The best kettlebell workouts go back to basics.
Picking the best Russian kettlebell workout may at first seem like an impossibility. So many brilliant trainers -- Anthony DiLuglio, Lauren Brooks, Michael Skogg -- craft innovative DVD sessions to create a new, stronger you. Kettlebells guru Pavel Tsatsouline, a former Soviet Special Forces physical training instructor, also provides technique guides on how to perfect the swing, deadlift and other moves. Even with a surfeit of choice, though, you can narrow your choices to the bare essentials to find the best workout.
The Classic Moves
The best Russian kettlebell workouts, according to three-time world champ Lorna Kleidman, a New York-based trainer, are based on the original, classic moves. вЂњThe Russians discovered the benefits of the kettlebells a long time ago,вЂќ she notes. вЂњAnd the best workouts are movements like the double or single-arm swings, jerks, presses and snatch done for time.вЂќ
Intervals and Timed Sets
You can mix up these classics as you like. One option is to perform interval sets. Complete each move for one minute with each arm, with a minute of rest between moves. вЂњPerform at least six sets, depending on the weight you're using, and build on your time every week,вЂќ Kleidman suggests. You can also switch to a light weight for a long set, 12 to 14 minutes total, changing sides only once, at six or seven minutes.
Best Fat-Loss Program
In his book вЂњKettlebell Training,вЂќ leading trainer Steve Cotter puts together what he thinks are the best fat-loss and strength and endurance workouts. For beginners interested in fat loss, he advises warming up with the around-the-body pass, the halo, the deadlift, the goblet squat and joint mobility exercises. Your main session consists of single swings and single presses. Lift for 20 seconds followed by 10 seconds of rest, known as the Tabata protocol, for four sets with one minute of recovery between sets. For intermediate exercisers, he advises warming up with the single-leg deadlift, the windmill and joint-mobility exercises. The main session can be the double swing, double clean, double front squat and Russian twist.
Best Strength and Endurance Program
For beginners in strength and endurance, Cotter advises much the same menu as Kleidman: 10 reps of the single swing, single clean, single press, the snatch and the goblet squat, repeated for three rounds. For intermediate exercisers, he suggests the double clean, 10 sets of 10 reps; the one-arm jerk, five sets of 10 reps; and the double front squat, 10 sets of 10 reps.