by Julia Perez (@core)
Meet your new best friend for the summer, the Kettlebell. Equal parts fat burner and muscle builder; kettlebells amplify power output as they challenge and change your center of gravity, requiring your body to adapt. You’ll feel your core engaged in all movements, so proper training will lead to core strength and trunk strength.
If you’ve ever stopped into a Manhattan Fhitting Room class, there’s a great chance you’ve worked with a kettlebell in the routine. Fhitting Room believes in the power of kettlebells so much that it’s a part of their logo!
We’ve teamed up with Fhitting Room trainer, Dennys Lozada to give a step by step on 3 of the most impactful Kettlebell moves.
1. Kettlebell Clean to Squat to Overhead Press
Kettlebell starts between the arches of your feet with the handle vertical. Your feet should be hip width apart and your body is in deadlift position, which means shoulders over hips and hips stacked over knees. The kettlebell starts and ends between the arches of your feet. Maintain a relaxed grip on the kettlebell. As you stand tall, zip the kettlebell up to chest height, quickly rotating your hand inside the kettlbell, catching the bell in the rack position (which means your knuckles are under your chin, your thumb is in the center of your chest pointing towards your body). You then catch the bell in a standing power position while initiating a squat. Descend into a full squat, and push the bell overhead as you rise to standing position. As the bell comes down, receive it in the power position and return the bell to the bottom of the deadlift position. Reset and repeat the same movement on the other side.
*Dennys’ Tips: Focus on quality over quantity. I love this movement because it’s a very effective complex total body movement that combines three movements into one, making it a triplex. You are incorporating your legs, glutes, core, shoulders and back!
2. Kettlebell Figure 8
Begin the movement standing tall, with your feet hip width apart. In order to transition the kettlebell from your right hand to your left hand, you will hinge at your hips, sending the kettlebell through your legs and reaching for the left elbow of the kettlebell behind your legs with your left hand. Make sure the kettlebell does not drop lower than your knees. From there, stand up tall, aggressively driving your feet through the floor, and catch the bottom of the bell with your right hand in the rest position. Repeat this movement on the other side.
*Dennys’ Tips: Keep your back flat as you hinge at your hips, activate your glutes when standing to stabilize your lower back. Muscles activated here include the core, hamstrings, glutes and some shoulders. This should be performed as a controlled movement, not for speed.
3. Hand-To-Hand Kettlebell Swings
Start from the hike position with your feet hip width apart and your weight loaded in your hamstrings and glutes. Grab the right elbow of the bell and hike the bell backwards through your legs. Once the bell taps your glutes, stand tall aggressively by driving your hips forward and squeezing your gluten. Release the bell from your right hand when the bell reaches eye level and grab the left elbow of the bell with your left hand. The kettlebell will begin to drop, hinge at your hips sending the bell back towards your glutes. Once the bell taps your backside, stand tall, squeezing your quads and contracting your glutes, and tracking the bell with your free hand. Repeat this pattern, alternating sides.
*Dennys’ Tips: The kettlebell should always stay above your knees in this move. Ensure your eyes always follow the bell in each direction – upward and downward. You should not feel this in your lower back or your neck. Do not try to raise the bell up with your arms. This is a hip, glute and hamstring driven movement. Protect your lower back by squeezing your glutes to engage your core and stabilize your trunk. Keep your arms and shoulders relaxed.
If you’re looking for a trainer and a routine that will push you out of your comfort zone, and motivate you to hit the next level of your fitness resume, Dennys Lozada and Fhitting Room are CORE Approved. We hope that you can tackle these 3 moves, and find a rooftop just as nice to perfect them in time for the summer!
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