Monday Motivation – Five Beginner Kettlebell Movements

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If you are new to fitness or just getting into trying some new movements in the gym, today I’m going to walk you through five different kettlebell movements and how to properly perform each one! If you’ve never added kettlebells to your workout routine – you should!! Not only will you get a mix of cardio and strength when you use kettlebells, but it will help improve balance, flexibility, and working with kettlebells will burn a crap ton of calories! And all you need is one piece of equipment! I have a few kettlebells in my own home and they make workouts easy and versatile, all while in the comfort of your own living room!

If you want to get in a full body workout, kettlebells are where it’s at! Almost all kettlebell movements will incorporate your entire body. From engaging your core, to squeezing your butt, to pressing overhead – the kettlebell helps you work hard from head to toe! So before I get into each movement, check out my video below that walks you through 5 movements to add to your routine!

Russian Swings – This is one of my favorite movements that I think everyone should work on first and foremost. Russian swings (going to eye level instead of overhead) works your shoulders, back, hips, glutes, legs, core, and arms with every swing!

  • How to perform: With shoulders back and chest tall, hinge forward with your knees slightly bent bringing the kettlebell between your legs, then use the hips to drive forward in an explosive movement. Think about this movement as a hip movement instead of arm movement. You want your glutes to do the work the entire time. Your arms can stay straight or bent as long as you’re using your hips to move through the movement.
  • What to avoid:
    • Letting the shoulders move forward and back round through the movement
    • Dropping the kettlebell too low, between the knees or shins
    • Going into a squat position instead of a hinge position

Goblet Squats – After you master the russian swing, move on to the goblet squat. This squat will work your legs, glutes, back, and core.

  • How to perform: Bring the kettlebell to your chest, then place your feet hip width apart, press knees out as your set your hips back and press into your heels while keeping your chest tall. Once you get to your deepest squat position (parallel or below parallel), squeeze your glutes and press the hips forward to come to a standing position.
  • What to avoid:
    • Chest dropping as you go into a squat
    • Hips coming up first from bottom of the squat
    • Knees coming in at any time throughout the squat

Kettlebell Deadlift – The deadlift movement is a surprisingly simple yet oh so complicated movement. It works the lower back, middle back, traps, forearms, core, glutes and hamstrings.

  • How to perform: Place the kettlebell between your feet. Roll the shoulders back to keep the chest tall, engage the core and triceps, then hinge forward with a slight bend in your knee. Once you grab the kettlebell, squeeze the glutes and hamstrings to move to a standing position. Repeat the movement down, bending the knees slightly and keeping the shoulder back to lower the kettlebell to the ground.
  • What to avoid:
    • Rounding the shoulders
    • Rounding the back
    • Not engaging the core throughout

Single Arm Bent Over Row – The bent over row is a great movement to strengthen the upper back, lats, chest, and core!

  • How to perform – Place left foot forward and right foot back, in a split stance position. Bend your knees slightly, hinging at the hips and dropping the check slightly forward. Place the kettlebell next to the left foot and grab the kettlebell with the right hand. Roll the shoulder back to keep from rounding forward, then pull the kettlebell back towards the hip, pulling the shoulder blade back towards the spine. Repeat on both sides, changing the foot position as needed.
  • What to avoid:
    • Rounding the back
    • Pulling the kettlebell towards the chest
    • Jerking the kettlebell

Sumo Deadlift to High Pull – This was one of the first movements I learned in CrossFit! It works the back, legs, shoulders, arms, and core!

  • How to perform: Place a kettlebell on the ground between your feet. Roll shoulders back and hinge at the hips to grab kettlebell. Keeping the chest tall, begin moving into a standing position while pulling the kettlebell into the body, raising the elbows to a position that brings them slightly above the wrists.
  • What to avoid:
    • Rounding the back and shoulders
    • Elbows coming below the wrists

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If you would like to read the closed captioning for this video, click here! Hopefully these 5 movements get your more comfortable and confident with the kettlebell. Then you will continually be able to add new, more challenging movements as you continue on your fitness journey! Remember to start simple, master each movement, then move on to the next! You got this!

Get Yourself a Kettlebell & Get Moving!

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This post contains some affiliate links and I may be compensated, but all opinions are my own. This compensation helps with expenses to keep this blog up and running! Thank you for all your support!

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Oh, Hi! I’m Juli.

I’m a food hoarder. And a really bad dancer. If you don’t know me well, you will probably not understand my humor. Therefore, I apologize ahead of time. Thanks for listening to my ramblings of my ever-changing life and trusting my kitchen mishaps. Your trust in me is appreciated.

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6 thoughts on “Monday Motivation – Five Beginner Kettlebell Movements”

    1. 10-15# is a great starting weight and i don’t know you or your abilities so i can’t really say, but 3 sets under 10 reps is a good starting point!

  1. The form explanation is so helpful! What weight would be a recommended starting point and how many reps and sets of each?

    1. that’s really hard to say since i’ve never met you nor do i know your physical abilities. i think a 15# KB is always a great place to start and 3 sets of 10 reps or less.

  2. Love this! KBs are such a great full body workout! My hubby discovered a free app called ‘Kettlebell’ that we both put on our tablet and phones. I have now become that girl that road trips with my 10# KB, so I can make sure I have #noexcuses to workout 😉

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