The story of turning up to your gym and being devastated at the lack of equipment can be a very familiar one. All the dumbbells are gone, the bench covered in sweat and your favourite barbell is laying across the back of the gym floor’s loudest grunter.
Which gives you two possibilities: ditch the workout and go home or, preferably, find a piece of versatile equipment and make it your own for the best part of an hour.
That’s where the kettlebell comes into play. Packing the same weighty punch as dumbbells with half the popularity, it’s likely to be ignored while gym bros queue for the bench. In this article, we run down the best kettlebell exercises — in no particular order, mind — to burn fat, build muscle and increase fitness.
Kettlebells: An Introduction
Before we give you our most effective kettlebell workout, it’s time you got up to scratch on this versatile piece of kit. For most people, a lack of equipment in the gym introduces them to using kettlebells. Much like the humble rowing machine and versa climber, most gym bros steer clear of the cast-iron ‘bells, helping you get an effective, time-efficient workout in, without having to worry about your kit getting pinched. This and the growing popularity of sports such as CrossFit and Strongman have helped drive kettlebell training and workouts into the mainstream.
But it’s not always been this way. In the 19th century, circus strongmen used weights — original meant for weighing crops — to alter their physique, alongside training recreationally and for competition, which gradually saw kettlebell training rise in popularity.
On top of this, owing to their design, kettlebells are one of the easiest weights to move around during your workout in a short timeframe and can be stored away easily, from your car boot to your garden shed or garage. They’re adaptable to your strength and fitness levels, too. Fitness brands such as Rogue and Bulldog stock kettlebells that vary in weights and sizes — from 4kg in weight all the way up to a whopping 68kg.