Upper-Body Kettlebell Interval Workout

Upper-Body Kettlebell Interval WorkoutMy last upper body workout using kettlebells was a big hit, and I got a reader request for another one so she could switch it up. Ask and you shall receive…eventually (my turnaround time with workout requests is glacial, I know).

I would consider this workout to be a little more advanced than the first upper body kettlebell routine I blogged because you’re doing dynamic movements with heavier weights (the high-pull swings and high-pull to plank rows in particular). Form will be important for injury prevention with those, so if you’re newer to working out or kettlebells, start with a lighter weight—lighter than you think you need, trust me. Practice the exercises with little-to-no weight before upping it.

Granted, I am a whiney baby when it comes to upper body workouts, but OH MAN this one killed me…

Upper Body Kettlebell Interval Workout

Equipment I Used:

Set an interval timer for 21 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. You’ll go through the following circuit of exercises three times. As you’ll notice, you work the right side completely before moving onto the left: three exercises on the right, a two-hand exercises, then the starting three exercises on the left.

Upper-Body Kettlebell Interval Workout

  • High Pull Swing RIGHT: The best way to understand this swing is to watch this YouTube video demo (@2:40). It’s essentially a basic one-arm swing, but at the top of the swing, you pull your elbow back and slightly up and then lightly punch the bell back forward towards the top of the swing arch. To break it down: 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 as you bend the elbow, pulling it back behind your body at a slight upward angel. Push the bell back out front, straightening the elbow, and swing it back down, rotating the bell so that your thumb leads the way.
  • Clean ‘n Press RIGHT: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.
  • High Pull to Plank Row RIGHT: This exercise is almost like an upper-body burpee. Start standing tall will the kettlebell placed a little in front of you on the floor to your right. Squat down, placing hands on the floor (next to the bell) and jump your feet back into a plank position. From there, holding a plank and trying not to rotate your hips, grab the kettlebell with your right hand and row it off the ground, pulling your elbow straight up towards the ceiling and slowly returning it back down. Resting the bell back on the floor, jump both feet back up towards your hands, shifting your weight into your heels so that you’re squatting next to the bell. From here, it’s time for the high pull. Grab the kettlebell with your right hand and power up to a standing position using your legs. As you do, pull the kettlebell striahgt up by your armpit, leading with the elbow. Bring the kettlebell back down to the ground softly, and as you do, place your hands on the ground next to it and jump back into your next plank, starting from the beginning.
  • Serve the Platter to Front Raise: You’ll do one serve the platter and then one front raise, flipping your grip at the bottom of each movement to transition to the next. Start holding a kettlebell in each hand at hip height, palms facing up. From there, reach your hands up and out in front of you to shoulder height. Careful not to the shrug the shoulders as you do this. Keep a soft bend in the elbow at the top, and then slowly return the bells back to hip height. Smoothly flip the bells so that your palms are now facing down gripping the top of the handles. From here, raise your hands straight up in front of you to shoulder height, keeping just a soft bend in the elbows (don’t lock your arms straight). Slowly return down to starting position, transitioning back to serve the platter.
  • High Pull Swing LEFT
  • Clean ‘n Press LEFT
  • High Pull to Plank Row LEFT

Upper-Body Kettlebell Interval Workout

WEARING | top: c/o Lucy // leggings: c/o Forever21 // sneakers: Nike

The tank I’m wearing in today’s workout is another gift from lucy (you might remember the leggings I wore a few weeks ago, also from them). Isn’t the back of this top adorable?? It’s their Perfect Core Halter (retail at $65), and cute back detailing aside, is also comfortable and functional. And the built-in bra is supportive enough that I can run/jump/cartwheel/play on trampolines without feeling like I need a sports bra underneath. :)

Alright that’s all for me today—enjoy this kettlebell killer! You all seem to love upper body workouts (personally my least favorite haha), so hopefully this will be a perfect addition to your weekly workout routine.

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Med Ball Core Workout

Med Ball Core WorkoutDisclosure: This post was sponsored by Target® C9 through their partnership with POPSUGAR Select. While I was compensated to write a post about Target® C9, all opinions are my own.

You may recall that earlier this summer I got the chance to team up with Target® to wear a couple pieces from the new Target® C9 collection in this “No Rest” Tabata Workout. Well today we’re teaming up again, this time to share some of my favorite ways to enjoy the end of summer/early fall with friends while staying active.

The weather this time of year (at least in New England) is THE BEST for taking your workouts outdoors. Some of my favorite ways to actively enjoy the changing seasons include:

Running along the Charles River

Since his hand surgery, running is one of the few exercises my boyfriend can do, so we’ve started to go for runs together around the city. With the warm—but not oppressive—weather this time of year, it’s the perfect workout (and company!).running-charles-river

Hiking at my parents’ place in Maine

My parents’ second home in Maine is on a ski mountain and a lake, so the hiking is GORGEOUS as summer turns to fall. Last time I was visiting, my brother and I went for a morning hike up one of the mountains and it was the perfect way to start the day.HIKING-IN-MAINE

Taking my favorite P&I workouts outside

I try to shoot the majority of my workout tutorials outside because of the optimal lighting, but I actually do a fair amount of them outdoors as well! Most recently, I took this Med Ball Core Workout outside. I should add, however, that while I shot it in the middle of Comm Ave with the sprinklers going off, I did it in the privacy of my old back patio area. C’mon now, I’m not that awkward… :)Med Ball Core Workout

Med Ball Core Workout

Equipment I Used:

You’ll do each of the 8 exercises for 30 seconds. Move right from one exercise to the next. Once you’ve completed them all, rest for 30 seconds, and then start right from the top. Complete 4 rounds in total. This workout will take you just under 20 minutes to complete. If you’re new to working out, you can start by completing just two or three rounds, and work your way up to four.

I set my interval timer for 35 rounds of 30 seconds of work and 0 seconds of rest. This accounts for the rest intervals and will make the timer beep at you every 30 seconds, signaling you to move onto the next exercise. You could also just watch the clock.

Med Ball Core Workout

  • Table Top Sit-Ups: Start laying on your back holding the medicine ball overhead in both hands (it should be hovering off the ground). Feet should be lifted, knees bent at about 90 degrees. From here, sit up, bringing medicine ball up overhead and in front of you, and place it carefully on your shins. Let go of it, returning to the starting position without the ball in your hands (it’s balancing on your legs still). Sit up, this time grabbing the medicine ball from your shins and bringing it back down to starting position with you. Continue to alternate: one sit-up with med ball, one sit-up sans med ball while it balances on your shins.
  • Russian Twist: Start seated, holding the med ball in both hands at your chest, feet lifted off the ground with your knees bent. Lean back slightly, core engaged, balancing on your tailbone. Twist to one side, bringing the med ball to the outer side of that hip; then repeat in the other direction. Really twist at the waist—you want your chest to be totally facing whatever side you’re bringing the ball.
  • Leg Lift Toe Touch: Lay on your back with arms stretched overhead, holding on to your medicine ball (it should be hovering a couple inches off the ground—don’t let it rest on the floor). Feet should also be hovering a couple inches off the ground; pull your belly button in towards your spine and press the low back against the ground in this position. From this starting position, lift both legs up so that toes are pointing towards the ceiling, keeping legs straight. Then bring the med ball up to meet them, crunching up as you lift the ball overhead, reaching towards your toes (it’s ok if you can’t physically touch them, just focus on lifting your shoulder blades off the ground as high as possible). Return upper body to starting position and then lower legs to starting position.
  • Plank Roll Out (RIGHT): Start in a plank position, right hand on a medicine ball, left hand on the ground. Slowly roll your right palmàwristàforearm over the top of the ball. As you reach forward like this, you’ll need to bend your left elbow, lowering the body (but still keeping strong plank form!). Reverse the motion, rolling right forearmàwristàpalm and straightening your left elbow back to starting position as you do.
  • Plank Roll Out (LEFT)
  • Sit ‘n Toss: Lay on your back with arms stretched overhead, holding on to your medicine ball (it should be hovering a couple inches off the ground—don’t let it rest on the floor). Lift the medicine ball forward as you sit up, keeping arms straight, and lift it straight above your head as your body comes into upright sitting position. Bring ball into chest and toss up into the air. Catch and slowly lower to the ground, bringing ball back overhead behind you.
  • Plank Jump Jacks: Start in a plank position with hands on the medicine ball. Jump both feet up towards the outside of the ball and then quickly back to a plank. Then jump feet out to the sides (like a horizontal jumping jack) and quickly back together. That’s one rep. When doing the “jack” part of this move, try to hold a strong plank alignment with your upper body—don’t let your butt pike up into the air or hips sag downward.
  • Boat Pose Leg Scissors: Start in boat pose holding the medicine ball at your chest. For boat pose, you balance on your tailbone, leaning back slightly, legs and upper body lifted in a “v” shape. To do this, engage your core (I think of trying to squeeze my belly button and spine together). If you’re a beginner, instead of keeping your legs straight, bend the knees (but still keep those feet lifted!). From here, you’re going to scissor your legs, one foot on top of the other, alternating back and forth. For an added challenge, scissor them up and then down (one foot on top of the other for a few scissor kicks, and then reverse the direction, one foot below the other for a few scissor kicks).

Enjoy this workout—and time of year!signature

One-Bell Kettlebell Workout

One-Bell Kettlebell WorkoutHello there, long-lost readers! Sorry for the silence on the blog lately. Last weekend, the world lost an amazing person and friend, and in the wake of such a tragic loss, blogging/work/everything has been put on hold. It was a sore reminder of how fragile life is, so take a moment today to reach out to friends and just let them know how important to you they are. 

I’ve slowly built up a decent collection of kettlebells, but I know many people don’t have the space or budget to purchase a bunch of different weights, so I wanted to put together a workout that only requires the use of just one. I’m using a 20-lb bell, but you should adjust the weight to match your fitness level.

One-Bell Kettlebell Workout

Equipment I Used:

This workout will take you 30 minutes to complete. Set an interval timer for 30 rounds of 45 seconds of work and 15 seconds of rest. You’ll go through the following circuit of exercises five times.

One-Bell Kettlebell Workout

  • One-Arm Kettlebell Swing (RIGHT): This is your basic kettlebell swing, but holding on to the bell with only one hand. 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. Swing it back down, again rotating the bell so that your thumb leads the way.
  • Weighted Curtsey Lunge (RIGHT): Start standing with kettlebell in your right hand. Step your right foot behind the left, sinking down into a lunge (on the left) as you reach the right foot as far to the side as you can. Once the left knee is bent as close to a 90-degree angle as you can get it and the kettlebell is hovering close to the ground, push through the left heel to stand back up, returning the right foot to the right side of your body.
  • One-Arm Kettlebell Swing (LEFT)
  • Weighted Curtsey Lunge (LEFT)
  • Goblet Squat Clean to Overhead Press: This is a three-part movement. Start standing with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell with both hands (it should be hanging in front of you). Squat down. Explosively come up from the squat, pulling the bell up towards your chest as you flip your grip mid-air so that hands are now at the base of the handle (versus the top). As you catch the base of the handle at chest height, sink back down into a (goblet) squat with bell held close to your chest. As you come up from that second squat, do an overhead press, lifting the bell straight up overhead as you stand up straight. Reverse the move back to starting position.
  • Russian Twist Full-Body Crunch: You’ll do a Russian Twist to each side, followed by a full-body crunch. Start seated, holding the kettlebell in both hands at your chest, feet lifted off the ground with your knees bent. Lean back slightly, core engaged, balancing on your tailbone. Twist to one side, bringing the kettlebell to the outer side of that hip; then repeat in the other direction. Really twist at the waist—you want your chest to be totally facing whatever side you’re bringing the bell. After you’ve twisted to each side, hold the bell at center and lean back, extending your legs straight out and reaching the bell in front of you. When you get to your fullest extension, crunch everything in, sitting back up, pulling the bell into your chest, and bending your knees. That’s one rep; you’ll go right back into the Russian Twists next. The pace of this move is quick: twist, twist, crunch, twist, twist, crunch.

One-Bell Kettlebell Workout

WEARING | tank: Style Stalker // leggings: Michi // sneakers: Nike // sports bra: Cory Vines

Today I’m wearing two of my current favorite pieces of clothing: a muscle tank referencing my Queen (did you see her VMA performance? Beyoncé is flawless) and Michi workout leggings with sheer mesh detailing. Michi is a splurge brand for sure—up until now, I would just drool over their leggings on Shopbop with no intent of buying. But Btone actually has small retail sections in the Boston and Sudbury studios, with the selection in the city currently being 30% off. These Michis are so incredibly comfortable and I love the trendy design—seriously can’t take them off.

Enjoy the rest of the day! Feels good to be back bloggin’! :)

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