New exercise equipment can inject some excitement into your routine — or even help motivate you to start your fitness journey.
Kettlebells, which look like cannonballs with handles, have become a popular strength-training alternative to traditional barbells, dumbbells, and resistance machines.
Kettlebell exercises often involve several muscle groups at once, making them a highly effective way to give your arms, legs, and abs a great workout in a short amount of time. They can improve both your strength and your cardiovascular fitness.
Originally used as farm tools in Russia, kettlebells were reinvented as an exercise weight after strongmen performers used them in impressive feats of strength.
You can create a full-body workout using just kettlebells, or you can pick and choose specific kettlebell exercises to add to your strength-training regimen.
Here’s a look at 7 versatile kettlebell exercises to include in your workout. If you’ve been thinking about giving kettlebells a try, or want to learn new ways to use them, we’ll help get you up to speed.
Kettlebell weight for beginners
If you’re just getting started with strength training, or if you haven’t used kettlebells before, fitness experts suggest:
- For women: 8- to 15-pound kettlebells
- For men: 15- to 25-pound kettlebells
Using lighter kettlebells allows you to focus on learning the proper form and technique for the different exercises. You can always increase the weight once you’re comfortable with the correct form for each exercise.
Kettlebell weight for intermediate to advanced training
If you’re at an intermediate to advanced level in your strength training, fitness experts recommend:
- For women: 18-pound kettlebells
- For men: 35-pound kettlebells
Pacing your kettlebell workouts
Try to work in your kettlebell exercises 2 or 3 times each week.
Start off by aiming for 6-8 repetitions of each exercise. Once you can comfortably complete the reps, work toward adding more sets as you build strength.
Don’t forget to prep with 5-10 minutes of warmup exercises before starting your kettlebell workout.
2. Kettlebell swing
3. Kettlebell goblet squat
4. Kettlebell lunge
5. Russian twist
6. Kettlebell pushup
7. Kettlebell shoulder press