Kettlebells are Hot, and they’re becoming hotter. Introduced to the market in 2001 in the landmark book, “The Russian Kettlebell Challenge” by former Soviet Special Forces PT Instructor, Pavel Tsatsouline, kettlebells were first welcomed by “hard-living comrades” like martial artists, law enforcement officers, and military special operators.
But now everyone from “Grandma Betty” to the TV show “The Biggest Loser” contestants are in love with kettlebells, because of the dramatic results they produce in very short periods of time.
Kettlebell users report phenomenal increases in strength, flexibility and most importantly to us: Fat Loss.
So what’s the absolute best exercise for kettlebell fat loss? Here’s the short lis of the the top 5 exercises for kettlebell fat loss ranked from beginner to advanced.
1. The Kettlebell Swing (Beginner).
Set yourself up in a deadlift position. You should feel some tightness in your gluts and hamstrings. The kettlebell should be on the ground at about arm’s length in front of you.
Fold at the waist and stick your butt out and place both hands on the kettlebell handle. Hike the kettlebell between your legs high into the groin like hiking a football.
Then stand up hard and fast, swinging the kettlebell between waist and chest high in front of you. Squeeze your gluts and tighten your abs. Your arms will remain straight with your elbows locked. The kettlebell forms an extension of you arms.
The Swing comes in three forms – the 2 Hand, the 1 Hand, and the Hand-2-Hand Swing. Each one is progressively harder than the next.
No matter your choice of variation, the Swing is a great exercise for kettlebell fat loss regardless of the user. It will definitely smoke you in a jiffy!
2. The Kettlebell Snatch (Intermediate)
The start is exactly the same as the Swing, except you are using one hand only to lift the kettlebell. Hike the kettlebell behind you and in one motion lift the kettlebell overhead fixing it directly above your shoulder, so the kettlebell rests on the back of your arm. Toss it back down through your hips and between your legs again and repeat.
(Remember that ACE Study kettlebell fat loss study that proved you can burn approximately 20 calories per minute using kettlebells? They did it with this exercise…)
3. The Kettlebell Clean and Jerk (Intermediate)
Just as you would for the Swing, set up your start the same way. Chuck the kettlebell back underneath your hips and then lift (direct) it to your shoulder. This is the Clean. Your arm will be bent very similar to a bicep curl. (Use your hips to drive the kettlebell up – the arm just guides it.) The kettlebell will rest on the back of your your rest and on the outside of your shoulder.
From there, use your legs to drive/push the kettlebell overhead. At the last possible instant, before your arm is straight, drop under the weight with a little knee bend – like a mini-squat and simultaneously lock your arm overhead. This is the Jerk. Lower the kettlebell back down to the shoulder and re-clean the kettlebell for your next rep.
The Clean and Jerk works every muscle in your body. Every. Single. Muscle. (Including your heart.
4. The Kettlebell Front Squat and Jerk (Intermediate)
Clean the kettlebell to the shoulder. Squat as low as you can, preferably all the way down while keeping your lower back flat (No rounding!) Then stand back up. Now jerk the kettlebell over your head. Lower the kettlebell back to the shoulder. Squat again. Jerk again. Repeat. Again. And again.
If the Clean and Jerk works every muscle in the body, then the Front Squat works every muscle nearly to death and then pours salt in the wounds. This is a seriously challenging exercise! Your heart rate will be so high after this one, you’ll never even think about traditional “cardio” again!
5. The Double Kettlebell Clean and Jerk (Advanced)
This is performed just like the Clean and Jerk, except you are using two kettlebells. Except you’ll need to take a wider stance at the start to accommodate the size of two kettlebells. Twice as hard. Twice as fun. (Incidentally, if you asked my what the ABSOLUTE best kettlebell fat loss exercise is/was – this one’s on the short list.)
6. The Double Kettlebell Front Squat and Jerk (Advanced)
(I know, I know I said five, but I thought I’d toss in a bonus one in for good measure!)
This is just like the Front Squat and Jerk, but using two kettlebells. It’s set up exactly the same way as the Double Clean and Jerk and almost as “fun.” Pure evil. In a good way.
Now why do you think these six exercises are so darn good for kettlebell fat loss?
Because the demand for energy is so great, that your body must burn stored calories (stored body fat) and burn a lot of them!
How do you get started with kettlebell fat loss exercises?
Easy – right at the beginning.
Start with the Swing, and progress through these six exercises. I know you’ll agree that these truly are the best kettlebell fat loss exercises when you start seeing the fat melt off your body!