Eric Leija (a.k.a. Primal Swoledier ), creator of the Mens Health Kettlehell program , offers the following flow routine to train every muscle youve got, and with special attention to your arms. Youll do all the classic lifts you need to be functionally strong, says Leija, like squats, pushups, and lunges, but with a little bi and tri work added inbecause everyone wants to move well and look good too.
The entire workout should take about 17 minutes.
Perform each exercise in sequence. Do reps of each for 30 seconds, completing an equal number of reps on each side (where necessary), and then rest at the end of the flow for 60 seconds. Thats 1 round. Perform 5 rounds.
1. Squat Curl To Standing Halo
- Step 1. Place a kettlebell on the floor and stand behind it with feet shoulder-width apart. Twist your feet into the ground so that theyre turned a few degrees outward, and you feel your glutes tighten upkeep this tight feeling in your hips throughout the exercise. Maintaining a long spine from your head to your pelvis, squat as low as you can, driving your knees outward as you descend (they should stay in line with your first two toes).
- Step 2. Grasp the kettlebell handle overhand with thumbs facing each other. Maintain your squat position as you curl the weight up until the bottom end is in front of your face. Drive through your heels to stand up tall.
- Step 3. Starting with the weight in front of your chest, raise it over and behind your right shoulder. Keep your elbows as close together as you canyour left forearm should brush over the top of your head as you raise the kettlebell. Continue moving the weight around the back of your head until its in front of you again (a halo). Keep your core braced to prevent any bending or twisting while you do the halo. Reverse the direction and make a circle around your head the other way, stopping when the weight is directly behind your head.
- Step 4. Extend your elbows to lock the weight out overhead, as in a normal triceps extension. Now lower it back in front of your chest (bottom up) and begin your next squat. Extend your arms at the bottom and then curl the weight up to begin the next rep. When you perform the halo this time, start on the opposite side from the last rep.
2. Tall Kneeling Curl To Overhead Extension
- Step 1. At the bottom of your last squat, kneel on the floor and extend your hips so your body is in a straight line from your head to your knees. Curl the kettlebell up to your face again, and then reach it over and behind your head, bending your elbows.
- Step 2. Extend your elbows to lock the weight out overhead, and then lower it in front of your chest again. Then extend your arms to lower it just above the floor.
3. Close-Grip Pushup To Squat Curl
- Step 1. At the bottom of your last curl, place the kettlebell on the floor in front of you and place both hands on the bottom of it. Get into pushup position with your body in a straight line.
- Step 2. Lower your body until your chest is about an inch above your hands, and then press your body back up.
- Step 3. Jump your feet forward, landing in a shoulder-width stance. Grasp the kettlebell by the handle and curl it up while keeping a long spine (dont round your lower back). Lower it back down, and jump back into pushup position again.
4. Bicep Curl To Press
- Step 1. After your last curl, stand up with feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your hips back and grasp the kettlebell in your right hand. Brace your right arm against your knee and curl the weight to your chest while keeping a long spine.
- Step 2. Stand up straight, holding the weight at the top of the curl so that it comes to shoulder level when youre upright.
- Step 3. Press the weight overhead in a half-circle motion. Lower it back to your shoulder, bend your hips back, extend your arm, and return the weight to the floor. Repeat the rep on the other side.
5. Split Stance Arm Series
- Step 1. With the kettlebell back on the floor, get into the bottom of a squat and grasp the weight with both hands. Curl the weight up and then step backward into a lunge. Your front thigh should be parallel to the floor and your rear knee should rest on the floor. As you step, raise the kettlebell overhead and behind you. Avoid arching your back as you raise your arms up.
- Step 2. Extend your elbows to the lock the weight out overhead, and then step forward again and lower into a squat with the kettlebell extended in front of you. Repeat the rep on the other side.