10-Minute Tuneups: Kettlebell workout
Bump up your workout to the next level by using a kettlebell. Even 10 minutes can make a difference
Get toned fast with a kettlebell workout
The kettlebell is a great piece of equipment to bump up your workout to the next level. It allows for a comfortable grip and a variety of dynamic exercises that can help you tone your muscles and develop full body strength through a wider range of motion.
Beginners should start with a five to eight-pound kettlebell, and intermediates with a 10- to 15-pound option. When you are able to get through a two-minute exercise without feeling challenged, it’s time to increase the weight. You should be able to use more weight for double-arm movements with the kettlebell than for single-arm movements such as the Single-Arm Push-Press. But don’t sacrifice form. If you begin to lose correct posture, it’s best to stop, readjust, then resume the exercise.
Just getting into fitness? Start with our lower-impact Easier Options. If you do those, gradually introduce the tougher moves until you’re no longer doing the easier option. And, as always, check with your doctor before starting a workout plan.
Let’s get started!
Warm-up: 1 minute: March briskly in place without the kettlebell, swinging arms to shoulder height.
Double-Arm Swing: 1 minute
Works: Hamstrings, glutes, abs and shoulders
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, arms hanging relaxed in front of you, and holding the kettlebell with both hands. a. Bend your knees and lower the kettlebell down between your legs. b. In one quick movement, come out of the squat by straightening legs while swinging arms forward to eye level. The kettlebell should feel weightless at the top of this movement. Repeat for one minute.
Easier option: Use a lighter-weight kettlebell.
Under-Pass Walking Lunge: 2 minutes
Works: Hamstrings, glutes, quads, abs and shoulders
Stand with feet together and hold kettlebell in right hand down by your right side. a. Step forward with your left leg into a lunge. b. With right knee close to floor, keeping posture tall, pass kettlebell under the left thigh from your right hand to your left. Push off left heel and come out of the lunge to starting position, then step forward with the right leg into lunge position. Now pass kettlebell under right thigh from left hand to right hand. Repeat for two minutes.
Easier option: Do one minute with a kettlebell and one minute without.
Stiff-Legged Dead lift: 1 minute
Works: Hamstrings and lower back
a. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold kettlebell with both hands in front of you. Keep knees slightly bent. b. Slowly bend forward from hips, while maintaining a straight spine, until you feel hamstrings stretch. Arms and kettlebell are moving forward and down. Exhale and return to starting position while pressing hips forward. Repeat for one minute.
Easier option: Repeat for 20 seconds, rest for 20 seconds, repeat for another 20 seconds.
Single-Arm Push-Press: 2 minutes
Works: Legs, glutes and shoulders
a. Stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold kettlebell in your right hand with fist close to chest, elbow bent and tucked into body. (Allow the kettlebell to rest on your forearm throughout this movement.) b. Lower body into a full squat, keeping abs tight. c. Quickly drive through heels out of the squat while simultaneously pushing the kettlebell up in the air by straightening the arm (at the top, your palm will face forward). Do for 30 seconds, then switch to left hand for 30 seconds. Repeat this sequence once more.
Easier option: Use a lighter-weight kettlebell and do a more shallow squat.
Partial Get-up: 2 minutes
Works: Abs and obliques
a. Lie on your back with kettlebell in right hand and right arm extended toward ceiling, left arm out to side. b. Contract abs, exhale and in one smooth motion push kettlebell toward ceiling while using your left arm to rise up. c. Continue to push yourself up until left arm is straightened. Lower back down to starting position. Do for 30 seconds, switch sides, then do for another 30 seconds. Repeat this sequence.
Easier option: Do right and left sides for 20 seconds each, then rest on back for 20 seconds. Repeat sequence.
Cool-down: 1 minute: For 30 seconds, walk around the room, taking deep breaths. For the remaining 30 seconds, gently stretch the major muscle groups you’ve just worked.