Routine by Tommy Caldwell, trainer, coach and founder of Hybrid Training Corp.
Model Bunny Azzopardi | Photography by Paul Buceta
If you’re craving the kind of workout that leaves you totally spent in less than 60 minutes, we’ve got you covered. These six moves, recommended by an expert in functional training and strength conditioning, are all you need to challenge every muscle, as well as your cardiovascular fitness.
If you think you’re up for it, grab a bell and start swinging, but take our advice: some of these moves are intermediate to advanced level exercises, so if you’ve never used a kettlebell before, take a beginner-level class or hire an instructor to show you the basics, before attempting to rock this workout.
Reps: 16-20 Sets: 3-4
Set Up: Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell with two hands in front of your body, with arms extended downwards.
Action: Bend your knees slightly and push your hips back to drive the kettlebell down between your upper thighs. Use your glutes and hips to power the kettlebell up to eye level while keeping your arms straight. Maintain a positive arch in the spine throughout the movement and keep your shoulders back.
Reps: 10-12 Sets: 3-4
Set Up: Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width apart, feet turned out slightly. Hold two moderate-weight kettlebells in a racked position (as shown). Tuck your elbows into the side of your body and hold the kettlebells in front of your shoulders with palms facing.
Action: Holding the dumbbells in this position, push your hips back and squat down as low as you can while maintaining a positive arch in the lower back. Keep your elbows pointing downwards. Press through the heels and push your knees outwards so they are in line with your toes as you return to standing.
Reps: 10-12 per side Sets: 3
Set Up: Hold the kettlebell in one hand. Begin the movement as you would a basic swing by pushing your hips back slightly and bring the kettlebell down between your upper thighs.
Action: Drive through your hips to power the kettlebell upwards. Pull the kettlebell close to your body as your bring it upwards (somewhat like starting a chainsaw) to shoulder-height, then punch it straight up overhead, extending the elbow, and allowing the handle to rotate inside your palm so it flips over your fist.
Tip: Practice this exercise with a lighter weight until you get the hang of the movement.
Reps: 10 Sets: 3
Set Up: Stand holding two kettlebells in a racked position (see rack squat description).
Action: Perform a rack squat as normal. As you come back up to standing, engage your core and press both kettlebells overhead.
Reps: 10 per side Sets: 3
Set Up: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and hold a kettlebell in one hand. Swing the kettlebell down between your legs, reverse the movement, and pull it up to shoulder height. Extend the elbow and press it overhead. Turn the opposite foot out to a 45-degree angle.
Action: Keeping your extended arm locked, hinge at the hips to bring your body down towards the opposite foot (the one that is turned out), while looking up at the kettlebell. Hold this position for two counts, then use your core to bring your body back up to standing.
Set Up: Lie on your back holding the kettlebell straight up over your body in a locked position in your right hand. Bend your right leg so your foot is alongside the left knee.
Action: Push off your grounded foot to roll over onto your left hip and push yourself up onto your bent elbow (a). Bend your left leg and thread it behind you and bring yourself up onto your left hand with a straight your arm (b). Push off your hand to bring your torso upright, so you are kneeling on your left knee (c). Bring your left foot up to meet your right, as you come into a full standing position (d). Reverse the movement step by step until you are back in the starting position on your back.