Combinations have made some of the most epic things in life. Take s’mores, cell phone cameras, skorts (ok I’m kidding), and this kettlebell barre combo workout.
I’m sooooo excited to get back into my workout regiment again. Carrying that big belly around during that final trimester was a workout in itself, but there’s something about sweating because you lifted and squatted rather than sweating because you walked to the refrigerator feels like I’m back to the old me. I loved creating this kettlebell barre combo workout because it got my heart pumping, muscles burning, and yet allowed me to get a serious body-sculpting session in without any high impact moves that could hinder my postpartum progress.
These moves are as intense or easy as you make them. You can use a 17-pound kettlebell like this one, or choose a lighter kettlebell or single hand weight. The weight of the kettlebell will build your upper body strength and challenge your lower body with every barre-inspired pulse and lift. Total.body.blast. The sneaky part of these exercises is that you are engaging your core the entire time, to maintain stability and balance. Ab work without a single crunch? My weak post-baby stomach says thank you.
Inspired by my intense love for barre, and new found excitement for kettlebell training:
Kettlebell Barre Combo Workout
Wide Second Heel Lift Front Rows
Stand with with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and bend down into a sumo squat. Let the kettlebell hang in front of your body and lift your right heel off the ground. Keeping your heel lifted the entire time, bring the kettlebell up to your chest (elbows out) and use your legs to lift your body up slightly. Lower the kettlebell back down as you also lower yourself back into the deep sumo squat. Do 12 of these with your right heel lifted, then switch and do another 12 with your left heel lifted.
Overheat Seat Lifter
Start by grabbing the kettlebell by the side ‘horns’ and standing with feet hip distance apart. Bring the kettlebell in front of your chest as you bend your left knee to a 90 degree angle and flex your foot. Roll your hips forward (pelvis tilted up towards your ribcage) to create resistance for the booty work. Lift the kettlebell overhead as you gently push your heel back as far as you can without letting your hips roll backwards and arching your lower back. Lower the kettlebell back to you chest and bring your knee forward. Do 12 repetitions.
Second Position Pulses
Stand in second position (heels together, toes apart) and lift your heels as high as you can (keeping them together the entire time). Let the kettlebell hang in front of your body. Bend your knees and lower your body to a challenging position, keeping your heels lifted and core engaged to maintain balance. Next, use your legs to lift your body up a few inches, then back down, executing small pulses. Do 12 repetitions.
Parallel Pulse Curls
Stand with your feet hip-distance apart, bend your knees to your lowest challenge position and lift your heels off the ground. Grip the sides of the kettlebell ‘horns’, holding the kettlebell in front of your body and between your legs. Next, bend your elbows to lift the kettlebell up to your chest as you also use your legs to lift your body slightly, keeping your heels lifted and chest up the entire time. Lower your body back down to the original position as you extend your arms and bring the kettlebell down. Do these curls with pulses for 12 repetitions.
Lunging Row Leg Lifts
Stand with your feet hip distance apart and bend into a runners lunge by placing your left leg behind your body and bending your right knee into a 90 degree angle (knee directly above your ankle), weight evenly distributed. Keep your chest upright and rest your right hand on your hip as you hold the top of the kettlebell with your left hand. Next, transfer your weight on to your right leg, lift your leg leg off the ground and simultaneously lift the kettlebell up towards your left shoulder, keeping your chest upright. Return to the original runners lunge position and do 12 repetitions on your left side, then 12 on your right.
All Fours Row Leg Lifts
A modified version of the lunging row leg lifts above: Place your palms and knees on the ground, toes curled for better stability. Grip the kettlebell with your left hand, resting it on the ground. Next, simultaneously lift the kettlebell up towards your shoulder, elbow facing upwards, and lift your OPPOSITE leg up, being mindful not to arch your lower back (to avoid this, roll your hips forward, tucking your seat under). Lower the kettlebell and leg and repeat for 12 times, then switch sides and do 12 repetitions.
Execute this entire sequence three times. If it becomes too challenging, use a lighter kettlebell or grab a hand weight to finish the series.
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