If you aren’t on the kettlebell train yet, these exercises may be just what you need to change your mind! Kettlebells are incredible tools for strengthening your posterior chain (aka your backside).
When performing the following exercises properly, you will notice improvements in your posture and gains in your glutes. And while a nice plump booty may be on your vision board, a strong rear is more than just a way to fill out your jeans.
Strong glutes prevent back pain and injury, improve performance and power and allow you to burn more calories. You can get behind that, right?
Let’s start from the most basic and work up to more advanced movements, shall we? Here are 6 kettlebell exercises to improve posture and grow a booty.
If you have any experience in the gym, you’ve likely performed a deadlift before. This is the most basic kettlebell movement that helps you master the hip hinge (required in nearly all traditional kettlebell exercises).
- Place the kettlebell back between your heels.
- Press your hips straight back (not down like you would if you were squatting). Your knees should be bent slightly.
- As you grab the handle of the bell, lengthen your spine (no hunching), keep your shoulders higher than your hips and your hips higher than your knees.
- Drive your feet down into the floor as you stand up fully.
- Squeeze your glutes (booty), quadriceps (thighs) and brace your abs at the top!
- To lower, press your hips back and work to tap the bell back between your heels each repetition while remaining a long spine and soft knees.
Now it’s time to drop it like it’s hot!
Your hips will drop low on this exercise while maintaining a tall spine. By holding the kettlebell at your chest, you get extra engagement of the muscles all along your spine.
- Stand with feet hip-width or wider
- Turn your toes out slightly
- Keep your chest up and butt down throughout the exercise.
- Stop your descent before you round your back. No hunching!
- To stand, drive down through feet (heels especially).
- As you stand, squeeze your glutes, quads and cinch up your core!
This challenges your back strength and posture a lot. Work to keep your chest lifted as your hips drop.
- Step your feet wider than shoulder-width
- Turn your toes out, but only to the point where your knees still stay in line with your toes as you squat down.
- Seal the outer edge of your feet and heels to the ground throughout the whole exercise.
- Press your knees out as you lower your hips.
- Keep your chest lifted, as the kettlebell hangs straight down in front of your hips.
- Drive down through your heels as you stand.
- Stand tall and squeeze your glutes, quads and brace your core.
Related: A Guide to Practicing Yoga at Home
Reverse Lunge with Rotation
The reverse lunge may be enough to fire up your buns and improve your posture, but adding the twist ensures we are moving in more planes, and therefore, supporting our posture even more. Lots of core strength required for balance on this one!
- Keep your weight in your front foot (heel especially) throughout the exercise.
- Step opposite foot back and lower to lunge, so both knees are at a 90-degree angle.
- Keep your front knee stacked directly above your front ankle.
- While hovering in your lunge, rotate your torso towards your front leg while keeping the bell high at your chest, chest lifted.
- Rotate back to center, drive down through your front heel, and return to standing.
The same rules apply here as for the Deadlift above. The difference? You are balancing on one leg instead of two.
Note: You will likely lose your balance every once in a while. Focus on moving slowly and engaging your core to keep your balance. For this one, you do not have to touch the kettlebell to the ground.
In fact, you should not do so if at any point, you start to round your spine. Stop your range of motion before you hunch, even if the bell is far from the floor.
- Start standing with the kettlebell hanging down in front of your hips.
- Shift your weight into your standing foot (heel especially) and slowly start to hinge your hips back.
- As you hinge, do keep a bend in your standing knee.
- Work to kick your floating leg straight behind you with strength. This will help with balance!
- Maintain one line of energy (no hunching or collapsing) from your head to your floating heel.
- Once you reach the bottom of your range of motion (does not need to be the bell touching the floor), drive down through your standing heel and return to standing.
This is a powerful exercise that will not only strengthen your backside but get your heart pumpin’ too! Don’t forget about your hip hinge and hip power on this one. You need it!
- Start with bell slightly ahead of your toes
- Place your hands on the bell while maintaining weight in your heels, a bend in your knees and a long spine.
- Hike the bell back behind you (like you’re hiking a football)
- Drive through your heels and use your hip power to stand up and shoot the bell straight forward.
- Do not lift the bell higher than shoulder-height.
- Squeeze buns, quads and your core at the top of each swing.
- As the bell drops back down, hinge your hips back and reach the bell back behind you (high between your legs, not down to the ground).
By nature, kettlebells are the king of building good posture. And all exercises listed, when performed safely and with good form, will improve the strength of your posterior chain.
Get ready for stronger glutes, a stronger back, improved performance and better posture. All it takes are these six exercises:
- Goblet Squat
- Sumo Squat
- Reverse Lunge with Rotation
- Single-Leg Deadlift
You might also be interested in: Zero-Cost, Zero-Equipment At-Home Workouts