Strengthen your entire body—all you need is a kettlebell and some killer motivation.
Trainer Adam Rosante, the author of the e-book Strong Body Guide, designed this routine to pump up the three key components of strength. First, there's maximal muscular strength, or the greatest force you can muster in a single contraction. (Think of that as the most weight you can press, squat, and so on, in a single rep.) Then there's muscular power, which is your ability to produce strength quickly (as in throwing a medicine ball as far and as high as you can). Last, there's muscular endurance, which is your ability to exert force many times over (as in "drop and give me 10 push-ups"). Build all three and you'll not only maximize your overall strength relative to your size, but also be able to handle just about any physical task—from a CrossFit WOD to flipping your mattress to dancing all night at a wedding. (Those aren't the only ways weight lifting will change your life.)
And you don't even need three different workouts to achieve all that; just pick up a kettlebell, and tackle this all-in-one workout to get crazy strong, crazy fast. Do this workout three days a week for six weeks, and the benefits will be undeniable. (Can't get enough of kettlebells? Try this workout for more.)
How it works: Do move 1, then rest for 2 minutes. Do move 2, then rest for 2 minutes. Then perform moves 3 and 4 as a superset (alternating between the two exercises until the sets are complete). Then perform moves 5 and 6 as a superset. Rest as little as possible between moves, and rest for 1 minute between sets. After completing moves 1 through 6, rest for 5 minutes. Then set a timer for 9 minutes; complete moves 7 through 10 back-to-back, completing as many rounds as possible. Try this routine twice a week on alternate days for six weeks.
Total Time: up to 15 minutes
1. One-and-a-Quarter Front Squat
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes turned slightly out, holding the handle of a kettlebell in each hand at shoulder height with fingers interlocked, palms facing down, and elbows bent out to sides with ball of kettlebell resting on arms to start. Squat until hip crease drops below knee level. Push through heels to rise up a quarter of the way, then drop back down into full squat. Drive up to starting position. Rest for 2 minutes after completing all sets.
2. Eccentric Goblet Lunge
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding handle of a kettlebell in each hand with arms by sides to start. Step right foot back and take 6 seconds to slowly lower into a lunge with both legs bent 90 degrees. Step right foot up to starting position. Do 8 reps, then switch sides and repeat. That's one set. Rest for 2 minutes after completing all sets.
3. W Push-Up
Start on floor in plank on palms. Take 5 seconds to lower straight body to floor.
Lift chest and draw arms back to form a W with thumbs pointing up. Contract the muscles in your upper back and hold for 5 seconds. Lower chest and plant palms on floor under shoulders, then press up to starting position.
4. Halo Curl
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding a kettlebell by horns at chest with elbows bent down to start.
Keep kettlebell close to you as you circle it clockwise up and around your head. Switch sides; repeat. Then straighten arms to lower weight to top of thighs. Curl weight to chest to return to starting position. Rest 1 to 2 minutes after all sets.
5. Clean and Press
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, a kettlebell between feet, arms by sides. Squat, grabbing kettlebell handle with right hand, drawing left arm to your side at an angle.
Explosively stand as you pull kettlebell up close to body (right elbow bends out to side), flipping right palm up to catch the ball of kettlebell at your shoulder. Immediately lower into a quarter squat.
Then drive up to stand as you press weight overhead, finishing with biceps right next to ear. Reverse movement to starting position. Do 15 to 20 reps, then switch sides and repeat. That's 1 set.
15 to 20
6. Offset Farmer's Walk
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding handle of one kettlebell in right hand with arm by side and handle of other kettlebell in left hand at shoulder, elbow bent out to side with ball of kettlebell resting on arm to start. Maintaining an upright posture and a tight core, take long steps across floor. Stride for 20 paces, then turn around, switch sides, and repeat. Rest for 5 minutes after all sets.
7. Broad Jump
Stand with feet hip-width apart, arms raised overhead. Throw arms down and back as you lower into a quarter squat to start. Swing arms up as you explosively jump as far forward as possible. Land softly in starting position. (If you run out of space, turn around and change directions.)
8. Toe Tap
Stand facing a kettlebell. Sprint in place, tapping right toes, then left toes, on the top of the handle. That's 1 rep.
9. Burpee Over Bell
Stand to left of a kettlebell with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Crouch, plant palms on floor, jump feet back to plank, and lower chest and thighs to floor. Push up to plank, hop feet toward hands.
Then jump laterally over kettlebell, clapping hands overhead.
10. Russian Swing
Stand an arm's length behind a kettlebell with feet hip-width apart and arms by sides. Bend knees, shift hips back, and hinge from hips to reach down to grab handle with both hands with an overhand grip. With chest lifted and back flat, swing the kettlebell between your legs (like hiking a football) to start. When forearms reach inner thighs, explosively drive hips forward to stand straight up, swinging straight arms forward and up to shoulder height. Allow gravity to lower straight arms back to start.