Kettlebell Kings Blog

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

Kettlebell Training For Bikini Competitions

Posted by Kettlebell Kings on Oct 17, 2016 4:11:41 PM

Training for bikini competitions requires a ton of hard work and dedication. You need to stick to a strict workout plan, diet and practice your posing to meet your competitive goals. One of the problems you might run into is the same thing that most of us run into eventually with working out. You start to feel bored, overworked and unmotivated to do the same thing over and over.  Whether you are training for a bikini competition or just want to have a better figure, we believe kettlebells can help.  The best things about kettlebells is how diverse they are, you can target any muscle group and you can do so in such a way that the possibilities and combinations are endless which will always keep you challenged. Staying challenged and motivated is the key to working out long term.  With kettlebells, you can train for time, reps or both. Additionally, you can train for strength, cardio or even train in competitive lifting in which competitors compete in weight classes for rep counts.  These competitions will challenge your strength, cardio and mental focus as well as build muscles which are important for bikini competitions.  When you are done reading, you can learn more about Kettlebell Sport training here

We met Nikky Burns, of Transform Fitness, in Austin when she came to our facility to pick up a few kettlebells so she could train for The Texas Open Kettlebell Championship and pick up a few bells for her training clients.  After watching her compete and getting a chance to talk to her more about her background we thought it was really interesting to find out she is a bikini competitor as well as a Kettlebell Sport competitor.  We have written extensively about Kettlebell Sport, but had not previously spoken with someone who competed in bikini competitions and used competitive kettlebell training as a method for bikini competitions. So, as we talked more we were curious about how kettlebell training can overlap with bikini competitions and figure training in general to meet your fitness goals. We asked Nikky if she would be interested in helping us write a piece designed for those interested in competing in bikini competitions or working on their figure and she was glad to. Here we go!

By Nikky Burns:

I have always been into fitness.  It has been a part of my life ever since I started training with my older brothers while we were growing up.  In 2010 I had a mild stroke that changed my life. If it were not for my love of lifting I would not have recovered as fast, because it gave me something to work towards. I believe that having training goals can help anyone overcome physical obstacles that happen in their lives.  At the time, I was in my late 30’s and spending 2 to 4-hour days at the gym.  I had been doing Bikini competition for a year and I was hitting back-to-back-to back workouts, and stomping up the Stair Master in between in order to reach my competitive goals.  However, I felt that I needed a new way to train while I recovered. Anyone who has trained for bikini competitions can speak to the monotony of all the workouts mixed in with hours on the Stair Master. One day, my husband came home with a pink plastic Kettlebell which I still have and something finally clicked for me, fitness could be exciting, fun, and fulfilling. All I needed was a Kettlebell and some time.

LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR WEEKLY WORKOUT LIST HERE: 

 Benefits of Kettlebell training for bikini competitions:

  • target specific muscle groups like Quads, Glutes and Shoulders
  • challenge yourself with new and diverse workouts
  • build strength and cardio into one workout

Read more about kettlebell movements and specific workouts designed for bikini competitors below!

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Topics: Kettlebell Workouts, Kettlebells For Figure Competitions