8 Kettlebell Exercises To Tone And Tighten Your Thighs

by TaylorR

Happy Monday!

I hope you had a great weekend, I certainly did. It was busy but awesome.

I got to spend most of the weekend with this little ball of energy:

me-lainey-legare

My niece is almost 3 and that means she is go-go-go-go all the time. I am always amazed by her energy levels.

To help burn some of that energy off, Dan and I took her to the beach. It was gorgeous outside and we knew she would have a blast!

We loved playing with her! But between the play, I did my fair share of people watching and self criticizing. What can I say? I’m in a lean out, so of course I am going to critique my bathing suite body.

What I decided?

It’s time for some thigh shapers! I even saw some ladies doing lunges on the beach so clearly I’m not alone.

As soon as my brother and SIL got home yesterday, I met Dan at the studio so I could share some of my favorite moves.

The Best Kettlebell Thigh Exercises

The Thigh Exercises

To help insure you’re practicing the moves with proper form, read over the bullets below. That way as you pump out all 10-15 reps, you feel confident and you get the “burn” that you’re going for!

Sumo Goblet Squat

  • Pop squat the weight into goblet position.
  • Take a wide stance, and turn feet outward (10-11:00 position).
  • As you squat down, make sure the knees are bending in the direction that your feet are pointed.
  • Squeeze your butt as you return to starting position.

Squat With Kick

  • Rack the weight in one hand. If you’re squatting with the weight on the right, you’ll be kicking the left leg.
  • Complete a “normal” squat, on the way back up kick the foot straight forward. Return to start and repeat.
  • Complete all reps on one side before moving on to the other.

Suite Case Lunges

Just the name makes these fun!

  • Stand with the kettlebell beside you. If you’re lunging back with the right foot, place the kettlebell beside the left foot.
  • Pick it up, keeping the shoulders forward and straight.
  • Take a large step back and lunge down.
  • Complete all lunges on one side before moving to the other.

One Legged Deadlifts

A kettlebell staple!

  • You simply can not do a great kettlebell lower body workout montage without mentioning the single leg deadlift.
  • Place the kettlebell beside your foot, keeping the back straight, hip hinge by thrusting your hips back as you lower your chest down to grab the weight.
  • Return to standing by squeezing your butt.
  • If balance is an issue, you can keep your back leg slightly on the ground.

Kettlebell Pass Unders

  • Just as the name implies, you pass the kettlebell by going under your legs from rep to rep.
  • Make sure that your alternating lunges are perfect before adding a kettlebell into the mix.
  • Don’t allow your back to curl forward, keep it straight throughout the move.
  • It might take practice getting into the rhythm but you can!

Split Squat

This one is killer on both the legs and the booty! In fact, it’s one of my favorites.

  • Place a bench/chair behind you.
  • Get the kettlebell in the rack position.
  • If you’re holding it with the right hand, place your left foot on the block.
  • Make sure the grounded foot is far enough away so that as you lower down, the knee remains over the ankle. <— Might take some scooting

Farmer’s Carry

This is hard! And a total body move.

  • Place a HEAVY kettlebell on each side of your feet.
  • Deadlift the weight up and grab each handle (thumb wrapped around).
  • Keep the back straight, shoulders back, head up as you walk across the floor.
  • Aim for a time, not reps… so try to carry for 60 seconds!

Pistol Squat

  • I LOVE pistol squats! In part because they are burners, and in part because they’re hard and I like being able to do them (even if only for a couple of reps). If you’re not able to do pistol squats but want to, check out this pistol squat progression program I’ve put together.
  • Balance is key, as is some flexibility.
  • When it comes to adding a kettlebell into the mix, make sure to rack the bell into the hand of the grounded foot.
  • Believe it or not, using a weight actually helps a little as it helps to get the body balanced and acts like leverage.
  • Practice, practice and practice. Of course get the body weight pistol down before grabbing for a kettlebell.

Additional Kettlebell Training Tips: 

–> Before grabbing for a kettlebell, make sure that you are able to do all exercises with body weight only. Master form before increasing intensity.

–> If you’ve got the form down and are ready to go for it, make sure that you are using a weight that actually challenges you. Work for the reps to make those muscles work to adapt and change.

Weekend Shoutout… 

To finish, I want to thank my friends for coming out Friday night to help me continue to celebrate my birthday!

accentonwine

Turning 30 has been the best! And I still am not done celebrating this milestone!

We went to my favorite locally owned wine bar, Accent On The Wine, where a few friends met us. We had a wonderful time!

I some how managed to keep my champagne intake low this weekend, and considering we were there for over 4 hours… that’s impressive!

I wish I could say the motivation to keep my alcohol down was because of my lean out, but it was really due to the fact that I was babysitting my niece for the rest of the weekend and I couldn’t imagine hanging out with an almost 3 year old with a champagne headache.

wow-animals

I also want to give a shout out to our boot campers who ran in a local mud run race this weekend. They did awesome and I am so proud of them, and even more proud of them for doing it together as a team.

Lainey and I made the drive to Legare Farms to watch them but unfortunately due to the crazy heat and my lack of water, sunscreen, etc we had to cut our visit short. But seeing the pictures, it’s clear they did awesome!

And finally… I hate banana flavored things (but I love bananas) so I was extremely surprised when I tasted the banana muffin Quest bar and LOVED it…

quest-banana

Quest was kind enough to send me a sample box of their flavors (I guess they got tired of my talking about just the white chocolate raspberry). I have enjoyed all but the double dark chocolate, it tasted like chalky feet. But Dan liked it! haha. I’ll share more of their yummy flavors later this week. Have you tried Quest bars yet?

Tell me…

–> What’s your favorite leg exercise? <—

 

  • http://strengthandsunshine.wordpress.com Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine

    I have been working on pistol squats and man! They are so hard! I have no idea how you get all the way down like that, haha, massive props!

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Thank you! They take a lot of practice but you can get there!

  • http://www.itzyskitchen.com Erica

    Lainey is getting so big! I need to contact your SIL and have a play date with her & Kay!! You need to cut yourself some slack! You look great and those extra lbs might be helpful for future goals as well…just saying ;) I haven’t ever really done kettlebell- I need to give it a go. Glad you are continuing to celebrate your birthday!! Quest bars rock! The cookie dough is my favorite

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      I know, she blows my mind every time I see her. Every week its new works, expressions, sentences. She cracks me up! They def need a play date! The cookie dough was really good! Congrats on the half, you’re doing awesome.

  • http://abs-of-steel.com Abi@AbsofSteel

    thanks for all the great kettlebell exercises! I just recently discovered my school’s gym has a whole selection of kettlebells and can’t wait to try out some different weights with these moves. Your niece is adorable :)

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Sounds like a great campus gym! Definitely utilize what’s available! Thanks, I think she is pretty adorable too!

  • http://runfasteatlots.blogspot.com Jojo @ RunFastEatLots

    I’ve been hearing a lot about Questbars. I want to try them, and I love banana-nut flavored things!

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Yes try them! So yum. They sell them individually at GNC

  • Sheena

    Mmm I love synthetic banana flavour :)

    And whatevs on the bikini body, so long as you’re healthy that’s priority numero uno! And from the pictures I’ve seen you don’t have anything to worry about at all aesthetics wise!

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Thanks Sheena! Then you will love these Quest bars! Surprisingly not too synthetic tasting.

  • http://www.TheTinyTerror.com Amy Lauren

    I tried a Quest bar once and I did not like it. I don’t remember the flavor, I think it was cashew something, it wasn’t any of the ones you mentioned. If I ever have one again, it will be a different flavor. However, I do like the chocolate chip cookie dough larabar I got in my bag from Fleet Feet the other night. It is delicious (I really like all the Larabar products, but this is the first time I’d tried this particular one, I usually go with the fruit and nut ones).

    I love the snippets of you working out and demonstrating the moves. I haven’t worked out with kettlebells in a long time, but these are great exercises. You have amazing balance to do the pistol squat with the kettlebell too!

    Glad you had a fun weekend with your niece :).

  • http://delightsanddelectables.com Brittany @ Delights and Delectables

    dang girl!! That pistol squat is AMAZING!

  • http://day-with-kt.com Kim

    Love these moves – especially the fact that most of them just require 1 kettle bell (since I only have 1)!
    Your niece is super cute – I’m sure y’all had tons of fun together!

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Yes! Having 1 kb is plenty! So much you can do with it!

  • valerie

    I just ordered some kettlebells, With the nice weather coming i want to do workouts outside and love reading your new workouts! Thanks cant wait to try some of these.

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Yay Valerie! You’re goning to love them!

  • http://sherocksfitnesstx.com She Rocks Fitness

    I LOVE leg curls and butt lifts with the stability ball!

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Butt lifts are burners!

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  • http://www.garage-gyms.com/kettlebell-review-shopping-guide-buy/ John @ Garage Gyms

    Pistol squats are one of those indicators of being in great shape. When you can bust out pistols, you’ve been doing something right. I think it’s good you put that on the list as I know many people who have that movement as a goal. It’s motivating to see them performed. Even more so to see it done with extra weight

    • http://www.fitwomensweekly.com TaylorR

      Thanks John, I love doing pistols!

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