If you want to minimize your time in the gym and optimize your exercise routine, make the kettlebell rocking squat part of your workout. This two-in-one exercise is a combination of a full squat and rolling-like-a-ball exercise. It works your legs, tush and core while massaging your back and improving your balance. Before combining the exercises, master each individual exercise with perfect form. Once you're ready for the challenge, do rocking squats without weight, and as you get stronger, add a kettlebell for extra resistance.
Stand up straight on a mat with your feet shoulder-width apart, point your toes slightly out and hold a kettlebell in front of your tummy while your elbows are bent 90 degrees and tucked into your sides. Hold the kettlebell handle’s sides with both hands so the ball points down.
Push your tush back, transfer your weight to your heels and bend your knees directly over your feet as you lower your hips. Face forward, push your chest out and employ your abdominals and the weight of the kettlebell to help you stay balanced and to keep your back straight. Squat down until your hamstrings touch your calves.
Sit your tush on the mat, round your back and lower your chin toward your chest. Roll back one vertebra at a time, raise your feet off the floor and use your abdominals -- not momentum -- to bring them overhead while keeping your knees slightly bent. Pause a second once you're on your shoulder blades and really squeeze your abdominals.
Reverse the rolling motion, lowering one vertebra at a time and come back to a squatted position.
Push through your feet, extend your knees and raise your shoulders and hips simultaneously to return to the upright, shoulder-width stance. If you're new to this exercise, finish one set of eight to 12 repetitions, and as you get stronger, gradually add two more sets.
- Breathe in as you lower into the squat and roll back, and exhale as you roll up and squat.
- Work with a kettlebell that's heavy enough so the last repetition of each set is a challenge to complete.
- Consult a doctor before taking on a new exercise routine, especially if you have an injury or health condition.
Kimberly Caines is a well traveled model, writer and licensed physical fitness trainer who was first published in 1997. Her work has appeared in the Dutch newspaper "De Overschiese Krant" and on various websites. Caines holds a degree in journalism from Mercurius College in Holland and is writing her first novel.