Training with kettlebells is a really effective way to build power and burn serious calories at the gym. That’s why fitness expert Mike Donavanik, C.S.C.S, designed this two-move, fat-burning kettlebell workout around the most classic of kettlebell exercises: the swing.
“You’re working everything from grip strength, to core strength, to your booty and backside. Not just that, but there is no ‘downtime’ during the kettlebell swing. In most exercises you have a moment when you return back to starting position that offers some type of rest,” explains Donavanik. “But during the swing, there’s no rest until you place the kettlebell down.” No time to slack off means you’ll spend more time working hard—without adding extra time on to your training session.
In addition to taxing your cardiovascular system, the kettlebell swing is amazing at strengthening your core and butt, Donavanik adds. In fact, he says this move is “hands down one of the top three exercises to build a better butt.”
Here’s How To Do The Workout:
This routine is a double ladder, so while the number of kettlebell (KB) swings decreases by five reps each round, the number of squat jumps increases by five each round. “You’re coupling two explosive, power driven exercises together,” Donavanik explains. “Any time an exercise makes you move explosively, you can bet you’re going to be burning fat.” His advice: rest as needed.
- 30 KB Swings X 10 Squat Jumps
- 25 KB Swings X 15 Squat Jumps
- 20 KB Swings X 20 Squat Jumps
- 15 KB Swings X 25 Squat Jumps
- 10 KB Swings X 30 Squat Jumps
- Take breaks as needed
Equipment Needed: No surprise here, you’ll need a kettlebell. To make sure you’re getting the most out of this fat-burning kettlebell workout you want to make sure you’re using the right weight. Donavanik says to go as heavy as you are able to while still being able to maintain proper form. “I’d recommend a 15- to 25-lbs kettlebell. You don’t want it to be too light or you won’t develop that explosive power and hip extension that is crucial to the swing,” he says.
1. Kettlebell Swing
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettlebell handle with both of your hands.
- Bend your knees and hinge at your hips to swing the kettlebell between your legs. “It’s important to realize that the swing is not a squat and there should be minimal bending at the knee,” Donavanik explains. “All the power is driven by your hips so send them back as far as you can while maintaining a flat back throughout the exercise.”
- Now stand up as you swing the kettlebell to chest height.
- The kettlebell will lift because of controlled momentum, Donavanik explains, not arm strength. So if you start to feel this move in your shoulders, it’s probably because you’re trying to “muscle” the weight up instead of letting it float. This might also be a sign that the kettlebell you’re using is too light, he adds. When it’s the right weight (AKA heavy) you have no other option than to let momentum do its thing.
2. Squat Jump
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart.
- Bend your knees and sit your butt back, keeping your chest upright.
- Jump up into the air as high as you can and straighten out your legs.
- Land back on the floor with soft knees.
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