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6 Unconventional Kettlebell Exercises to Mix Up Your Routine

Why Do Kettlebell Exercises?

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This odd bell-shaped fitness tool can offer a full-body metabolic and toning blast, thanks to its unique shape and the centralized location of the weight. One University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse study even showed that kettlebells can improve core strength up to 70 percent while boosting aerobic capacity, balance, and explosive power.

But what if you're bored with traditional kettlebell swings? Here, Matt Delaney, Equinox Tier X coach, shares his favorite unconventional kettlebell moves.

Photo: Matt Delaney

Single-Arm Kettlebell Swing

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A. Stand with feet hip-width apart and grab kettlebell with right hand in overhand grip. Perform a single-arm swing, hinging hips.

B. At the top of the movement, alternate hands, bringing the bell back down into a hip hinge. Repeat, alternating hands.

Delaney says: "The alternating single arm swing is more challenging than a traditional kettlebell swing because the unilateral load introduces an element of rotation that needs to be controlled. The need for added stability strengthens your core."

Photo: Matt Delaney

Kettlebell Cross and Carry

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A. Start standing with one kettlebell racked close to the chest and another held, suitcase style, in the opposite hand. Walk forward 30 yards, return to start. Repeat on opposite side.

Delaney says: "Alternating between rack and suitcase position challenges your core because it has to resist both forward and lateral flexion simultaneously."

Photo: Matt Delaney

Kettlebell Bottoms-Up Press

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A. Start with one knee down, one foot in front of you for support. Holding kettlebell on same side as kneeling leg with bell up, press the weight directly overhead until bicep is next to ear. Lower back down to start for one rep.

Delaney says: "Turning the bell bottoms up requires more efficient shoulder mobility and stability around the scapula. If you think it's tough, you're not alone!"

Photo: Matt Delaney

Kettlebell High-Pull Snatch

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A. Start with feet slightly wider than hip-width distance, holding the handle of the bell with knees bent.

B. Exploding through the heels and thrusting hips forward, high-pull the bell up to chest. In a continuous movement, push the bell up overhead. Return to start for one rep.

Delaney says: "The high-pull snatch helps develop lower body power because of the rapid hip extension required to accelerate the bell vertically overhead."

Photo: Matt Delaney

Kettlebell Pull and Drag

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A. Start in a high plank position with kettlebell to the right of torso on its side, handle facing body. Grab the handle with left hand, keeping hips level, and pull the bell under torso, putting it down on opposite side.

B. Place left hand back in high plank position. Repeat on opposite side for one rep.

Delaney says: "This is a great exercise for your core. Staying neutral as you reach under your body to grab the weight and slide it through will improve your ability to stabilize the spine during movement (which is the main function of the core, after all)."

Photo: Matt Delaney

Turkish Get-Up Sit-Up

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A. Lie on back with right knee bent, left leg extended. Left arm is extended by side with palm facing down. Hold a kettlebell in right hand with arm extended toward ceiling.

B. Engage core and use left hand to sit up, first moving to left forearm then pressing up to left palm, while keeping right arm extended overhead. Return back to start for one rep.

Delaney says: "Most people get stuck on this phase of the Turkish get-up because they try to sit straight up. Practicing this movement will teach you how to roll onto your forearm and create some of the necessary scapular stability."

Photo: Matt Delaney

Here's Why Your Hair Might Be Going Gray In Your 20s

It's a dreaded reality that we all start sprouting grays as we get older. But when I started noticing some wiry silver strands on my head in my early 20s, I had a minor meltdown. At first, I thought since I bleach the dark hair on my face (#browngirlproblems) that some strands on my head got caught in the mix. But as time went on, more gray hair appeared out of nowhere. And that's when I realized this was happening for real.

No-Bake Desserts for When It's Too Damn Hot to Turn On the Oven

Salted Dark Chocolate Tahini Fudge

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The flavors of this fudge are a blend of creamy tahini, dark chocolate, coconut oil, and sea salt. Tahini, a creamy paste made from ground sesame seeds, is a surprising source of protein and calcium and is actually quite versatile in the kitchen. (Check out these other creative ways to use tahini.)

Get the recipe: Salted Dark Chocolate Tahini Fudge

Photo: Paleo Running Momma

Chunky Monkey Banana Ice Cream

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For the uninitiated, banana "nice cream" is what happens when you blend frozen bananas into an ice cream-like consistency that convinces you it's your favorite soft serve—or darn close. You can flavor it with whatever your heart desires, be it pumpkin, salted caramel, or matcha. This version tastes like the infamous Chunky Monkey.

Get the recipe: Chunky Monkey Banana Ice Cream

Photo: Emilie Eats

Orange-Beetroot Tartlets with Almond-Fig Crust

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These beetroot and orange tarts are a healthier take on the elegant dessert. Beets are full of nitrates, which may help boost workout performance, plus they give these tarts their vibrant color.

Get the recipe: Orange-Beetroot Tartlets with Almond-Fig Crust

Photo: This Rawsome Vegan Life

Peach, Honey, and Thyme Lemonade Popsicles

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Popsicles are a quintessential summer dessert and can easily be made healthier at home without the additives found in store-bought versions. See these peach and honey treats, which feature more grown-up flavors too.

Get the recipe: Peach, Honey, and Thyme Lemonade Popsicles

Photo: Golubka Kitchen

No-Bake Hazelnut Ganache Brownies

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If you like the taste of brownie batter, you'll love the rich texture of no-bake brownies. These are topped with a coconut-maple ganache and hazelnuts, which give them a Nutella-esque crunch.

Get the recipe: No-Bake Hazelnut Ganache Brownies

 

Photo: The Bojon Gourmet

Mini Raspberry Coconut Pies

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These mini pies are a lot less labor-intensive than a regular pie. Just process the crust ingredients and the raspberry-coconut filling, throw them in the freezer, and then serve with almonds and chocolate drizzle. (We also suggest these healthy, light pie recipes for summer.)

Get the recipe: Mini Raspberry Coconut Pies

Photo: Handful of Raspberries

Pumpkin Date Caramel Cups

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Sometimes only candy can satisfy your sweet tooth. (Sound familiar? Try these 10 homemade candy alternatives.) These cups are salty and sweet with a caramel-y filling made from dates, almond butter, and pumpkin.

Get the recipe: Pumpkin Date Caramel Cups

Photo: Katie Wahlman

Chai Cheesecake Bars

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The blend of chai spices has multiple health benefits, so this no-bake dessert beats regular cheesecake in the nutrition category, for sure. Ginger is anti-inflammatory and cardamom is said to increase circulation. So, whip up a batch of these chai-flavored cheesecake bars on days when it's too hot to sip a latte.

Get the recipe: Chai Cheesecake Bars

Photo: Bakerita