Seven Useful Lower Body Kettlebell Exercises You May Not Have Tried

Seven Useful Lower Body Kettlebell Exercises You May Not Have Tried

When we think about kettlebells, we tend to think goblet squat or kettlebell swings and then draw a blank.

What else are they good for?

The long and the short of it is kettlebells are useful for a plethora of both upper and lower body strength development. 

Here are seven lower-body kettlebell movements, as well as execution tips and programming ideas, that might prove valuable to your training:

Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift

The Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift is useful for building posterior chain strength, as it biases the hamstrings over the quads. It’s also effective at building the glutes and the back.

Tip: Focus on keeping the spine neutral throughout this movement, and on squeezing your butt cheeks together at the top.

Sample program:

A1. Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift, @3131, 8-10 reps x 4 sets; rest 60 seconds

A2. Banded Glute Bridges, @3111, 20 reps x 4 sets; rest 2 minutes

Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift

Like the Romanian deadlift, the Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift is useful for building posterior chain strength—glutes, hamstrings, back—however, it will also utilize the quads and adductors. It tends to be less challenging than a conventional deadlift for the spinal erectors and back due to the more upright torso position. The sumo variation can be beneficial for teaching beginners.

Tip: Focus on establishing a strong core and bracing before prying the weight off the ground by pushing down with your legs.

Sample program:

A1. Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift, @3111, 8-10 reps x 4 sets; rest 60 seconds

A2. Goblet Hold Wall Sit, 45 seconds x 4 sets; rest 2 minutes

Kettlebell Single Leg, Single Arm Romanian Deadlift

The same principles apply with the Kettlebell Single Leg, Single Arm Romanian Deadlift as any bend, only this time you're doing a single leg hinge with the kettlebell in the opposite hand. This variation challenges balance and can be a great way to build hip strength and stability. 

Tip: Focus on keeping your hips level as you send your leg back. Often, you’ll need to correct this by internally rotating your back hip. 

Sample program:

A1. Kettlebell Single Leg, Single Arm Romanian Deadlift, @3111, 8 reps per leg x 4 sets; rest 60 seconds

A2. Goblet Squat, @3311, 6-8 reps per leg x 4 sets; rest 2 minutes

Kettlebell Single Arm Front Rack Lunge

For the Kettlebell Single Arm Front Rack Lunge set your feet shoulder-width apart and descend into a lunge until your knee hovers just above the floor. These are useful for building glute, as well as quad strength, as well as hamstring, and calf strength.

Tip: Focus on driving your front leg into the ground as you’re returning to the standing position. Then repeat on the opposite leg.

Sample program:

A1. Kettlebell Single Arm Front Rack Lunge, @3111, 8 reps per leg x 4 sets; rest 60 seconds

A2. Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift, @31X0, 8 reps x 4 sets; rest 90 seconds 

Farmer’s Hold Kettlebell Split Squat

Start the Farmer’s Hold Kettlebell Split Squat in a split squat position with your feet hip-width apart and a kettlebell in each hand by your sides in a farmer hold position. From here, lower yourself straight down until the knee is hovering just above the floor. These are useful for building hip flexor, quad, hamstring, and glute strength.

Tip: Focus on keeping that front shin perpendicular to the floor and driving your front leg into the ground as you're returning to the standing position. Don’t allow your shoulders to round forward. 

Sample program:

A1. Farmer Hold Kettlebell Split Squat, @3111, 8 reps per leg x 4 sets; rest 60 seconds

A2. Kettlebell Single Leg, Single Arm Romanian Deadlift, @3111, 8 reps per leg x 4 sets; rest 90 seconds

Dual Kettlebell Deadlift

The Dual Kettlebell Deadlift is performed with a hip-width stance. From there, hold one kettlebell in each hand. Then hinge your hips back, keeping the core engaged throughout the movement. Like all hinge movements, the dual kettlebell deadlift primarily targets your posterior chain.

Tip: Focus on squeezing your glutes together as you’re standing up. Keep your shoulder blades squeezed together throughout the movement.

Sample program:

A1. Dual Kettlebell Deadlift, @31X1, 8 reps x 4 sets; rest 90 seconds

A2. Goblet Squat, @31X1, 16 reps x 4 sets; rest 2 minutes

Contralateral Kettlebell Step-Up

Contralateral Kettlebell Step-Ups mean performing box or bench step-ups with one kettlebell in the front rack position and the other kettlebell held down by your side in the farmer hold position. These are useful for targeting the core, which has to engage to stay balanced under a contralateral, uneven load, as well as the glutes, hamstrings, and quads.

Tip: Focus on using the leg on top of the box or bench to drive through the floor to stand up on one leg on top of the box or bench until your knees and hips are locked out.

Sample program:

A1. Contralateral Kettlebell Step-Up, @3110, 6 reps per leg x 4 sets; rest 90 seconds

A2. Dual Kettlebell Deadlift, @30X0, 8 reps x 4 sets; rest 2 minutes

From Exercise Selection to Program Design 

The demand for fitness coaches is on the rise. Educated individuals who can lead by example and help the general population reach their goals. Not only is this career fun, but with the right business model, it can be profitable and sustainable. 

However, being a great coach is about more than just knowing effective exercises. You have to be able to assess your clients and develop personalized training programs with long-term progression in mind. 

Want to learn how? Sign up for our Free Coaching Course today and see for yourself what a career as a fitness coach would be like.

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