Welcome to Episode 52 of the Challenge of the Week series from Bloom to Fit. In this week’s episode, we’ve got a nifty kettlebell swing workout ready for you.
This workout is built using one of my favorite tight-on-time workout protocols - the ladder - and is designed to help you strengthen your posterior chain (err your sexy back) and burn tons of calories in a short period of time.
As always, no gym is required. All you need for this one is a kettlebell, a timer, and a little bit of space. Let's get into it.
Fitness Challenge of the Week
Here's what you need to know for this week's fitness challenge.
Total time estimate to complete the workout: 8-12 minutes
Before you start your workout, I recommend you go through a proper warm-up to which should consist of the following:
- A few minutes of light aerobic activity
- Series of corrective stretches
- Series of mobility/dynamic stretches
For details on how to structure a good warm-up, see the Perfect Warm-up Series.
The Fitness Challenge
This week’s workout is the Kettlebell Swing Ladder. It is a unique kettlebell workout designed to get all your muscles firing (or screaming) in unison in a very short period of time using two very powerful exercises.
Start by setting your timer to stopwatch mode and complete the following sequence of exercises:
- 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 kettlebell swings
- 2 push-ups (side-to-side)
If your'e not sure what a ladder structure looks like fully, here is the workout broken down step-by-step:
- 1 kettlebell swing, 2 push-ups (side-to-side)
- 2 kettlebell swings, 2 push-ups (side-to-side)
- 3 kettlebell swings, 2 push-ups (side-to-side)
- 4 kettlebell swings, 2 push-ups (side-to-side)
- 5 kettlebell swings, 2 push-ups (side-to-side)
- 6 kettlebell swings, 2 push-ups (side-to-side
- 7 kettlebell swings, 2 push-ups (side-to-side)
- 8 kettlebell swings, 2 push-ups (side-to-side)
- 9 kettlebell swings, 2 push-ups (side-to-side)
- 10 kettlebell swings, 2 push-ups (side-to-side)
Your objective is to complete the full ladder in as short a time as you can ensuring that all reps are done with proper form and resting as needed throughout. The timer keeps going until all rounds are complete.
Tip: as you'll see in the video below, you can optionally use a squat thrust movement to get into and out of the push-up position!
Watch the following video to see what the workout looks like:
Press play to watch the video.
After Your Workout
When your timer is done, DO NOT sit or lay down. You need to gradually reduce your heart rate. Walk around taking deep breaths, do jumping jacks, or jump rope for a few minutes until your heart rates comes down.
Once your heart rate is normalized, finish your workout by going through a series of static stretches. You can click here for a full list of static stretches you can use.
How to Make Modifications
Depending on your current fitness level and limitations, you might want to make some modifications. Here are your options:
Make the workout easier:
Here are some ways you can make the workout less challenging:
- Cut the ladder down to only go up to six or eight rounds, or
- Take a 30 second break between rounds, or
Make the workout more difficult:
Here are some ways you can make the workout more challenging:
- Try to complete the workout without taking any breaks, or
- Very advanced: work your way back down the ladder
Make sure to track your results and share them in the comment section below. I’d love to see what kind of results you can achieve!
Need help with your kettlebell technique?
I have a free kettlebell crash course that you can go through to learn the basics of kettlebell training. You can get your free lessons here:
Need a Bigger Workout?
If you enjoyed this workout, then you're going to love the big challenges I've prepared for you. Choose from a variety of 3-week fitness challenges - all designed to help you get in the best shape of your life with simple tools and workouts.
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Download This Workout
To download a printable version of this week’s fitness challenge, please fill in your information below so I know where to send it!