Kettlebell Kings Blog

Build The Kettlebooty: Part 1

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Jun 28, 2017 12:44:54 PM

Kettlebells are incredibly versatile as workout tools. Kettlebells have been most closely associated with functional fitness and full body workouts, but when used properly you can isolate particular muscle groups and effectively focus on building them. Even some of the best full body kettlebell movements have great benefits for particular muscle groups.  Brittany van Schravendijk, who is one of the top competitive kettlebell athletes in the world, down these movements for us!

We have covered some of this in our Kettlebells For Aesthetic training series to focus on building the chest, legs, back and shoulders but in this series we will be focusing on the Gluteus Maximus. There are a number of kettlebell movements that will help you focus on building the Gluteus Maximus, which is one of the largest muscles in the body and one of the main reasons humans can stand compared to other primates. This series will cover 7 different exercises designed to help you build the perfect Kettlebooty!

We will take you through two movements to master in each post and then it all comes together in the end with a full kettlebell workout that utilizes the different movements!

 These movements are designed to:

  • focus on the Gluteus Maximus AKA Kettlebooty
  • improve your core and hip strength
  • can be used with other kettlebell movement to create a full body workout

By Brittany Van Schravendijk:

I want to preface this by saying I love what fitness influencers have done on social media - motivating millions of people to get active and start working out - and I fully support people showcasing their bodies online if they so desire. However, I do think that the majority of the population tends to set unrealistic expectations about their own bodies based on the influx of pictures showcasing fitness models with perfect bodies, including bodacious booties they claim to have built by working out.

Get More Workouts & Content Designed To Build Your Kettlebooty & More! 

First of all, if someone has a giant butt AND a thigh gap, they are probably sporting some implants. If someone trains naturally to build a large gluteus maximus, the odds are they will have some awesomely strong quads and hamstrings to boot (read: little to no thigh gap). Genetics play a role as well - you cannot follow a workout program posted by someone who was born with an amazing ass and expect to look like that person when you finish. While there is nothing wrong with wanting a nice looking kettlebooty (that’s the point of this article!), I want to remind you that growing your glutes will take time and work, and your butt is still going to look like YOUR butt, not someone else’s! Building a kettlebooty requires serious discipline and commitment, like building muscle in any other area of your body. Following a basic bodyweight workout plan or running 5 days a week is not likely to get you there - but weightlifting with progressive overload will.

Make sure to subscribe to the blog for updates by filling in your email under 'SUBSCRIBE TO EMAIL UPDATES' depending if you are viewing this on mobile (it is at the very bottom) or desktop in the right hande column.

Nutrition plays a role too! You have to eat more to gain muscle, and you have to eat healthily to avoid excess body fat. Aesthetics may be your biggest motivator for working out initially, but at some point you will realize that how you feel about how you look is affected more by what you change on the inside than what you change on the outside. In my experience, most people are more motivated by being able to do something empowering with their muscles than by simply looking good in the mirror. And trust me, being able to lift heavy things is one of the biggest empowerment exercises there is - physically and mentally!

 Read & Watch More Below!

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Topics: Kettlebell Movements, Kettlebell Workouts, Kettlebooty

New Kettlebell Workout 3-22-17

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Mar 21, 2017 1:11:40 PM

Kettlebell Kings creates high intensity kettlebell workouts designed to build strength and endurance. We believe having a new challenge each week helps break up the monotony of working out and gives you something to work towards.  We have a free workout list with over ten thousands subscribers you can subscribe to which automatically sends you a new, challenging workout each week. Below is one of our latest workouts as well as video demonstrations breaking down the movements in the workout:

 

SEE DEMONSTRATIONS OF MOVEMENTS BELOW!

We create weekly kettlebell workouts you can subscribe to in your email inbox each week! These workouts are designed to keep your workouts new, challenging and exciting each week.

 

 

 

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR WEEKLY WORKOUT LIST HERE: 

kettlebell workouts

 

Kettlebell Jump Squat

 

 

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One Arm Kettlebell Swings

 

 

 

We create weekly kettlebell workouts you can subscribe to in your email inbox each week! These workouts are designed to keep your workouts new, challenging and exciting each week.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR WEEKLY WORKOUT LIST HERE: 

kettlebell workouts

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Topics: Kettlebell Workouts

Steve Cotter Demonstrates Unlimited Kettlebell Press Variations

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Feb 13, 2017 8:54:26 PM

We are really excited to announce the beginning of our partnership with Steve Cotter & IKFF!

Kettlebell Kings and Steve Cotter are now working together to provide amazing content designed to help you get maximal use out of your kettlebell.  Steve Cotter is a dynamic force in the world of fitness, sports conditioning, and mind-body practice. A global pioneer in Kettlebell training education, Steve has personally instructed thousands of fitness professionals around the world through his International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation(IKFF), which he founded in 2008.

Photo credit: Photographer: Taco Fleur, www.cavemantraining.com

 Also, our personal favorite, Steve is on the Men's Health Magazine 'The 100 Fittest Men of All Time' list. When we started our business in 2012, we obviously were well aware of Steve and we could not be more happy to be working with him and providing him another outlet for teaching the greatness of kettlebell to the world. You can read and watch more kettlebell content by Steve Cotter through the links at the bottom of this article. 

In our first piece together, Steve will be breaking down The Kettlebell Press. The fascinating thing which Steve will demonstrate in the video below is that even using the same weighted kettlebell you can do quite a number of press variations which will increase the difficulty of the press. So, you do not need to always increase your weight, by practicing some of these you can continue to get a great workout with one kettlebell. But by all means, buy more Kettlebell Kings!

 

WATCH THE DEMONSTRATION  BELOW!

IF YOU PREFER, YOU CAN WATCH THE CLIP RATHER THAN READ!

 

KETTLEBELL PRESS VARIATIONS

Steve discusses the concept of 'progressive overload', once your body is used to certain stress you have to increase the difficulty to continue to progress. You can do this by adding weight, reps or increase speed. With kettlebells because of the unique design there are other ways to progressively overload by changing the exercise. Any movement can be made more difficult by how you hold the kettlebell. All of these movements are performed with the same weight kettlebell.

1 ) Military Press or Strict Press ( at 1:50)

Bring the bell to your chest, feet together. Press the bell upward. In this method you are strictly pressing the bell without any momentum from the rest of your body.

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2 ) The Push Press (at 2:15)

With your feet shoulder with apart, load the legs by dipping like a squat and extending the legs while you press in order to give yourself some momentum pressing the bell upward with the legs. 

3 ) The Jerk or The Jerk Press (at 2:35)

Load the legs like in the Push Press, but do an under squat and drop under the bell while pressing before standing completely up. This creates momentum with the legs and you actually get under the bell while pressing it in order to make it easier.

 

WATCH MORE BELOW!

 

4 ) The Side Press at (at 2:51)

If you are finding the kettlebell to heavy for one of the strict presses, you can utilize the side press.  Lever using your hips by pushing your hip under the bell (demonstrated) and push your body away while pressing and then straighten up under the bell after pressing.

5 ) The Bent Press ( at 3:25)

Angle your feet about 45 degrees from straight forward, turn and open your hips so that your lat muscle serves as a 'shelf' for your elbow.  As you push against the kettlebell you are actually pushing your body away, coming under the bell before standing up. 

All of these demonstrations are designed to make pressing weight easier. Read more below to find ways to make the press more difficult!

HOW DO YOU INCORPORATE THESE MOVEMENTS?

Did you know we create weekly kettlebell workouts? We have a free email list you can sign up for you receive a new kettlebell workout in your inbox every week. The workouts incorportate movements just like these ande are designed to break up the monotony of working out while increasing strength and endurance. 

Sign Up For Weekly Kettlebell Workouts

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Topics: Kettlebell Workouts, Steve Cotter, Kettlebell Technique

The Best Kettlebell Workouts For Runners

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Feb 6, 2017 9:56:28 PM

BBrittany van Schravendijk:

Kettlebell training is an effective, appropriate, and time-efficient way for runners to prevent injury and improve performance. Running causes a lot of impact on the body each time the foot strikes the ground, and long-distance running especially can wear down the muscles and joints over hundreds of miles. Strength training can help prepare the body to resist typical overuse injuries from running, which are often the result of tight and/or weak hip, gluteal, and core muscles. Even if injury is not a concern, strength training can lead to increased speed and power, as well as increased muscular endurance. Kettlebell training specifically targets the hamstrings, glutes, back, and core all at once - areas that are notorious for causing injury in runners if they are not strengthened. Sounds like kettlebells and runners were made for each other, am I right?

Below we will go over some of the best kettlebell exercises for runners. The images show the movement and the text will highlight the important parts of the movement.  For some of the movements you can click on the name to watch a full demonstration. Lastly, we have created workouts that put it all together in order to give you some kettlebell training ideas for running. 

Single Leg Deadlift - targets hamstrings and glutes and enhances unilateral stability.

    1. Start in a standing position with a kettlebell in one hand.
    2. Reach the kettlebell for the floor by hinging at your hips and lifting the leg on the same side that you are holding the kettlebell. Keep the muscles of the lifted leg engaged by squeezing the quad and flexing your foot.
    3. Ensure back is flat, standing knee is slightly bent, and hips drive back to engage the standing leg’s hamstring and glute.
    4. After you tap the kettlebell to the floor (or however far down you can go maintaining a flat back), rise back up to standing position with control.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Goblet Squat - targets hamstrings, glutes, quads, arms, and core.

  1. Place hands on either side of the kettlebell handle and hold the kettlebell in front of the chest.

Push hips back with the chest up to come into the squat position; elbows should lightly tap the inside of the knees.

Drive through the heels and squeeze butt muscles to return back to a standing position.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Swing - targets hamstrings,

 glutes, back, and core. 

    1. Start with the kettlebell about a foot in front of you and feet hip width apart.
    2. Reach forward to grab the kettlebell handle with both hands, keeping back flat and hips up.
    3. Pull the kettlebell back between the legs, maintaining hip hinge and chest up.
    4. Rapidly extend hips by squeezing butt muscles, which will cause the hips to push the arms, and thus the kettlebell, up to chest level. Keep full body tension and an active core with a sharp exhale as you extend the hips.

 

 

Side Lunge - targets hamstrings, glutes, quads, and core.

    1. Hold a kettlebell in front of you with both hands on the handle.
    2. Step sideways and bend the leg that steps out while keeping the opposite leg straight. Keep your chest up and shoulders back. Think of this movement as a squat on one leg, while stretching the other leg out straight.
    3. Drive into the bent leg to propel yourself back to the starting position.

 

 

Read on to see Kettlebell Workouts in which we put it all together for you and give you full workouts to train with on a weekly basis!

 

Row - targets back, arms, and core.

    1. Start in a lunge stance with one leg back and the same side arm grasping a kettlebell.
    2. Retract the shoulder blade and pull the kettlebell up until elbow just passes the body. Keep the elbow tight to your side throughout the movement.
    3. Release the kettlebell back down, releasing the shoulder blade at the bottom.

Get Workouts Here:

kettlebell workouts

  

Press - targets back, shoulders, and core.

    1. Start with kettlebell in the rack position.
    2. Press the kettlebell overhead, keeping elbow in line with the shoulder the entire way up. Use an exhale to create tension and engage abdominal muscles through the challenging portion of the lift.
    3. Bring the kettlebell back to rack position.

 

 

 

Turkish Sit Up to Side Plank - targets back, shoulders, arms, glutes, and core. 

    1. Start on your back with one leg straight and one leg bent, with the foot of the bent leg flat on the floor. Legs should be about 45 degrees apart. The arm on the side of the bent leg holds a kettlebell up over the shoulder, the other arm is 45 degrees out from the body with palm facing down.
    2. Roll onto the elbow of the arm on the floor, keeping the kettlebell stabilized over the shoulder.
    3. Push up onto the hand, again moving the kettlebell up slightly to stay over the shoulder. Lift hips up as high as possible, pressing the foot of the bent leg firmly into the floor (keep the other leg straight).
    4. Release hips back down to the floor. Slowly come down to the elbow, then all the way back down to the floor. Use the arm and the core for a controlled descent.

Read on to see Kettlebell Workouts in which we put it all together for you and give you full workouts to train with on a weekly basis!

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Topics: Kettlebell Workouts, Kettlebell Workouts For Running, Kettlebell Technique

New Kettlebell Workout

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Dec 31, 2016 12:08:34 PM

Kettlebell Kings creates high intensity kettlebell workouts designed to build strength and endurance. We believe having a new challenge each week helps break up the monotony of working out and gives you something to work towards.  We have a free workout list with over ten thousands subscribers you can subscribe to which automatically sends you a new, challenging workout each week. Below is one of our latest workouts as well as video demonstrations breaking down the movements in the workout:

 

Kettlebell Sots Press

 

Kettlebell Bridge Press 

 

We create weekly kettlebell workouts you can subscribe to in your email inbox each week! These workouts are designed to keep your workouts new, challenging and exciting each week.

 

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR WEEKLY WORKOUT LIST HERE: 

kettlebell workouts

Read More

Topics: Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebell Sport: 4 Week Beginner Training Program

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Dec 28, 2016 10:41:30 PM

We have posted pretty frequently breaking down the lifts involved in Kettlebell Sport. One of the most common questions we get is how to apply it.  If this is your first time hearing the term Kettlebell Sport, we have published extensively on it. You can read an intro HERE, that breaks down all the lifts. What we have created for you now is a free 4 Week Training Program for beginners in Kettlebell Sport. Our goal is always to provide the absolute best training equipment and best content to help you get maximal use out of your kettlebell and your training  so we have created this at no cost to you. 

Kettlebell Kings has collaborated with Texas Kettlebell Academy, which trains some of the top Kettlebell Sport athletes in the United States, to develop a four week training program designed to help you get started with this method of training. Texas Kettlebell Academy also hosts the annual Texas Open which is attended by top kettlebell lifters from around the world. We highly recommend you give it a look should you decide to become more involved in Kettlebell Sport, it is in our great hometown of Austin, Texas!

Kettlebell Sport has all the elements that make for a good training regimen and workout! You build strength, endurance and test your will!

The Basics of Kettlebell Sport:

  • endurance kettlebell lifting, lifters have 10 minutes to complete as many reps as possible
  • efficiency and technique are important to maintain energy throughout set
  • lifters compete in specific lifts with either one arm or two arms

The Benefits:

  1. great goals to motivate your workouts
  2. blend of strength, endurance, balance and coordination in one workout equals efficiency
  3. build amazing mental tenacity, this carries over to other aspects of life

 

 

 

We have created a 4 Week Training Program You Can Sign Up For Here: 

kettlebell workouts

How Does It Work?  

If you subscribe to our weekly workouts, we will be designing the format just like that. After you sign up, for the next four weeks you will receive an email each week which breaks down your training regimen for that week and how to apply it.  Each email will list your workout each day of the week as well as links to demonstrations about how to perform each lift correctly. We like this format because it keeps your workouts new, exciting and challenging which is important to break up the monotony of knowing what is coming each week. 

The training program is three days per week (example: M,W,F or T,TH,S), just make sure to take a rest day between days and then two days after the third day over a seven day period.

ALSO, if you have any questions you can consult directly with the experts who crafted this training throughout the four week program!

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Topics: Kettlebell Workouts, kettlebell sport, Training Methods, Training Programs

Building Your Back With Kettlebells

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Nov 23, 2016 4:58:15 PM

Build Your Lats & Upper Back With Kettlebells

You thought kettlebells were only for functional training? They are phenomenal for body building and aesthetic training as well.  You can get some incredible results with kettlebells added to your routine. When training for aesthetics you want to maximize the pump and focus on particular muscles, which you can with kettlebells, even more so than you can with dumbbells and barbells because of the mobility they allow compared to other training. 

Part Three in our collaboration with the team at Mind Pump Media is all about building the back muscles for aesthetic training.  If this is your first time reading, we previously covered leg building exercises as well as shoulders.  

Who Is Mind Pump?

The guys at Mind Pump have a really popular podcast  in which they shed truth on health, fitness and a host of other topics by providing unique perspectives about workout programs, supplements and faux science.  They are all experienced, certified professionals and are unique even in their own space because of their approach to training by incorporating tools like kettlebells into a space in which they are under utilized.

Building Your Back With Kettlebells

Everyone has seen the famous kettlebell swing.  The movement that burst onto the mainstream fitness scene within the last 15 years (though it has been around for a long time) is an awesome functional movement for building the posterior chain, building power and muscle endurance.  However, few people have thought of the swing as something to combine with other exercises as a muscle builder.  

Below is a unique super set that you can do for your back with kettlebells utilizing rows and kettlebell swings.

Kettlebell Row

  • Start with a staggered or split stance (one leg in front of the other), with the kettlebell to one side of you and hinge your hips back to get into position with a nice level back
  • start with a pronated hand grip (the back of your hand is facing foward gripping the kettlebell) in order to add some rotation, grab the kettlebell and look forward with your eyes
  • pull the kettlebell up toward using your back while rotating it in (shown below) 
  • squeeze the shoulder blade in at the top and let it down
  • utilize the rotation of the bell to work the rhomboids, the lats, and mid traps when you squeeze at the top
  • Aim for 10-15 reps and immediately switch to the close grip upright row

Yes, you can do a similar row with a dumbbell, but the difference here is how it feels and affects your back muscles because the weight is further down from your hand due to the shape which creates a longer lever when you pull upward. Just like the other movements we have shown, the key here is the center of gravity of the weight and the mobility it allows for your muscles.  Then, immediately go into the next movement, working the same side of the body. 

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Topics: Kettlebell Workouts, Training Methods, Training Programs, Kettlebells For Figure Competitions

Chest Building Kettlebell Workouts

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Nov 23, 2016 4:58:12 PM

We are excited to collaborate with the team at Mind Pump Media on a five part series to bring you some kettlebell exercises and movements designed to build your physique and muscle mass with kettlebells.  The first few posts in our series covered legs, back an shoulders. In Part 4 we will be dissecting a chest building super set with kettlebells. 

Myths

There is a misconception that kettlebells are only good for functional training and even among the lifters who use kettlebells for aesthetic training; the one muscle group most people do not think of kettlebells for is the chest. The guys at Mind Pump will show you why this is a myth because of the pec activation you can achieve with kettlebells.  

Why Train Your Chest With Kettlebells?

The movements that kettlebells allow for compared to traditional barbells or dumbbells will make you feel more of a squeeze at the top of these movements and allow you to go deeper into your press at the bottom compared to what you are used to.  You will be hitting your chest muscles in a different way then they are used to and different is the key here for building muscle, specifically more range of motion will build the entire muscle better than limited range. 

Kettlebell Bridge Press (Shown Below)

  • Lay down with your back flat on the ground and a kettlebell to each side 
  • Bring your feet up so that your knees are bent at about 45 degree angles (demonstrated)
  • Bring your hips all the way up off the ground and activate your glutes and squeeze so you have a neutral spine. This will allow you to get a lot deeper into your press
  • Your shoulders will be automatically retracted in this position as well
  • Press the kettlebells upward, keep your elbows tight, squeeze the chest at the top of the press, barely letting your elbows touch the ground
  • Aim for 10-15 reps and immediately switch to the next movement

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Topics: Kettlebell Workouts, Training Methods, Training Programs, Kettlebells For Figure Competitions

Building Your Arms With Kettlebells

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Nov 23, 2016 4:58:09 PM

Here it is, Part 5 in our our collaboration with the team at Mind Pump Media.  So far, we have brought you kettlebell movements for building your legs, back, shoulders and chest.  In this last post we will cover using kettlebells to build your arms. (insert shocked emoji).  We hope you have enjoyed our series on kettlebell exercises and movements designed to build your physique and muscle mass with kettlebells. Our goal is always to create helpful, informative and safe content for you to explore the world of kettlebells and we think using kettlebells for building muscle mass is an untapped area in our world and that of Mind Pump Media. 

This should not be that controversial, but we have a feeling it will be. It seems that the idea of building your arm muscles with kettlebells might be the thing that traditional kettlebell folks and traditional body building folks can unite on, in both not liking the idea.  Back when we first started we posted an image on Instagram of one of us curling a kettlebell and it did not go over so well and we never did it again. Hear us out, and like any post we make you do not have to do it, but our posts are designed to be informative and bring different types of training to different types of people. 

Building Biceps & Triceps With Kettlebells

If you are trying to build your arms, why would you consider kettlebells? The answer is the shape of the kettlebell, center of gravity and the way it rests on your wrist and forearms. Because of this, it causes a lot of stabilizer muscles to have to kick in and do work while you perform these movements.  Also, the center of gravity created by the kettlebell resting on your forearm at the top of the curl or tricep exercise will create more tension at the top of the movement compared to a dumbbell and really make you work throughout the movement.

Kettlebell Bicep Curls

  • With a wide stance, pick up both of the kettlebells in front of you with your palms facing outward (pronated) so that you are holding the kettlebells with the handles pointed toward each other (shown)
  • It is okay to use your hips a bit for momentum but you do want to focus on using your biceps to bring the kettlebells up
  • Curl the kettlebells while rotating on the way up so that at the top of the curl your palms are facing outward or supinated (shown)
  • Keep your arms in tight to the body 
  • Aim for 10-15 reps and immediately switch to the close grip upright row

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Topics: Kettlebell Workouts, Training Methods, Training Programs, Kettlebells For Figure Competitions

Leg Building Kettlebell Workouts

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Nov 23, 2016 2:30:14 PM

We are excited to collaborate with the team at Mind Pump Media on a five part series to bring you some kettlebell exercises and movements designed to build your physique and muscle mass with kettlebells. Our goal is always to create helpful, informative and safe content for you to explore the world of kettlebells and we think using kettlebells for building muscle mass is an untapped area in our world and theirs.  The guys at Mind Pump have a really popular podcast  in which they shed truth on health, fitness and a host of other topics by providing unique perspectives about workout programs, supplements and faux science.  They are all experienced, certified professionals and are unique even in their own space because of their approach to training by incorporating tools like kettlebells into a space in which they are under utilized. Let us get to it!

Myths

There is a misconception that kettlebells are only good for functional training. They are also really good for body building and aesthetic training. Mind Pump will show you a muscle building, pump inducing combo with a super set of front loaded kettlebell squats and back loaded kettlebell lunges. kettlebell workouts

Superset For #Legday, It's A Thing.

You can get some phenomenal results with kettlebells added to your routine. When training for aesthetics you want to maximize the pump and focus on particular muscles, which you can with kettlebells. You can use kettlebells similar to how you have used barbells and dumbbells to provide a stimulus to your muscles but you can do more by isolating those muscles in ways that you are unable to with dumbbells and barbells as well as gain mobility.  For example, Mind Pump suggests using kettlebells on front loaded squats (demonstrated below) because a lot of bodybuilders have a hard time with internal rotations of the shoulders and using kettlebells helps with the mobility because it is easier to get into the front rack position. 

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Front Loaded Kettlebell Squats

  • Using two kettlebells, start by picking up the kettlebells like a deadlift and getting into the rack position  (demonstrated below)
  • Kettlebells rest on arms, arms are tight into the body. You will feel more here in your thoracic then you do with traditional barbell front squats, also you will get a lot more quads and core in with this front squat compared to traditional back squat
  • Squat down into a deep squat and come back up, since you are training for aesthetic you will take the negative a little bit slower than you would on a power movement
  • Aim for 10-14 reps and immediately switch to the next movement

Watch the video demonstration of two kettlebell workouts for legs below!

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Topics: Kettlebell Workouts, Training Methods, Training Programs, Kettlebells For Figure Competitions