So you’ve been hitting the gym pretty regularly and have a basic understanding of cardio and bodyweight moves. Now what? Whether your goal is to get stronger or to actually put on muscle, adding these exercises to your routine is a great place to start.
Note: All kettlebell exercises in this post can also be completed with dumbbells, and vice versa.
1. Goblet Squat
• Keep your feet about hip-width apart.
• Turn your toes out slightly.
• Keep the kettlebell close to your chest.
• Push your hips back, as if you’re going to sit down.
• Slowly lower your body, squatting only as deeply as you can to keep proper form.
• Keep weight in the middle of your feet.
• Return to standing.
2. Barbell Back Squat
• Start with the bar on the top of your traps.
• Always keep a tight grip with your hands.
• Keep your chest and head up.
• Push through the middle of your feet when you stand up.
• Keep your feet between hip- and shoulder-distance apart.
• Your feet should also be straight or slightly turned out.
• Keep your spine neutral by engaging core and upper body (whole body must be tight).
• The bar should stay in contact with your body throughout the lift (i.e. touching your legs as you stand the bar up).
4. Bulgarian Split Squat
• Keep your chest up as you squat with a slight forward lean at your torso.
• Your shoulders should stay over or slightly in front of your hips, never behind them.
• Make sure your butt makes contact with your back heel in the lower position.
• Don’t rock or sway back (you should start and end in the same position).
• Squat until your front leg is at a 90-degree angle.
• Your palms should face your body.
• Keep your feet together and abs engaged.
• Keep your elbows close to your body the whole time.
• Slowly lower yourself until arms are fully extended.
• Keep your head neutral or look slightly up, with your neck relaxed.
• Same as chin-up, but your palms should face away from your body.
7. Farmer’s Carry
• Keep a strong grip on weights in each hand.
• Your head, shoulders, and hips should be neutral.
• Keep your chest up and shoulders back.
• Take shorter steps if the weight is heavy.
• Keep your abs engaged to eliminate rocking side to side.
8. Walking Dumbbell Lunges
• With each step, your front leg should be at a 90-degree angle and your foot should land flat and pointed straight forward.
• Drive through your whole front foot (not your toes or heel) to stand up.
• Your back foot should only provide assistance to stand and for balance support.
• Keep the weights and your arms controlled and at your side with your chest up and your shoulders back.
• Your shoulders should be directly above your hips or slightly in front of them.
• Spread your fingers so they’re active and engaged with floor.
• Keep your abs, glutes, and entire lower body tight.
• Your whole body should move as one unit and remain neutral from your head to your hips.
• Keep your elbows close to your body with a slight angle outward.
• Keep your shoulders away from your ears and don’t let your shoulders round forward as you go down.
• Your weight should be evenly distributed throughout your hands (not just in palms).