This Lower Body Kettlebell Workout is killer! By working unilaterally, we are engaging our stabilizer muscles even more, making for a more effective and well rounded workout. Grab your timer and kettlebell and let’s get going!
30 MINUTE UNILATERAL LOWER BODY KETTLEBELL WORKOUT
Happy Monday!! And welcome back to Inspired To Be Fit! If this is your first time here, make sure to read all the detail and rules for participation (there are just a few). We’d love to have you join the party!
Last week, we shared a brand new upper body workout! Did you enjoy it?! This week, I’m focusing on our legs and butt in this lower body kettlebell workout. It’s been too long since the kettlebell has made an appearance on the blog. Our goal today, in Week 3, is to go Beyond the Basics and share some progressions of the basic exercises we demoed in our first post of the month.
Last week, I snuck a progression of a seated row into the mix, with a 2 way bent row. This is becoming one of my favorite moves and really works the back in an awesome way. Today, let’s go Beyond the Basics with weight lunge variations and weighted single leg deadlifts.
The side lunge and curtsy lunge are two of my favorite moves because they work in the frontal and transverse plane and really work our inner thighs and glutes. The single leg romanian deadlift with knee drive is probably in my list of top 3 exercises that should be included in every workout. I mean, you get your ENTIRE body involved here and it’s so much more of a core move than people think.Brand New Unilateral Kettlebell Workout for the Lower Body #ontheblog! #itbf #fitfluential… Click To Tweet
And speaking of core, it’s going to be working in al these moves. When we do unilateral work, we challenge our core and stability muscles in a big way. We also challenge our brain because try doing a single leg romanian deadlift passively. You will fall or lose your balance.
A few cues:
- On the SIDE LUNGE, you should step one foot out parallel to the other, put your weight in your heel, bend the knee and sit your but back, keeping your chest lifted. Often times I see a side lunge performed with the knee going WAAAAYYY to far over the toe or the foot pointed out to the side. This is a recipe for pain.
- On your SINGLE LEG ROMANIAN DEADLIFT, if you are wobbly one one leg, either, 1) perform with both feet on the ground and work your way up to single leg, or 2) tap the foot you are lifting on the ground slightly, still keeping weight in standing leg. This helps to make you feel a little more stable. Work towards keeping the non-standing leg off the ground.
- On the BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT, the front knee should remain in line with the ankle – so 90 degree angle. If you are finding you have knee pain or the knee is moving WAAAAYYYY over the toe, that means you either need too, 1) move the front foot forward more, or 2) tuck the pelvis slightly and act as if you are being pushed DOWN, rather than lunging forward. *** If you don’t have a box or step, do this move on the ground with the back foot behind you farther than you would in a reverse lunge. Put weight in that front leg and still aim for that 90 degree angle.
Remember, these moves are all progressions. If you need to lose the weight so you can focus on form, do it. If you need to go lighter weight start, do it and work towards upping the weight. We want to get your stronger and more awesome. In order to do that, you gotta progress!
- Mid-weight Kettlebell
- Box / Step / Block
- Interval Timer (I don’t go anywhere without my MiniMax)
Set up timer :45 sec of work | :15 sec of rest | 7 rounds. This will allow you to go through the circuit 1 time. Complete the circuit 4 full sets. Rest :30 seconds between sets. Complete 1 side per set.
This workout can be done with just bodyweight, if you don’t have access to a kettlebell. A heavier dumbbell can be subbed for a kettlebell, as well. If you do not have a step for the Bulgarian Split Squat, move back leg behind you further and focus on driving through that front leg.
- SIDE LUNGE: (Clean and rack kettlebell – if using). Perform a side lunge, lunging on the same side as racked kettlebell. Use inner thigh and glute to stand. ** Knee raise optional.
** If you use dumbbells, weights should be at your side or up at your shoulders.
- SIDE LUNGE & CURTSY LUNGE JUMP: Perform a side lunge on left leg. Weight in heels, chest lifted. Use inner thigh and glutes to stand and jump up with the right leg. As you lower, move the left leg into a curtsy lunge. As you come back to stand, jump up on the right side, driving through the heel and squeezing glute.
- CURTSY LUNGE: Stand upright with feet shoulder width apart, pelvis slightly tucked. Bend left knee and right leg lunges behind the left leg, like doing a curtsy. Drive through heel to stand.
- REVERSE LUNGE JUMPS: Stand upright with feet shoulder width apart, pelvis slightly tucked. Move left leg back into a reverse lunge. Drive through right heel and glute to jump up, driving left knee up. Return to reverse lunge and repeat.
- SL ROMANIAN DEADLIFT & KNEE DRIVE: With weight in heel with a slight bend in the knee, glutes squeezed, pelvis slightly tucked, shoulders back and down. Weight in left hand, balance on right leg. Hinge at hip, bracing core to bring back parallel to the ground. Keep core tight and squeeze glutes as you come back to stand, driving left knee up.
- SPLIT LUNGE JUMPS: Come into a lunge stance and lower, bending knees. Explode up out of the split lunge, switching legs, and landing back in a lunge position. Jump up again, this time, back into the squat jump.
- BULGARIAN SPLIT SQUAT: Place one left foot on box or step and move right leg in front of you so that when you perform the lunge/squat, your front knee comes to 90 degrees. You might need to readjust a few times. Weight are optional here. Shoulders back and down, pelvis slightly tucked. Perform a lunge, bending both legs, aiming for 90 degrees on the right leg. Repeat.
Don’t forget to add your fitness related posts to the link-up below! While we know nutrition plays a huge role in fitness and overall healthy living, Jill and I would like ITBF to focus totally on the fitness aspect of healthy living. We’d like this to be a go-to resource for workouts and fitness information, motivation and support. If you have a delicious recipe to share (and we know many of you do), come back on Friday and link-up with Living a Life of Fitness Health & Happiness.
How was your weekend?! I had a solid weekend – time with the girls and a little work. It was so great. This week is super busy as we are heading to Texas for the weekend. We are helping The Hubs family do some cleaning and such, but I think it’s going to be a mini vaca for us too. I cannot WAIT for the warm weather. And we just found out we get to take another vaca to Boston in March for wedding. I CANNOT WAIT to go back to Boston! I haven’t been in over a year!
And don’t forget to pin all graphics so you can go back and do this workout anytime!
Are you a fan of a good dumbbell workout?
What did you do this weekend?
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