You don’t need a large lifting platform and a whole complement of Olympic barbells and plates to train to be more explosive. Sure, there’s plenty to love about Olympic lifts—but given the space, technical prowess, gear, and time required to pull off the cleans, jerks, and snatches of the big-time barbell movements, they’re not the best choice for everyone.
Instead, you should pick up a kettlebell. Since the tool’s handle and shape lends it to swings, snatches, and cleans, you’ll be able to train explosively without the same concerns that come when you work with barbells, since you’ll be able to work unilaterally and give your shoulders a larger range of motion to move through.
Build explosiveness with this seven-move kettlebell workout, which blasts fat, increases strength, and readies you for everything from hoops games to trips to the hardware store in just about 30 minutes.
Directions: Do this workout 3 times a week, resting at least 1 day between sessions. On all other days, go for a 20-minute jog or walk.
Coach: Eric McMahon
●Single-Arm Farmer’s Carry
Hold a kettlebell at your side. Tighten your abs so that your hips and shoulders remain level. Walk forward without leaning toward the side holding the kettlebell. Walk for 30 seconds per side, then rest 30 seconds.
Get on all fours, hands directly below shoulders, knees below hips, back flat. Raise knees off the floor. This is the start. Now walk forward, moving right hand and left foot at the same time and vice versa. Take 3 steps forward, then 3 steps back; do this for 30 seconds, then rest 30 seconds.
The 30-min Kettlebell Workout
Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart; a kettlebell held in your right hand at your chest; abs, glutes, and shoulder blades tight. Push your butt back and lower into a squat, then explosively stand while squeezing your glutes. As you do this, straighten your right arm overhead. Lower the weight to your chest. That’s 1 rep; do 10 per side. Do 3 sets.
●Single-Leg Glute Bridge
Lie on your back, abs tight, feet close to your butt. Lift your left foot from the floor without raising your hips. This is the start. Drive through your right heel and squeeze your glutes, raising your hips off the floor. Pause; return to the floor. That’s 1 rep; do 15 per side. Do 3 sets.
●Lunge-Stance Kettlebell Halo
Stand holding a kettlebell at your chest. Step back with your right leg, then bend at the knees and hips, lowering into a reverse lunge, right knee off the floor. Tighten your abs. This is the start. Rotate the weight clockwise in a tight circle around your head. Try to keep your legs still and your ribs from flaring. Do 5 reps. Do 5 reps counterclockwise. Do 3 sets per leg.
●Single-Arm Bent-Over Row
Start standing, holding a kettlebell in your right hand, then push your butt back and lower your torso until it’s at a 45 degree angle with the floor. Keep the kettlebell close to your shin. This is the start. Row the bell to- ward the right side of your rib cage, keeping your hips and shoulders square. Lower with control. That’s 1 rep; do 10 per side. Do 3 sets.
Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width, a kettlebell about a foot in front of you. Push your butt back, bend your knees slightly, and lower your torso, reaching forward to grasp the bell with both hands. Keeping your arms relaxed, explosively pull the bell back between your legs. Now stand and squeeze your glutes; this will propel the bell forward. As it reaches its apex and swings back- ward, push your butt back again, beginning the next rep. Work for 45 seconds, then rest for 15 seconds. Repeat for 5 sets.