Kettle weights can be used for more than just burning fat and toning up. You can also get a great power workout from them and pile on muscle mass in the process. If you already have a good base, you can use the heavy kettle weights with low reps to increase your size and power. Russian strong men and Olympic weight lifters have been training with kettle weights for decades so we know they are great for body building. The kettlebell workout that you are going to do for building muscle mass will require 2 kettle weights since most of the power lifts require 2. Exercises such as:
- Turkish Get Up (Core – actually, only requires 1 kettle bell)
- Double Front Squat (Hamstrings)
- Double Swing (Quads)
- Double Military Press (Shoulders)
- Double Floor Press (Chest)
Apart from the Turkish Get Up, these are all explosive power lifts that are great for building muscle mass. I have included the Turkish Get Up on this list because it is a fantastic exercise for increasing and maintaining core strength which will be essential to perform the other power exercises correctly, effectively and safely.
The Double Swing is very similar to the normal kettle weight swing but you use 2 kettle weights at once (one in each hand obviously). Start with both kettle weights on the floor between your feet. Keeping a straight, flat back, reach down and pick them up allowing them to hang between your legs, swing the kettle weights back between your legs, then swing hard and fast forwards until they are at chest height then let them swing back down again and repeat. For best results, the movement should be continuous and explosive on the way up and controlled on the way down. The main muscle worked here is the hamstring but your calves, glutes and shoulders will get some love too.
To work the other major muscle in your legs (quadriceps) we perform the Double Front Squat. Take 2 kettle weights and clean them to your chest to reach the starting position for this exercise. Stand with your feed at about shoulder width apart or whatever feels comfortable. Pick a spot on the wall to look at that is at eye level and don’t take your eyes of it. This will help keep your back flat for the entire exercise. Slowly squat down, concentrate on sticking your backside out, head up and back flat. Squat as low as you can, pause slightly at the bottom then explode back up. I say explode back up because it is meant to be an explosive powerful exercise but you should stay in control of your body the whole time and keep good form and technique. If you lose any form, slow it down a bit until you get your form back. Safety first! This exercise works your quadriceps mainly but also works your glutes and your calves.
As you can see, these two kettle weights exercises compliment each other because they work the front (quads) and backs (hamstrings) of your legs. It is no good just doing squats and building up your quads if your hammies are not getting any workout because you will lose flexibility and will become susceptible to hamstring injury due to the imbalance. This is why we also work the shoulders AND the chest with the military press and the floor press. I will cover these two power exercises in my next post. Till then, keep lifting.