Kettlebell Exercise of the Week – Front Squats
- Level: Beginner – Intermediate
- Muscles strengthened: Butt, Back, Abs, Quads, Calves
- Target: 3 sets of 15 reps
What you need to know
The front squat is a simple and effective exercise that will tone your legs, lift your bottom line and also strengthen your lower abdominals and back.
The added weight of the kettlebell makes front squats more effective than weight-free squats so you can get greater benefits with fewer reps.
Remember the lower body is stronger than the upper body because it has larger muscles. So, when doing front squats for the first time, pick a heavier weight than you would lift for upper body exercises. You should just be able to manage three complete sets of 15 reps with the right weight for you. If it’s a breeze go heavier, if it’s a struggle go lighter.
What you need to do
Place the kettlebell on the floor in front of you. Place your feet outside your shoulder width and turn your legs out at the hips so your toes are facing outwards.
Bend your knees, tilt forward at the hips and extend your arms down to hold the kettlebell by the horns with both hands. Then bend your arms and rest the kettlebell against your chest. Once the kettlebell is in position, lengthen your legs and return to standing.
To complete one squat, bend your knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor then extend your legs to return to standing.
Repeat for the number of reps you’re completing then return the kettlebell to the floor by bending your knees and lengthening your arms.
Tips and Pointers
Be wary of your body weight shifting forward and keep your heels firmly rooted to the floor throughout. If you find this hard, try curling up your toes to get your heels to connect and then keep them connected as you squat.
As you lengthen your legs, keep softness in your knee joints. Aim to extend at the joint rather than lock it at the top.
To help tone your tush more, give your glutes a squeeze on the upwards phase. This will tone them tighter and support and strengthen your lower back.
Keep the kettlebell pressed into your chest throughout. This will ensure the weight is carried by your legs rather than your arms, shoulders and chest.
Aim to maintain a strong long spine throughout. Brace your belly to support your back and allow your tall torso to tilt forward from the hips as you bend through your knees. Then stack your spine tall at the top when you return to standing, preventing your hips from pushing forward and your chest from dropping back.
For all your kettlebell equipment needs, head to our online shop where we have a great range of kettlebells to get you going: Kettlebells