I’ve just started dabbling with kettlebell butt exercises, and I have to say, I’m loving it! There are a huge number of kettlebell exercises out there, but in this post I’d like to highlight the particular ones you can do that will target your glutes. I found a great video of 4 exercises for the glutes on youtube, and we’ll be looking in more detail at these today.
KB Butt Exercise #1: Kettlebell Swings – The ‘Squat’ of Kettlebell Exercises
How: Stand with feet wide apart, toes slightly pointed outward, squat down and grasp the kettlebell with both hands with arms straight. Keeping the arms straight, swing the kettlebell by thrusting up and forward out of the squat using your glutes to drive the movement. Your arms will swing out in front to shoulder height due to the momentum of the kettlebell. Let the weight drop back to between your legs just under your groin area as you squat back down. Repeat the swings for 50 reps.
Kettlebell swings are amazing for targeting the glutes, as well as being a great cardio work out. I’ve called these the squat of kettlebell exercises because just as squats are famous as an exercise for building you an awesome butt, kettlebell swings are your go-to booty-boosting move when it comes to the kettlebell exercise arena.
To get the most out of these, you’ll need to use a sharp, sudden thrusting motion to perform the swing up, driving the swing by using your glutes to ‘pop’ up. Contract the glutes sharply to get the popping motion. Then be sure to sit backwards to keep the glutes engaged, rather than just bending the knees out in front as you go down.
KB Butt Exercise #2: Figure 8 Squats
How: Feet apart, perform a squat and with one hand holding the kettlebell, bring the kettlebell over and underneath one leg, passing it to your other hand as you squat down. The kettlebell will track a figure 8 path when it loops around each of your legs. Perform 50 reps.
The kettlebell lends itself to this exercise really well, due to the handle on the kettlebell which will allow you to pass the weight easily from one hand to the other. Be sure to keep good form by focusing on contracting your glutes and core all the way through the move. You’ll get a good core workout too due to the twisting required for this move. Make sure to sit back into the squat, and as usual, try not to let your knees go out over your toes on the way down.
KB Exercise #3: Goblet Squats
How: Hold the kettlebell in close to your chest with elbows bent. Feet a little wider than shoulder width, toes slightly pointed outward, squat right down until your butt is touching your calves. Stand up, driving through the heels and engaging the glutes. Try 50 of these or until you get a good burn.
These deep squats are great for the glutes. Push up strongly through the heels and focus on using the glute muscles to drive the movement when rising out of the squat in order to get the most glute engagement.
KB Exercise #4: Single Leg Deadlift
How: Stand on one leg, slightly bent, hips square. Holding the kettlebell down in front of you with arms straight, hinge at the hips and lower your torso to the horizontal, at the same time lifting your non-standing leg out straight behind you. Rise up to a standing position again by squeezing the glutes to drive the movement, this is one rep. To keep the numbers easy to remember, let’s say 50 reps of these on each side!
Deadlifts are great for working the hamstrings, glute and back muscles. Keep your back in a neutral position and engage the core to protect your back. Again, focus on using the glutes to perform the movement, otherwise other muscles can have the tendency to take over.
Watch How to Perform the 4 Moves Here
There’s nothing like seeing it all in action so that you actually have some clue as to what I’ve been raving about so far! Check it out in this video.
What if I don’t have Kettlebells?
If you’re new to kettlebells, and don’t have one on hand, you’ll want to maybe try these out with a kettlebell at the gym first to see if you like them. Picking the right kettlebell starting weight can be tricky also, so it’s a good idea to see if you can do a trial or otherwise borrow a kettlebell from a friend to get a feel for this exercise first.
Kettlebells can be expensive so if you intend on buying one, you’ll want to invest in one that’s right one for you. Empower have a nice 3-in-1 kettlebell kit that is great for beginners.
You can actually do these exercises with a dumbbell as well (these are a bit more common so you might have better luck getting your hands on a couple of these to give you a taste of these moves). The following adaptions may be use to perform the 4 exercises shown in the video and explained previously.
Kettlebell Swings, adapted for Dumbbells
Use a single hand to hold one dumbbell in place of the kettlebell, and place your other hand out of the way behind your back. You’ll find you can still get the same swinging motion by doing these.
Don’t forget to switch sides with the hand holding the weight and train both sides evenly!
Figure 8 Squat with Dumbbell
For this one, you can pass a single dumbbell in the figure 8, but when you pass it, have one hand below the other so you can ‘drop’ the handle of the dumbbell into the other hand. The plus of this is it that it will force you squat deeper in order to get your hand underneath.
Goblet Squat with Dumbell
Hold a single dumbbell vertically and grasp the top plate on either side with both hands.
Single Leg Deadlift with Dumbell
Hold two dumbbells in front of you, one in each hand.
That’s all for today folks! If you know of any kettlebell butt exercises that I’ve missed, please let me know by leaving me a comment below! I’d also be interested to know if you’ve tried the kettlebell swing, and if so, what do you think of it as a butt exercise?