Shir Konas

Part IV: Traditional, Assistance and Trunk Exercises

In the last Kettlebell article, I provided some foundation and basic power exercises. In this installment, I’d like to list a few more exercises to complete your overall KB foundation. Once again, please remember that KBs are not built like any other free weights and should be approached with due respect in order to minimize the risks of injury:

1. Windmill
> This is a progression of the SDL (stiff-legged deadlift). Start with you legs wide, toes pointed forward and sideways (with a 90º angle between both feet). Keep the front knee slightly bent
> The back arm (ipsilateral to the back leg) holds the KB up overhead, keeping the elbow locked the entire duration of the set
> Flex the hip back at an oblique angle
> Maintaining the slight curve in the lower back, rotate the trunk toward the KB, as the hip flexes and extends. You may bend the knees slightly to facilitate the range of motion, but flexibility should be developed so you eventually don’t need to bend your knees
> Return to upright position (KB is still overhead!)
> Remember – the elbow remains locked and the arm upright through the entire movement

2. Side Press
> This one’s a progression from the Windmill.  The starting position is the same, but this time the arm holding the KB is in the racked position
> As you flex the hip (just like in the Windmill), extend the KB arm and press the rotating trunk under the arm
> Thrust the hip into the upright position with the arm still extended overhead
> Return the arm into the racked position, absorbing with the knees

3. Elbow Extension
> Start in a standing, seated or supine position, (and this can be done with one or two arms) with the bottom of the KB extended away from your hand (arm fully extended overhead)
> Flex the elbow, lowering the KB to a full elbow flexion
> Return to starting position

4. Curl Up
> Start lying on your back, KB in hands and arms extended over your chest
> Curl the trunk up, lifting your upper back off the ground
> Return to the starting position

5. Russian Twist
> Start in a seated position, KB in both hands, in the racked position (but extend the arms slightly away from the body). Feet are off the ground and trunk leaning back at a 45º angle
> rotate your upper body and lower body away in opposite directions (counter-rotation), while flipping the KB side-to-side

6. Turkish Getup
> Start supine, KB in one arm – elbow is locked and arm is perpendicular to the floor
> Roll up into full standing position, without bending the KB arm through the rise
> Return to the starting position reversing the path you used to get up

1. Cronin, Khai, Ganulin (2007), Kettlebells Level 1 Instructor Training Manual
2. To read more about David Bluman, visit
3. For more information and workshop schedule, please visit

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