Soviet Army as part of their physical training and conditioning programs in the 20th century. Additionally, they have been used for competition and sports throughout Russia and Europe since the 1940s.

Typically, "swinging" is the foundation of all kettlebell exercises, which helps to build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders. Since the kettlebell's center of mass is extended beyond the hand, a swing motion comes very naturally.

However, proper technique and training should be done with a fitness professional prior to beginning a workout of this nature. Instead, I bring you three basic kettlebell exercises you can do without having to master the kettlebell swing. These motions target upper and lower body, as well as your core, and can be done as a supplement to your current strength training program.

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All three exercises can be performed for repetitions and sets, or using a stopwatch for time. You can focus on both muscle strength and endurance gains by increasing your volume of repetitions. I would suggest starting with a smaller kettlebell (10 to 20 pounds) especially if performing these movements for the first time.

Windmill

This exercise targets your shoulder, back and core. Hold the kettlebell in your right hand with legs wide, left foot pointed laterally and right foot turned in slightly.

Press the right arm overhead while keeping the left arm at your side. Slowly bend at waist and lower the left arm just inside the shin to the inside of your ankle, while keeping that right arm pressing the kettlebell overhead. Don't let your body roll forward or back—keep your body in a straight line.

Slowly stand back up, engaging your core muscles. Perform 8 to 15 repetitions on one side and then switch arms.

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