Kettlebell Solution

Kathy Smith
Year Released: 2010

Categories: Abs/Core , Floor Aerobics/Hi-Lo/Dance , Kettlebell, Lower Body Strength , Total Body Workouts, Upper Body Strength

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Full disclosure: I received a free review copy of this workout.

I know that there is distinction, and even debate, about what a "real" kettlebell workout is. I would classify this as a kettlebell-inspired workout. I just got the DVD, now sold separately from the kit, and the regular DVD case has both the workout and a tutorial, two separate DVDs. Because I don't have her kettlebells, I used my Firm 5-pound kettlebell. It worked fine.

Kathy Smith is by herself in the workouts in a big open space in front of a brick wall. It's a fairly bright set. The music is club-type mix and there are even some vocals which added to the enjoyment of the workout for me. In these workouts, Kathy is the calm version of herself, although she did work in a squeal or two. She is descriptive of the moves, although the teaching of form pointers is on the tutorial DVD. I have to say though that her kettlebell form is pretty bad, but it works okay given that these workouts are more cardio workouts with strength emphases that just happen to use the kettlebell.

There is a warm up and four short workouts on the workout DVD. Each of the workouts is 15-20 minutes. You can choose a segment and then it goes back to the menu when the segment is done. It is not programmable to run multiple segments in a row automatically. When you choose a segment, it gives you the option of the regular workout or a music-only option. The four workouts are pretty much the standard upper body, lower body, core, and cardio (called fat burning). The moves are a mix of kettlebell moves and kettlebell-inspired versions of standard strength and cardio moves.

I found the workouts fun in some sections. In other sections, I was bored by the repetetiveness of the moves. I don't think this is one of the best of the kettlebell-inspired workouts, but I can see how some people would find the workouts fun.

Instructor Comments:
Kathy is encouraging and informative and very professional.

Laura S.


This workout is in the genre of "kettlebell inspired" workouts like Callenetics, 10 Minute Solution Kettlebell Ultimate Fatburner, and TransFirm Your Trouble Zones. It is not a purist workout like Enter the Kettlebell. The kit comes with one 3lb kettlebell, one 5lb kettlebell, a wall poster illustrating different exercises, a nutrition guide, and the DVD. (Some moves on the poster are not on the DVD.)

The DVD has 5 separate segments on the main menu: Warm Up, Upper Body, Buns & Thighs, Core Solution, and Fat Burner. Each segment has its own stretch at the end. The segments are about 20 minutes each. Fat Burner is 15 minutes. They are not programmable; you have to go back to the menu to choose additional segments. Kathy uses the 3lb KB throughout the workout. She keeps the 5lb on the floor in view, but doesn't use it. Kathy is alone, there are no background exercisers. It could be beginner to intermediate, depending which KB you use and how many segments you do. Definitely not advanced.

I like this workout overall. It has a fun factor, nice dance club type music, and I don't watch the clock.

Warm Up:

Done without holding the KB.
Begins with step taps side to side, start to turn the hip, add different arm patterns. Then it goes into stretching. There are some pelvic tucks and round/release the back, but most of this stretching is static and brought my heart rate down. I didn't like this warm up too much. Fortunately, I can do the other sections fine without doing this warm up section first.

Upper Body:

Start by holding KB by handle, bring it toward you then away. Add to movement by starting a demi squat. Then add to movement again by continuing to press the KB forward and back while doing an arabesque motion with legs.

Next is upright rows.
Build onto this movement by bringing KB down between legs while squatting, then bringing KB into upright row while you stand up.
Add to the movement again by bringing the KB higher, overhead.
Change this movement into a swing. (At this point, she describes the hip snap of the swing as a hip thrust. She continually says things like "And I'm thrusting, thrusting, like BOOM-shakalaka!" I find it funny, ymmv.) This becomes one-arm swings, switching arms at the top of the movement.

Then keep the KB in one hand and begin cleans. She says one hip should move back to "cushion" the bell, which was odd. On the Stamina Products website clip, you can see she doesn't keep her hips level while doing cleans, and this is why. Then she adds a press to the clean, then does just presses. Then switch hands and do the clean/press sequence on the other side.

one arm bent over rows
Hammer curls, same arm
Biceps curl with regular hold, same arm
Add a dip with legs
She does some biceps pulses here that are so fast, she can't count fast enough to keep up.
Switch hands for row/biceps sequence on other side.
Change a bi/tri movement into a bi/tri one-arm swing and some other triceps work

Lastly, a stretch.

Buns & Thighs:

Begin with swings, bringing the KB higher and higher. Then add leg extensions for an arabeque motion. Then hold handle with bell out toward the TV and do a side-to-side motion. This side-to-side is just called a Twist on the wall chart, and is often done in other workouts with a medicine ball.

Next move, extend right arm forward holding KB, extend right leg out, then bring arm and leg in. Build on this by bringing knee up each time for a ballance challange.

Next, stiff leg deadlift, focusing on one leg at a time. Then bring back leg farther back into lunge position, do stationary passes under the front leg. After this deadlift/lunge sequence, do wide squats with figure 8's.

Side lunges holding KB in hand opposite to the direction of the lunge.
Swing kB out to the side of body, and add leg extentions with opposite leg. Nice, flowing, ballet type move.
Do side lunge sequence on other side.

Next sequence is swings with plie squats. Add to the move by sliding legs together in a "tendu" ballet-style move while the swing is up.

Last move is halos with plie squats, followed by stretch.

Core Solution:

Begin with halos, making circles bigger and bigger. The biggest circles are called Ribbons.
Swings, going higher and higher. Once the KB is up to toward the ceiling, start a chop movement like you'd do with a med ball.
Next do the side-to-side twist like we did in the Buns & Thighs segment.

Next is floor work. Crunches and sit ups while holding the bell. (KB will assist you on the up movement.)
Then keep core stationary while bringing bell up and behind you in a pull over.
After cruches and sit ups, bring arms and legs up, then down, in a pike movement, while holding the bell. Then keep legs extended out while doing crunches. Then do some seated V rotations with bent knees, while holding bell, to work obligues.

Next is planks: regular, then one leg, then change the move by bringing knee in and out (Kathy says, "Kiss the knee.") Then side planks, then T stands, hold the KB while bringing that arm up. Repeat plank sequence to "kiss" the other leg and do the T with the opposite arm.


A fellow VFer told me Kathy had said she was practicing TGUs for this video, and I thought they would be in this core section because it is the only floor work, but there were none.

Fat Burner:

Side steps while pressing KB out in front then back toward you.
Heel digs while doing "paddles" with the KB.
Knee lifts while bringing KB to knee.
Skaters while swinging the KB side to side in front of the body, then switch hands.

Start side lunges, swinging bell from side to side with KB in front of body. Add to it with the same ballet-type leg extentions as in the Buns & Thighs segment. Repeat lunge sequence on other side.

Next move is swings. At this point I noticed she keeps calling the butt the "booty" which annoyed me greatly.

clean and presses
swings with alternating arms
Repeat clean/snatch sequence on other side

One arm rows, first one arm at a time then alternating.

Bi/tri swings with one arm, add a knee up, then dip to the back/knee up, then straight arm/straight leg arabesques.

Then side-to-side Twists to work abs.

Repeat bi/tri/arabesque sequence on other side, this time with repeaters.

Regular swings again, then swings with rear leg extensions. Easy movements, bring heart rate down.

Then stretch.

Instructor Comments:
I find Kathy more chatty than usual, for some reason I noticed her banter more in this workout, like when she kept saying "booty." But it's pretty much typical Kathy fare.