The Best Kettlebell Exercises to Lose the Most Calories
by Jesica Salyer, Demand Media
The key to maximizing your caloric expenditure during kettlebell exercises is to perform moves that target your upper and lower body simultaneously. Focus on doing these dual moves back-to-back so that you keep your heart rate elevated. This will boost your metabolism and shock your muscles, which is key in seeing results. According to “Fitness” magazine, you’ll burn upward of 10 calories per minute doing high intensity kettlebell exercises.
Kettlebell swings are a dynamic move that target your shoulders, quadriceps, hamstrings and glutes. Start upright, arms extended down in front of you, gripping the kettlebell with both hands. Align your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. Bend your legs and drop your butt downward so that your knees are over your toes. Drive your weight down through your heels and push your body upward. As you come up, use your shoulder muscles to swing the weight upward toward eye-level. That makes one repetition. Perform three sets of 15 repetitions to scorch calories.
Squat Jump to Shoulder Press
A squat jump into a shoulder press is an explosive move that will help you burn calories in a hurry. Similarly to a kettlebell swing, your lower back, quadriceps, glutes and shoulders are all targeted doing this exercise. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping the kettlebell and holding it at chest level. Bend at the knee and drop your butt down so that your legs form a 90-degree angle. Explode upward by pressing your weight down through your heels. As you come up, extend your arms over your head and push the weight upward. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.
Lunge with a Twist
Turn your body into a calorie burning machine with this move. Performing lunges with a twist will engaged your shoulders, biceps, obliques, hamstrings and glutes. Start upright, holding your weight at belly-button level. Take a large step forward, bend your knees and sink down so that your knee kisses the ground. Holding that position, rotate your torso and bring the weight to one side of your body. Bring the weight back to the center, push yourself upright, then repeat with the opposite leg and side of your body. Perform three sets of 16 repetitions.
Bridge with Chest Press
The bridge pose combined with a kettlebell chest press isolates your glutes, hamstrings and pectoral muscles, helping you shred calories and elevate your metabolism. Start by laying on your back with your legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Hold your weight above your chest. Press your weight down through your heels and drive your hips up so that they’re in line with your knees and shoulders. Holding this position, push your kettlebell weight up above your body. Aim to perform three sets of 15 repetitions to burn calories and fatigue your upper and lower body.
Body Sculpting Exercises Women Can Do at Home to Build Muscle
by Jesica Salyer, Demand Media
Taking your workout to a gym is not the only way to effectively build muscle as a woman. With some space and a few free weights, you can challenge and strengthen your body so that it becomes more sculpted and muscular. Remember, diet is one half of the equation in gaining muscle. Make sure you eat plenty of lean protein, vegetables, fruit and healthy fats to fuel your body properly so that it’s able to replenish itself and grow.
Though body weight exercises will allow you to strengthen your muscles, you will witness more noticeable results if you use extra weight. Having a dumbbell or kettlebell at home can mean endless possibilities for your workouts. Start with a moderate size weight — at least 15 lbs. You want this weight to challenge you, as lifting too light will not help you sculpt your body. According to “Fitness” magazine, increase the weight you lift, not the reps, to increase your strength. In addition to having weights handy, find a spacious area in your home that allows a range of movement.
Deadlift to Upright Row
Your focus should be on integrating moves that target your upper and lower body, simultaneously. An effective example of this is performing a deadlift into an upright row. Start upright with your feet shoulder-width apart, gripping your dumbbell or kettlebell with both hands. Bend forward at the waist, bending your knees slightly as you come down. Bring the weight down to the ground, then use your hamstrings to pull it back up. As you become upright, pull the weight up to your chest by elevating your elbows. These moves target your hamstrings, glutes, shoulders and back. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.
Squat to Shoulder Press
A squat into a shoulder press is a move that will help sculpt and build your quadricep, hamstring, glute, lower back and shoulder muscles. Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding your weight to your chest. Bend your knees and drop your butt down so that your knees are above your toes. Drive your weight down through your heels and push your body up. As you come up, extend your arms and push the weight upward. Maintain good form by keeping your shoulders back and chest out throughout the entire movement. Complete that sequence 15 times. Do three sets.
Lunges with a Twist
Weighted lunges are highly effective at sculpting and building your hamstrings and glutes. When combined with a twist, this move becomes a full-body exercise. Start with your weight in hand and arms extended in front of you. Take a large step forward, bend your knees and let your butt sink down. While in this tense position, rotate your torso and bring the weight to one side of your body. You should feel tightness in the top of your shoulders and your obliques. Repeat starting with your other leg, bringing the weight to the other side. Do three sets of 15 repetitions.