More often than not, I get asked “Coach, what are the best exercises to do?” Or “If you were to choose “X” amount of exercises, what would they be?”. There are a plethora of great exercises and variations that my students and I truly love to do. However if I were to boil it down to several movements that are essential to any strength and conditioning regimen, I would choose 6 Kettlebell exercises and 6 Bodyweight movements.
I’m not saying that these are the ONLY exercises you should do but they all should be included in your workout regimen, no matter what your focus is. These exercises will increase strength, endurance, coordination, flexibility and durability like no others. These exercises will even improve your performance with your bench press, deadlift and bar squats , not to mention your physique.
The Clean: The Kettlebell Clean is used in a great deal of Kettlebell complexes, racking the kettlebell for Squats and Presses, but it’s an incredibly beneficial stand alone movement. A single arm clean taxes the stabilizers in the trunk as well as reinforcing the tensioning and relaxing of the body.
The Kettlebell Snatch: This is my favorite of all Kettlebell movements. The Kettlebell Snatch is a ballistic movement that develops strength, endurance, speed, coordination and there is no question why this movement is used in both competitions and testing as a fitness barometer. The Kettlebell Snatch V02 Max workout is unmatched in maximizing one’s volume of oxygen uptake.
The Pull-up: There is no single exercise that demonstrates and develops upper body strength like the Pull-up. If you can do 20 pull-ups, you are in great shape. I challenge you to show me a person who can do 20 pull-ups and doesn’t have a 6-pack.
The Push-up: The Push-up is my favorite for several reasons. There are fun and challenging variations, the movement works not only your upper body but conditions your abdominals and reinforces the total body tensioning. The best thing about Push-ups is that you can do them virtually anywhere that there is a floor. Your bedroom, basement or office – anywhere. There is no good reason for you not to do them.
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There you have it. 12 exercises that no training regimen should be without. If you want to achieve ultimate, applicable strength and conditioning, your program needs to include these core “Dirty Dozen” exercises.
Phil Ross: Master RKC, 8th Degree Black Belt, Specialist in Bodyweight Strength and CK-FMS Certified. Phil Ross’ name is synonymous with Martial Arts and Fitness. He is known as the area’s Kettlebell King and has successfully competed on the National Level in Submission Fighting, Kickboxing, both Full Contact; Point Karate, Taekwondo and Olympic Style Wrestling from 1979 through 2010. He has also held several titles in Bodybuilding and Power Lifting. More important than his personal accomplishments are the many benefits that his students have gained. He has trained many National and State champions in a multitude of Combat Disciplines, Scholarship Athletes, Law Enforcement and Military Personal as well as professional athletes.
He has owned and operated his studio, American Eagle MMA & Kettlebells, ever since 1988, training thousands of students in his classes and seminars. In addition, he created the #1 Rated S.A.V.E. Self Defense and Fitness video series, has an online Kettlebell Training program and The Kettlebell Workout Library video training system.