Kettlebell Cookies

Outswing your cookies

Woman pressing a Kettlebell
1-arm Kettlebell Press. Getty images

Now wait a minute, it's not what you think. Although they would probably be quite tasty, this article does not provide a recipe to Kettlebell-shaped cookies. Rather, it provides a perfect antidote to counteract those unwanted calories and body weight from eating too many holiday cookies.

This type of kettlebell circuit is highly effective because they are relatively easy to learn and perform, yet allow for multiple ranges and planes of movement while simultaneously enabling you to maintain a high anaerobic output since you are moving from one exercise to the next before too much fatigue sets in.

The 3 exercises you will use in this fat-burning kettlebell circuit are:

  • Goblet squat
  • 1 arm Press
  • 2 hand swing

Quick Tips

  • Goblet Squat: keep feet flat, knees pressed out and keeping vertically over the toes, and initiate the movement by hinging the hips back as if sitting on a chair
  • 1 arm Press: Keep abdomen, glutes and core musculature tight so there is no shifting of your midline. The arm stays close to the head as the kettlebell travels vertically from the chest to the Overhead Lockout position. Let the kettlebell fall back down to the chest between each rep
  • 2 Hand Swing: initiate the Swing by hinging back at the hips, arms maintain contact with the body as you extend your hips and knees, achieve upright, tall posture at the top of the Swing, and keep your head in neutral alignment with your torso throughout the movement

The Circuit

Start with a light kettlebell that you are confident you can handle with good control.

For a beginning female that may be 4-8kg (9-18 lbs) and for a beginner male it may be 12-16kg (25-35lbs). Adjust the kettlebell weight up or down accordingly. 

The circuit will be performed as follows:

(1) 3-5 minute general warm-up 

(2) Circuit - 1 round consists of:

  • Goblet squat x 10
  • 1- arm Press x 5 each arm (10 total)
  • 2 hand swing x 10

(3) 10-minute Cool-down and stretch

In your first go with this circuit, start with 3-4 sets of 10 repetitions of this 3-exercise circuit. Gradually progress by adding 1 round on each successive attempt. Work up to 10 rounds of 10 repetitions for each exercise.

Once you achieve that goal, you can increase the Kettlebell weight you use 2-4 kg (4.5-9 lbs) and start once again with 3-4 sets of 10 repetitions for each exercise, progressively working up to 10 sets of 10 for each. Continue that process for as long as you can motivate yourself to stick with the circuit.

You should perform this particular circuit 2 times per week, and do something else on the other training days. If you start with 3 rounds and add 1 round each workout, it will take you 4 weeks (8 workouts) to complete all 10 rounds.

Variables you adjust as needed are:

  • Load: the weight of the kettlebell used
  • Speed of movement: how fast it takes you to perform the 10 reps of each exercise
  • Rest: time between each exercise and each round

By changing even one aspect, the load, the speed or the rest, you can greatly influence the intensity of the circuit without changing any other variable. Increasing in weight or speed or decreasing rest between exercises will make it more difficult.

Conversely, you can reduce the load or speed and/or increase the rest periods to make a too-intense circuit more manageable.

However you put it together, this quick-and-dirty kettlebell circuit will burn away those holiday cookies you stored on your frame during the festive season.