Warming up muscle groups is an essential element to any workout. A quality warm-up can prevent injuries and helps the body perform at a high level of intensity. Kettlebells offer a great way to warm up the muscles, and don’t require a lot of space to store around the house. Movement preparation is a style of dynamic warm-ups that activate different muscle groups at the same time. These types of exercises will increase circulation and activates the body in preparation for physically demanding activities. Here are five great kettlebell exercises that will ensure you have a great workout every time:
1. Halo (demo in link)
Muscle Groups – Shoulders, upper-back
Movement – Holding the kettlebell like a steering wheel, with the hands on both sides of the grip and the weight on-top, rotate the weight around your head. Focus on keeping your chin up, elbows in, and stand tall. Then, slowly rotate the kettlebell counterclockwise around the neck while also rotating the weight so that the wrists do not bend. The forearms should rub across the top of the head during this motion. Halfway through the action, the kettlebell should be in the middle of the back with the weight below the handles and elbows pointed to the sky. Users should feel the sensation of the weight pulling down on their shoulders at this point. Without pausing, continue moving the kettlebell in the same direction until it is back at the starting position. Try five to ten rotations in one direction, and then perform the operation in the opposite direction.
Focus – Keep the kettlebell as close to the neck as possible to enhance shoulder mobility.
Repetitions – 5 to 10 on each side
2. Arm Bar (demo in link)
Muscle Groups – Shoulders, thoracic spine, abdomen
Movement – Start by lying flat on your back with a light-weight kettlebell in the right hand, and the arm fully extended above the body. Slowly rotate onto your stomach, while keeping the kettlebell in the same position. This motion requires the shoulder to rotate, with the right leg driving the torso into the roll. Next, drive the right knee to the ground, with the leg bent at a 90-degree angle, and the head resting on the left bicep. After the hips are flush with the ground, flex the shoulder blades to maintain the balance, and begin to extend the legs as far as possible, until both knees are locked and the toes are pointed. While in this position, concentrate on breathing and flexing the glutes, while feeling a stretch across the chest and thoracic spine. Allow the shoulder blades to pull in, towards each other, but do not “shrug”. Hold this position for five deep breaths, and slowly reverse the movement to come back to original position. Slowly lower the kettlebell while flat on your back, and safely halo to the other side to repeat the exercise in the opposite direction.
Focus – Maintain the weight’s center of balance while the arm is fully extended
Repetitions – 3 to 5 on each side
Courtesy of @Kettlebell Kings