#MotivationMonday: A Great Combination Workout for Strength and Cardio

Sometimes it’s better to just combine the two…

I’d be willing to be that you’re a busy person. I don’t know hardly anyone under the age of 65 who isn’t extremely busy anymore. That being said, being busy isn’t an excuse for neglecting your health and fitness. If only there was a routine out there that would help you build muscle and burn fat simultaneously….oh wait, there is!

Kettlebells, originally they were introduced to the world of fitness by Russian lifters and have finally made their way across the seas to the states. Not only are they excellent at working the muscles you’d be working with dumbbells, but thanks to their thick grips, they’ll also work on your grip strength. The moves are meant to be performed with some vigor, so as to burn the maximum amount of calories and get in a cardio style workout as well. Because the majority of their weight is dropped below the handle, they can be a bit awkward to use. This is good because it works your core with every move you’re making.

Here’s a full body routine that will bulk you up while also leaning you out. Perform each move one after another with minimal breaks between sets. Once you’ve finished an entire set of moves, rest for 90 seconds and start again. If you’re just beginning, do two cycles. If you’re more advanced, push for 5-6 cycles. Use a weight that will allow you to perform 10-12 reps of each move.

Kettlebell Swing

Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hold the kettlebell between your legs with both hands. Bend at your hips and swing the kettlebell backwards between your legs, pause for a moment and then aggressively swing it forward to eye level. Return to the starting position and count one rep.

Kettlebell Squat

Stand with feet a bit wider than shoulder width apart. Hold the kettlebell with both hands at eye level. Squat down as low as you can while maintaining stiff arms. Raise back into starting position and count one rep.

Paint Cans

Set the kettlebell next to your feet about a foot away while standing with feet shoulder width apart. Rotate your body on the balls of your feet, bending your knees, and pick up the kettlebell. Then shift your bodyweight to the opposite side while lifting the kettlebell to your opposite eye level. Imagine it’s like you’re picking up a paint can to place it on a high shelf while twisting.

Kettlebell Row

Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hold a kettlebell in each hand. Slightly bend forward so your chest is above your knees. Simultaneously pull the kettlebells up towards your chest while pinching your shoulder blades together. Return to start position and repeat.

Chest Press

Lay with your back against a flat bench and a kettlebell in each hand. Push from your chest until your arms are fully extended and return to starting position.

Chest Fly

Begin the same way that you would’ve with the chest press except have your arms extended above your chest already. Slowly lower each arms out to the side making a T shape. Squeeze your chest and return back to the start position.

Kettllebell Sit Ups

Lay on your back with the kettlebell resting on your chest and your knees bent. Hold it with both hands. Squeeze your abs into a situp and push the kettlebell upwards and forwards. Slowly return back to the starting position.

Core Twists

Sitting down with knees bent and kettlebell held with both hands, twist so the kettlebell almost touches the ground on one side, then twist it back to the other side, this counts as one rep. Perform with control and lift your feet off of the ground if you’re able.

That’s the end of one circuit. If you’re moving quickly, you should be burning some serious calories by completing another circuit or even a few more. If you’re unsure about the descriptions on any of these moves, you can find video descriptions on YouTube.

header image via Men’s Fitness

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