Men's Journal

The Best Kettlebell Exercises That Don’t Involve Swinging

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When you think about kettlebell exercises, you probably think first of Russian or American kettlebell swings — probably the most common and well-known exercises you’ll find in a workout program. But if all you’ve used kettlebells for is a one- or two-handed swing, you’re missing out on the benefits you can gain from less-dynamic kettlebell movements.

“Kettlebells have a unique structure that makes it possible to do a lot of special movements that dumbbells and barbells just aren’t built for,” says Raphael Konforti, Youfit Health Clubs’ National Director of Fitness. That said, he points out that the fluid, full-body swinging movements that made kettlebells so popular are tough to perform correctly right away, and may prevent you from incorporating kettlebells into your routine. “Luckily, there are ways to add kettlebells without having to master a swinging motion. In fact, by focusing more on controlled, full-body movements, you can build a strong foundation before progressing to more advanced swings.”

As long as you choose the correct kettlebell weight (generally speaking, you want to start with a lighter weight than you would when lifting dumbbells), you should have no problem executing the following swing-free moves.