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Fundamental Kettlebell Exercises: The 6 Exercises You Need Know

If you're online and looking for kettlebell workouts and exercises, there are thousands. There's a lot of excitement out there and for good reason - kettlebells are awesome.

Strip it all back and at the core of it, there are 6 main exercises which will tackle strength and conditioning across the body, promoting good movement patterns. Therefore, these movements and their variations should form the basis of all good kettlebell programs.

That does not mean that other exercises aren't important and it does not mean there aren't variations which have specific benefit and even exercises which will help you perform these fundamentals better. 

What this means is that if you work your way towards doing these fundamental exercises with good form and doing them regularly, you will have the strength you need to do anything else you set your mind to. 

Read below and follow the links and we'll give you the information to learn how do do the fundamental 6 exercises. 

1. The Squat

The kettlebell squat is a beast of a full body exercise, promoting strength and joint mobility.

The squat works large muscle groups along the posterior chain, making demands of your core for stabilization. 

Squatting with kettlebells is unique due to the number of positions in which the kettlebell can be held in. The further away from your body the more of a counter balance is required from your back. When loaded on one side (unilaterally) this drives a lot of core firing for cross stabilization. 

If you are looking for strength conditioning then keep adding on reps to your squat, and you'll be to dramatically increase your time under tension. 

Unfortunately due what modern day life throws at us, most people do not squat well, if this is you, then work through our mobility exercises to improve your squat. Squat correctly and it will pay off, big time!

2. The Swing

Kettlebell swings are probably one of the most recognizable kettlebell exercises. Swings develop strength, burn calories, improve joint mobility and help develop explosive power. This is what secures it's places as the ultimate kettlebell exercise.

Swings can be done with as little as 1 kettlebell, in a relatively small amount of space making them a key at home workout. Find out how to do the kettlebell swing and it's variations here.

3. The Press 

Whilst the kettlebell press is indeed an awesome shoulder workout and will deliver big bad shoulders - it is often overlooked as a key functional movement, which strengthens not just your upper body, improves shoulder joint mobility but also strengthens you core.

When you are pressing one kettlebell at a time, either single arm press or see-saw press delivers a great core response. Combine with the clean (below) for one of the best full body exercises: the clean and press.

4. The Clean 

Unlike the swing which brings the kettlebell up in an arc, the direction of movement with the kettlebell clean is almost vertical. The clean is a fundamental skill for anyone using kettlebells as it brings the KBs into the rack position which is the starting positions for so many exercises. 

The kettlebell clean is also a true full body exercise in it's own right, making demands of muscle groups in your lower and upper body.

5. The Snatch 

The kettlebell snatch is an advanced exercise in which the kettlebell comes from way low down all the way up above the head. It can be thought as a combination of the swing and clean and press all rolled into one.  

As can be expected it is a real calorie burner, a full body exercise which will not disappoint. Learn how to do the kettlebell snatch with perfect form here.

6. The Turkish Get Up 

The Turkish Get Up, although humble in its appearance, will test your stability and drive crazy amounts of core stabilization. You are effectively getting off the floor in a controlled fashion with a weight above your head. By doing so, the Turkish Get Up has an amazing ability to highlight weaknesses in structure and alignment.

Incorporate get ups into you routine and you will destroy these weakness and become a through and through strong.