Lower-Body Workouts

4 kettlebell workouts to build your glutes

WITH KETTLEBELLS, BASICALLY every move is all about the hips, so it’s no shocker that they’re a great tool for boosting the glutes. “Due to the versatility of the handle and how the weight is distributed, kettlebells add another dimension to weight lifting: the need to counterbalance, which improves stability and balance, particularly in the glutes,” says Lisa Reed, CSCS, a Hardstyle Kettlebell Certified instructor and owner of Lisa Reed Fitness.

In fact, you might get more for your butt-building buck with kettlebells than conventional lifts. “The kettlebell can be hiked back to load the glutes with as much resistance as a deadlift, plus you can rep consecutively without interruption because of the kettlebell’s nature,” says Paul Pivarnik, a personal trainer and Russian Kettlebell certified instructor at New York Health & Racquet Club. “That’s the recipe for shredding the glutes!”

These workouts, designed by Pivarnik and Reed, use kettlebells along with traditional lifts and plyometric moves for the most, ahem, well-rounded glute-strengthening results.

Workout 1:

Warmup:

Do 30 seconds each of:

Crocodile breathing (lie face down, hands under forehead, inhale through nose into belly; exhale even slower)

Quadruped rocking (on hands and knees, fold back on your haunches then rock forward into arms)

Quadruped hip cars, each side (on hands and knees, slowly lift one foot up, fully extending glute, then circle the leg slowly from the hip, alternating directions)

Segmental cat cow (on hands and knees, slowly arch back from lower back, middle, upper, then switch the curve just as slowly)

Quadruped shoulder cars, each side (on hands and knees, raise one arm straight out in front of you, then slowly circle it all the way around; switch directions)

Workout:

Aim to use very heavy weight; If you hit the top reps easily, go heavier.

5-8 KB deadlifts

10 Cable pull-throughs

10 Bridges

10 Split squat, per side (loaded if desired)

x3-5

Workout 2:

Warmup:

Do 30 seconds each of:

Crocodile breathing

Quadruped rocking

Quadruped hip cars, each side

Segmental cat cow

Quadruped shoulder cars, each side

Workout:

10 KB dead swings (pause the KB on the ground between reps)

10 Hinge jumps

5 Single-leg bridge, each side

5 Step-ups, each side (loaded if desired)

x3-5

Workout 3:

Warmup:

Do 30 seconds each of:

Crocodile breathing

Quadruped rocking

Quadruped hip cars, each side

Segmental cat cow

Quadruped shoulder cars, each side

Workout:

10 KB swings

8 Split-squat jump, per side

10 barbell hip thrusters

8 Bulgarian split squat (foot elevated), each side (loaded if desired)

x3-5

Workout 4:

Warmup:

Do 30 seconds each of:

Crocodile breathing

Quadruped rocking

Quadruped hip cars, each side

Segmental cat cow

Quadruped shoulder cars, each side

Workout:

10 Double KB swing

8 Split squat jump switch, per side

KB farmer’s carry until grip isn’t firm

8 Single-leg Romanian deadlifts, per side

x3-5

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