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YOUR WORKOUTS SHOULD be about more than just looking jacked if you’re training to reap general health benefits from your efforts. You should be focused on other components of fitness, too—especially if longevity is one of your goals.
To feel great and move well for years to come, you need more than muscle. You need power, the ability to create force quickly. Build that in this single-kettlebell workout that’s over in 30 minutes.
You can attack this workout four or five days a week. On all other days, go for a 20-minute run or walk.
Squat to Plank Walkout
Start standing, then push your butt back and bend at the knees and hips, lowering into a deep squat. Place your hands on the floor and crawl forward until you’re in pushup position, abs tight. Reverse the moves to return to the start. The entire series warms up every muscle in your body. Do reps for 1 minute, then rest for 30 seconds. Work for 2 rounds.
Directions: Do reps of each move for 1 minute, then rest for 30 seconds. Do 3 rounds of each movement, then move on to the next exercise.
Blast your hamstrings and glutes with this critical lift. Stand over a kettlebell, shins parallel to the bell, feet shoulder-width apart, then push your butt back and lower your torso until you can grasp the bell with both hands. Tighten your abs. Stand and squeeze your glutes. Lower. That’s 1 rep.
Challenge your core to stabilize your entire torso. Get in pushup position, a kettlebell just outside your left hand. Keeping your hips square to the floor, reach your right hand toward the bell; grab it and pull it to the right. Return to pushup position. Repeat on 3 the other side. That’s 1 rep.
Build mid-back muscle to protect your shoulders. Start in pushup position, right hand on a kettlebell handle. Keeping your hips and shoulders square, row the bell to your right hip. Lower. That’s 1 rep. Do reps for 30 seconds on the right side, then 30 seconds on the left side.
Kettlebell Swing to Squat Swing
Stand 2 feet behind a kettlebell, feet shoulder-width apart. Push your butt back and lower your torso until you can grasp the bell with both hands. Keep your abs tight. This is the start. Explosively pull the bell behind you, then squeeze your glutes and stand explosively. Let the bell’s momentum carry it between your legs again; this time, when it does, sit into a squat and pull the bell forward. Alternate between these 2 moves until time is up.
Kettlebell Lunge to Halo
Stand holding a kettlebell at your chest, abs and glutes tight. Step back with your right foot, then bend at the knees and hips, lowering into a lunge until your right knee is an inch from the floor. Stand back up. Pause; circle the bell around your head clockwise, then counter-clockwise. Repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep.
Alternating Dead Clean to Press
Stand with a kettlebell between your feet. Push your butt back and lower your torso until you can grasp the bell with your right hand. Explosively stand and squeeze your glutes, pulling the bell straight up as you do this. As it nears your chest, pull it to your shoulder and drive your elbow to your rib cage, finishing in a racked position. Press the bell overhead. Reverse the movements, then repeat on the other side. That’s 1 rep.
This story originally appears in the September 2023 issue of Men’s Health.
Jerry St Louis, NSCA-CPT, is a kettlebell specialist with Wolfpack who trains clients in Brooklyn and was part of the 2022 cohort of MH’s Strength in Diversity Initiative, which aims to deliver education, resources, and mentorship to trainers from marginalized communities. Follow him on Instagram at @jaycoachz.