Daily Journal Masthead

Total-body workout: Kettlebells

Follow Daily Journal:

Photo Gallery:
Click to view 5 Photos
Click to view (5 Photos)

With nothing more than a cast iron ball called a kettlebell, fitness coach Marty Mills can give you the workout of your life.

He is the top-rated kettlebell instructor in the country and his School of Strength boot camps at Center Grove High School combine speed work, strength training and cardiovascular conditioning for a full-body exercise regimen.

Why kettlebells?

Everyone can do it. I can teach people how to lift weights with little to no impact on their joints. It’s really hard to do that sometimes with a barbell.

What makes this

an ideal workout?

We’re working our core, we’re working our cardio, it’s a really true all-in-one training tool. I’m creating perfect weightlifters. The design of the kettlebell is special. It has a handle, so it has an offset center of gravity, so it makes you activate your core while you’re lifting it.

Three great exercises:


Stand over the kettlebell, with it level with the center or slightly behind your feet.

Making your arms “long” reach down as low as possible while dropping your shoulders and opening your chest and tensing your glutes. Maintain this alignment throughout the drill.

Sit back while keeping your weight over the center of your feet or slightly toward your heels. Stand up straight. Don’t think about lifting the KB but focus on your feet, visualize stomping them through the ground.

Pause at the top position breathing shallow. Drop it down, allowing it to touch the ground with it between your feet and stand up for several reps.

End with the kettlebell between your feet.


You swing the weight behind your body and try to explode it forward. You can’t swing a barbell behind you or really even a dumbbell. You have to activate your core then swing it up.

Straddle the kettlebell with feet slightly wider apart than shoulder width. Stand with your heels, toes and balls of the feet planted and the knees track the toes. The shoulders should be packed, with the arms are straight in the bottom position.

Pass the kettlebell handle above the knees and swing it back, before exploding forward.

The body forms a straight line on the top of the swing: The hips and knees extend fully, the spine is neutral, with the kettlebell forming an extension of straight arms at the top of the swing.

Let the kettlebell swing back between your legs.


It’s a total-body athletic movement and you’re getting up and down, almost like doing yoga with a weight.

Lie on your back and pick up a kettlebell with both hands, then press it with one hand.

Slowly stand up, while keeping your loaded arm straight and vertical. Assist yourself by pushing into the ground with the free arm.

Slowly reverse the movement. The movement should be smooth without jerky transitions.

Information: kettlebellbootcamps.blogspot.com

Think your friends should see this? Share it with them!

All content copyright ©2016 Daily Journal, a publication of AIM Media Indiana unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved. Privacy policy.