When the pandemic began and everything was in an uproar, things were scary. No one knew what was really going on but we knew it was not good. The next thing you know, everything started to shut down…including gyms! Crazy, right?! I was having a complete come apart. Remember, I am a girl who has been in the gym in some form or fashion for the past 3 years. To have my second home close was devastating! I didn’t know what I would do. All kinds of thoughts ran through my mind but I just knew I didn’t want to gain all my weight back. I was going to have to improvise.

 A good workout was hard to come by because I was so used to the routine I had. I’m sure I’m not alone in this. Whether you were just getting into working out or if you were a gym rat like me, it hit us hard. I needed to find a way to get it! I started running through all the inspirational fitness accounts I follow on Instagram and came across an awesome total body workout. The only equipment I needed was a kettlebell! So, what exactly is a kettlebell? A kettlebell is a large, cast-iron weight with a single handle that can be used for strength training and other exercises. While there are many different equipment options available for strength training, kettlebells are unique because the handle allows for various movements and increases the range of motion during a workout. IMG 0825 website edit sm

I’ve watched, researched, and learned –now I want to share with you 4 of my favorite kettlebell exercises. Let’s go!

  1. Kettlebell Squat

This exercise works the butt, quads and hamstrings. Who does not want killer legs and glutes?! I know I do! Kettlebell squats add resistance that your body has to work against to stand up.

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly, gripping the sides of the kettlebell handle with both hands at chest height.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips and bend at your knees to move into a squat, bringing your butt level with or down past your knees.
  3. Drive through your heels to return to standing.
  1. Halos

This exercise works your core, chest, and abdominal muscles. You want to keep your pelvis tucked so that your back is not arched. Be sure to keep your core tight (as if somebody were about to punch you in the stomach). I like these because they seem amazingly simple but the next day you will know that you worked those muscles well. Trust me!

  1. Stand with your legs shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent.
  2. Grip the kettlebell by the horns, ball up and hold it at chest height.
  3. Lift the ball to eye level and slowly circle it around your head to the left.
  4. As the kettlebell goes behind your head, it should be horns up; return to a ball up position then finish one round the world, as I say.
  5. Repeat the movement in the opposite direction.
  1. Kettlebell Swings

We have all heard of the kettlebell swing. Kettlebell swings are great for the butt, legs, and lower back. Here’s a little tip –by slightly turning your feet outwards, you put more focus on your glutes. When your feet are straight forward, it puts more focus on your quads. You’re welcome!

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the top of the kettlebell.
  2. Bend your knees slightly, then hinge forward at the hips to swing the kettlebell between your legs.
  3. Drive through your heels and thrust forward through your hips to stand back up.
  4. Allow the kettlebell to swing up to chest height using the momentum from your hip thrust you (do not lift the kettlebell with your shoulders).
  5. Control the kettlebell as you repeat this motion for the desired number of reps.
  1. Sit-up to Press

Lastly, we have a workout with the kettlebell that will work your core and arms. I know! So awesome! Adding a little weight to your sit up gives your core an extra challenge and the press up, of course, works the arms.

  1. Start in a sit-up position. Lie on your back with your knee bent and feet on the floor.
  2. Hold the kettlebell with both hands at the chest, gripping the ball.
  3. When you do your sit-up, push the weight up over your head.
  4. Bring the weight back down and lower your body back to the starting position.

These are just a few of my favorite kettlebell workouts. They are easy enough for beginners but also give the more advanced people a run for their money. And don’t worry, if you don’t have a kettlebell at home it is easy to find substitutes for these exercises. Try a gallon of water, a bag of sugar, or even a sack of potatoes. There are many ways to get around not having a kettlebell to work with. Be creative! Find something that has a little weight to it and go for it!  It’s hard to tell how long all this Covid-19 stuff will be going on but we cannot let it stop us from moving our bodies and being active. When the gyms shut down, so did I for a while, but now it is time to get back up and do what I know I can do! You can do it too!

As always, people, STAY SAFE, and STAY ACTIVE!!! Be sure to check out my “My Phat Life” videos on Instagram or YouTube! if you have any questions, you can reach me at @transforming_insideNout on Instagram!

More about the author:

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Hello! Welcome to My PHAT Life. My name is Brittani and I am a senior at UAB majoring in Kinesiology, minoring in Psychology. My fitness journey started 3 ½ years ago. I was on vacation with my daughter at Universal Studios. She was so excited to be there, as was I. She wanted to ride everything, and I was so excited to ride with her. Unfortunately, that did not happen. I was too big for many of the rides, so instead of us enjoying all the rides together, she rode alone or with my wife. That was my breaking point, enough was enough! Things had to change, and they did. I took control of my life and my health. Three and a half years later, I am ready to ride ALL the rides with my daughter!