You’ve seen kettlebell swings, snatches, cleans, and squats, but have you seen kettlebell figure eights? This movement from Ben Wegman of The Fhitting Room in New York City, is a twist on the kettlebell swing, combining several benefits of kettlebell training into one move.
Before embarking on this exercise, you should master the godfather of kettlebell exercises: the swing. Figure eights require being able to properly hinge at the hips while maintaining a stable shoulder and spinal position. It adds extra planes of movement to the basic exercise pattern of a swing, so you’ll want to get a solid foundation before adding anything to it.
Now, onto figure eights—you will need to utilize the power of your core, hamstring flexibility, and overall coordination to pass the weight along. As with any ballistic kettlebell movement, you aren’t handling the weight under constant tension (like how you would with a Turkish getup). Rather, you are using the momentum created by the powerhouse of your core to move the weight.
Wegman says he likes this exercise because it works his entire body, targeting his shoulders, arms, core, and legs.
“It gets my heart rate up, but it also works on my coordination and my strength,” he says.
You can do the move solo, or use it as a finisher to your workout, Wegman suggests. Just do it for 45 seconds, rest for 15, for a total of 5 to 6 cycles.
By Naomi Nazario