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Full-Body Kettlebell Exercises

Kettlebells are roundish, cast iron weights with handles. The center of mass of a kettlebell sits outside your hand, unlike a dumbbell. This makes kettlebells great for full-body swinging exercises. As you swing the kettlebell in different movement patterns, several muscle groups work to control the swing. Start with a light kettlebell until you perfect the form.

Two-Arm Swing

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place a kettlebell on the floor between your feet in line with your heels. Push your hips back, bend your knees and grab the kettlebell with an overhand grip. Look straight ahead, not down at the kettlebell. Explosively extend your knees and hips while swinging the kettlebell in front of you until your arms are parallel to the ground. As the kettlebell swings back down, bend your knees and hips and allow the kettlebell to travel through your legs behind your knees. Repeat the movement without pausing.

Clean and Press

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and put a kettlebell between your feet. Squat by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Holding the kettlebell with your right hand, keep your back straight and look forward. Explosively extend your knees and hips. As you stand up, pull the kettlebell up your torso with your elbow to the side. Drop under the weight, pull in your elbow and catch the kettlebell at your right shoulder. Descend into a partial squat, then drive upward, pressing the kettlebell overhead and extending your legs. Lower the kettlebell to your shoulder, then back down to the floor.

Kettlebell Snatch

This is similar to a swing except you bring the kettlebell all the way overhead. Hold the kettlebell in one hand with an overhand grip. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Push your hips back, bend your knees and swing the kettlebell between your legs behind your knees. As the kettlebell reverses motion, extend your hips and knees and swing the kettlebell forward. When the kettlebell reaches about forehead level, pull your arm in slightly and punch the kettlebell overhead. Swing the kettlebell back down and repeat.

Figure 8

Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width. Set a kettlebell between your feet. Squat by pushing your hips back and bending your knees. Grab the kettlebell with both hands and pull it up to your stomach. Release your left hand. Bend your knees and drop the kettlebell between your legs with your right arm. Reach behind your body with your left arm and transfer the kettlebell to your left hand. Swing the kettlebell around to the front and transfer it back through your legs to your right hand. Repeat for several repetitions. Maintain a squat with your back straight throughout the movement.

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This article reflects the views of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the views of Jillian Michaels or JillianMichaels.com.