In theory, I love the shirt I’m wearing in this post (adorable, right?). In practice … not so much. When I try to wear it while teaching or working out, I might as well be shirtless because the thing literally falls down every five seconds. Oh well, it’s certainly not the least practical thing I own *looks at shoe collection* …
Anyway, on to today’s workout. This is the same structure I used in yesterday’s bodyweight workout, but with kettlebell exercises. I loved this workout.
Kettlebell Superset Pyramid Workout
Equipment I Used:
- 25-lb kettlebell
- 20-lb kettlebell
Complete each superset as quickly as possible. You’ll do 10 reps of each of the two exercises, then 9 then 8, all the way down to 1 rep of each. Finish one superset before moving onto the next. Rest for 30-60 seconds in between each superset.
- Bell-to-Floor Single Leg Squat (each side) | As far as upper body goes, I want you to think “deadlift.” Lower body, think “single-leg squat/curtsey lunge.” Start standing on your right leg holding the kettlebell in both hands in front of your body. Start to squat down on your right side, sending the left leg behind you into a hover. Make sure your right knee doesn’t jut out farther than your toes by thinking about sending your hips and butt back and down. Weight should be in your right heel at the bottom of your squat. Lower until the kettlebell lightly taps the ground and then stand back up. As you do this, make sure you’re engaging your abs to avoid undue stress on the lower back.
- One-Arm Alternating Kettlebell Swings | This is your basic kettlebell swing, but holding on to the bell with only one hand and switching hands at the top. The main form difference is that your hand will rotate with the swing, as opposed to a two-hand grip where your knuckles are always facing out. Start holding the bell in your right hand, feet shoulder-width apart with a soft bend in the knees. Swing the bell back between your legs, thumb-first, leaning forward with a straight back and bending the knees a little deeper. As you explosively swing the bell forward and up, thrust the hips powerfully forward, rotating your hand so that knuckles face forward, bringing the bell up to chest-to-face height. At the top of the swing, when the bell has that quick moment of weightlessness, grab it with your other hand. Swing it back down, again rotating the bell so that your thumb leads the way. Continue, switching hands at the top of each swing.
- Goblet Squats | Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart with your toes angled slightly outward. Hold a kettlebell in both hands, cradling it at the base of the handle at your chest. Keeping your torso as upright as possible (you don’t want to hunch forward with the weight of the bell), squat down, trying to get your bum lower than your knees. As you bend the knees, they should track in line with the angle of the toes and not jut forward of them. Once you reach the bottom of your squat, weight in your heels, power up to standing, thrusting the hips forward slightly at the top as you squeeze those glutes.
- Figure 8 Squat Hold | Hold a low squat (weight in your heels, chest open) and swing the kettlebell through your legs, weaving it around one leg, passing off to your other hand in the center, and then around the other leg, in a figure 8 pattern.
- Clean ‘n Press (each side) | Start standing tall with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell in one hand, arm straight, bell hanging in front of your body. Bend knees into a half squat, and bring the kettlebell from a straight-arm hanging position to being closely held by the center of your chest with arm bent, fingers facing up. It’s a smooth movement, pulling the bell straight up and flipping your grip around the handle from an overhand grip to underhand (it will be cradled in the crook of your thumb and index finger at the end). Use your legs to help you achieve the clean: push up from your feet, straightening your legs for added power as you pull the bell up, and landing softly back into that half-squat as you catch the bell in its new hand position. From there, straighten legs as you stand up and extend your hand and the bell skyward. Reverse the moves to bring yourself back to starting position. Try to keep the kettlebell towards the center of your body throughout this move. When done correctly, this isn’t just an upper-body workout, but great for your core.
- Hopping Kettlebell Swings | This is a traditional kettlebell swing, adding in a little hop when the bell is at the top of each swing during that little moment of weightlessness when it’s switching direction. For these, I typically use a bell 5-10 lbs lighter than what I normally swing (I’m using 20lbs in this workout).
- Windmills (each side) | Start in a standing position, feet wider than hip-width apart, kettlebell pressed above head in right hand. Your right foot should be pointing forward, your left foot pointing out to the side (perpendicular to the right). Slowly bend down, keeping legs and the arm holding the kettlebell straight. Touch the ground by your left foot with your left hand, keeping the kettlebell perpendicular to the ground the whole time. Slowly rise back up to starting position. A good way to maintain proper alignment during this is to look up at the kettlebell the whole time. I used a 15-lb kettlebell for these.
- Kettlebell Swings | 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. Swing back down and repeat. Your knees should remain slightly bent, but the main source of movement is hinging at the hips—not so much squatting. I use a 25-lb bell (but need to go up!).
Alright, I’m off–got a super busy day of shooting new material for the blog! Enjoy your Tuesday!
SHOP A SIMILAR LOOK: