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Get the ultimate beach-body with kettlebells

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Fab Fitness in 20 minutes

Are you sweating hours in the gym striving for killer abs, toned arms, and a bodacious booty? How about trading in those endless workouts and getting the body you've always wanted in merely 20 minutes? Celebrity trainer and kettlebell expert Missy Beaver says her eight-exercise kettlebell workout will get you fit in a hurry. Incorporate the following kettlebell exercises into your fitness routine and get ready to boldly strut your beach body in a bikini this summer!

Woman on the beach with Kettle Bells
Catch the kettlebell craze
and get an A-list body. Elite Nike fitness professional Missy Beaver, whose celebrity clients include Katherine Heigl and Ellen Pompeo, says results with kettlebell workouts happen fast. "After the first week you'll feel different. After the second week you'll look different. And, after the third week you'll be feeling good in that itsy-bitsy teeny-weeny bikini," she enthusiastically adds.

Kettlebells are solid black cannon balls with U-shaped handles. When lifted and used through a variety of fluid swinging moves, kettlebells target every muscle in the body. "Using the kettlebells will accelerate fat loss, while producing strength, balance, coordination, and an increased range of functional motion," says Beaver. You will get better results in less time as compared to single muscle exercises. These eight exercises are just a few of the kettlebell possibilities but Beaver claims they will give you that bikini-worthy body you've always wanted.

Beach Body Kettlebell Workout

1. SINGLE LEG DEADLIFT

Targets:Abs, thighs, hips, hamstrings, and glutes. Works your muscles and develops your balance and stability.

Stance:Place kettlebell on the floor in front of you. Position one foot directly behind the kettlebell. Raise your other foot off the floor. Pick a spot in front of you to focus on to maintain balance.

Motion:Bend front knee slightly and hinge at the waist to grab kettlebell with double overhand grip. Pressing through your heel, straighten up, bringing the kettlebell up with you. Use your raised back leg to help maintain balance. Then to reverse the move, slowly lower the kettlebell to the ground while standing on one leg, rest the kettlebell on the ground for a second.

Note: Women should use an 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 5 repetitions for each leg

2. HANDED SNATCH PULL

Targets:Hamstrings, hips, glutes, lower back, and arms.

Stance:Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, turned out at a 45-degree angle. Place kettlebell in the center of your feet.

Motion:Bend your knees, push your hips back (squat), eyes and chest up. Grab the kettlebell with both hands using an overhand grip. Push your heels through the ground to stand up. Pull kettlebell up, bending elbows, until kettlebell is at chest level. Tighten glutes as you stand.

Note: Women should use an 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 10 repetitions.

3. TWO-HANDED PUSH PRESS

Targets:Shoulders, arms, upper back, and legs. This exercise helps build shoulder strength and endurance.

Stance:Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Snatch pull kettlebell to chest level.

Motion:Bend your knees, rear back, then straighten your legs as you drive through your heels while pressing the kettlebell overhead. Lower kettlebell to your chest.

Note: Women should use an 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 10 repetitions.
Kettle Bell

4. WINDMILL

Targets:Abs, obliques, back, hips, and shoulders. This is a core exercise that also increases shoulder and hip flexibility.

Stance:Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width and extend one arm in the air. Turn both feet 45 degrees away from your extended arm. Look up at your extended arm.

Motion:Keeping your eyes on the extended arm, bend diagonally forward to touch inside of front heel with free hand. Rotate torso to keep arm locked out towards ceiling. Push with rear heel to straighten up to upright position with shoulders over your hips.

Note: Women should start this exercise with a very light weight (9-pound kettlebell) or no weight at all until you have mastered the movement. Perform 1 set or 5 repetitions each side

5. ONE-LEG SQUAT (PISTOL)

Targets:Quads, glutes, hips, hamstrings, abdominals, and back.You will need a bench, chair or your couch to perform this exercise.

Stance:Stand in front of a bench, chair, or couch and balance on one foot with your other leg positioned straight in front of you. Hold a kettlebell in both hands in front of you with your arms forward for counterbalance.

Motion:Bend your standing leg at the knee and lower until you are seated on the chair, slight pause. While you lower down, keep your other leg forward and hovering over the floor (or barely touching, if you need help balancing). Push through the heel on your standing leg to return to standing position.

Note: Women should use a 9- to 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 5 repetitions for each leg.

6. DECK SQUAT

Targets:Targets your lower body and core.

Stance:Stand with your feet hip-width apart holding a kettlebell with both hands close to your torso.

Motion:Squat down as far as you can and use the momentum continue to lower yourself to the floor and roll back on your shoulders, legs in a loose tuck. Use forward momentum to roll forward and return to the bottom of the squat position. Return to standing.

Note: Women should use a 9- to 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 5 repetitions.

7. TWO-HANDED SWING

Targets:Glutes, inner thighs, hamstrings, core muscles, back, and shoulders. This exercise also improves muscular and cardiovascular endurance.

Stance:Feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with a double overhand grip on a kettlebell.

Motion:Bend knees, squatting hips back, shoulders forward, with your eyes and chest up. Drive your heels through the ground to explode to an upright position. Push your hips forward and squeeze your glutes, thighs and abs. Keep shoulders loose and elbows locked and bring kettlebell up to shoulder height. As kettlebell begins downward swing, bend knees and hinge at the hips. Continue with the swinging motion following the kettlebell (not fighting it).

Note: Women should use an 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 10 repetitions.

8. SUITCASE DEADLIFT

Targets:Obliques and lower body.

Stance:Stand with your feet a few inches apart with a kettlebell on the ground a few inches to the side of your right foot.

Motion:Bend your knees slightly, squatting your hips back, and grab the handle of the kettlebell with your right hand. Push through your heels to stand straight up (do not bend to the right or left), tightening your legs, glutes, and core muscles.

Note:Women should use an 18-pound kettlebell. Perform 1 set of 5 repetitions for each side.

Be sure to check out Beaver's website MisFitLAfor more kettlebell information and workouts as well as her much anticipated training DVD "The Ketttlebell Revolution with Celebrity Trainer Missy Beaver" this summer. It is the perfect addition to your home gym and workout routines.

And for more beach body workouts, check out:

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