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YBell Unique Exercises

Posted by Casey Stenehjem on Apr 29th 2022

A female athlete hlding YBells using a rack grip inside a fitness studio.
The YBell’s award-winning multiple handle design allows you to perform novel exercises and complexes that aren’t possible with traditional fitness equipment.

3 Unique Exercises You Can Only Perform With YBells

Maybe you've had a chance to try out YBells at a recent conference, and now you're considering bringing it to your club or studio. Or perhaps you've yet to sample a workout with a YBell, but it sparks your interest because you want to add more functional trainer exercises and strength training into your club's programming.

This blog post will cover what makes YBells a one-of-a-kind fitness tool and the unique functional strength training exercises and workouts that you can only do with YBells.

How Do YBells Standout From Traditional Workout Equipment?

YBells Offer Versatility for Your Training

Whether you train out of your home gym, teach outdoor group fitness classes, or coach in a public studio, choosing equipment that fits the job no matter your workout location or modality is vital.

It can be complicated to choose between equipment for any of these scenarios. Still, those who rely on functional trainer exercises would agree that it's crucial to select strength training equipment that's versatile, high-quality, and can blend into numerous forms of indoor and outdoor training. That's why you need to train with YBells for your functional trainer exercises.

YBell Is 4 Tools In 1

With YBell's award-winning design, you have the power of standard strength training equipment — a dumbbell, a kettlebell, a double-grip medicine ball, and a push-up stand, all in one compact piece of equipment for your functional strength training exercises. Not only does YBell allow you to utilize these four standard strength training tools, but it also opens a whole new arena of opportunity when you combine their movements into one seamless workout.

Having four tools in one makes YBell perfect for individual training, one-on-one coaching, small or large group classes, and transporting to outdoor group training. And, it’s an ideal fitness equipment solution for saving space in your club or studio.

YBell Grips

Training with the YBell is as simple as changing your grip to seamlessly change the piece of equipment that you're using. The workout variety for your functional trainer exercises is possible because of YBell's unique multiple handle design, allowing users to transition their grip mid exercise easily. And the distinctive YBell strength training exercises will enable users to improve their grip strength.

The grip transitions make YBell perfect for functional strength training exercises, mobility training, and high-intensity workouts. Here's a breakdown of the various YBell grips:

Center Grip

To hold the YBell in center grip, you'll grab onto the center handle of the YBell. You'll use center grip for all your dumbbell exercises. There are two types of center grips: top lock and loose grip.

Under Grip

While holding the two outer handles, your knuckles are facing straight up, and the YBell will be positioned as an inverted pyramid. You'll use an under grip for all your double grip med ball exercises and advanced dynamic exercises like squat jump punches and skip lunges. 

Outer Grip

To hold the YBell in an outer grip, you can grip any of the three exterior handles, much like the way you would grab a kettlebell. The YBell will form a triangle with its bottom side parallel to the ground. You'll use the outer grip for kettlebell movements like one-side swings and bent-over rows.

Top Grip

Top grip is where the YBell stays on the ground, and you use the top handle as a push-up bar. The weight, shape, and neoprene coating of the YBell make it incredibly stable as a push-up bar, and it also works well with push-up rows.

Double Grip

Double grip is similar to under grip, except your knuckles and the point of the YBell are pointing straight ahead. Double grip is used for tricep extensions, ab work, and YBell-specific mobility exercises like cross halos.

Top Lock

Top lock is when you’re holding the center handle of the YBell, and you lock the top handle hard up against the inside of your wrist. This will help to stabilize the wrist when you’re doing bicep curls and twist curls.

Loose Grip

Loose grip is where you release that top lock against your wrist to let the YBell form a perfect upside-down triangle. This makes for much better positioning of the YBell on the shoulder when you’re doing exercises like presses or hammer curl squats.

Rack Grip

To hold the YBell in a rack grip, start with the YBell at your side in an outer grip. Then twist the YBell up and underneath your chin. Rack grip allows you to perform rack squats, rack lunges, and rack presses, but without the discomfort through the wrist and forearm that often comes with traditional kettlebells.

3 Unique Exercises You Can Only Do With YBells

Functional strength training exercises can get boring over time when you’re limited to traditional fitness equipment. These three novel exercises are just a few examples of the functional trainer exercises made possible with YBells.

These exercises would be nearly impossible to achieve with just a dumbbell, kettlebell, or a medicine ball. On top of that, the wrist support and extra depth you get when using YBells as push-up handles is ideal for clients with any level of athleticism.

Crossbody Clean to Cross Catch Rotational Press

Benefits of Performing Crossbody Clean to Cross Catch Rotational Press:

This functional training exercise has numerous benefits for your strength training clients and athletes alike. First, it requires the athlete to generate power in the clean (using an outer grip) to quickly and powerfully press across the body. Power is greatly under-trained in most functional strength training exercises, but it can be helpful to improve metabolism, help prevent injuries, and simply break a plateau.

The crossbody clean to cross catch rotational press also asks the athlete to pivot and move in a transverse plane of motion, two vastly underutilized movements in most strength training systems. Lastly, it's a highly functional strength training movement because it's a very realistic motion that a person would do in their daily life.  


How To Do Crossbody Clean to Cross Catch Rotational Press:

  1. Stand tall with your feet hip-width apart and keep a slight bend in the knees. Place a YBell next to the arch of your right foot. This is your starting position.
  2. Using a rotational deadlift motion, inhale as you bring your abs toward your spine and keep a straight back as you hinge forward at the hips until your torso is almost parallel to the ground. Cross your left arm over your body to pick up the YBell using an outer grip.
  3. Pivot on your left heel and quickly pull your left elbow up so the YBell will be at chest height. This is the crossbody clean.  
  4. When the YBell reaches chest height, catch the YBell with your right hand, grabbing the inside handle with a loose grip.
  5. Exhale as you pivot to your right foot while simultaneously bringing your right arm across your chest and rotating your elbow back to your right side, bringing your forearm parallel with your body.
  6. Tuck your elbow in, and then punch/press straight up with your right arm. This is the cross catch press and the top of the movement.
  7. As you bring the press down, at chest height switch back to an outer grip with your left hand, pivot back to your left foot, and rotate to end with the YBell back on the ground. This is one rep.
  8. Repeat 8 to 10 times on each side.

Pro Tips:

If you're teaching this movement in a class setting, I would recommend spending some time teaching what it feels like to pivot and why it's vital to keep your abdominals engaged throughout the movement.

You can reduce the range of motion, weight, reps, or speed to decrease the intensity. If your client has issues pressing, simply cut the movement in half by only doing the crossbody clean. This will still allow them to practice generating power in the clean. Another option is to reduce the weight to make the catch and rotational press easier. To increase the challenge, you can easily increase the reps, weight, speed, and even what movements you pair this exercise with.

Reverse Lunge to Pass-Throughs

Benefits of Performing Reverse Lunge to Pass-Throughs:

This exercise is highly functional in nature. Lunging is not only for building overall leg strength, it's also needed to be able to get off the floor. This functional strength training exercise will work your obliques, glutes, hip flexors, quads, and hamstrings.

Additionally, reverse lunge to pass-throughs challenge your ability to keep spinal and core stability while stimulating balance and coordination. These are all tremendous functional skills that improve overall athleticism and longevity.

How To Do Reverse Lunge to Pass-Throughs:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, with a slight bend in your knees. Engage your core and glutes, keeping them tight. Hold a YBell in your right hand using an outer grip. This is your starting position.
  2. Inhale, step your right leg back and bend your knees, lowering your torso into the lunge. Keep lowering until your right knee is just above the floor. Your spine must stay upright and stable to avoid your chest falling forward.
  3. While you're lunging, bring your right arm in to pass the YBell under your left leg. You can continue to use an outer grip by grabbing the exterior handle closest to your left hand.
  4. Once the YBell is in your left hand, exhale and reverse the lunge by pressing through the heel of your right foot and stepping your right leg back up to the starting position. This is one rep.
  5. Repeat 10 to 12 times on each side.

Pro Tips:

It's common for clients to step back into a lunge with too narrow a stance. I would recommend reviewing the proper form for this move, teaching clients to keep their feet roughly a "train track" distance apart, so they don't lose their balance.

To decrease the intensity, you can, of course, reduce the reps, weight, and speed of the movement. However, another option may be to have your client hold an isometric in a lunge-like position while passing the free weight through their legs. This will reduce the coordination challenge but will likely increase the muscular burn!

To increase the challenge of this functional trainer exercise, you can increase the weight, reps, and sets. Another option is to increase the intensity by lifting the YBell slightly higher with each rep to make the exercise more of a lateral raise. You could also easily make these walking lunges or walking back lunges while still performing the pass-throughs with the YBell.

YBell Narrow Stance Swings

Benefits of Performing YBell Narrow Stance Swings:

The YBell narrow stance swing is yet another functional strength training exercise that produces power. However, in this particular move, the power is driven by the hips, which will help build strength in the posterior chain, including the glutes and hamstrings.

Another benefit of the YBell narrow stance swing is that it will quickly increase your heart rate. It'll be a great addition to your clients' cardio or strength training routines to burn some extra calories.

How To Do YBell Narrow Stance Swings:

  1. Stand with your feet and knees together. Avoid locking your knees so that your hips have a slight external rotation.
  2. Keep your arms at your side, holding a YBell in each hand using an outer grip. This is your starting position.
  3. Engaging your core and glutes, load your swing by pulling your hips back and hinging your torso forward while simultaneously pulling the YBells back behind you. There should be a slight bend in your knees as you pull back.
  4. Think of your hips as a slingshot and quickly pop your hips forward. Driving through your feet, swing your arms forward, bringing the YBells to roughly chest height. Pinch your shoulder blades and keep a long spine to ensure the weights don't pull you forward. This is the top of the movement.
  5. This movement should feel much more like a deadlift than a squat.
  6. To load again, let your arms and the YBells swing back down and push your hips back, keeping your feet and knees together. This is one rep.
  7. Repeat for 12 to 15 reps.

Pro Tips:

Ideally, your clients will already know how to perform kettlebell swings, which you can easily do with a YBell. For clients who find narrow-stance swings challenging, simply start with a standard kettlebell one-sided swing. Once that feels comfortable on both sides, advance to a swing using two YBells and narrow the stance with each set.

You can add more reps or weight to make this movement more challenging, but you can also work it into a more complex flow. Here’s a fun complex that’s unique to YBell high-intensity workouts:

  • YBell narrow stance swing
  • Place the YBells in an A-frame position for a lateral jump burpee 
  • Add a push-up (or two!)
  • Jump up and go right back to the narrow stance swing

Mix it up and give it a try! Again, this is just a small sample of all the workout possibilities YBells can offer beyond the outstanding foundational strength training! For more distinctive YBell workout ideas to try with your clients, check out the YBell Fitness App for beginner, intermediate, and advanced training options.

If you're considering outfitting your studio with YBells, or are a coach or trainer who likes to be an expert in what you teach, consider taking the Online Intro Workshop. This certification is a 2-hour online education where you'll learn YBell movements, how and when to use various grips, and how to vary YBell exercises to create a broad range of training to suit all clients. It also qualifies for CEC with NASM, ACE and Fitness Australia.

We’re excited for you to try YBells and join our next course!

Casey Stenehjem

Casey has been a health and fitness professional since 2009, after graduating with a Bachelor's degree in Exercise Science. She has helped hundreds of people achieve their fitness goals. From working with beginners, youth, older adults, and almost everyone in between, Casey loves to blend her diverse knowledge and experience to help guide her clients to where they want to be. Her philosophy is simple: meet people where they are today in order to help them learn, grow, and excel through education in nutrition, exercise, and lifestyle changes unique to them.

Casey’s certifications include:

  • Z-health R-phase, Z-health I-phase, Z-health S-phase, Z-health T-phase, Z-Health Strength and Suppleness  
  • Functional Range Conditioning Level 1
  • NASM Corrective Exercise Specialist
  • ACE Certified Personal Trainer  
  • Precision Nutrition Level 1  
  • USA Weightlifting Certified