Top 10 Kettlebell Exercises for Women

Bright colored kettlebells

If you’ve ever caught yourself staring at that kettlebell at your gym and do nothing with it, you need to read this post. A kettlebell is a ball-shaped weight that comes with a U-shaped handle.

Unlike dumbbells, kettlebells’ gravity shifts depending on your movements, making kettlebell training a bit more challenging than dumbbell exercises.

But as with other things, the more difficult it is, the more fulfilling its results. Because the gravity’s center constantly shifts, a kettlebell helps to make your body more stable, particularly your shoulders and core.

So, if you’re ready to take your workouts to a whole new level, grab those kettlebells and get moving! We’ve rounded the top 10 kettlebell exercises for women that you can do at the gym or at home.

We particularly indicated which muscles are targeted for each exercise, so you know which ones to perform based on the muscle group you want to work out! Read on, and find out how to add kettlebells to your fitness journey! 

1.    Kettlebell Swing

Muscles targeted: Back, shoulders, hips, legs, glutes

Level of difficulty: Beginner

How to do Kettlebell Swings: Maintain a hip hinge position with your feet a bit wider than hip-distance. Grab the handle of a moderate-weight kettlebell with both hands.

Drive your hips back, bringing the weight between your legs. Swing the kettlebell forward while keeping your core and glutes engaged. Perform 12 to 15 reps of this swinging motion.

Fitness benefits of Kettlebell Swings: The swing targets your core, hips, hamstrings, glutes, and your upper body, making it a full body killer workout. It’s an athletic movement that allows you to safely torch calories.

2.    Single-Arm Kettlebell Swing

Muscles targeted: Back, shoulders, hips, legs, glutes

Level of difficulty: Beginner to Intermediate

How to do Single-arm Kettlebell Swing: Place a kettlebell in front of you. Stand with your feet wider than hip-distance apart. Slightly bend your knees and push your hips back, keeping a hip hinge position.

Grab the handle of the kettlebell with one hand, and swing it between your legs. Swing your free hand back when you move your kettlebell backward.

Then move it towards your chest when you swing your kettlebell forward with the other hand. Aim to do 10 to 12 reps for each arm.

Fitness benefits of Single-arm Kettlebell Swing: The Single-arm Kettlebell Swing has the same benefits as the kettlebell swing but with a few extras.

Since you’re only using one arm, it enhances your grip strength and shoulder muscle stability. It also boosts your core anti-rotational muscles.

3.    Kettlebell Deadlift

Muscles targeted: Arms, abs, back, legs, glutes

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

How to do Kettlebell Deadlift: Place a kettlebell on the floor between your feet. Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, then push your hips back.

Drop your arms and grab the kettlebell with both of your hands. Stand up while keeping your butt and core engaged. Squat down to bring the kettlebell to the ground, returning to your position before you picked it up.

Make sure that your back remains flat at all times. Perform 12 reps.

Fitness benefits of Kettlebell Deadlift: Kettlebell Deadlifts activate your large muscles, enhance your posture, and burn fats.

4.    Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift

Muscles targeted: Arms, shoulders, back, legs

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

How to do Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift: Place a kettlebell between your feet. Stand with your feet slightly wider apart than hip-distance.

Squat down with both arms extended downward between your legs. Grab the handle of the kettlebell with both hands.

Pull the kettlebell up as you stand up. Bring the kettlebell back to the ground while squatting down. Aim to perform 12 to 15 reps.

Fitness benefits of Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift: This exercise works your lower back, glutes, and hamstrings. Since you’re keeping your core engaged while performing this workout, you also strengthen and stabilize your abs.

5.    Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift

Muscles targeted: Arms, abs, back, hamstrings, glutes

Level of difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced

How to do Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift: Stand up with your feet hip-distance apart, a kettlebell in between. Push your hips back, and grab the kettlebell’s handle with both hands.

Pick it up, then stand up, keeping your shoulders and back straight. Soften your knees (but don’t squat) and push your hips back while bringing the kettlebell back to the ground. Aim to do 12 reps.

Fitness benefits of Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift: This deadlift is more challenging than the sumo deadlift because your legs are straighter.

Because of this, your mobility and dynamic flexibility are enhanced, particularly in your lower back and hamstrings.

6.    Figure 8

Muscles targeted: Arms, abs, back

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

How to do Figure 8: Hold your kettlebell and stand up with your feet wider apart than hip-distance. Grab the bell with your left hand and bend your knees into a quarter-squat position.

Swing the bell behind your right leg then grab the bell with your right hand. Stand up after grabbing the bell.

Squat down while swinging the bell forward your right leg, then swing it back to your left leg, passing the bell to your left hand.

Stand up every time you grab the bell before squatting down to repeat the movement. Perform this exercise 12 to 15 times, switching directions halfway through.

Fitness benefits of Figure 8: Many people enjoy doing Figure 8 because it’s fun and mentally stimulating. It also helps stabilize your core and torch calories. Figure 8 kettlebell exercise also enhances your coordination.

7.    Kettlebell Russian Twist

Muscles targeted: Abs, obliques

Level of difficulty: Intermediate

How to do Kettlebell Russian Twist: Sit on the floor with your knees bent. Slightly lean back to a 45-degree angle, keeping your core engaged. Hold a kettlebell with both your hands and bring it close to your chest.

Swing the kettlebell from left to right while twisting your torso and waist. You can do as many as you can. Just make sure you’re keeping the right form!

Fitness benefits of Kettlebell Russian Twist: The Kettlebell Russian Twist engages all your abdominal muscles.

It also strengthens your oblique muscles, and lower back. What’s more, this kettlebell exercise is thought to reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases like heart disease and stroke!

8.    Kettlebell Push-Up

Muscles targeted: Arms, back, chest, core

Level of difficulty: Intermediate to Advanced

How to do Kettlebell Push-ups: This kettlebell workout is simply a push-up performed with kettlebells. Grab the handle of each kettlebell in the basic start position.

Lower your body then push yourself back up. You will feel the difference between doing this exercise on the floor and with the handles! Aim to perform 10 to 15 reps.

Fitness benefits of Kettlebell Push-ups: This push-up variation challenges your core muscles, rotator cuffs, and arms since you are not holding on stable ground. As a result, your balance, static strength and power are improved.

9.    Two-Arm Kettlebell Military Press

Muscles targeted: Arms, back, shoulders

Level of difficulty: Advanced

How to do Two-Arm Kettlebell Military Press: Grab two kettlebells and clean them to your shoulders. Press the bells up, lean into them, and place them behind your head.

Bring the bells back down to your shoulders. Perform this kettlebell exercise for 10 to 20 reps.

Fitness benefits of Two-Arm Kettlebell Military Press: When it is performed correctly, it activates most of your body’s muscles.

The Two-Arm Kettlebell Military Press also enhances your overhead strength and body’s alignment, and conditions your upper body and shoulders.

10. Suitcase Lunge

Muscles targeted: Arms, glutes, quads, core

Level of difficulty: Advanced

How to do Suitcase Lunge: Stand up with your feet hip-distance apart. Hold two kettlebells by your side like a suitcase.

Perform alternating lunges while keeping your posture as upright as possible. Don’t allow your hips or torso to sway from the weight of the kettlebells. Aim to perform 12 reps.

Fitness benefits of Suitcase Lunge: The suitcase lunge is a dynamic full body exercise that strengthens your lower body most especially.

It also enhances your balance, increases your hips’ flexibility, strengthens your muscles, and sharpens your body’s coordination.

Some Key Points to Remember When Performing Kettlebell Exercises

Woman doing kettlebell exercise outdoor

Kettlebells are a great tool for strengthening your muscles and core. But you need to bear in mind some key points before adding them to your fitness routine to avoid injuries. Below are some of them:

  • If it’s your first time to use this tool, begin with a lighter kettlebell until you get used to them.

  • Refrain from using kettlebells that are designed for competition. Use the ones that have bigger handles and can fit both your hands.

  • Take time to study the various ways you can grip a kettlebell. It’s essential to know how to hold them correctly so you can avoid hurting yourself.

  • Also, take time to learn the proper form when performing kettlebell exercises.

  • Don’t rush. Progress slowly with your kettlebell workouts before moving on to heavier weights and more challenging routines.

Takeaway

Now that you know what kettlebells are for, there’s no reason to ignore them on your next trip to the gym. Kettlebells make a great workout tool for your muscles and entire body.

They make an excellent addition to your fitness journey too, so maximize them well!


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