Kettlebell Backward Lunge
The lunge is a great exercise to build leg strength, flexibility and balance. Adding one or two kettlebells to this exercise adds additional load to the leg and makes balance more difficult. There are a number of interesting variations that can be added to the kettlebell backward lunge ranging from very simple version that are not much more difficult than a body-weight lunge to much more complicated variations that require significantly more balance, coordination and total body strength.
Learning the Kettlebell Backward Lunge
Before you attemple a backward lunge with a kettlebell, please insure that you are very comfortable performing the backward lunge with your bodyweight.
The most basic kettlebell backward lunch is performed with two light weight kettlebells, one in each hand. Having two kettlebells makes the exercise easier because weight is balanced evenly on either side of your body.
Start by safely picking up the kettlebells from the ground and standing up with the kettlebells resting at your side. Next step back with one leg into a lunge position. The distance of your step should be determined by the weight of the kettlebells, the ground surface you are standing on and your overall fitness level. Always start out with small safe lunges and work up to deeper more challenging lunges.
Safety Tips for the Kettlebell Backward Lunge
- Knee safety is crucial with any lunging exercise. We recommend the backward lunge because it is less jarring on the weigted leg and easier to control the depth and speed of the lunging motion. That said, please be careful to maintain proper knee alinement during any lunging exercise. The knee should remain over the heel and not extend forward over the toes or beyond.
- When performing lunges the ground surface is crucial. If you are doing lunges on uneven, loose or wet ground you risk having your back foot slip causing you to potentially injure your hamstring, knees or other leg muscles.
Kettlebell Backward Lunge Variations
- Single Kettlebell Backward Lunge: Doing the backward lunge with only one kettlebell can make the exercise more difficult by forcing your body to compensate for the weight being on one side. It is more difficult if you hold the bell in your outside arm, the one on the same side as the front leg.
- Backward Lunge with Behind the Leg Pass: Another single kettlebell backward lunge variation includes added a hand switch under the front leg during the lunge portion. This adds a new element of coordination and also makes balance more challenging as the kettlebell moves horizontally during the exercise forcing your body to adjust to a moving center of gravity.
- Backward Lunge with Behind the Leg Pass and Flip: To further enhance this exercise you can add a kettlebell flip or jugle to the leg pass making for a truly dynamic kettlebell exercise. This variation would qualify as an advanced or hardcore variation.