Kettlebell Exercises that Work the Legs

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To target the legs with kettlebell exercises, we want to look at exercises that involve the following joints, hips, knees, and ankles. There is a plethora of kettlebell exercises that work the legs, and they can be divided into the targeted areas of:

  • Upper legs
    • Anterior
    • Posterior
    • Lateral
    • Medial
  • Lower legs
    • Anterior
    • Posterior
  • Feet

Exercises that involve ankle dorsiflexion target the front of the lower leg; ankle plantarflexion target the back of the lower leg; hip adduction and hip medial rotation target the inside of the upper leg; hip extension targets the back up the leg; hip flexion and knee extension targets the front of the upper leg; and knee flexion target the back of the upper and lower leg.

Quadriceps

The gastrocnemius is a superficial two-headed muscle of the posterior compartment of the leg and one of the two muscles that make up the triceps surae.

The soleus is a superficial muscle of the posterior compartment of the leg and one of the two muscles that make up the triceps surae.

The latter helps lift the heel of the ground (plantar flexion), the first does the same but also assists with knee flexion as it’s connected to the femur and passes over the knee joint.

Quadriceps

Kettlebell Exercises for the Legs

  1. Kettlebell exercises that include Ankle Dorsiflexion

  2. Kettlebell exercises that include Ankle Plantarflexion

  3. Kettlebell exercises that include Hip Abduction

  4. Kettlebell exercises that include Hip Adduction

  5. Kettlebell exercises that include Hip Extension

  6. Kettlebell exercises that include Hip Flexion

  7. Kettlebell exercises that include Hip Lateral Rotation

  8. Kettlebell exercises that include Hip Medial Rotation

  9. Kettlebell exercises that include Knee Extension

  10. Kettlebell exercises that include Knee Flexion

Gastrocnemius

The gastrocnemius is a superficial two-headed muscle of the posterior compartment of the leg and one of the two muscles that make up the triceps surae.

The soleus is a superficial muscle of the posterior compartment of the leg and one of the two muscles that make up the triceps surae.

The latter helps lift the heel of the ground (plantar flexion), the first does the same but also assists with knee flexion as it’s connected to the femur and passes over the knee joint.

Gastrocnemius Muscle

Hamstring Muscle Group

The hamstring muscle groups consists of three muscles, namely, the biceps femoris, semimembranosus, and semitendinosus.

The biceps femoris is a hamstring muscle in the posterior compartment of the thigh that assists in movements of the hip, thigh, knee, and lower leg. It consists of two heads: the long head is the lateral portion and the short head is the medial portion.

The semimembranosus is a muscle in the posterior compartment of the thigh and is the deepest of the hamstring muscles. It flexes the leg at the knee joint and rotates the leg medially.

The semitendinosus flexes the leg at the knee joint and rotates the leg medially.

Hamstring Muscle

Gluteus Maximus

The gluteus maximus muscle is the largest and most superficial of the three muscles in the gluteals. The gluteal muscles are responsible for extending the hips, and rotation, adduction, and abduction at the hip joint to move the femur (upper leg).

The gluteus medius is one of the three gluteal muscles that form the buttocks, and as its name implies, it is larger than the gluteus minimus and smaller than the gluteus maximus. It assists in the movements of
the hip and thigh.

The gluteus minimus is the smallest of the three gluteal muscles that form the buttocks, and it is located below the gluteus medius.

Gluteus Maximus

Tibialis Anterior+

The muscles above are usually the ones the most focus is placed upon because they provide an aesthetic value. Often neglected are the muscles at the front of the lower leg, the tibialis anterior, extensor digitorum longus, and the extensor hallucis longus.

These muscles are responsible for a good squat, they pull your knees forward and allow you to go deep into that squat without having to create counterbalance with the arms or leaning forward with the torso. Other actions some are responsible for are ankle inversion, and ankle eversion.

Tibialis Anterior and Extensor Digitorum

Others

Other muscles not shown above are as follows.

Tensor fascia lata, gracilis, sartorius, adductor longus, adductor brevis, adductor magnus, pectineus, psoas major, iliacus, and so on.

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