Two areas that I’ve really been focusing on strengthening lately are my upper back/lats/shoulders and, as you already know from last week’s resistance band workout, my abductors. Regularly practicing yoga this year has made it painfully apparent that I need to improve my posture by opening up my chest and strengthening my back.
This workout definitely emphasizes those problem areas for me, but the beauty of kettlebell exercises is that the majority of them engage your entire body.
I started with an 8-minute “warm up”/pre-workout using a resistance band and then got to the higher intensity stuff.
Kettlebell Interval Workout with Resistance Band Warm Up
- Flat resistance band (light resistance)
- 25-lb kettlebell
- Gymboss Interval Timer
Quick Resistance Band Lunge Series (Warm Up)
This “warm up” is eight minutes long, so think of it as exercise before the real exercises(?). You can totally omit it and just do the HIIT Circuit if you’ve warmed up another way.
You’ll do each move for 20 seconds and move from one right to the next without rest. Go through the 4-move circuit three times. Repeat on the other side. I set my interval timer for 12 rounds of 20 sec work and 0 sec rest so that it’d beep every 20 seconds, signaling me to move onto the next exercise.
To set up, wrap one end of the resistance band around your hand and place the other end around and underneath your opposite foot. Step the banded foot forward and the other foot back so that you’re in a low lunge.
- Lawn Mowers | I can’t do this exercise without thinking of the movie Superstar. I always want to follow it up with the Sprinkler and Shopping Cart (please tell me someone else knows what I’m talking about haha). Anyway, from your starting lunge position with the band wrapped around your front foot and opposite hand, you’ll straighten your front leg as you row the band and twist your torso open. From the top, bend back into your front leg as you extend your wrapped hand back down towards your front foot, untwisting your torso and returning to the start.
- Resistance Band Rows | Hold your low lunge position and row the band back, leading with your elbow. Think about squeezing the working shoulder blade in towards your spine with each row.
- Hold the Row & Pulse | Hold your final row as far back as possible. From this high-tension point, pulse your elbow back an inch and in an inch. Keep the movement small and the tension on the band high.
- Knee Drivers in Lunge | From your lunge position, shift your weight into the front foot (primarily the heel). Staying low on that front leg, pick up your back leg and drive the knee forward and then return it to your starting lunge. Keep your weight out of that back foot—lightly tough it to the floor and then go right into your next knee drive.
Kettlebell HIIT Circuit
Set an interval timer for 20 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. You’ll go through the following circuit 4 times. If you’re short on time or a beginner, just go through the circuit 3 times (15 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest).
- High Pull (right) | Stand tall, feet about hip-width apart, with the kettlebell on the ground in front of you to one side. Squat down, weight in your heels, grabbing the kettlebell with one hand. This is your starting position. From here, power up to a standing position using your legs. As you do, pull the kettlebell straight up by your armpit, leading with the elbow. Bring the kettlebell back down to the ground softly, tapping it to the floor and going right into your next rep.
- High Pull (left)
- Kettlebell Swing Punches | This exercise just adds a punch to your standard kettlebell swing. Start with kettlebell on the floor between your legs and lift it up to starting position with both hands, flat back, using your legs to lift. With kettlebell hanging between your legs, use your arms as a pendulum, and swing the bell to chest-to-eye level by thrusting with your hips while keeping your core tight as you stand up straight. As the bell reaches the top of the swing, bend your elbows out wide to bring it in towards your chest. Immediately punch it back out and swing back down. Your knees are bent at the bottom, but keep in mind the main source of movement is hinging at the hips—not so much squatting.
- Lift ‘n Pull | Start standing, knees softly bent, abs engaged, holding the kettlebell in both hands in front of you. Pull the bell up as if you were zippering a jacket. As you lift up, pull the handle out to the sides as if you were trying to tear it in half. It’s an upward and outward force applied by your hands. Give a good squeeze at the top and then slowly lower the bell back down to starting position.
- Weighted Sumo Squat Leg Lifts | This is a wide-stand squat with alternating side leg lifts. Feet wider than hip-distance apart, squat down low. Shift your weight into the right side and, staying as low as you can (it’s natural for the right to straighten a little, but don’t come out of the bent knee all the way), lift the left leg straight up and out to the side. Lower it, bringing your weight back to center in that deep squat. Repeat to the other side. Hold the kettlebell at your chest as you do these. If it’s too heavy, ditch the bell and just use your bodyweight.
I spotlighted Alala in Friday’s athleticwear post, and am wearing the two pieces from them I own in today’s workout. Obsessed with both the top and bottom! Really high quality and everything in the line is so stylish! And the best part is, I get to offer you all a discount…
ALALA DISCOUNT CODE FOR READERS
Use the code PUMPS15 at checkout to get 15% off your oder. Happy shopping!