Written by Gareth Sapstead MSc CSCS
MYOBAND Fitness Director
Kettlebells offer endless options for home workouts that need to be time-efficient and where space is limited. You can build lean muscle and torch a ton of calories with just a single kettlebell, meaning you don’t have to break the bank to buy an entire gyms worth of equipment. Leave no stone unturned with the full body kettlebell workout you can do at home or the gym.
Get to work
For this home workout you’ll be performing three unilateral (single-sided) exercises in a kettlebell circuit, with a stand-alone exercise at the end. The whole workout should allow you to be done and dusted in 30-minutes or less.
Select a kettlebell weight that will allow you to lift it for 12-15 reps using the first exercise. Use the same kettlebell for the entire three-move kettlebell circuit (exercises 1-3). The order of exercises mean you’ll be doing your weakest exercise first and your strongest at the end. This his somewhat unconventional, but this is how we can make even the lightest of weights feel heavy to ensure you’re challenged from start to finish.
The final exercise in the workout is a Plank Plate Press. Although you’ll be working your core hard in the three-move kettlebell circuit, this advanced Plank will fire-up your core for a strong finish to your workout.
In order to do this workout then you’ll need a single kettlebell and a 3-6 inch raised step, such as an aerobics step or bottom of your staircase. For the Plank Plate Press you’ll need a small (0.5-3kg) weight, such as a weight plate or water-filled shaker bottle.
Exercise 1 — Elbows-Out 1-Arm Row
The Elbows-Out 1-Arm Row is a different angle on a traditional single-arm row. Using just one arm at a time means your core is having to work hard to resist rotation while your upper back is performing the dynamic rowing action. Rowing with your elbow out wide is harder than usual, activating more of your rhomboids, middle traps and posterior delts.
- Hinge your hips over pushing your butt back and keeping your back flat.
- Drive your arm directly out towards the side allowing your elbow to flare wide.
- Resist your hips and spine from moving as you perform a powerful row of the kettlebell.
Exercise 2 — Kettlebell Box Step-Off
Kettlebell Box Step-Off’s are somewhere between a sideways lunge and a deep squat. Doing lateral movements within your workouts are often forgotten, or at best an afterthought. By using these you’ll not only improve your movement and athleticism, you’ll give your glutes, quads and hamstrings a great workout too.
- Stand on a box or step approximately 3-6 inches off the floor with your kettlebell in the same hand as the side you’ll be stepping towards.
- Step one leg off the box in to a deep squat allowing the kettlebell to travel between your legs.
- Do not step too wide, and ensure your knees are aligned over your toes and your shoulders don’t slump forwards.
Exercise 3 — 1-Arm Kettlebell Floor Press
Floor Presses are a shoulder-friendly way to build your pecs and pressing strength. As a home workout or busy gym option then a Kettlebell Floor Press is ideal, as it just requires some free space and a kettlebell. Pressing with just one kettlebell increases the demands on your core, too. If you’re used to heavy barbell bench pressing then don’t let this exercise fool you — the 1-Arm Kettlebell Floor Press will help you gain strength in places you never knew existed.
- To get in to position, lie down on your side with your knees bent and “cuddle” the kettlebell in to your chest as you roll on to your back.
- Ensure the kettlebell is placed in a comfortable grip and wrist position for you to press. A good tip here is to wear a tennis wrist band for added comfort where the kettlebell would otherwise be in contact with your wrist or forearm.
- Keeping your feet, butt and upper back on the floor, press the kettlebell directly towards the ceiling.
Exercise 4 - Plank Plate Press
Plank Plate Presses are an advanced Plank variation. They train your ability to resist rotation and extension around your hips and spine. Not only will they light up your core, but they’ll target your shoulders and important stabilizers at the same time as well. Start much lighter than you think. Try doing these with a protein shaker bottle, adding more water to the shaker over time as a form of progression.
- Get in to a Basic Front Plank position with your feet just outside of shoulders-width apart.
- Brace your core — imagine 360 degrees of air around your spine with abs, low back and glutes contracted.
- Lift your elbow off the floor and press the weight directly horizontal and overhead.
Do 10-12 reps of each of the first three exercises as a circuit with 30-45 seconds rest between each. If you prefer not to do these as a circuit then you can also do them as standalone exercises, making your workout just that little longer. Once you’ve completed the kettlebell circuit (or exercises 1-3) for 3-sets then do 2-3 sets of the Plank Plate Press to finish.
1 - Elbows-Out 1-Arm Row 3 x 10-12 reps each side. Rest 30-45 seconds.
2 - Kettlebell Box Step-Off 3 x 10-12 reps each side. Rest 30-45 seconds.
3 - 1-Arm Floor Press 3 x 10-12 reps each side. Rest 30-45 seconds.
4 - Plank Plate Press 2-3 x 20 seconds each side. Rest 45-60 seconds.
You can do this home workout up to three times each week ideally separated by a days rest in between. Alternatively, perform it once or twice each week as a way to mix up your regular workouts, or as a time-saving routine.
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