Fitness enthusiast Josh O Dowd does not discriminate when it comes to free weights. One look at his Instagram page shows his proficiency with the likes of maces, clubs, dumbbells, and kettlebells. By combining traditional exercise moves with body rotations he’s literally putting a new spin on free weight workouts. This particular kettlebell workout of his looks absolutely dizzying!
Before getting any ideas of trying these moves yourself, I suggest two things. First is that you practice, learn, and perform the proper technique of the kettlebell reverse lunge, press, swing, clean and rack. Secondly, use a lighter weight as these exercises are just too risky to perform with a heavy kettlebell. Speed and pacing are important to really get your heart pumping consistently.
Breaking Down This Kettlebell & Rotational Workout
By my count, there are 3 distinct kettlebell exercises or combos intermixed with 360-degree spins. As for the weight he uses, my best guess is that it is a 12 kg. kettlebell. Given how losing balance is a possibility, anything heavier might cause injury. Focus and concentration are also extremely important which is why a light kettlebell makes even more sense.
Based on what I see, here are those moves as they relate to conventional kettlebell exercises. They are all fairly common but still require a precise technique to get the most out of them. Josh doesn’t offer a suggested number of reps for each move but if it were up to me I’d say 5 maximum before a brief rest. All that spinning will eventually catch up and it’s a good idea to reorient yourself quickly after each set.
The First Set of Exercises
- 360 degree backward spin in rack
- Strict press
- 360 degree forward spin
This pattern of movements is then repeated several times. I suppose the degree of rotation is up for interpretation. Technically, if you look at the legs planted during the strict press the spin is more like 270 degrees. However, Josh’s upper body and head are rotated forward while pressing which is why I classified it as a full spin.
Honestly, I’m struggling to identify just what type of kettlebell swing is used here. The knees remain bent during the entire swing to clean with no apparent hip-hinge movement. Furthermore, I don’t really see a rocking motion of the lower body that would make it a pendulum swing either. It’s entirely possible that power generation is coming from the arms.
Spin with Rack
Nothing overly complicated here. The kettlebell is merely held in rack position while performing the spin move. Notice how the free arm is extended outward rather than down by the side. It acts as a counterbalance to provide greater stability and reduce the chances of falling down.
Only the arm is used to press the kettlebell at the end of the spin sequence. No pushes or jerks which are unnecessary at that weight giving the legs a brief break before spinning forward. The lockout period of the press is very short – 1 second or so to keep things moving quickly.
The Second Set of Exercises
- 360 degree backward spin in rack
- Reverse lunge to strict press
- 2 steps forward
While the first two moves remain the same, the last two are slightly different. Not content with just keeping the kettlebell in the rack position while lunging, Josh performs a strict press while the knee touches the ground. He then lowers the kettlebell back into rack and finally makes two moderate steps forward.
Those two forward steps are essential for getting back to the start position. Otherwise, if you’re working out on uneven terrain or inside you’ll keep moving further back after each rep. Obviously, this might lead to the problem of losing your footing or even bumping into something.
Final Thoughts On This Kettlebell Spin Workout
Not suitable for beginners but simple enough where intermediate to advanced kettlebell lifters should have no problems. The key is to find your own pacing and not worry about how fast they are executed in the video. It’s easy to become disoriented so take breaks at the slightest sensation of dizziness.
For an additional challenge try using your other arm and spinning in the opposite direction. Once you get the hang of things on both sides try alternating after a specific repetition of sets. This likely isn’t ideal for longer workouts lasting 20+ minutes. However, for short 5 to 10 minute sessions it might serve as a nice warm-up to other cardio-based kettlebell workouts.