Why do Squats with a kettlebell?

Squats with Kettlebell

IMG_0867This week I thought maybe I’d try to learn something new for my workout post. I often stick to roughly the same routines and runs so I thought why not use the blog as an excuse to try something new?

I’ve always been slightly intimidated by kettlebells. I only usually use really light hand-weights (only up to 3kg!), but I’ve always wanted to try as Mr R uses a kettlebell as part of his routines.


So I asked Mr R to show me how to do the most simple exercise he could think of with the kettlebell. He picked squats.


How to do body weight squats

  • Stand with feet hip distance apart
  • Push body weight backwards whilst bending knees
  • Raise hands out in front for balance, parallel to the ground with palms downwards
  • Don’t let knees go over toes
  • When the bottom starts to stick out, keep spine neutral – don’t let it curve.
  • Aim to get legs parallel (at 90 degrees) to the floor.

Actually when I was researching technique for squats (to be sure I’ve been doing them properly!) I have found debate on-line about the benefits of full squats versus the version above which are half squats. I’ve always done half squats and from what I understand there is debatable risks to the knees by doing the full version. However I did find this very interesting site advocating doing the full squat over the half squat.

Why to do squats

  • Bottom toning
  • Non- impact so gentle on the back, knees and ankles
  • Improved balance
  • Tones muscles in the leg
  • Burns calories
  • Improves core stability

Why to do kettlebell squats?

A bodyweight squat strengths primarily the lower body, back and core. By adding in a kettlebell the arms and shoulders also get a workout.

How to do kettlebell squats

  • Hold kettlebell in front of, and close to, chest with two hands.
  • Lower into squat position as detailed above whilst holding kettlebell close to the chest
  • Keep elbows tucked in.
  • Rise up again and repeat motion



How I coped with doing kettlebell squats

Actually as you can see by my posture in this picture I found it surprisingly MUCH harder than a weight free squat. I couldn’t squat with my legs quite parallel to the floor and certainly couldn’t maintain it long enough to take a picture!

I also struggled to keep my back in a neutral position.

Overall I’m glad to have discovered the benefits of squats with added weights. I’m going to try adding a hand weight first and might work up to using a kettlebell regularly. I’m also hoping Mr R will show me a few other kettlebell exercise now that I’m no longer intimidated by them.

30 Second Summary: Squats are a great exercise for the lower body and core, adding in a kettlebell also works out the arms and shoulders. However, its important to only use weights if you can continue to squat with the proper technique.

Have any of you had any experiences of using a kettlebell? Or like me have you been a bit intimidated of trying out new bits of equipment? I’d love to hear any comments.

Mums' Days

14 thoughts on “Why do Squats with a kettlebell?

  1. mrshsfavouritethings March 6, 2015 / 3:56 pm

    I’ve recently started using Kettlebells in a bootcamp I go to and they are tricky little devils. They look quite easy but you definitely feel the burn after a while. I have become a Kettlebells addict. Hugs Mrs H xxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare March 6, 2015 / 6:37 pm

      Ooh I’d love to learn how to use them properly. I’m such a weakling though!! Of course much as I started writing a bit about exercise to motivate myself now that I’ve got all this blogging to do there’s barely anytime to workout! Xx


    • tenminutesspare March 7, 2015 / 10:47 am

      Thank you😊. I’m really a complete beginner with the kettlebell but it was fun learning!


      • tenminutesspare May 25, 2015 / 4:47 pm

        They’re a really quick easy workout so good for me when busy. I wrote this post a while ago and whilst I love the idea of adding weights for an upper body workout I still often just do weight free squats, sometimes even a few minutes extra to grab weights or a kettlebell at home makes it seem like much more effort! Thanks so much for hosting #thelist.


  2. Clare Scott May 22, 2015 / 6:11 am

    I’ve been pondering the use of kettlebells so this post was really useful 🙂 #TheList

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 23, 2015 / 1:05 pm

      Glad it was helpful. I’m a complete beginner with them but my arms are my weakest area so definitely something I’d like to use more in my regular routines.


    • tenminutesspare May 23, 2015 / 1:06 pm

      Thanks. Squats are good aren’t they. I’m very much a beginner with the kettlebell but something I’d like to use more to improve my upper body strength.


  3. mummyfever May 22, 2015 / 10:16 am

    Ah kettlebells – love them and squats, love them too, I squat whilst I iron to fit everything in to the day lol #TheList

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 23, 2015 / 1:08 pm

      That’s great! Although as my latest post confesses I have terrible motivation when it comes to ironing… Perhaps trying to multi-task would help! Xx


  4. Rose May 23, 2015 / 12:48 am

    I’ve never used kettle bells for a squat but I do like the idea of working out the upper body as well. I’d never heard that full squats were bad for you – I thought as long as your technique was correct and you’re bracing your core it was fine so will have a look into that. Thanks for sharing – really interesting post xo #TheList

    Liked by 1 person

    • tenminutesspare May 23, 2015 / 6:33 pm

      I’m definitely not an expert on this and from what I can work out there is a lot of debate in the fitness world about the benefits of full vs half squats. I’ve only ever done half squats because that was the way I was shown once upon a time! I’m sure you’re right as with a lot different types of exercise correct technique is really important to ensuring you get maximum benefit and avoid risks.


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