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Kick-butt kettlebell workout for women

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...

Full-body fitness with kettlebells

Just when you thought you knew all the kettlebell moves in the book, fitness icon Gin Miller http://ginmillerfitness.com/ is here to shake up your exercise routine. She shares one of her favorite kettlebell workouts that will not only get you fit from head to toe, it also shreds hundreds of calories and beautifully sculpts your body.
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Full-body fitness with kettlebells

Just when you thought you knew all the kettlebell moves in the book, fitness icon Gin Miller is here to shake up your exercise routine. She shares one of her favorite kettlebell workouts that will not only get you fit from head to toe, it also shreds hundreds of calories and beautifully sculpts your body.

You can do this kick-butt kettlebell workout at the gym or get one of your own kettlebells to shape up and torch calories at home. The new 3-in-1 Kettlebell ($40) from Empower Fitness is designed just for women, featuring a soft plastic shell that is easy on hands and nails. This innovative fitness tool can also be adjusted to five, eight or 12 pounds. Best yet, it comes with Gin Miller's Swing Yourself Fit DVD, which gives you three different workouts that will change your body. But you don't have to wait to get the DVD. Miller gave SheKnows a full-body kettlebell workout you can start today.

1

One-arm swing

Works legs, butt and core

One-arm swing

Start position: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulders and hold the kettlebell with one hand in front of hips, palm facing behind you.

Movement: Squat and lower kettlebell straight between the knees; keep your abs tight and chest high. Quickly straighten your legs and thrust your hips forward, creating momentum to help you swing the kettlebell up to chest height. Let the kettlebell free-fall with gravity, then quickly control it as you return to the squat.

Perform: Ten to 12 repetitions with one arm, then switch sides and repeat.

Miller's note: Try to create the swinging momentum with the hips and not by lifting with your arm.

2

Squat push

Works legs, butt and shoulders

Squat push

Start position: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Hold the kettlebell close to your chest with both hands on the sides of the handle.

Movement: Squat as you push the kettlebell straight out in front of you, arms parallel to the floor; keep your chest up and abs tight. Rise to return to the starting position.

Perform: Fifteen to 20 repetitions.

3

Goblet squat

Works legs, butt and shoulders

Goblet squat

Start position: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Hold the kettlebell with both hands on the sides of the handle and extend arms in front at chest height.

Movement: Squat as low as you can, then rise to standing; keep chest high, abs tight and arms extended parallel to floor.

Perform: Fifteen to 20 repetitions.

4

Figure 8: Front to back

Works legs, back and core

Figure 8: Front to back

Start position: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out slightly. Hold the kettlebell in one hand, slightly to the front, and keep your knees soft.

Movement: Squat halfway, keeping your chest high, abs tight and back straight. Pass the kettlebell in through your legs from front to back, to the other hand, and bring the kettlebell in front again. Repeat pass through legs and around the other leg.

One full figure eight is one rep.

Perform: Fifteen to 20 repetitions.

5

Figure 8: Back to front

Works legs, back and core

Figure 8: Back to front

Start position: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulders and hold the kettlebell in one hand.

Movement: Squat halfway, keeping your chest high, abs tight and back straight. Pass the kettlebell out to one side and behind you. Pass it through your legs from back to front to the other hand. Repeat pass around the other leg (out to the side and back).

One full figure eight is one rep. Change the side you start on each time (pass outside of right leg first on first rep and outside of left leg first on second rep).

Perform: Ten to 15 repetitions.

6

One-arm overhead squat

Works legs, butt and shoulders

One-arm overhead squat

Start position: Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell in one hand; extend your arm straight up over shoulder, palm facing forward.

Movement: Squat, keeping your arm extended straight up; keep chest high and abs tight. Rise to standing; do all reps with one arm, then switch sides and repeat.

Perform: Ten to 12 reps each side.

7

Balancing single-arm press

Works shoulders and core

Balancing single arm press

Start position: Hold the kettlebell with your right hand next to shoulder, palm facing forward and elbow out to the side. Pull your abs in and place your left hand on your hip.

Movement: Lift your right leg and bend your left knee slightly. Press the kettlebell straight up over your right shoulder, keeping abs tight. Slowly lower to the starting position, keeping your leg raised.

Do all reps on right side, then switch sides (change arms and legs) and repeat.

Perform: Ten to 12 repetitions each side.

8

Squatting halo

Works shoulders, legs and core

Squatting halo

Start position: Stand with feet slightly wider than shoulders and hold the kettlebell upside down, grasping the sides of the handle.

Movement: Extend your arms overhead and squat halfway, keeping chest high and abs tight. Make big circles overhead by moving your arms out to one side, back, around to the other side and forward. Keep your hips still and squared forward.

Perform: Ten to 12 repetitions clockwise, then do a full set counter-clockwise

Miller's note: The bigger the circles, the more challenging it is for your core.

9

Half Turkish get-up

Works core

Half Turkish get up

Start position: Lie face-up and hold the kettlebell in your right hand directly over your chest, palm facing forward. Extend your left arm out to the side on the floor and bring your right foot next to left knee.

Movement: Push the kettlebell straight up as you bring your upper body off the floor, lifting your right shoulder first, followed by the left. At the same time, push through the heel of your right foot and press your left palm into the floor to help you sit up. The goal is to sit up while keeping your right arm vertical. Sit all the way up, arm still overhead.

To return to the starting position, lower your weight onto left elbow, then onto your left shoulder blade before gently lying down on the floor. Do not lower directly from your elbow to your back, because the impact could cause you to drop the kettlebell. Take it slow; alternate sides.

Perform: Eight to 10 repetitions each side.

Miller's note: Beginners need to start with a light kettlebell until they become familiar with the movement.

10

Windmill

Works shoulders, legs and core

Windmill

Start position: Stand on your left foot and extend your right leg behind you so only your toes touch the floor. Hold the kettlebell in your right hand and extend your arm straight up over your shoulder, palm facing forward.

Movement: Bend from hips, rotating your upper body and lifting your right leg behind you. Reach your left hand toward the floor. Look up at the kettlebell and try to keep right arm straight up. Lower as far as you can or until your right leg is parallel to the floor and your arms are aligned straight up and down. Rise up, keeping your upper arm vertical.

Do all reps on one side, then switch sides and repeat.

Perform: Eight to 10 repetitions each side.

Miller's note: Beginners: This is a challenging exercise, so start with the lightest kettlebell or no weight at all until you’re comfortable with the movement.

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