Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Kettlebell Training

It's been 2+ weeks of quarantine at my brothers place. Luckily for me he has 3 kettlebells so I've been able to continue to get in some good workouts. When I was living out west in Victoria and I was working with some personal trainers they taught me how to use kettlebells properly. This week in Squash Shots I filmed an episode demonstrating 35 kettlebell exercises. You can get in a full body workout with very little space and with just a kettlebell or 2 which means it's the perfect piece of equipment to have while in self isolation.

One of the great benefits of kettlebells is that all of the exercises you do with them engage your core. Because of how often I use kettlebells I have a much stronger core than I ever have and I've done far fewer sit-ups and crunches.

Here's this weeks episode of Squash Shots if you'd like to see some of the various exercises you an do with a kettlebell.

If you don't own a kettlebell I suggest you picking some up so you can do some of these exercises from home. Even now I'm doing most of my workouts on my brothers deck. Kettlebell are also very easy to store and for many exercises they are mush easier to hold and use than dumbbells. They aren't cheap, but they are well worth the price if you put them to use. Here's a link of a group of training equipment I've created on a Serious Squash Amazon if you're thinking about making an investment

I'll walk you through a few of my training sessions over the past 2 weeks. Yesterday was pretty simple. I did 5 goblet squats with a kettlebell followed by 10 pushups. I did this on the minute, every minute for 20 minutes (sets). So by the end of this workout I had done 100 squats and 200 pushups. 

Last week I did a similar workout where I did 5 squats, 5 swings and then 5 pushups on the minute, every minute for 20 sets. Using a timing method like this keeps you moving even when you get winded and want that little extra rest. It also shows you how efficient you can be with your time and back in a great workout in just 20 minutes. This and the previous training session would equate to about 25-30 seconds of training and 30-35 seconds of rest. As you get further into your sets the rest sure seems to run out quicker.

Another excellent way to set up a workout is by doing a circuit. A circuit is what I do most often at the gym. Normally I'll go do an exercise, move on to the next, maybe 1 more and then go back to the first one. This gives the muscles you used for each exercise a little bit of rest. So generally I don't do back to back exercises focusing on the same muscle group unless I want to really target that area for that session. 

Today I did a circuit that included kettlebell carries (briefcase carry, shoulder carry and a high overhead carry) and mixed in between were planks, side planks with a kettlebell, snatches, presses and cleans. So it was a core and upper body focused workout after all of the squats yesterday. 

Another effective way to set up a training sessions is by setting a goal for how many of a certain exercise you want to do in total. Let's say you want to do 100 deadlifts. You can break anytime you want, but every time you break you have to do a 1 minute plank and 10 pushups or say 10 burpees. So your goal will be to try and get the 100 deadlifts in with as few breaks as possible, but you will inevitably need at least 3 or 4. The longer you go the more difficult the planks and pushups or burpees will be. On the other hand the fewer reps you do the more sets of planks and pushups or burpees you will have to do. 

For a future episode I filmed a bunch of complexes with kettlebells. A complex is a combination of 2 or more exercises which makes the workout more of a full body workout. A complex of exercises also increases the aerobic training component of the workout. When you combine exercises that add up to more than 30 seconds it means that you can still get in some of that important cardio that we need for squash. 

I've listed a number of ways for designing your own workouts from home. If you haven't tried kettlebells before use light ones. The 3 I have here are 25, 35 and 40lbs. If I was at the gym I would generally use 40+ ones, but it depends on the exercise and number of reps In intend to do. You can also use 2 of the same weighted kettlebells to do a number of other exercises. 

Five years ago I had never touched a kettlebell and now it's the piece of equipment I work out with the most. In this time of gym closures and home workouts it's the perfect piece of equipment. Until next week stay safe, stay healthy and keep active. 

If you enjoy Squash Shots you can subscribe for the weekly episodes for as little as $3/month at

Serious Squash is also on Instagram @SeriousSquash and and plus there's an online store where you can purchase instructional films, video analysis and the custom Serious Squash racquet (for when clubs reopen!). 


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