Equinox+ Instructor Or Artzi Shares Her Favorite Quick and Effective Kettlebell Workout
Calling all weightlifters — beginner, intermediate, and advanced. If you're trying to get a quick yet effective pump in, whether you're training at the gym or at home, pick up some kettlebells for a well-rounded, full-body exercise.
Yep, those bell-shaped loose weights can actually give you a full, strenuous workout without any other equipment needed. Don't believe us? Just ask Equinox+ Group Fitness Instructor Or Artzi who swears by kettlebell training to build up your body, endurance, flexibility, balance, and grip strength (important for any lifter).
"With its unique shape, many kettlebell exercises are a form of ballistic and power training," Artzi explains. "This type of movement forces the muscles to produce the greatest amount of force in the shortest amount of time." And a more efficient workout means less time with better results. "The more you practice these explosive movements, the better you train your muscles to act as efficiently and powerfully as possible," she adds.
You can purchase your own kettlebells for a fast and effective workout without even leaving the house (think of how much time you'll save!). Just be sure to focus form above all else to avoid any injuries.
"When training with kettlebells, you must control the movement path, and it's important to start with basics and establish proper technique before jumping to more complex movements," Artzi tells us.
You can use Artzi's four favorite moves below for a killer workout, or if you're looking for more guidance, download the Equinox+ App for access to tons of on-demand workout classes for just $40 a month.
How it works: "This is a simple, yet super effective full-body workout that will work all your major muscle groups," says Artzi. "Try out all the moves in order, back-to-back with a 30 to 90-second break in between, depending on your fitness level. Repeat all moves two to four times."
Artzi also stresses the importance of including a warmup and cool down before and after for a workout "that will leave you feeling energized and powerful" in under 30 minutes.
You will need: All you need is your kettlebells (ideally a pair, but one can do the trick as well).
Set-up: Stand tall with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart. Hold a single kettlebell at the middle of your chest, gripping the handles as though you were cupping a goblet (keep this position tight throughout the entire move.)
A. Engage your core while looking straight ahead to keep your back neutrally aligned. Bend your knees to sit back like you are sitting on a chair. Make sure to keep the knees constantly pushing out towards your second toe. In the bottom of the squat-elbows should be positioned in between the knees, keeping tension throughout the upper body.
B. Stand up, and make sure to keep your shoulders in line with your hips as you return to standing.
Repeat for 8-12 reps.
Kettlebell Gorilla Row
Set-up: Stand with your feet hip-width apart with both kettlebells (if you only have one just keep tension in the opposite side while pulling the bell towards the hip) on the ground in between your legs.
A. Hinge from your hips as if you are trying to touch the back wall with your tail bone. Keep your chest tall and back straight, then slightly bend your knees until you can reach the handles of the kettlebell. (If you cannot reach the handles without rounding your back, simply elevate the kettlebell on a flat, stable surface a few inches from the ground until you have reached sufficient hamstring flexibility.)
B. Then row the kettlebell up towards your hips as if you are trying to put the weight in your back pocket.
Repeat for 6-10 reps before switching sides.
Backward Lunge to Standing Rotational Press
Set-up: Start by standing tall with a kettlebell racked on one side (hold the kettlebell against your chest, resting on your forearm with the elbow tucked in, wrist neutral, and shoulder down).
A. Step backward with the same foot (so your bell is opposite your front leg) until your leg reaches a 90-degree angle and your knee is hovering just a few inches off the floor.
B. Return to the starting position, twist your hips to the opposite direction from the bell while squeezing your glutes, engaging your abs, and firmly pressing the kettlebell above your head (think about bringing the bicep to your ear).
Repeat for 6-8 reps on each side.
Set-up: Stand with your feet hip-width apart with a single medium-to-heavy kettlebell on the ground in between.
A. Take a step back from the kettlebell, hinge at the hip until you're able to grab the handles of the kettlebell, and slightly pull it towards you. Your back should be flat, knees out and core engaged.
B. Externally rotate your shoulders (like you are wrapping a towel in between your armpits), lean back, and bring the kettlebell towards your hips.
C. Then thrust your hips forward as powerfully as you can to bring the kettlebell forward to your naval-chest height (avoid leaning back and keep your core tight).
D. Allow the kettlebell to swing down and back through your legs, and control the descent by keeping your core engaged.
Repeat for 10-15 reps.