Every guy needs a few simple, solid workouts in his back pocket, ready to go at a moment’s notice. Here’s one favorite of Eric Leija (a.k.a. Primal Swoledier), kettlebell trainer extraordinaire, and it’s about to be one of yours, too.
A combo of two total body moves—one kettlebell, one bodyweight—this routine builds strength and size while attacking your core and pushing your conditioning.
The first exercise is a kettlebell flow, linking a snatch with a front rack squat to overhead press. Do like Leija here and keep your movements fluid and controlled by maintaining total-body tension. Squeeze your core, back, and glutes to keep your body upright and as tall as possible. Create force with your legs to help you drive the bell directly over your shoulder, keeping your shoulder engaged to stabilize the weight in place. Pull, don’t just drop, the bell back to a front-rack position, and keep your wrist locked at all times.
The second is a tempo pushup, with Leija lowering over a count of three. This increases the shoulder and chest muscles’ time under tension, pumping up the eccentric stress them for greater muscle growth.
Make sure to emphasize perfect pushup form. At the bottom of the movement, your elbows should be as close to 90 degrees as possible.
If you have any shoulder pain or a history of shoulder injury, this might not be the best combo for you. After all, it involves a lot of overhead pressing, which isn’t a safe range of motion for guys with shoulder pain or mobility restrictions.
However, you could tweak the flow into a kettlebell clean to front-rack squat—no overhead pressing required.
Do 30 seconds of each exercise, rest for 60 seconds, then repeat for a total of 5 rounds.
Want more kettlebell workouts from Leija? Check out his Men's Health Kettlehell program (now available on our All Out Studio app), which is designed to burn fat and build muscle with just one kettlebell.
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