5 Unique Kettlebell Exercises
When we say “kettlebells” the first thing which comes to mind are the classic moves like swings, the snatches, clean and jerks, etc. As beneficial they are, there are other unique kettlebell exercises which provide a lot of benefits as well.
These kettlebell exercises normally come under the ‘variety’ category and often overlooked in favor of the classic lifts.
Let’s take a closer look at these lesser known exercises which can add a lot of variety and fun to your workouts.
Kettlebell Bottoms Up: Single or Double Kettlebells
This exercise poses a very unique challenge to the lifter. Here the kettlebell ends up exactly in a ‘bottoms up’ position. Unlike other exercises where the body of bell is placed below, here the body of the bell will be perched on top as you crush grip the handle of the bell to stabilize the weight.
This lift is a great test of wrist, grip and shoulder strength and stability.
You start progressing in this exercise by ‘cleaning’ the bell from the ground to the bottoms up position. If you want to throw in a little more challenge you can try pressing up the weight from the bottoms up position.
Develops strong wrists. Increase shoulder strength and stability and teaches the core to stabilize under unstable weight.
Kettlebell Windmill: Single or Double Kettlebells
Unlike the name suggest the Kettlebell Windmill doesn’t involve you swinging the bell all over the place! But it’s a rather slow and controlled movement.
A KB windmill involves you lifting the KB with one hand, your torso remaining straight but your hips and toes turned 45 degrees towards the opposite side of the arm your lifting with.
From here on push your hips out as you lower your non-working shoulder between your legs, with your non-working arm straightened below. The front leg at the knee can be slightly bend but the rear leg should be as straight as possible.
Tip: While going down, turn your head look towards the kettlebell overhead so as to be aware of the bell’s position and not lose balance. Start slow and respect your body’s flexibility and decide your range of motion.
Great hamstring specific drill. Works the core as well and improves overhead lockout and stability.
Kettlebell See-Saw Cleans: Double Kettlebells
The See-Saw Cleans is a great conditioning workout because it’s executed at a rapid pace. The lifters start out by cleaning one bell in rack and holding another bell by the thigh in the ‘Hang’ position.
From here on, as the first bell goes down in the hang position, simultaneously the other bell gets cleaned in the rack position and continues in this manner.
Tip: The cleans here done with the help of a shallow squat to get the momentum. Swing and clean is not allowed here.
This exercise, when done for time, is a great calorie burner and conditions the body very well.
Kettlebell Sots Press: Single or Double Kettlebells
Named after the famous Russian Weightlifting champion, Viktor Sots, the sots press involves you pressing the weight up from a squat positon.
You start clean the kettlebell and then sitting into a deep squat. From the squat position you have to press the kettlebell up, locking out your shoulder and elbow joint.
Throughout the movement, try to keep your torso as upright as possible and steady your core. This lift requires a tremendous amount of core stability and shoulder mobility to execute.
Builds great core stability and shoulder strength and mobility. As your legs are not being able to generate power, you end up squeezing all the muscles in your torso to propel the weight up. Start light if you are new to this, one can lift one or two bells in this exercise.
Outside the Legs Swings: Double Kettlebells
Like the name suggests, this drill involves swinging two kettlebells outside your legs, unlike the traditional swings which is done by swinging the bell between the legs.
The swing is a great variety drill targeting the hamstrings, the trapezius muscles and as well as the grip. This exercise is a great alternative for people who find it difficult to swing two kettlebells between their legs.
Tip: Like traditional swings you push your hips out when the bells are behind you and lockout when its swinging in front of you. Remember do not bend from the torso, but from hips and knees.
Works the hamstrings, traps and the posterior chain muscles.
Important Things to Remember Before You Try Unique Kettlebell Exercises
- These kettlebell exercises can serve as complimentary or even as a warm up before your main workout.
- Make sure you have some training experience before trying your hand with these newer drills.
- As always start light and don’t try to move onto heavier weights too fast.