Walking can pick up your pace, tone your aerobic muscles, get some fresh air, and even boost your brain health. But what if you put on a little weight in your daily routine? Adrian Richardson, fitness course designer says that combining walking with strength training is a great way to save time and build smooth muscles. The best part? Compound moves, like kettlebell moves, use multiple muscle groups at the same time, so you can perform daily tasks with ease.
Go your own way with these four simple kettlebell moves.
For each move, remember form is key: keep your back straight and pull your shoulder blades down and back to move your core.
Start with a comfortable weight that allows you to move at a steady pace and maintain a short stride to increase overall stability. Incorporate one or all of these exercises into your daily walk to build strength.
1. Kettlebells to carry in suitcase
An overweight suitcase may cost you a little more at the airport, but when it comes to fitness, the extra weight makes a difference. For these lifts, use kettlebells to train one side of your body at a time, improving overall strength and coordination.
Find a kettlebell that weighs about as much as a carry-on suitcase. Standing on the side, in a stiff-lift position (core tight, hips back, chest out), lift the kettlebell off the floor while maintaining back support and hips tight.
Keeping your shoulders and hips level, walk 50 feet forward with the trunk attached to your sides. Limit lateral movement.
Switch arms and walk back to the starting position.
2. Kettlebell farmers leaving
Carrying bags of groceries gets easier with practice, and there's nothing like walking with two kettlebells. You'll strengthen your grip while moving your whole body -- from your upper back to your legs.
Pick up a pair of kettlebells, one in each hand, and keep your back straight and your core tight -- as if doing a deadlift.
Place two kettlebells in the middle of the handle and walk forward 50 feet.
Turn around and repeat the farmer's step, returning to the starting position.
3. Kettlebell step on head.
Step arrows are great for targeting your back chain. For an upper body challenge, press a kettlebell over your head to increase resistance. Keep your back straight and your knees in line with your ankles. Sprint as low as you can while maintaining control.
Feet shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, squat, kettlebell raised to chest with left hand. Step on your heels, return to your standing position, and press the kettlebell on your head. Keep your weight in line with your shoulder joints and keep your arms close to your ears.
Step your right foot forward, keeping your weight on the heel of your front foot while placing your back knee on the floor. Be sure not to lean to one side; Keep your core muscles tight and your shoulders down and back.
Hover on the floor with your back knees, kettlebell still on top of your head, push your back feet away and step forward to bring your feet together. "Walk" 50 feet forward, alternating legs.
Lower the kettlebell to your chest, turn around, switch arms, and return to the starting position.
4. Kettlebell walked away
Walking works your lower body, but incorporating kettlebell standing and walking into your routine can increase your upper body strength. The goal is to keep your elbows low, close to your chest, and your hands together. These walks can quickly become difficult, so use a lighter kettlebell than the exercise above.
Clean (or lift) both kettlebells and place them on a rack *, meaning your forearms are vertical and your wrists neutral (instead of bending over to apply pressure to your elbows and shoulders).
Stand up straight and pull the kettlebell tight. With shoulders level and core tight, walk 50 feet forward.
Turn around and do the same step back to the starting position.
If you're not familiar with this move, try a one-armed pose: Grab a kettlebell and raise it to shoulder height with your arms close to your sides; Kettlebells should be placed between your biceps and forearm. Keep your hands close to your shoulders, wrists straight, and walk 50 feet. Turn around, change arms, and walk back to the starting position.