Coming Clean

One woman’s honest quest to clean up her unhealthy life for herself and her family.

Experience Life Magazine

8-Minute Kettlebell Workout

My favorite (and most often used) excuse for not working out: I don’t have time. I’m just too busy.

I’m too busy for my body, for my health? Maybe I don’t allow myself to think of it that way, hence why I skip a workout here and there, but this is essentially the excuse I’m making. And when I do reconsider my rationalization for “too busy,” I start to think of the things I do that are time-suckers and moments when I could squeeze in activity instead.

For someone always claiming to be “too busy” to workout, kettlebells have offered the perfect solution. It’s a quick twofer: the body gets stronger and the heart beats faster. Kettlebells are also great for coordination and balance, and burn mega calories, if you are keeping track. You’ve probably read all the reasons why a kettlebell workout is so great already, so I won’t go on about the benefits. If you want a fast, kick-butt kettlebell workout, try girevoy, which we feature in our March 2012 Workout department.

What do you do when you don’t have 10-minutes? How about a full-body workout in eight minutes? Just eight minutes! Try this routine from this week’s Team Kettlebells workout, developed by RKC and KBA certified Jen Sinkler, senior fitness editor at Experience Life and author of Survival of the Fittest:

  1. Kettlebell Snatches, One Arm, 40 seconds. With hips back, swing the kettlebell so you are lifting it nearly straight up overhead. It felt kind of like a swing and a push press combined. When the kettlebell feels weightless, flip it over so you guide it to the outside of your wrist. (The move kind of looks like this, seen in the first 10 seconds of the video, only with one kettlebell/arm.) Start with your weaker side (whichever isn’t your dominant hand). Rest for 20 seconds.
  2. Kettlebell Snatches, Alternate Arm, 40 seconds. Repeat the same movement with the other arm. Rest for 20 seconds.
  3. Goblet Squat, 40 seconds. Use a heavier kettlebell if you have it for this move. (At home, I keep a 10-pound kettlebell and 25-pound kettlebell that my mom bought me in our den for on-the-fly workouts.) Grab the kettlebell by the handles and lift to chest height in a rack position (you can also flip it over so the bell is upright like in this demo video), then squat (whatever depth feels good — no need to dip below the knees if that doesn’t feel comfortable) and stand back up. Repeat until time. Rest for 20 seconds.
  4. Mountain Climbers, 40 seconds. This is the move I do in T.E.A.M. Boot Camp that both challenges me and makes me giggle. Partially because I’m thinking about how I look and partially because it feels kind of fun. It’s also the move that I’ve demonstrated to two different friends, once in a parking lot and once in a coffee shop. Yes, it’s a conditioning move that you may randomly find yourself doing in public. (It could become the next flash mob: flash mountain climbers.) How to do it: Squat down, place your hands on the ground, then kick your legs back — first one and then the other — straight behind you, alternating legs. Keep your butt down and make the movement quick-paced. Rest for 20 seconds, then repeat from the top for your 8-minute workout.

A note on kettlebell snatches from Jen: You want to be in charge of the kettlebell when you flip it to the outside of your wrist so it doesn’t smack against your arm. If you are bruising, you can buy wristbands, but don’t let them compromise your form (don’t let the cushioning allow you to lose control of the KB). You can find inexpensive terrycloth wristbands at sporting-goods stores or Target, or if you’re big time, check out KettleGuards.

Next time you’re faced with a day that leaves little time, add this workout to the mix. Maybe you’ll even find you have time for more rounds — or a repeat performance later in the day.