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Killer Kettlebell Workout to Build a Strong Upper Body

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Killer Kettlebell Workout to Build a Strong Upper Body

If you’re getting tired of the basic weight lifting approach to building your upper body, then look no further than kettlebells. Kettlebells utilize your ability to explode with power and strength, which is an important aspect when looking to build muscle. In addition, kettlebells bring in a cardiovascular component to your workout if you perform multiple exercises without taking breaks. You can mix and match kettlebell movements, sets, and repetitions to focus in on strength or cardio. As with all weighted movements, form is key. Make sure that you have proper hip hinge technique before swinging the kettlebell so that you can make sure you are protecting your lower back throughout the exercise routine.

Kettlebell Routine

Warm up with a 5-minute jog, 50 jumping jacks, and 20 walking lunges on each leg. These dynamic movements will prime your muscles for the kettlebell burnout to come in the workout. Use a 10-15 pound kettlebell to begin. Adjust the weight accordingly based on the movement, your skill level, and desired intensity. Start slowly and pay attention to your form to avoid injury.

Clean and Press

This dynamic movement is more technical, so practice each component of the exercise before completing the fluid sequence with a kettlebell.

  • Start with feet hip-width distance apart and grab the kettlebell in a straight-arm hang with your right hand.
  • Keep the kettlebell close are you bring it into a bent-arm hang.
  • Press the kettlebell up overheard and reverse the movement to bring the kettlebell back down.
  • This counts for one repetition.
  • The key is to keep the kettlebell close to your body throughout the exercise.
  • Complete three rounds of 15 repetitions.

Two-Arm Extension Hold

  • Start with a hip-width stance and position the kettlebell out in front of you and hold it with both hands.
  • Both arms should be straight throughout the movement.
  • Hold this position for 30 seconds to one minute depending on your desired intensity.
  • Repeat the hold 3-5 times.
  • For a challenge, sit back in a squat while holding the weight out in front of you.

High Pulls

  • Begin by holding the kettlebell with both hands.
  • Keep it close to your body as you pull it up with both arms to chest height.
  • Lead with your elbows as you raise it up.
  • Make sure to keep your core tight and your head and neck in neutral alignment throughout the movement.
  • Complete three rounds of 15 repetitions.

One-arm Press

  • Grab a kettlebell with your right hand.
  • Start with the kettlebell by your side and raise it straight above your head.
  • Lower back down slowly for one repetition.
  • Complete this same movement on the left side.
  • Complete three rounds of 12 repetitions on each side.
  • For a challenge, hold the weight for 3-5 seconds at the top of each movement.

This will increase the time under tension, which will produce muscle fatigue more quickly.

Kettlebell Rack Walk

  • Grab two kettlebells and hold in each hand.
  • Keep your shoulders back and down and hold them by your sides with your arms straight.
  • Walk for a specified distance or time while holding the kettlebells.
  • Go through three rounds of the rack walk.

This is a functional movement to perform with kettlebells that also trains balance and core strength.

Kettlebell Swings

  • Start in an upright standing position and hold the kettlebell with both hands.
  • Hinge with your hips and swing the kettlebell through your legs.
  • Explode up, using your glutes, to swing your arms up to chest height.
  • Repeat this explosive movement for 3 rounds of 20 repetitions.

You can also use one kettlebell and alternate swings to isolate the muscles on each side.

 

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