There has been a fantastic movement going on in the world of fitness.
The days of endless cardio on the treadmill and machine-based exercises are becoming more and more obsolete.
To start, people are seeing better results with a more functional exercise approach.
A functional exercise approach simply refers to a style of exercise that challenges you in a way that has great carryover to everyday life and activities.
These exercises involve challenging yourself against gravity with body-weight exercises like squats, push-ups, and lunges as well as adding external weight to your movements.
Not only will changing to a more functional training approach improve your results, it's a more fun and dynamic workout.
One piece of exercise equipment that is making its way into more exercise programs and is a staple in our training program is the kettlebell (KB).
We use KBs with just about all of our members and athletes here at Dynamic Strength and Conditioning because they are so versatile.
When used correctly, they are a great tool to help you improve almost all fitness qualities like your overall movement, mobility, posture, strength, and conditioning.
In other words, they are awesome for shredding fat and building muscle!
To get you started, we've created a kick-butt, full-body KB workout just for you!
Complete the exercises below in order from 1 to 6, doing 6 reps in each exercise, and try to have little to no rest in between exercises.
Once you complete all 6 exercises, rest for 2-3 minutes, then complete the circuit 2 more times.
Not sure what weight to use? Start with a KB that is between 6-12kg or 13-26lbs.
Here are your exercises and how to complete them.
Have fun! :)
1| KB Goblet Squat
The goblet squat is a fantastic exercise to build lower-body strength and mobility as well as master your squat technique.
It is great for challenging your posture, core, quads, glutes, and hamstrings.
Holding a kettlebell or dumbbell at your chest allows you to properly brace your abs, sit back and maintain a good spine position throughout.
This is vital for keeping both your knees and low-back healthy.
Finally, improving your goblet squat will allow you progress to more challenging squat variations like the double KB or barbell squat when the time is right.
- Start with feet shoulder width and toes slightly pointed out
- Stay tall with stomach braced throughout
- Initiate movement by breaking at the knees, sitting back and pushing knees out
- Go as low as you can with no pain and good upright spine position
- Finish tall with glutes squeezed
- Hit 6 reps
2| 1/2 Kneeling 1-Arm KB Press
This exercise may seem simple but when done correctly, they are tough!
The challenge with this exercise is not just in the overhead press, but it is also in using your abs to not cheat the movement making these great for your core.
As you press the weight up, your low-back is going to want to arch and make you lean back. You must use your abs to keep your posture tall.
The 1/2 kneeling position also works your hips by simultaneously improving their flexibility and strength. This is huge for a great foundation for beginners in keeping your low-back and knees healthy.
- Start on 1 knee with legs at 90 degrees
- Dig back toe in the group and brace abs tight
- Start KB in racked position with wrist straight and KB pulled into chest
- Keeping abs braced press KB overhead. Allow for NO body movement
- Your palm should finish pointing forward with your bicep in line with your ear
- Slowly control weight back to racked starting position
- Hit 6 reps/side
4| KB Plank Pass
One of the most important areas to strengthen is your core, specifically your abs.
Strong abs are crucial for injury prevention and decreasing pain, especially at your low-back.
Your abs counteract your low-back muscles.
In most cases, low-backs aren't stiff, tired, and painful because they're weak; it is because they are overworked when the abs aren't doing their job to stabilize your spine.
Building core (especially ab) strength will go a long way in keeping your back feeling great.
Because your abs attach to the spine, pelvis and rib cage, having strong abs are not only for looks.
They are a big part of core, hip and rib cage stability as well as posture and total-body strength, helping you get more out of your workouts.
- Start in a push-up position with thumbs directly under armpits, feet shoulder width
- Keep abs braced and hips tucked under with glutes squeezed
- Keep straight line from head to heels, without letting hips sag
- Start KB behind right wrist
- Without letting hips move, grab KB with left and pull to the left
- Then use right hand to grab KB and pull right
- Hit 6 reps/side
3| 1-Arm Split-Stance KB Row
The row is one of the best exercises for both your posture and health of your shoulders.
Over time the muscles that control our shoulders and pull our posture tall and back, become long and weak.
You can thank hours and hours of sitting for this.
To counteract that, it is crucial we strengthen our upper-back muscles.
- Start with KB in right hand by side
- Take right leg back into long lunge position
- Let your chest come forward but keep chest up and shoulders back
- Keep the right leg straight and stay up on the ball of right foot
- Weight should be in left leg and foot
- Keeping body still, initiate movement by pulling shoulder blade back toward your spine and rowing KB just outside your rib
- Hit 6 reps/side
5| KB Goblet Split-Squat
Before jumping into lunges, we like to start our new members with the split-squat.
This allows beginners to most importantly slow things down.
By slowly the movement down we can work on and master proper position and technique.
This will help you build the coordination, balance, strength and mobility required to properly execute a lunge.
Your knees will thank you down the road!
This movement is also great for building strength, flexibility, and stability around your hips and thighs, which is huge for long-term fitness health and success, especially around your knees.
- Start in a long split-stance with front foot flat and back heel in the air, toe pointed forward
- Stay as tall as possible
- Initiate movement by bending knees and slowly dropping straight down
- Drop down as low as possible maintaining 90 degree angles with front and back leg
- Keep majority of weight in the front leg
- Go as low as possible with no pain and with good posture, push through front foot to come back up
- Hit 6 reps/side