Pumps & Iron

pumpsandiron.com · Sep 14, 2015

20-Minute Kettlebell Workout

Hey guys! Posting a little late in the day because I just got back from NYC. The Bloglovin’ Awards were last night, and it really was amazing being there with so many successful women, many of whom have been a huge inspiration for me throughout this whole blogging adventure. I didn’t win, but honestly didn’t expect to so you can believe me when I say I’m in no means disappointed–quite the opposite. Thank you so much to everyone at Bloglovin’ for the nomination and to all of you who voted! Hopefully there will trips to future Bloglovin’ Awards for lil’ old P&I.

I’m the worst and barely took any photos, but here’s a pic of my outfit (ignore the photobomb haha). Dress is Vivian Chan for Revolve, shoes are Schutz and hair and makeup were done compliments of the fabulous team at Caravan Stylist Studio.

Alright on to today’s workout!

I did this quick workout on a hectic workday the other week. I had a ton of blog projects to wrap up, and knew it’d be a long day at my desk without much time for anything else. To keep from going stir-crazy (and potentially developing bedsores), I told myself I’d break in the early afternoon and set aside just 30 minutes to MOVE. I warmed up with a light jog around the block so I wouldn’t go into the kettlebell work cold, and then crushed this 20-minute quickie.

I found the upper body sections really challenging with the 20lb weight—by the final round, I was slowing way down. The low body section was great for working the low back (gotta love kettlebell exercises for this!), which was much needed after all the sitting.

20-Minute Kettlebell Workout

Equipment I Used:

  • 25lb kettlebell (use whatever weight you swing)
  • 20lb kettlebell (I recommend a weight slightly lighter than what you swing)
  • Interval timer

This workout is broken up into four circuits: low body, upper body (right), low body, upper body (left). Each circuit is four and a half minutes of continuous work: three exercises, 30 seconds each, three times through. Rest in between completed circuits (not exercises or sets!) for 30 seconds.

I set my interval timer for 39 rounds of 30 sec work and 0 sec rest. This takes into account the rest between sections and will tell the timer to beep every 30 seconds, signaling you to move onto the next exercise.

Circuit 1: Low Body ( Back)

Do each exercise in the circuit for 30 seconds; go through the circuit a total of three times. Try not to rest. The goal is 4:30 minutes of continuous work.

  • Kettlebell Swings | Start with kettlebell on the floor between your legs and lift it up to starting position with both hands, flat back, using your legs to lift. With kettlebell hanging between your legs, use your arms as a pendulum, and swing the bell to chest-to-eye level by thrusting with your hips while keeping your core tight as you stand up straight. Swing back down and repeat. Your knees should remain slightly bent, but the main source of movement is hinging at the hips—not so much squatting. I use a 25-lb bell (but need to go up!).
  • Goblet Squats | Stand with your feet about shoulder-width apart with your toes angled slightly outward. Hold a kettlebell in both hands, cradling it at the base of the handle at your chest. Keeping your torso as upright as possible (you don’t want to hunch forward with the weight of the bell), squat down, trying to get your bum lower than your knees. As you bend the knees, they should track in line with the angle of the toes and not jut forward of them. Keep your elbows in tight as you squat so that they come down on the insides of your legs. Once you reach the bottom of your squat, weight in your heels, power up to standing, thrusting the hips forward slightly at the top as you squeeze those glutes.
  • Figure 8 Squat Hold | Hold a low squat (weight in your heels, chest open) and swing the kettlebell through your legs, weaving it around one leg, passing off to your other hand in the center, and then around the other leg, in a figure 8 pattern.

Circuit 2: Upper Body Core (right)

Do each exercise in the circuit for 30 seconds; go through the circuit a total of three times. Try not to rest. The goal is 4:30 minutes of continuous work.

  • Clean ‘n Press | Start standing tall with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell in one hand, arm straight, bell hanging in front of your body. Bend knees into a half squat, and bring the kettlebell from a straight-arm hanging position to being closely held by the center of your chest with arm bent, fingers facing up. It’s a smooth movement, pulling the bell straight up and flipping your grip around the handle from an overhand grip to underhand (it will be cradled in the crook of your thumb and index finger at the end). Use your legs to help you achieve the clean: push up from your feet, straightening your legs for added power as you pull the bell up, and landing softly back into that half-squat as you catch the bell in its new hand position. From there, straighten legs as you stand up and extend your hand and the bell skyward. Reverse the moves to bring yourself back to starting position. Try to keep the kettlebell towards the center of your body throughout this move. When done correctly, this isn’t just an upper-body workout, but great for your core.
  • Windmills | Start in a standing position, feet wider than hip-width apart, kettlebell pressed above head in right hand. Your right foot should be pointing forward, your left foot pointing out to the side (perpendicular to the right). Slowly bend down, keeping legs and the arm holding the kettlebell straight. Touch the ground by your left foot with your left hand, keeping the kettlebell perpendicular to the ground the whole time. Slowly rise back up to starting position. A good way to maintain proper alignment during this is to look up at the kettlebell the whole time. I used a 15-lb kettlebell for these.
  • High Pulls | Stand tall, feet about hip-width apart, with the kettlebell on the ground in front of you to one side. Squat down, weight in your heels, grabbing the kettlebell with one hand. This is your starting position. From here, power up to a standing position using your legs. As you do, pull the kettlebell straight up by your armpit, leading with the elbow. Bring the kettlebell back down to the ground softly, tapping it to the floor and going right into your next rep.

Circuit 3: Low Body ( Back)

Repeat Section 1.

Circuit 4: Upper Body Core (left)

Repeat Section 2 but on the other side.

WEARING | tank: Nation // sports bra: Fabletics // spandex: Under Armour (old but similar HERE) // sneakers: Nike

Happy sweating!

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