Challenge Your Whole Body With This Double Kettlebell Circuit

This creative circuit from trainer Eric Leija (a.k.a. Primal Swoledier) is guaranteed to build strength through the lats, shoulders, arms, and core. And it’s probably way more engaging than your current routine.

The first movement of the series is actually a few kettlebell moves in one—otherwise known as a kettlebell flow. First, Leija knocks out alternating bent-over rows. After completing one rep per side, he cleans the bells to a front-rack position, then alternates overhead presses for one rep per side.

By focusing on unilateral pulling and pushing work, this flow strengthens the anterior and posterior chain while keeping the core fully engaged and working the entire time. If your shoulders don’t agree with overhead pressing motions, stop each rep in the front-rack position, then go immediately into the next row.

In both the rows and presses, keeping a neutral spine is critical to keeping the intended muscles working and your low back out of the equation. Brace your abs to help stay balanced.

The second move, a breakdancer, focuses on the transverse abdominis’ ability to stabilize the spine and the obliques’ role in torso rotation. But the maneuver doesn’t exactly take it easy on your shoulders either, so don’t expect upper body rest here.

Total body tension again is key: Keep a neutral spine, arms straight, and move slowly and with control. Don’t let yourself “fall” to the floor at the end of each rotation.

Finish with a suitcase hold reverse lunge, gripping a kettlebell in each hand. Again, you’ll need to keep your core engaged to get the most out of the movement. Control your eccentric descent and don’t slam your knee down on the ground—be mindful enough to pause at the lowest point before raising back up to the standing position.

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Leija recommends performing 6 sets of 30 seconds for each move. Focus on transitioning from exercise to exercise in minimal time, then enjoy a solid 90-second rest between each set. Don’t rush the rest, either; less rest here does not equal a better workout. Taking the full 90 seconds is critical to hitting your sets with your muscles’ full potential.

Want more workouts from Leija? Check out his Men’s Health Kettlehell program (now available on our All Out Studio app), which is designed to burn fat and build muscle with just one kettlebell.

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