Kettlebell Exercise of the Week – Kettlebell Figure of Eight
Muscles strengthened: Chest, Shoulders, Abdominals, Back, Glutes, Quads, Thighs
Target: 3 sets of 1 minute
What you need to know
This is a great all-over body exercise that can be used with a light weight as part of a warm-up and with a heavier weight during workouts.
It’s a little more complex than many other kettlebell exercises and exclusive to the kettlebell – unlike other exercises that can be performed with interchangeable fit kit like dumbbells, barbells and medicine balls.
If you’re new to the exercise, take your time and use a light weight initially just to get used to the movements, then as you gain confidence increase the weight and the speed at which you work.
After one month you should be able to manage a 5-10% increase in kettlebell weight and a 10-20% increase in speed.
What you need to do
Start with your feet wide of your hips with your toes turned out and the kettlebell on the floor in between them.
Squat, keeping a flat back, and pick up the kettlebell with both hands. Then stand up and hold the kettlebell in one hand.
Squat as you pass the kettlebell diagonally under your body to the empty hand.
Lengthen the legs to standing as you bring the kettlebell from back to front around the body following a curved line.
Squat again and start over on the other side.
Keep repeating until half your allocated time has passed, then change directions passing from back to front.
Tips and Pointers
Don’t rush this exercise initially, take your time when you pass the kettlebell from hand to hand and perform a full squat every time to get a full range of motion through the legs and a complete workout for the body.
Maintain your posture by keeping your belly engaged and your back long.
Keep your feet grounded from heel to toe throughout. This will keep the knees aligned when you squat.
Hinge forward with a tall torso from the hips when you squat and tuck the tailbone under when you stand.
Resist hunching the shoulders as you move your arms. Think about extending the sides of the neck and keeping an open chest to allow optimal rotation from the shoulders while the arms travel.
As ever, keep the joints soft, arms long and elbows open all the way through with knees staying soft when the legs are extended.
If you need some equipment to get started then check out the range of kettlebells in our online shop: Kettlebells