Unfortunately, thanks to a handful of trainers, kettle bells have become associated with cardio workouts and typically limited to 15 pounds of weight. However, the truth is kettle bells are just as great for building muscle mass as barbells and dumbbells. Here are some top kettle bell exercises for building bulk that will transform you from a nerd swing a 15-pound kettle bell into a strong and muscular athlete in no time:
The biggest problem with kettle bell workouts is most motions don’t reach into the horizontal push plane; however, the seesaw-floor press will tax your muscles through the entire range of motion.
Lying flat on your back and holding a 30-pound kettle bell in each hand, bring both weights up to a locked position over your shoulders. Lower one kettle bell, without hitting your elbow on the floor and then raise the lower kettle bell while you lower the raised one.
Reverse the motion in a controlled manner, so the two kettle bells always meet halfway through the motion, above your chest. This exercise is tougher than it sounds, but it will do amazing things for your pecs, triceps and shoulders. Perform 8 to 12 reps, rest and repeat for two more sets.
Similar to the floor press, but done while laying face down on a bench, the kettle bells pass each other at the middle of the motion. Keep the tension on your back and shoulders.
Many believe the squat is the best exercise for the legs, and it’s hard to argue against a movement that works every muscle below the waist at once. While you don’t need to be in love with the squat, the ability of the exercise for targeting not just the buttocks and gams, but you core and parts of your upper body as well is impressive. The kettle bell double-front squat improves on the standard squat considerably for building muscle mass fast.
Hold a 15-pound kettle bell in each hand and preform the exercise as you would with a pair of dumbbells, but hold the bells out in front of your body. On the downward phase of the exercise raise one kettle bell to your shoulder and hold while you raise yourself back into the starting position. Raise the other arm on the next squat, and alternate arms thereafter. Perform 8 to 12 reps, rest and repeat for two more sets.
Bend-and-Twist Squat Press
The bend-and-twist squat press requires only one kettle bell, but by adding a twisting and squatting movement you recruit muscles from your entire body. You don’t have to go crazy with this exercise, but when you’re ready to you will begin seeing amazing results in both your upper and lower body.
Hold a 30-pound kettle bell in both hands and squat down until your glutes almost touch the floor while twisting as far as you can, at the waist, in one direction. Come up out of the squat and twist as far as possible in the offset direction. Once upright lift the kettle bell above your head and then lower it back to the starting position. Perform 8 to 12 reps, rest and repeat for two more sets.