What are the *best* kettlebell workouts for women?
Do women need their own kettlebell workouts or can they do the same workouts as men?
The answer is one of those that may surprise you.
It depends on how you look at the question.
Let’s take a closer look.
Answer #1: Yes, there should be special kettlebell workouts just for women.
Women are almost physically identical to men, with the exception of a few key areas – sex organs, muscle fibers, and hip structure. And those are actually 3 very good reasons why women’s kettlebell workouts should have different structures than mens’.
Because women, are, well, women, they have more estrogen and progesterone levels (way more) in relation to testosterone, than men. This means that it is much harder for a woman to build muscle than it is for a man. So, no matter how hard she works, unless she’s using anabolic steroids (based on testosterone), she will never look like a man.
This means that a woman should use kettlebell exercises that allow them to take advantage of this difference to sculpt and shape her muscles using the hormones her body does have to build muscle – namely growth hormone.
Such kettlebell exercises fall in to the “ballistics” category and are arguably the most beneficial of all kettlebell exercises.
Kettlebell Exercises for Women
The Kettlebell Swing
The Kettlebell Snatch
The Kettlebell Clean
- all variations of the above 3 kettlebell exercises
And what’s more, she should perform the for a lot of reps, with very little rest time between sets. This releases growth hormone and helps her get rid of the fat she doesn’t want and helps her gain or regain the curves she does want – specifically in the butt, hips, and stomach.
Also, due to the estrogen-testosterone relationship, a woman has a greater predisposition to endurance-based activities than a man. So she has more endurance-based muscle fibers.
This means, as mentioned above, that she should use her kettlebells for performing a lot of higher rep ballistic kettlebell exercises.
This will take advantage of her strengths, but also her “weaknesses”. Let me explain.
In the grand scheme of nature, because a woman is designed to carry a baby and propagate the human species, her hips are wider than a man’s. This means that her “Q-angle” – the angle at which her upper leg bone meets her lower leg bone is greater than a man’s. This means that it is easier for her to injure herself in some of the same activities that men engage in, like running based activities. (This is why there’s such a high knee injury rate in college athletics among women when compared to men.)
So this means that using her ballistic kettlebell exercises such as Swings, Cleans, and Snatches, she can strengthen the key muscle groups that are often neglected and lead to these injuries – namely the gluts (butt) and hamstrings. And because she has a greater number of endurance fibers than a man, she can do them for a lot of reps. Lots of reps.
And that’s a GREAT thing because high rep ballistics are one of the best ways for a woman to not only burn fat, but gain/regain her curves.
Take Home Point #1: The *best* kettlebell workouts for women are ones that make her work her butt, legs, and stomach, using the ballistic kettlebell exercises, such as the Swing, Clean, and Snatch for higher reps, so she can fortify her weaknesses (wide-hips/larger Q-angle), take advantage of her strengths (endurance), and help her gain/regain her curves.
Answer #2: No, kettlebell workouts for women can be just the same as kettlebell workouts for men.
Now, we understand why a woman’s kettlebell workouts should be structured differently than a man’s. But, those are the exact same reasons they should not be structured differently than a man’s.
A woman needs to work on ballistics to strengthen her gluts, hips, hamstrings, etc. A man needs to work on exactly the same thing, only for different reasons. So both men’s and women’s kettlebell workouts will have high rep ballistic kettlebell exercises in them. (A man needs to do it for other reasons.)
A woman needs to add low rep strength training into her kettlebell workouts, just like a man, not necessarily to build muscle like a man, but to counteract her predisposition for endurance. (And contrary to popular belief, endurance is built on a foundation of strength. So the stronger you are, the more *potential* you have for endurance.)
This means properly designed kettlebell workouts for women will have kettlebell exercises – called “grinds” – or slow lifts, such as:
The Kettlebell Press
Kettlebell Front Squat
These would be added to them in all the right places. Just like a man’s.
So the big question still remains – should men and women do the same kettlebell workouts?
And the answer is it depends on the structure of the workouts.
Such a kettlebell workout would have the proper amount of ballistic and grind kettlebell exercises and allow men and women to work both on their strengths and weaknesses, allowing both of them to become leaner, stronger versions of their former selves. Here are specific kettlebell workouts for women that will do just that.