Adding a kettlebell to any workout is a surefire way to make it more intense. Case in point: This seemingly simple, six-move lower body series might look easy at first glance, but it's anything but a piece of cake. In her final week as our Trainer of the Month, Roxie Jones shows us how to amp up a lower body workout simply by bringing two kettlebells into the mix.
First things first: For this lower body kettlebell workout, you’ll want to grab one light kettlebell (ranging from five to 15 pounds) and one heavier kettlebell (ranging from 20 to 40 pounds). To determine if you’ve got the right bells before you get into the workout, make sure you can rack them correctly. “The most important thing is to do this with correct form above anything else,” says Jones. “So if you feel like your form is starting to crumble, take it down to a lower weight. That’s how we get stronger.”
Despite the fact that you’ll be holding the kettlebell with your hands, nearly all of the actual work in this workout will come from your lower body—so be sure to focus on squeezing your glutes and holding your core tight throughout every move. Follow along with Jones in the video above, and be sure to check back next week (or should we say, next year!) to meet our first trainer of the month for 2020.
The lower-body kettlebell workout that'll fire up your glutes
Kettlebell swing: Grab a heavy weight (Jones suggests 30 pounds, but if you’re new to the kettlebell game try something lighter that you’re comfortable with in order to get your form down) and hold it between your legs. This move is primarily a hip hinge, so start building momentum in your “swing” by hinging your hips backwards and pushing them forward to get a full range of motion. Start counting your reps when the top of the move is parallel to your shoulders. For more help perfecting your move, check out Jones’ full demonstration here.
Goblet squat: Hold a kettlebell (10 pounds or heavier) to your sternum, and squat down as if you’re sitting in a chair. Keep your core tight and hips pushed back until you’re parallel to the ground, then return to the top of the move.
Kettlebell deadlift: Start with a heavier kettlebell on the mat directly between your ankle bones with your toes pointing forward. Hinge forward at your hips to ensure that the move is targeting the correct muscles in your posterior chain—aka your hips, hamstrings, and lower back. Before you pick up the bell, think about squeezing your armpits in as if you’re squishing a bug, and hold the handle bar as if you’re trying to break it in half. Drive your heels into the ground and stand straight up without thrusting your hips forward. Try not to look up too much, because that will mess with the form in your neck—imagine you’re holding and orange between chin and chest. For a little extra help perfecting your form, check out Jones’ guide on how to do a kettlebell deadlift.
Split squat, left: Start on your right knee with your back toes tucked under and your left foot planted out in front of you. Place your hands on your hips, keeping the crown of your head in line with your hips, and drive off of the ground through your front heel to stand straight up. When you're ready to add weight, grab your lighter kettlebell and hold it to your chest.
Split squat, right: Repeat the same move on the other side, with your left knee behind you and right foot planted in front.
Glute bridge: Lay down on the ground. With your back flat and your heels close to your booty, push your hips upwards towards the sky and squeeze your butt at the top.
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