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Kettlebell Workout: Burn 20 Calories a Minute!

Burn 20 Calories a Minute!

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A kettlebell is one of the most efficient, effective tools for sculpting a slim, strong physique. Why? Instead of isolating muscle groups like you do when lifting dumbbells, you work all your major muscle groups at once with a kettlebell. That's because the weight isn't evenly distributed, so you have to work continuously to control the bell's shifting center of gravity. The result: major calorie burn—a recent study by the American Council on Exercise found that a kettlebell workout can burn up to 20 calories a minute—while you add definition to your shoulders, back, butt, core, and arms.

How it works: Three days a week, perform 1 set of each exercise back to back. Do the entire circuit 3 times. For best results, schedule your workouts on non-consecutive days so your body has time to recover.

You'll need: A 10- to 20-pound kettlebelll.

VIDEO: The 10-Minute Total-Body Workout

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Kettlebell Swing

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Reps: 15

How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a kettlebell at your center line. Slightly bend knees, shift hips back, and bring torso almost parallel with the floor. To come back to standing, engage your glutes and drive hips forward.

The kettlebell should naturally swing up because your hips are powerfully driving forward (not forcing it up with arm strength). Make sure to keep core engaged the entire time and never round your back. Do 15 reps at a quick pace.

Kettlebell Squat

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Reps: 10

How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding the kettlebell with both hands at your chest. Draw shoulders down and back. Keeping chest lifted, bend knees and shift hips back to lower into a squat (lower hips until thighs are parallel to the ground).

Press heels into the floor and engage your glutes to return to standing. Make sure knees are pressed out or point straight ahead the entire time, not buckling in. Do 10 reps.

Single-Leg Deadlift

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Reps: 10 per side

How to do it: Hold kettlebell in left hand. Shift weight onto your right foot. Slightly bend right knee and hinge forward at your hips. Keeping glutes and core engaged, kick left leg back as your torso comes parallel with the floor.

Press foot into the floor as you return to standing. Make sure to keep chest lifted and never round your back. Do 10 reps per side.

Bent-Over Row

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Reps: 10 per side

How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding the kettlebell in left hand. Bend knees and hinge back at your hips. Torso will be close to parallel with the round, back completely straight. Row the kettlebell up to shoulder height by bending left elbow straight up to the ceiling. Keep the weight close to your side and core engaged.

If needed, you can place your right hand on a wall for extra support. Do 10 reps per side.

Kettlebell Suitcase Carry

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Reps: 20 steps per side

How to do it: Grab the kettlebell in one hand and stand at one end of the room. Draw shoulders down and back, lift chest, and engage your core. Maintaining this muscle engagement, begin to walk forward while holding the kettlebell in one hand. Continue walking for 20 steps, and then switch hands and repeat.

Be sure to walk with proper posture and do not take wide strides. Do 1 set of 20 steps each way.

Shoulder Press

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Reps: 10

How to do it: Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding the kettlebell on the outsides of the handle. Keep a slight bend in your knees as you press the weight directly overhead. Slowly lower the kettlebell down to chest. Be sure to draw shoulders away from ears and avoid arching back. Do 10 reps.