Three More Challenging Kettlebell Exercises

In the first installment of the series we went over three of some of the more challenging kettlebell exercises we like to use at the gym including: the double kettlebell thruster, the kettlebell burpee and the figure 8 swing.

With so much exercise versatility potential the kettlebells have to offer, I have a few more challenging kettlebell exercises that you can add into your training and conditioning circuits.

Double Kettlebell Lunges

Lunges are tough and, for that reason, are one of my least favorite exercises that I do but don’t enjoy.  The double kettlebell version adds another layer of difficulty as the kettlebells are in the racked position.

Core integrity is essential to keep you upright.  The double kettlebell lunge position challenges the core as the kettlebells want to pull your torso forward and side-to-side.  Another challenging aspect of this exercise due to the bell position is the breathing.  With the two kettlebells in the rack position it compresses the diaphragm and the ability to get a full breath is near impossible.  After a few reps with limited oxygen uptake you now have a good cardio exercise and a little sweat going.

Kettlebell Bottoms Up Position

The advantage that a kettlebell has over a traditional dumbbell is where the weight sits.  Unlike the dumbbells with the weight distributed evenly on both sides, the kettlebell is concentrated in one area and by moving the handle around a different training effect is created.

One common way is to utilize the bottoms up position where you grip the handle and flip the weight from the bottom position to the top position.

From this position you can simply try and maintain it, giving your grip a massive challenge, or proceed to perform any exercise you see suitable.  One of the most common exercises is to practice overhead pressing from this position.  Pressing requires a stable bottoms up rack position and then a lot of upper body muscle activation and control during both the press and the retraction of the weight.

Kettlebell Renegade Rows

Renegade rows are as fun as they are challenging.  Yes you can perform them with dumbbells but with the way the kettlebell weight sits, completely at the bottom, it adds a greater degree of difficulty by pulling all of the weight directly in-line with the arm. 

Place two kettlebells on the floor about push up distance apart and get your body into the top position of a push up.  Press down firmly on one of the handles while gripping and rowing the other bell up towards the body.

Try to keep both the torso and your hips level while rowing as rotating will decrease the core stabilization training and make the exercise much easier to complete. 

I realize that some of these exercises are dynamic in nature and may be hard to grasp through descriptions and still photos, so I made a quick video describing everything above:

Remember the beauty of these movements is that they challenge us to better ourselves and are easily added in conjunction with all your other training.