Athlete and home fitness guru Jordan Morello shows us that you can get a great kettlebell workout while seated. In a recent Instagram post, his first 3 slides take some of the lesser-known kettlebell exercises and add a creative twist to each. The real impressive part is that 2 of those exercises are done with the legs raised. This not only makes it more difficult for balancing but also puts more strain on the abs.
If you watched all 5 videos, the last 2 do not feature a kettlebell but, rather, battle ropes. Those are another great tool that is gaining popularity for workouts. However, I’d like to discuss and break down the 3 kettlebell exercises. Even though they are short, they’d make a great complementary set to more conventional kettlebell workouts.
Video 1 – Under/Over U-Shaped Kettlebell Workout
My first impression was that this looks a lot like the seated figure 8 exercise. Instead of going between each leg in such a pattern, the kettlebell is passed underneath both legs and pressed overhead. Consider that like the figure 8, the legs never touch the ground which forces your body to work harder without the benefit of rest.
Tucking the knees close to the body as the kettlebell passes underneath offers a little extra room than if they were to remain extended. Ideally, you’d most likely want to do this with a smaller-sized kettlebell. I know that when I switched from a 25 lb. to a 35 lb. kettlebell, the figure 8 became nearly impossible for me. The loss of space underneath and increased weight really put a strain on my arms.
Video 2 – Bicycle Kick & Overhead Extension Kettlebell Workout
This exercise resembles a seated press except the arm remains stationary overhead and the legs stay lifted throughout the entire duration. Instead of the kettlebell arm moving up and down vertically, each leg alternates in a bicycle kick fashion. It’s this piston-like action that really puts the emphasis on working out the abs.
It’s easy to discount the difficulty endured for this exercise when compared to more intense moves. However, imagine doing it for several minutes at a time for each arm. The heavier the weight and the longer the set lasts will absolutely increase the challenge of this abs, legs, and arms workout.
Video 3 – One Arm & Leg Opposite Jackknife
In my opinion, keeping one leg planted makes it more difficult than the standard jackknife kettlebell exercise. Also, notice how Jordan keeps his free arm extended and off the ground too. Not doing so would partially negate the stress put on the abs. At least the stationary leg is in a resting position!
For me, this is a reminder of trying to focus on balance over strength. I feel like regular squats have become easier over time but if that becomes a pistol squat, it’s a whole new challenge. Like a tight rope walker, I begin to wobble in place. For that reason, I certainly appreciate when balance and coordination are the focal points over strength and power.