Anyone near and dear to me knows this: I love surprises. And beyond the obvious "what-girl-would-not-want-this" surprises like flowers or chocolate or pampering, what I really love are fitness and exercise surprises.
My latest and coolest surprise came last week from Kickass Kirsten, AKA Badass Foodie, AKA member of the Badass Trio. She often brings me healthy cookies and other goodies from her amazing kitchen arsenal. But this time she bought me a 10-pound kettlebell. (Badass Bertsch, also a member of the Trio, got one as well!)
In less than two weeks, the kettlebell has become my favorite new exercise toy. Maybe because it kinda reminds me of me: small, compact, but packin' a punch of feisty strength and mojo. It doesn't look like much, but it has endless possibilities. Word.
Basically, whatever you do with the dumbbell you can do with the kettlebell. But because of the handle and design, the kettlebell weight is off-center, which forces you to engage your stabilizer muscles to a greater degree. It's more work for your Badass - which is better for your Badass. Between the kettlebell and my resistance bands, I've got all I need for a living room workout in between commercials.
So as you head into the weekend, here's a Kickass Kettlebell routine to get your muscles pumped! If you don't have a kettlebell, they aren't expensive and can be found at any Sports Authority, Target or the like. Kirsten got ours at TJ Maxx on sale. Suh-weet!
Kickass Kettlebell 101
1. Kettlebell Swing: Grip the kettlebell in the right hand. Stand with feet wider than shoulder-width. Squat down as you lower the kettlebell and put it between your legs. Keep your arm straight as you thrust your hips forward and push up with your quads and glutes, swinging the kettlebell up to chest level as you come into standing position. Squat back down, repeating the motion for 15 to 20 reps. Switch the kettlebell to the left hand and repeat for 15 to 20 reps.
2. Side Shoulder Raises: Hold the kettlebell in the right hand, arm at your side. Keeping the arm straight, raise it to the side until your arm is shoulder height, parallel to the floor. Lower back down with control. Repeat for 15 to 20 reps. Switch to the left side and do 15 to 20 reps.
3. Shoulder pullup: Grip the kettlebell with both hands, your arms straight. Leading with your elbows, pull the kettlebell up until your hands reach your chin. Lower back down. Repeat for 15 to 20 reps.
4. Single-Arm Kettlebell Snatch: Grip the kettlebell in your right hand. Lower into a squat, placing the kettlebell on the ground between your legs. In one smooth movement, pull the kettlebell up in a similar motion as the shoulder pullup and then lift the kettlebell right up to the ceiling. Repeat for 15 to 20 reps, then repeat on the left side for 15 to 20 reps.
Repeat this circuit two more times, for a total of 3 sets of each exercise. Oh, and you Badasses know the drill: After each set of each exercise, do 30 seconds of high-intensity cardio: High knees running in place, mountain climbers, jump lunges, jumping jacks.
Why? Because you'll make your heart stronger, burn more calories, and burn more fat. Oh, and because THE BADASS CEO SAID JUST DO IT! I say that with lotsa Badass love!
Enjoy the weekend, and come back next week for posts on healthy pizza, a treadmill blaster routine, my new yogurt obsession, and quick tricks to make sure you feel better as you head to the beach!