Kettlebell exercises can help to build strength and endurance, particularly in the lower back, legs, and shoulders. They’re also great for increasing grip strength. In addition, studies have found that performing a 20-minute snatch workout with kettlebells was measured to burn an average 13.6 calories/minute aerobically and 6.6 calories/minute anaerobically, which is equivalent to running a 6-minute mile. So clearly, a kettlebell workout offers a great solution for getting into shape in a short amount of time.

Now that you know its fitness benefits, try your hand at these four effective kettlebell exercises:

1. Alternating Kettlebell Press

  • Clean two kettlebells to your shoulders by extending through the legs and hips. 
  • Rotate your wrists as you pull the kettlebells towards your shoulders. 
  • Press one directly overhead by extending through the elbow, turning it so the palm faces forward while holding the other kettlebell stationary.
  • Lower the pressed kettlebell to the starting position and immediately press with your other arm.

2. Alternating Renegade Row

  • Place two kettlebells on the floor about shoulder width apart.
  • Position yourself on your toes and your hands as though you were doing a pushup.
  • Push one kettlebell into the floor and row the other kettlebell, retracting the shoulder blade of the working side as you flex the elbow, pulling it to your side.
  • Lower the kettlebell to the floor and repeat movement with opposite hand. 


3. Double Kettlebell Push Press

  • Clean two kettlebells to your shoulders.
  • Squat down a few inches and reverse the motion rapidly. Use the momentum from the legs to drive the kettlebells overhead.
  • Once the kettlebells are locked out, lower the kettlebells to your shoulders and repeat.

4. Kettlebell Pistol Squat

  • Pick up a kettlebell with two hands and hold it by the horn.
  • Make sure that one leg is off of the floor and squat down on the other.
  • Squat down by flexing the knee and sitting back with the hips, holding the kettlebell up in front of you.
  • Hold the bottom position for a second and then reverse the motion, driving through the heel and keeping your head and chest up.
  • Lower yourself again and repeat. 

Get more features like this for free in the web version of the Muscle & Fitness 2014 Training Trends Special Digital Issue.