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This Kettlebell Cardio Workout Video Promises to Get You Breathless

If you're not using kettlebells as part of your cardio routine, it's time to reevaluate. The bell-shaped training tool has the power to help you scorch major calories. A 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, arms, and core. That's right: This single tool is the easy way to score a strength and cardio workout in one session.

"Kettlebells are compact, portable, and can be used virtually anywhere for both a cardio workout, strength workout, or combo of both," says Lacee Lazoff, a StrongFirst level one kettlebell instructor and trainer at Performix House. "They are the perfect tool for cardio because movements can be explosive and taxing on the heart rate."

Ready to give it a whirl? Here, Lazoff offers up a great introductory sequence in this kettlebell cardio workout video.  (Want more fat-burning cardio kettlebell workouts? Try Jen Widerstrom's HIIT kettlebell circuit or this kettlebell core workout.)

How it works: Do each of the exercises below for the indicated number of reps or time interval. Do the circuit one or two times total.
You'll need: a medium-weight kettlebell and a timer

Kettlebell Swing

A. Stand with a kettlebell on the floor in front of feet and legs slightly wider than hip-width apart. Hinge at the hips with soft knees to bend over and grab the bell by the handle with both hands to start. 
B. Swing the kettlebell back and between your legs. Keeping core engaged, forcefully propel the kettlebell forward by thrusting your hips forward and contracting your glutes.
C. Allow the kettlebell to reach chest height, then use the momentum to let it fall and swing back between legs. Repeat the move from start to finish in a fluid motion.

Continue for 30 seconds.

Thruster

A. Stand with feet hip-width apart holding a kettlebell in the racked position (near sternum) with right hand.
B. Inhale and engage core, hinging at the hips and bending knees to lower into a squat. Pause when thighs are parallel to the floor. 
C. Press through the mid-foot to stand, using the momentum to simultaneously press the bell overhead with the right hand. 
D. Slowly lower bell to racked position to return to starting position.

Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Figure 8

A. Stand with feet wider than hip-width apart, with a kettlebell on the ground between feet. Lower into a quarter squat, keeping spine naturally straight, chest lifted, shoulders back, and neck neutral. Reach down and grasp kettlebell handle with right hand.
B. Gently swing the kettlebell back between legs and reach left hand around the back of the left thigh to transfer the bell to left hand. 
C. Circle the kettlebell forward around the outside of the left leg. With core engaged, immediately thrust hips forward to stand, swinging the kettlebell up to chest height with the left hand. 
D. Let the kettlebell fall back down between legs, reaching the right hand around the back of the right thigh to transfer the kettlebell to the right hand.
E. Circle the bell forward around the outside of the right leg and thrust hips forward to stand, swinging the kettlebell up to chest height with the right hand. Let the bell fall back between legs to complete the figure-8 pattern. Begin the next rep without pausing.

Continue for 30 seconds.

Kettlebell High-Pull Snatch

A. Start with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart and a kettlebell on the floor between feet. Lower into a quarter squat to grab the handle of the bell with the right hand.
B. In one fluid movement, explode through the heels and thrust hips forward to high-pull the bell up to chest. Then push the bell up overhead so right arm is extended directly over shoulder, palm faces forward, and the kettlebell rests on the forearm.
C. Reverse the movement to return to starting position. 

Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Dead Clean

A. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart with a kettlebell on the floor between feet. Hinge at the hips and bend knees to grab the handle of a kettlebell with both hands.
B. While maintaining a neutral spine, propel the kettlebell up vertically by thrusting your hips forward and drawing elbows up, keeping the kettlebell close to the body. When the kettlebell becomes weightless, quickly tuck elbows in to sides and let hands slide down to grip lower on the handle, coming into a racked position with the kettlebell right in front of the chest.
C. Reverse the movement to lower the kettlebell back down to hover just above the floor.

Do 10 reps; Switch sides; repeat.

Push Press to Reverse Lunge

A. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell in the right hand in the racked position (near your sternum).
B. Lower into a quarter squat, then immediately extend hips and knees, using the momentum to press the kettlebell overhead, with the right arm fully extended directly over the right shoulder.
C. Keeping core engaged, step backward with the right foot into reverse lunge, tapping the back knee to the ground and keeping the front knee bent directly over the left ankle.
D. Push off the back foot and press into the mid-foot of the front foot to return to standing, keeping weight racked the entire time. Repeat on opposite side for 1 rep.

Do 10 reps. Switch sides; repeat.

Dead Clean to Goblet Squat

A. Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart with a kettlebell on the floor between feet. Hinge at the hips and bend knees to grab the handle of a kettlebell with both hands.
B. While maintaining a neutral spine, propel the kettlebell up vertically by thrusting your hips forward and drawing elbows up, keeping the kettlebell close to the body. When the kettlebell becomes weightless, quickly tuck elbows in to sides and let hands slide down to grip lower on the handle, coming into a racked position with the kettlebell right in front of the chest.
C. Immediately lower into a goblet squat, pausing when thighs are parallel to the floor. Press through mid-foot to stand, then reverse clean to lower the kettlebell between feet to return to starting position, tapping the bell to the floor briefly before beginning the next rep. 

Do 10 reps.

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