Kettlebell Training – tailored to provide the best Home Workouts for Busy People
Kettlebell training is an amazing way of building strength, endurance and explosiveness in a really time-efficient way. In addition to all of these benefits, it can also help correct some of the most common postural problems caused by modern life.
But beyond all of that kettlebell training can be great fun, watch these videos for a sense of how dynamic kettlebells can be:
There are many types of kettlebells, videos and books out there for kettlebell training and we’ve trained with, watched and read many of them. Here are the very best of that selection.
We’re including links to Amazon from whom we earn a small commission if a purchase is made based on our endorsement. This doesn’t increase the cost of the product and helps support our work in bringing you information about fitness and health, for more details click here.
There are a number of price points available with kettlebells but you get what you pay for and poorly cast kettlebells can be frustrating and cause injury. Here’s a range we’d recommend.
The most recognizable, easy-to-learn and bang-for-your-buck kettlebell exercise is the swing. Studies have estimated that a typical swing workout will burn around 20 calories a minute, equivalent to running 6 minute miles. A great book to learn the swing from scratch, get lots of different workouts and hear an inspirational story is Tracy Reifkind’s The Swing.
In the book there’s an excellent progression which will take you seamlessly through a series of 15 workouts, none more than 30 minutes and by the time you’ve progressed to reach the final one, the strength and stamina you’ll have developed will be astounding. This series of workouts are perfect home workouts for busy people. Besides this you get to read about Tracy’s inspirational journey from a woman battling with a number of health challenges to an internationally renowned kettlebell instructor.
If you want a reference book which teaches all of the other kettlebell exercises including some quite obscure ones then Steve Cotter’s Kettlebell Training is a good choice. What we like about this book besides the sheer volume of information is the fact that Steve gives detailed tips on how to do each exercise but doesn’t belabor or unnecessarily pad the book . There are 9 excellent general workouts as well as 13 sports specific workouts. Some of the workouts are quite brief and are therefore perfect home workouts for busy people.
If you are considering becoming a kettlebell instructor or need to have very detailed coaching on the nuances of certain lifts and assessment techniques then Master the Kettlebell by Max Shank is a great choice.
Pavel Tsatsouline is often credited with the resurgence of modern kettlebell training and in our opinion, his very best book is the excellent Simple and Sinister. This book features a minimalist workout aimed at the pursuit of maximal strength to improve all fitness domains. It is beautiful in its stripped down nature and for an investment of 30 minutes a day promises amazing results. Again, 30 minutes perfectly satisfies the criteria of home workouts for busy people.
Be warned that Pavel has a very colorful style of writing, often citing martial arts or the military analogies. We don’t mind this at all but even if you do, we’d encourage you to bear with the book as the content within is certainly worth it. Below is a brief review of Simple and Sinister.
A book which is not strictly a kettlebell book but is a great training resource where the author discusses how he integrates his kettlebell training with heavy barbell work is Ageless Athlete by Jim Madden. In the book the author talks about the way he, as an older trainee, trains in a minimalist but intense fashion to achieve very impressive strength and stamina.
On the book front, a final one you may find of interest is Dan John’s The Hardstyle Kettlebell Challenge . The Hardstyle Challenge is a series of lifts, the Goblet Squat, the Swing and the Getup performed with a proscribed weight for each gender. Dan John’s fitness books are among our favorites and while this one does not have as many of his personal stories, the instruction and programming ideas are extremely varied and interesting.
One of the most respected kettlebell instructors online is Lauren Brooks whose long experience and ability to impart knowledge is an unbeatable combination. Lauren has quite a few excellent workout videos but our favorite is The Ultimate Body Sculpt and Conditioning with Kettlebells. Lauren takes the time to explain each exercise and give you enough time to complete the workouts safely. There is a 12 minute workout which can be done for as many rounds as you feel you need and a 40 minute workout when you feel ready. The 12 minutes option again could for the perfect basis for home workouts for busy people. Don’t be misled by the name either, yes you can sculpt and condition with this workout but if you want to challenge your strength then this is a fine choice too. If you cannot find this specific video of Lauren’s then we’d recommend looking at one or her many others.
To get an idea of what you can accomplish with Lauren, this video gives you a good flavor.
The second video we’d recommend is Steve Maxwell’s – 300 Kettlebell Challenge. This is not a workout for the faint-hearted, it will make serious demands of strength and endurance but if you stick with it the payoff to your fitness will be immense. As well as being one of the people credited with popularizing the kettlebell, Steve is an expert in a multitude of fitness modalities and a black belt in BJJ, so you can be sure that any program designed by him will be a challenge. Here’s a brief sample of the workout: