Kettlebell Moves: Figure 8

Get your coordination down with the kettlebell Figure 8, and then check out my Kettlebell Moves page for a lot more exercises!

Works

  • Abdominals
  • Core
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes

The Figure 8 is a great exercise to begin developing hand-eye coordination. The kettlebell stays relatively close to the ground, so if it slips out of your hands while you develop this coordination, it won’t have too far to fall. Be ready to move your feet quickly just in case!

Figure 8

  1. Set your feet slightly wider than shoulder width, with toes slightly pointed out. Engage your abs, keeping them tight, and squat down sticking your butt back as if you’re going to sit on a stool, and pick the kettlebell up.
  2. Keep your head up, and maintain a flat back. Do this by drawing your shoulder blades back and sticking your chest out. Pay particular attention to keep your lower back from arching.
  3. Pass the kettlebell through the front of your legs with one hand while reaching behind with the opposite hand to receive the pass. Pull the bell around the outside of your leg until it is in front again and pass it through the front of your legs to the other hand continuing the kettlebell figure 8.

Tips

  • Pick a weight that challenges you and work it for reps or time.
  • Shift your weight from side to side to avoid banging the back of your calves while swinging the kettlebell back to your front side.
  • Increase the weight for strength, increase the speed for cardio. Together, they’re a killer, calorie-burning, muscle-building combination!

JohnnyFit Kettlebell Figure 8

4 thoughts on “Kettlebell Moves: Figure 8”

  1. In a response to a post on your supination (?) curl video you said that if you don’t feel a burn in your last reps you are not using a heavy enough weight. Do you also have a rule of thumb to know when to progress to a heavier kettleball? My first workout with a 10 lb kettleball was a bit of a disaster, but after about 4 more trys it seems almost easy. I guess I need to modify something, but I don’t know whether I should try a more advanced workout with this weight, or a beginner workout with a heavier weight. Any advice?

    1. If you feel that the kettlebell you are using is too light, then I’d be inclined to trust your own judgement. That said, there are a couple of things that you can do, short of buying another bell (which you are going to want to do sooner or later anyway.)
      1. Increase the speed in which you do the exercises. Don’t neglect form for speed gains though. Kettlebells are an intense exercise and form should NEVER be compromised for speed or weight gain.
      2.Decrease the amount of pauses and breaks that you take between each exercise.
      3. Move from a rep based exercise to a time based exercise. Trying to do a move for 1-2 minutes as opposed to 10-20 reps can feel like you’re doing a whole new workout, despite doing the same movement.

      Those 3 things can get a substantial amount of additional life out of a kettlebell before moving up to a heavier weight.

      As for DVD’s, I think that the main difference between beginner DVD’s and more advanced DVD’s are the amount of time spent instructing proper form. Sure, you’ll find more difficult moves on a more advanced DVD; however, as you become more adept at kettlebell workouts, you will still do the same basic moves too. Generally, a lot of the more difficult kettlebell moves are just combinations of the basics strung together differently.

      I feel that when shopping for a workout DVD, it’s essential to find one that will challenge you. If you can put a DVD in and keep up with the instructor the first time you do it, then you’ve wasted your money. I think the beginner DVD’s are good for people who have never touched a kettlebell before. Perhaps something more intermediate would be appropriate for your next one. Don’t be timid about pushing boundaries!

      Intermediate to Advanced examples – Look into a series called Art of Strength by Anthony Deluglio.

      1. I finally got Anthony Deluglio’s Art of Strength Newport. It’s a very challenging workout and I like his style. Thanks for the recommendation!

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