Warm Up with Kettlebells Workout – 5 Minutes Exercises

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Kettlebells can form the basis for an entire workout regimen, but they can also be used to warm up before your regular workout. The offset weight distribution of it requires more muscle groups to contract and stabilize than if you were using a dumbbell or a barbell. The warm up routine we’ve created focuses on developing underutilized areas that are crucial to performing lifts safely, such as the core, shoulders, and glutes.

Prior to performing the kettlebell warm up, perform light cardio for your body. Cycle for 10 minutes on a stationary bike, jump rope for 50-100 reps, or walk at a steep incline on a treadmill to get your heart rate elevated. 

Warm Up Instructions

This routine requires one light to moderate weight kettlebell. We recommend women start with a 4-6 kg (9-13 lbs.) kettlebell and men start with an 8-10 kg (18-22 lbs.) of it. Perform the exercises listed below as a circuit, and repeat 1-2 times.

The beauty of this warm up routine is that it can easily be transformed into a full kettlebell workout. Simply increase the number of times you perform the circuit to three or four rounds and increase the weight you’re using by 5-10 kg. Continue to use a light weight for the arm bar movement.

Kettlebell Good Morning

  • Start by grasping either side of the kettlebell and bringing it to chest level with the weighted side up.
  • Lift it up and over your head, elbows close to the side of the head and the kettlebell resting on your upper back.
  • With a slight bend in the knees, hinge at the hips and sink the chest down to the floor. Go as low as possible while maintaining a neutral spine.
  • Drive through the heels, contract the glutes, and straighten the legs to return to the starting position.
  • Perform 10-12 reps to complete one set.

Kettlebell Side Lunge

  • Start with feet about hip width apart and a kettlebell in front of your chest in the goblet position, hands gripping either side of the handle.
  • Take a wide lateral step, then sink down into the leg that stepped laterally, keeping the other leg straight. This motion should feel like a squat on one leg; ensure that the knee of the bent leg is tracking the toe. The chest should remain as upright as possible, and the back should be flat.
  • Drive into the bent leg to step your feet back together.
  • Perform 10-12 reps per leg to complete one set.

Kettlebell Arm Bar

  • Start on your back with legs straight and one arm extended, holding a kettlebell over the shoulder. The free arm is extended upward, alongside the head.
  • Lift the leg on the side of the loaded arm and bring it across the body. The loaded shoulder will lift as you begin to rotate through the hips. Shift the kettlebell to keep it over your shoulder throughout.
  • Bring the leg to the floor and press your hips as far toward the floor as your range of motion allows. This will cause rotation in your upper back to mobilize the upper body and test shoulder stability. The head can rest on the shoulder and bicep of the free arm.
  • With control, bring the leg back over the body and come back to the starting position.
  • Perform 8-10 reps per side to complete one set.

Kettlebell Front Squat

  • Start with a kettlebell in the rack position: hand fully inserted so the handle is diagonal across the palm, elbow tucked into the body, and it resting on the forearm and bicep.
  • Sink down into a squat position, keeping the chest up and weight in the heels. The elbow can come off the body to support the weight of the kettlebell. Go as far down as your range of motion allows without tucking the tailbone under.
  • Drive into the heels and contract the glutes to fully extend the hips and come back to standing position.
  • Perform 10-12 reps to complete one set.

Kettlebell Crunch

  • Lay on your back with legs bent and feet flat on the ground. Hold a kettlebell by its horns with the base resting on your stomach.
  • Crunch up, lifting your shoulder blades off the floor. As you lift up, press the kettlebell up until your arms are fully extended.
  • Hold for 1-2 seconds before bringing your shoulder blades back to the ground and bringing the kettlebell back to your stomach. This should be one smooth, controlled movement.
  • Perform 10-12 reps to complete one set.

Although these exercises are classified as warm up drills, that doesn’t mean they are easy to perform, and you should still maintain good form. Make sure to focus on engaging your core and breathing steadily throughout the exercises.

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