For most people, the idea of doing kettlebell exercises for total body toning is quite far-fetched. Some fitness enthusiasts really cannot picture using a kettlebell beyond doorstop. While this may look true, it is not the total truth. In fact, research finds that people who do twenty minutes of kettlebell workout routine can get rid of about 300 calories. And that is just for starters. If you then add the overall muscle-sculpting impact, you may be in for a surprise.
For years now, kettlebell swings have been topping the trainers’ lists of must-do exercises. This is because traditional swings with the orb-shaped weights can increase your core strength by a huge 70 percent. Also, according to a published study, when you change to single-arm moves, you challenge your balance and target your abs even more. Because kettlebells weight is not equally distributed, your stabilizer muscles have to work harder.
Fitness trainers all over testify to the strength and effectiveness of using kettlebell exercises for total body toning. For instance, Kelvin Gary, owner of New York’s Body Space Fitness affirms that:
When you move a kettlebell through various planes of motion, the weight feels like it’s changing because it’s displaced from its center — unlike other tools, like a dumbbell, which has a load symmetrical to its center of mass. So while you could do moves with either tool, they feel much more challenging with a kettlebell.
For impressive kettlebell exercises for total body toning session, you will need at least 30 minutes on two or three non-consecutive days per week. Each exercise move should be performed in order. Take about 30-60 seconds to rest in between moves.
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7 Kettlebell Exercises for Total Body Toning
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1. Kettlebell Anchored Swing
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart
- Hold a kettlebell in your right hand with your arm extended down in front of your hips, and another in your left hand with arm stretched at your side
- Hinge to the front at the hips and wave the kettlebell in your right hand between your legs
- Then shove your hips forward, engage your glutes and swing your right arm up to chest height and straight out in front of you
- Keep your left arm extended at your side during the entire action
- Do 8 to 10 reps, then switch sides.
2. Kettlebell Alternating Single-Arm Clean and Press
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and grasp kettlebell with right hand in an overhand hold
- Execute a single-arm swing, hinging hips and drawing kettlebell back between legs
- Push hips forward, generating power from lower body to raise kettlebell up to shoulder height for a “clean,” bending right elbow in close to side and rotating palm in with thumb facing toward body and kettlebell rotating to back of forearm
- Allow left arm to outstretch in front of the body at shoulder height
- Extend right arm overhead in line with shoulder, turning palm away from the body as you perform a press with the kettlebell, keeping left arm outstretched at shoulder height.
- Reverse the movement and go back to starting position and repeat, switching arms on the next rep by quickly transferring the kettlebell to the left hand when raised to shoulder height
- Do 16 to 20 reps and alternate reps.
3. Windmills with Kettlebells
Here is how to do this great example of kettlebell exercises for total body toning.
- Begin with your legs wider than hip-width apart and your right toes pointing forward with your left foot turned out
- Take the kettlebell in your right hand, and extend straight above your head
- Your right arm should be extended and holding the kettlebell straight above you for the duration of the exercise
- Bend your left knee, and lean over to the left while keeping your chest open and facing forward
- Reach for the floor in front of your left foot with your left hand until your arms are in a vertical line
- Return to standing position, and lower your left arm by your side
- Do 8-10 reps and then switch sides.
4. Cross-body Kettlebell Clean
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart.
- Put a kettlebell between your feet
- Pivot on your right foot and turn your body toward the kettlebell, bending down to grab it in your right hand
- Clean the weight across your body by pushing it through your left leg and drawing the kettlebell cornerwise until it’s at chest height
- Let the kettlebell slide over your hand to your wrist as you pull it to the front of your right shoulder
- Do 8 to 10 reps, then repeat on opposite side.
5. Kettlebell Deadlift
- Stand with feet hip-width apart
- Position kettlebell on the ground between feet
- Hinge at hips while maintaining a neutral spine as hips push back and knees bend slightly to grab the handle of a kettlebell
- Engage glutes and with control, rise up to a standing position while keeping core engaged and kettlebell close to the body
- Reverse the movement and repeat 1-2 sets of 16-20 reps.
6. Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift and Row
- Begin by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and holding the kettlebell by your side with your right hand
- Shift all your weight to your left leg while bending your knee slightly
- Sweep your right leg back behind you until your foot is a couple of feet off the floor, and lean your chest forward
- Hold this position, bend your arm, and pull the weight toward your chest
- Lower your left arm back down and go back to starting position
- Repeat this movement 10 times before switching legs.
7. Kettlebell Snatch To Forward Lunge
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and Hold a kettlebell in your right hand
- Swing the kettlebell between your legs
- Then, thrust your hips forward and your swing the kettlebell to chest height
- Let the kettlebell slide over your hand to your wrist as you push it overhead
- Lunge forward with your left leg until right knee is hovering just off the ground
- Stand back up and lower the kettlebell to the starting position to complete one rep
- Do 4 to 6 reps, then repeat on opposite side