All you need is one kettlebell for this brand new Upper Body Focused Unilateral Kettlebell Workout! This high intensity workout will get your upper body working and burning, in no time. Grab your kettlebell and timer, and let’s get started!
UPPER BODY FOCUSED UNILATERAL KETTLEBELL WORKOUT
On Wednesday, I was swinging a 50#kettlebell with hot pink nails and a gold glitter party nail. True story. I hadn’t swung 50# before and it felt pretty good. I did said swings after this unilateral kettlebell workout.
Needing a workout to share this week, I wanted something quick and effective – a quickie. I also wanted an upper body focused workout because I tweaked my gluteus medius last week, and it still isn’t feeling any better. Plus, I’m working on being able to knock out 30+ push-ups with good form, at once.
It’d been so long since The Boy and I worked out together and I was hoping I could create a workout that he would enjoy too. Kettlebells were the best option.
I like unilateral training for a few reasons:
- Unilateral moves challenge your core + stability muscles in a way that can’t be accomplished by doing bilateral moves. Case in point, the high pull. I feel this move in my butt and abdominals (my core) so much more than in my upper body, during the exercise. Try hiking up a kettlebell and not using your core to keep yourself from rotating. It’s tough.
- Unilateral moves challenge your brain. How often do we do bicep curls or frontal raises without thinking? Try doing a heavy snatch with one hand. You must think about all the muscles that are used to get the bell from the ground, to the sky.
- Unilateral moves help train your weak side. I don’t know about you, but as a right hander, I tend to be weaker on my left side. Training my left side, by itself, helps me build up the muscles on my left so much more than I would, if I were doing a bilateral exercise.
THE SET UP
You will need:
- an interval timer (I like Gymboss)
- kettlebell (I used 25# for all moves, but I kept 20# close)
Your timer will be set for:
- 40 seconds work
- 20 seconds rest
- 6 rounds x2 (for right + left)
- ~1 min rest between the right side and left side, if desired
Grab kettlebell and set timer. Start on one side (I usually like to start on the left). Complete all moves on one side. If desired, rest ~1 minute after ending one side, before beginning the next. Complete another round on each side, if time allows.
- HIGH PULL: Set up like the swing, but rather than let bell float up, bring arm to shoulder height, elbow back. Keep core braced tight, along with glutes, to get the bell up.
- WINDMILL: Feet hip width apart, press bell up with packed shoulder. Turn feet 45 degrees away from bell. If bell is on the right, put all weight on right leg and stick hip out (sassy hip, thanks to Karen Smith). Bend front leg and reach down, while looking at bell. Come back up.
- PUSH PRESS: Clean + rack kettlebell. Ground through heels, bend knees and squeeze glutes as you press the bell overhead. Bring back to racked position.
- SNATCH: Set up for the swing, keep powering through the hip, punch your hand through, and push the weight overhead. Pack the shoulder at the top, everything nice and tight.
A few things before I go:
- I’m demoing this workout on Periscope between 9:50-10:10am. Weird times, I know, but I’m meeting with a nutrition coaching client at 9 and then doing gym class with my siblings around 10! Busy morning. Find me by searching ‘Jen Elliott’ or ‘burpees4bfast’.
- Speaking of coaching, I’m still taking on clients. Let’s talk if you are interested.
- My gluteus medius is no bueno. It’s this pinching pain and dull ache. I can’t do a reverse lunge or hip abduction without pain, which makes teaching classes a bit tough. If anyone has tips or tricks or suggestions, leave me a comment or shoot me a message. I need my booty fixed soon!
- Have you subscribed to the newsletter yet? If not, you should. You will get my FREE e-book full of 5 workouts that will make you revisit your opinion of burpees! Sign up here!
- That pink spot, just above my shorts, on the top picture is indeed, my hot pink Reebok thong. The Boy said nothing when he snapped the pictures!
Linking up with Jill today!
My Friday’s are usually pretty low key, but my day today is jam packed. After a consultation, Periscope demo, and gym class, I’m headed home to do some coaching stuff and then I have a call with Michaell! My evening is free, and I’m going to try and convince The Hubs to go to the fair with me!
What are you up to this weekend?
Do you like unilateral training? Have you done it before?