book cover for fitness guide

Kettlebell Workouts That Sheds Fat Like A Bear At The End Of Winter

I sum up kettlebell workouts like this; old school and very effective.

Black, cannonball-shaped, with a cast-iron handle, few other training tools can match the retro, back-to-basics appeal of the kettlebell.

No need to go to the gym to do a kettlebell workout; the kettlebell can be swung from the convenience of your home just as the strongmen of old swung them in their backyards.

There is a reason why this simple piece of equipment is so popular today among fitness enthusiasts. It is more versatile and fun to use than your traditional dumbbell, and burns more calories per session as well.

Kettlebells were employed by the Soviet Red Army in the 20th century as part of their strength and conditioning programs. This ought to give you an idea of how fighting fit you can get if you use them within your daily exercise routine.

Benefits Of Kettlebell Workouts

Unlike traditional dumbbells, a kettlebell’s center of mass is extended beyond the hand, similar to Indian clubs.

As a result, kettlebells are more difficult to move around and grip. This increased difficulty stimulates muscle activity contributing to fat burning, muscle building, and improved mobility.

Kettlebells lend themselves more readily than dumbbells and barbells to exercises involving involving swinging and ballistic movements. Due to this advantage, a  greater number of muscle areas can be worked with one exercise.

Put another way,  kettlebells are great for compound exercises, such as the clean and press, which are exercises that involves multiple joints and muscle groups.

Of course, kettlebells can also be used for isolation exercises (e.g. a bicep curl), which are exercises that involve just one joint and major muscle group.

Caution

Because kettlebell exercises differ considerably from other resistance and weight-bearing exercises, one should be careful when starting a program.

If you are a beginner, a qualified personal trainer, fitness class instructor, or a certified kettlebell instructor should demonstrate proper exercise form and also monitor your form.

Alternatively, as a beginner, you can get a primer on proper form by watching YouTube videos by a fitness expert such as Bodyfit By Amy or by following the illustrated exercises below.

If you are accustomed to training with heavier weights, you should bear in mind that the vast majority of kettlebell exercises are compound rather than isolating in nature, and often involve explosive movement.

Therefore, a lighter kettlebell should be selected to begin with, and a heavier kettlebell should not be used until the perfect form is achieved with the lighter one.

If you have back and shoulder problems, or a weak core, should consult a physician or appropriately qualified medical practitioner before commencing a kettlebell exercise program.

When doing such a program, a space of around 3 meters or 10 feet roughly.

Suggested Weights

Current StrengthStarting WeightSuggested Set of Kettlebells
Average Female18lb / 8kg12lb, 26lb, 35lb / 8kg, 12kg, 16kg
Strong Female26lb / 12kg26lb, 35lb, 44lb / 12kg, 16kg, 20kg
Average Male 35lb / 16kg35lb, 44lb, 53lb / 16kg, 20kg, 24kg
Strong Male44lb / 20kg44lb, 53lb, 70lb / 20kg, 24kg, 32kg
Very Strong Male53lb / 24kg53lb, 70lb, 88lb / 24kg, 32kg, 40kg

Stretching and Warm-up

Kettlebell workouts place great demands on joints, require flexibility, strength, as well as coordination. Therefore, you should warm up with some stretches before starting your exercises. Stretches should ideally involve the wrists, elbows, shoulders, hips, knees, and ankles.

These stretches should be made up of a combination of static stretches (up to 2 minute holds), ballistic stretchesand coordination exercises, which integrate lower and upper-body movements (e.g. jumping jacks)

How To Use This Guide

You will find below, 41 stand-alone kettlebell exercises with illustrations and instructions for people at the beginner, intermediate, and advanced levels. Moreover, there is a workout routine given for each level.

You can mix and match the stand-alone exercises to devise your own routine and/or you can use any one of the example workout routines.


Beginner

Two Handed Swing

Skill Level: Beginner

Muscle Groups Worked
Lower Back
Shoulders
Gluteus Maximus
Hips
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Stand in spine-neutral position with feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
2. Hold kettlebell with both hands, palms down, arms in front of body.
3. Bend knees slightly and thrust hips back, as for a squat, but don’t go down as far.
4. Maintaining a fluid motion, drive hips forward explosively while swinging the kettlebell forwards and to shoulder height, engaging hips and glutes all the time. The hips and glutes, rather than the arms, should be driving the kettlebell forward.
5. Lower kettlebell back down between legs and repeat swinging motion for 12-15 repetitions, or according to your particular program and weight of  the kettlebell.
6. Repeat swinging motion for 12-15 repetitions per side, or according to your particular program and weight of kettlebell.

Goblet Squat/Front Squat

Skill Level: Beginner

Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Quadriceps
Calves
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Hold a kettlebell by the handle close to your chest and assume a comfortable stance.
2. Bring your knees out as you squat down to bring the kettlebell between them.
3. Looking straight ahead at all times, squat as low as you can. Pause at the bottom of the squat.
4. Keep your head and chest up, with your back in spine-neutral position (straight).
5. Rise back up by driving through your heels.
6. Repeat for 12-15 repetitions.

Kettlebell Woodman’s Chop

Skill Level: Beginner

Muscle Groups Worked
Latissimus Dorsi
Abdominals
Quadriceps
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Stand with your feet outside shoulder width with a kettlebell on the floor to your right side.
2. Keeping your lower back in its natural arch, pivot your feet to the right and bend down and pick up the kettlebell by the handle
3. Raise it as you pivot and twist to the left, stopping when the bell is at chest height.
4. Return the weight to the floor. Repeat 12-15 repetitions per side.

Beginner-Intermediate

One Handed Swing

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Skill Level: Beginner-Intermediate

Muscle Groups Worked
Lower Back
Shoulders
Gluteus Maximus
Hips
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Stand in spine-neutral position with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
2. Hold kettlebell with one hand, palm down and arms in front of body.
3. Bend knees slightly and thrust hips back, as for a squat, but don’t go down as far.
4. Maintaining a fluid motion, drive hips forward explosively while swinging the kettlebell forwards with one hand to shoulder height, engaging hips and glutes all the time. Swing the other arm out at the same time to maintain your balance and help drive momentum. The hips and glutes, rather than your arm, should be driving the kettlebell forward.
5. Take kettlebell in your other hand after swinging it back between your legs and swing it out again, focusing on the hip thrust to power it out.
6. Repeat swinging motion for 12-15 repetitions per side, or according to your particular program and weight of kettlebell.

Two-Arm Row

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Skill Level: Beginner-Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Biceps
Latissimus Dorsi
Middle Back

Exercise Steps

1. Take two kettlebells and place them in front of your feet.
2. Bend knees slightly.
3. Bend over to pick up the kettlebells while maintaining spine neutral position.
4. Pull kettlebells towards your stomach maintaining spine-neutral position (back straight, chest out) and keeping your elbows tucked in.
5. Lower kettlebells and repeat for 8-10 repetitions

Intermediate

Figure Eight

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Abdominals
Shoulders
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Begin with legs a little more than shoulder or hip width apart with the kettlebell on the floor in front of you.
2. Bend knees and lower yourself down to a quarter-squat position, maintaining spine neutrality.
3. Take the kettlebell in your right hand, swing it outside your right leg and thread it through your legs.
4. Take the kettlebell from your right hand with your left hand, swing it outside your left leg and thread it through your legs again.
5. Repeat for 12-15 repetitions.

High Pull

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Trapezius
Shoulders
Adductors
Quadriceps
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Place feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, at 45˚ to each other. Place kettlebell on ground between your feet.
2. Lower yourself with spine neutral position into a squat with bent knees.
3. Pick up kettlebell with both hands and push through your heels, keeping your core engaged, to rise back to your original standing position, pulling the kettlebell upwards to your hips.
4. Pull the kettlebell up so that the handle comes to your chin, with your elbows pointing up. Lower the kettlebell to your waist and repeat the initial squat motion.
5. Do repeat for 12-15 repetitions.

Overhead Lunge

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Lower Back
Shoulders
Abdominals
Calves
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Stand up straight while holding the kettlebell in the nested position on one side.
2. Extend one leg forward for a lunge, activating the hips and glutes to lower your trunk, bending both knees 90˚.
3. At the same time, lift the kettlebell straight up the ceiling, making sure your spine is straight and your legs are stable.
4. Return to standing and lower kettlebell back to your chest.
5. Repeat for 12-15 of repetitions for each side.

Russian Twist

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Lower Back
Abdominals

Exercise Steps

1. Sit with legs bent and feet flat on the floor, about hip distance apart.
2. Hold kettlebell up to chest and lean back to about a 45˚ angle.
3. Twist your torso from left to right, moving the kettlebell across your body.
4. Perform as many repetitions as possible.

One-Arm Floor Press

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Chest
Triceps

Exercise Steps

1. Lie supine (on your back) on the ground with your legs straight out.
2. Place a kettlebell by your side and take hold of it with your palm facing in. You can rest it on your upper arm if you prefer.
3. Press the kettlebell straight up towards the ceiling, turning your wrist so that your palms are facing your feet.
4. Bring the kettlebell back down to the starting position, and repeat for 6-8 repetitions per side.

Alternating Press

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Triceps

Exercise Steps

1. Bring two kettlebells to your shoulders using the clean motion.
2. Press one kettlebell directly overhead by extending your arm through your elbow, turning your wrist so that your palms face forward. Hold the other kettlebell stationary on your shoulder.
3. Lower the pressed kettlebell back down to your shoulder and immediately press the other kettlebell up with your arm.
4. Repeat alternating presses for 8-10 repetitions per side.

Thruster

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Triceps
Quadriceps

Exercise Steps

1. Clean two kettlebells to your shoulders by extending through your legs and hips to pull them up. Rotate wrists to have your palms facing forward at the end of the clean motion.
2. From this starting position, enter into the squat by flexing your hips and knees, lowering your knees between your legs. Try to go down as low as possible while maintaining spine-neutral position.
3. At the bottom of the squat, drive yourself up again by extending your knees and hips, driving through your heels. As you drive yourself up from the squat, press both kettlebells by extending your arms straight up.
4. Repeat for 8-10 repetitions.

Turkish Get-Up (Lunge Style)

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Triceps
Abdominals
Quadriceps
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Take a kettlebell in your right hand and lie on the floor on your back (supine).
2. Press the kettlebell straight up by extending your elbow.
3. Bend your right knee.
4. Pivot to your left side, keeping the kettlebell locked out, and use your left arm to prop yourself up into a seated position.
5. Pushing your body up further with your left arm, slide your left leg up from in front of you to have it supporting a lunge position behind you.
6. Keep looking straight up at the locked out kettlebell, and slowly stand up.
7. Reverse the motion back to the starting supine position and repeat for 6-8 repetitions for each side.

Turkish Get-Up (Squat Style)

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Triceps
Abdominals
Quadriceps
Calves
Hamstring

Exercise Steps

1. Take a kettlebell in your left hand and lie on the floor on your back (supine).
2. Press the kettlebell straight up by extending your elbow.
3. Bend your left knee.
4. Pivot to your right side, keeping the kettlebell locked out, and use your right arm to prop yourself up into a seated position.
5. Push further up with your right arm to enable your legs to draw back into a squat position.
6. Look up at the locked-out kettlebell and slowly stand up.
7. Reverse the motion back to the starting supine position and repeat for 6-8 repetitions for each side.

Leg-Over Press

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Triceps
Chest

Exercise Steps

1. Lie supine (on your back) on the floor with one kettlebell held in your left hand by the handle placed over your chest.
2. Extend your left leg over your right leg. You can extend your right arm out to the side for support.
3. Press the kettlebell directly upwards into the locked-out position.
4. Lower the kettlebell until your left elbow touches the ground. Keep the kettlebell above your elbow.
5. Repeat for 8 -10 repetitions and perform the same number for your right side.

Lunge Pass-Through

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Quadriceps
Calves
Gluteus Maximus

Exercise Steps

1. Stand upright holding a kettlebell in your right hand.
2. Step forward with your left foot and bring your torso (still held upright in the spine-neutral position) down by flexing your knee and lowering your body through your hips. Lower your back knee until it nearly touches the ground.
3. As you lunge, pass the kettlebell under your left leg to your left hand.
4. Pressing through the heel of your left foot, return back to the upright starting position.
5. Repeat for 16-20 repetitions, alternating legs.

One-Arm Row

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Middle Back
Latissimus Dorsi
Biceps

Exercise Steps

1. Place a kettlebell next to your left foot.
2. Place your left foot behind your back and rest your right elbow on your right leg.
3. Pull the kettlebell up to your stomach, keeping your back flat (spine-neutral) at all times.
4. Repeat for 8-10 repetitions each side.

Standing Side Crunch

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Latissimus Dorsi
Shoulders
Abdominals
Quadriceps

Exercise Steps

1. Hold the kettlebell in your right hand and extend your arm overhead.
2. Lower your arm while simultaneously raising your right knee so that your elbow and knee nearly touch
3. Extend your knee and arm again. Complete 12-15 repetitions on that side, switch sides and repeat.

Starfish Reach

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Abdominals
Gluteus Maximus

Exercise Steps

1. Lie supine (face up) with your legs wide and your arms extended behind you, holding the kettlebell with both hands at the base of the handle with the ball away from you and your palms facing up.
2. Contract your abs and crunch up as you reach arms and legs together
3. Lower the kettlebell to the start and repeat for 12-15 repetitions.

Get Up Plank

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Lower Back
Middle Back
Trapezius
Shoulders
Triceps
Abdominals
Hips

Exercise Steps

1. Begin in a modified side-plank position with your right leg stacked on top of your left leg and your knees bent. Put your body weight on your left forearm and on the side of your left leg and hips.
2. Hold a kettlebell in your right hand, with your right elbow bent and weight resting against your forearm.
3. Lift your hips so your body is straight from your knees to your shoulders. At the same time, straighten your arm and press the kettlebell toward the ceiling. Keep it directly above your shoulder and focus your eyes on it at all times.
4. Slowly lower your hips and arm to the starting position.
5. Repeat for 8-10 repetitions, switch sides and repeat. Remember to keep the kettlebell directly above your shoulder, and focus your eyes on it.

Single Arm Front Squat

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Abdominals
Quadriceps
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Pick up a kettlebell with your left hand.
2. Bring the kettlebell into the rack position. Keep your left elbow by your side, your weight in front of your left shoulder, and your palm facing in.
3. Push your hips back and lower your body into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor, and then stand back up, pushing up through your heels.
4. Repeat for 8-10 repetitions, then change sides.

Rotating Lunge

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Skill Level: Intermediate

 Muscle Groups Worked
Latissimus Dorsi
Abdominals
Quadriceps
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart holding a kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest.
2. Step forward with your left leg and lower into a lunge, simultaneously rotating your upper body toward the right wall.
3. Drive through the left heel and return to the starting position. Repeat for 12-15 repetitions on each side.

Intermediate-Advanced

Side-Step Swing

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Skill Level: Intermediate-Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Lower Back
Shoulders
Gluteus Maximus
Hips
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Begin with the basic two-handed swing.
2. However, when the kettlebell is on its way down, put your right foot out and step to the right.
3. When the kettlebell is up, bring your left foot over to meet your right foot, so your feet are together.
4. Continue taking steps to the right as space allows, then change direction and side-step to the left for the same number of repetitions.

Deadlift

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Skill Level: Intermediate-Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Lower Back
Middle Back
Trapezius
Forearms
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Stand with the kettlebell between your feet.
2. Bend your knees to squat down and take the kettlebell with both hands. Maintain spine neutral position (back remains flat).
3. Engage your core, tighten your glutes, and keep your arms extended as you raise your body by pushing up through your feet. Don’t pull the kettlebell up with your arms – just let it come along with you, until you come to a standing position.
4. Lower the kettlebell back down to the ground again by bending your knees and keeping your arms extended.
5. Aim for 12-15 repetitions, maintaining proper form throughout.

Advanced

Windmill

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Abdominals
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstring

Exercise Steps

1. Hold kettlebell in the nested position in your right hand and angle your feet 45˚ away from the right side of your body.
2. Raise the kettlebell directly overhead, lock your arm and keep your gaze fixed on the weight in order to keep your shoulders aligned.
3. Shift your weight on to your right leg and begin bending forward at the waist.
4. Keep your right arm extended upwards as your body bends forward, pointing your left arm towards the ground.
5. Lift back up with slow and controlled movement. Repeat 6-8 repetitions for each side.

Clean

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Lower Back
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstring

Exercise Steps

1. Start with the kettlebell between your feet.
2. Bend your knees to reach down and grip the handle of the kettlebell with your right hand, your thumb pointing behind you.
3. Bring the kettlebell up with an upward thrust of your hips, letting the momentum move your arm up to your shoulder.
4. The kettlebell should end in the “rack” position: resting on the forearm, which is tucked close to the body, the fist at your chest.
5. Bring the kettlebell back down to the ground and perform another 10-15 repetitions. Repeat with other hand.

Two-Arm Military Press

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Triceps

Exercise Steps

1. Place two kettlebells on the ground in front of you.
2. Perform a double kettlebell clean to get both of the kettlebells into the rack position.
3. Press kettlebells vertically while leaning forward from your waist so the weights are positioned behind your head.
4. Bring them back down to your shoulders into the rack position.
5. Perform 10-20 repetitions, depending on the weight.

One Arm Split Jerk

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Chest
Quadriceps
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Start by bringing the kettlebell to your shoulder with a clean motion with palm facing the front.
2. Bend your knees while pressing the kettlebell overhead moving into a split position.
3. Keeping the kettlebell overhead, return to standing position.
4. Lower the kettlebell to your shoulder.
5. Aim for 8-10 repetitions each side.

One Arm Snatch

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Lower Back
Trapezius
Shoulders
Triceps
Calves
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Stand in spine-neutral position with feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart.
2. Hold kettlebell with one hand, palms down, arms in front of body.
3. Bend knees slightly and thrust hips back, as for a squat, but don’t go down as far.
4. Maintaining a fluid motion, drive hips forward explosively while swinging the kettlebell forwards and as high as you can, engaging hips and glutes all the time. Swing the other arm out at the same time to maintain your balance and help drive momentum. The hips and glutes, rather than your arm, should be driving the kettlebell forward.
5. As the kettlebell reaches an apex with no further upward momentum (around forehead height or higher) punch your hand forward and upwards to flip the kettle onto the back of your forearm. Maintain a hold on the kettlebell without holding it so tightly it cannot move freely.
6. Complete the snatch by pushing the kettlebell into a full overhead press position with arm straight, shoulder settled into its socket and elbow locked.
7. Lower the kettlebell and allow the kettlebell to flip forward and then swing it between your legs before moving onto the next rep.
8. Aim for 6-8 repetitions per side.

Power Plank with Row (Renegade Row)

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Middle Back
Latissimus Dorsi
Biceps
Triceps
Abdominals
Chest

Exercise Steps

1. Start in a plank position, but with hands grasping two kettlebells by the handles.
2. Lift one kettlebell up so it reaches the hip — remember to keep the elbow in.
3. Lower back down and repeat with the opposite arm.
4. Do 8-10 repetitions for each arm.

Push-Up with Row

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Middle Back
Latissimus Dorsi
Biceps
Triceps
Abdominals
Chest

Exercise Steps

1. Begin in a push-up position with the left arm holding a kettlebell.
2. Perform a push-up and hold at the top.
3. Squeeze your shoulder blades together to lift your left elbow about 15 cm above your body as you pull the kettlebell up to your chest.
4. Return back to the starting push-up position, aiming for 8-10 repetitions with each arm.

Double Windmill

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Triceps
Abdominals
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Place two kettlebells in front of your feet.
2. Take both kettlebells and bring them up to your waist by extending through your waist and hips as you pull them up.
3. Clean one of the kettlebells to your shoulder, rotating your wrist so that your palm faces forward at the end of the clean motion.
4. Press the kettlebell upwards and keep it locked out (full elbow extension).
5. Turn your feet out at a 45˚ angle and stick your buttocks out sideways in the same direction as the locked-out kettlebell l(e.g. to the left if you have the locked-out kettlebell in your left hand).
6. Slowly bend from the hips in the other direction until the kettlebell in your other hand touches the floor again. Keep your eyes on the locked-out kettlebell overhead at all times.
7. Repeat on each side for 8 -10- repetitions.

Pistol Squat

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Quadriceps
Calves
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Pick up a kettlebell with two hands and hold it to your chest, standing.
2. Extend one leg slightly off the floor and squat down on the other one, flexing your knee and sitting back on your hips. Continue to hold the kettlebell up in front of your chest.
3. Pause for a few seconds, then drive yourself through your heels back up to the upright position, keeping your head and chest up.
4. Lower yourself again and repeat for 8-10 repetitions. Repeat with the other leg.

One-Arm Overhead Squat

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 Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Quadriceps
Calves
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Place a kettlebell on the ground in front of you and take it by the handle in your left hand.
2. Clean and press it to your shoulder by extending through your legs and hips, rotating your wrist so that you finish the movement with palms facing forward.
3. Press the kettlebell overhead by extending your elbow. This is your starting position.
4. While looking straight ahead and keeping the kettlebell locked out above you, flex your knees and hips to lower your torso between your legs, keeping your head and chest up. You can maintain your balance by extending your right arm sideways.
5. Pause at the bottom of the squat for a moment before raising yourself back up to the starting position by pushing through your heels.
6. Repeat for 8-10 repetitions, alternating sides.

One-Arm Snatch to Press

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Lower Back
Trapezius
Shoulders
Triceps
Calves
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Place a kettlebell between your feet.
2. Bend your knees and extend your buttocks back to get into the correct starting position.
3. Looking straight ahead, swing the kettlebell back between your legs.
4a-4b. Immediately driving through with your hips and knees, bring the kettlebell up to your shoulder with wrist facing forward, perform a slight squat, then push up and press the kettlebell overhead.
5. Let the kettlebell swing back down between your legs and repeat for 8-10 repetitions, alternating arms.

Alternating Snatches

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Lower Back
Trapezius
Shoulders
Triceps
Calves
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Pick up a kettlebell in each hand and stand with them resting on your thighs, legs shoulder-width apart.
2. Create momentum for the movement by lowering your torso, maintaining spine neutral position, and flexing your hips and knees so that the two kettlebells swing underneath you between your legs.
3. Using a powerful forward thrust of your hips, reverse the direction of the swing to bring one kettlebell to your shoulder, wrist facing out.
4. Lower the kettlebell to swing down between your legs again and reverse direction with the hip thrust, but this time raise the other kettlebell to your shoulder with wrist facing out.
5. Continue alternating movements for 12-15 repetitions per side.

Burpee To Squat Press

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Shoulders
Triceps
Abdominals
Chest
Quadriceps
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Place a kettlebell on the ground in front of you and stand over it.
2. Bending your knees, place the palms of your hands to either side of the kettlebell.
3. Kick your feet out behind you to assume a push up position.
4. Keeping your hands on the floor, jump back to the same deep squatting position.
5. Grab the kettlebell lightly with each hand as low on the handle as possible.
6. Driving through your heels and hips, thrust your body up and, as the kettlebell travels with the momentum up to your chest, transfer your grip from the lower handle to the bottom of the kettlebell and lift it directly above your head.
7. Lower the kettlebell back down to the ground, transferring your grip back to the handle and repeat 12-15 repetitions.

Overhead Reverse Lunge

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Lower Back
Shoulders
Triceps
Quadriceps
Calves
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Place a kettlebell between your feet.
2. Bend your knees and extend your buttocks back to get into the correct starting position. Looking straight ahead, swing the kettlebell back between your legs.
3. Immediately driving through with your hips and knees, bring the kettlebell up to your shoulder with wrist facing forward, perform a slight squat.
4. Push up and then press the kettlebell overhead.
5. With the kettlebell locked out directly above you, perform a reverse lunge by extending the leg opposite the arm holding the kettlebell overhead behind you, while flexing your knee and lowering your body through your hips. Lower your back knee until it nearly touches the ground.
6. Flex through your hips again to raise your torso back up to a standing position.
7. Repeat with alternating legs and arms for 12-15 repetitions per side.

One Leg Deadlift

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Latissimus Dorsi
Abdominals
Quadriceps
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

1. Hold a kettlebell in your left hand and let it hang at your side.
2. Bend your left knee and let your left toe rest on the floor.
3. Reach for the ground with the weight and lift your left leg out straight behind you, keeping your back flat.
4. When the kettlebell touches the floor, reverse direction.
5. Repeat for 8-10 repetitions each side.

Halo

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Latissimus Dorsi
Shoulders
Triceps

Exercise Steps

1. Squat down to pick a kettlebell up and lift it to your chest, holding it upside-down by the handle.
2. Rotate the kettlebell clockwise around your head, initially in large circles, gradually making the circles smaller until your hands and the kettlebell are just clearing your head.
3. Repeat for 8-10 repetitions, then change to anticlockwise rotation.

Around The World

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Skill Level: Advanced

 Muscle Groups Worked
Lower Back
Middle Back
Forearms
Obliques
Gluteus Maximus
Hamstrings

Exercise Steps

Focus on form when beginning this advanced exercise. Use a lighter kettlebell and be aware of the importance of staying as upright as possible and controlling your rotational momentum. Ensure you have adequate space around you for this exercise.

1. Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and take the kettlebell by both “horns”. Bring your shoulders back and tuck your chin in, making sure you are standing tall and upright.
2. Holding the kettlebell in front of your navel and groin area, turn your whole body around 360˚ with your feet rotating.
3. After three rotations in the same direction, stop. Control the stop by planting your feet down hard, with heels flat on the ground and knees slightly bent, but not excessively.
4. Now perform three rotations in the opposite direction and continue for two minutes before resting.


Intro To Workouts

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The following section provides example workouts for each level of practitioner – beginner, intermediate, and advanced.

Order of Exercises

Exercises in each circuit are listed in the order in which they should be performed.

Number of Circuits per Workout and Rests

I recommend repeating the circuit three times, depending on your fitness level. After completing one exercise, go straight into the next one. Short rests of between 90 seconds and 5 minutes can be taken in between circuits.

Repetitions and Time Taken

With some exercises, we have prescribed a particular number of repetitions. With others, the idea is to perform as many repetitions as possible within the time limit, e.g. 3 minutes.

Beginner Level Workout

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Objective: To increase muscular strength and endurance in as wide a variety of muscle group areas as possible while also improving cardiovascular performance
Total time taken (estimated, excluding rest time): 15-45 mins, subject to length of time per exercise.
Number of circuits to be performed in one workout: 3

Download this workout in PDF (right click and save)

ExerciseAmount of TimeImportant notes
Two-handed kettlebell swing1-3minRemember to drive hips forward explosively (but smoothly) while swinging the kettlebell forward
Two-arm kettlebell row1-3minPull kettlebells towards your stomach maintaining spine-neutral position (back straight, chest out) and keeping your elbows tucked in
Alternating kettlebell press1-3minA good alternative to bench presses but demands a compound wrist and arm movement.
Woodman’s chop1-3minRemember to keep your lower back in its natural arch and to pivot.
Goblet squat/Front squat1-3minSquat as low as you can and drive back up through your heels.

Intermediate Level Workout

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Objective: To increase muscular strength and endurance in as wide a variety of muscle group areas as possible while also improving cardiovascular performance.
Total time taken (estimated, excluding rest time): 40 mins
Number of circuits to be performed in one workout: 3

Download this workout in PDF (right click and save)

Exercise Number of Repetitions/Amount of Time Important notes
One-Handed Kettlebell Swing 12-15 repetitions per arm Your hips and glutes, rather than your arm, should be driving the kettlebell forward, so make sure these are engaged all the time
Kettlebell Figure-Eight 2-3 min This exercise develops coordination as well as working arms, back and abdominals
Kettlebell High Pull 2-3 min Keeping your core engaged is crucial
One-Arm Kettlebell Floor Press 8-10 repetitions per side Remember to turn your wrists towards your feet as you press the kettlebell up
One-Arm Kettlebell Row 8-10 repetitions per side Maintain spine neutral position at all times
Kettlebell Turkish Get-Up (Lunge-Style) 6-8 repetitions per side A complex exercise featuring multiple movements, probably the most crucial of which is sliding your leg up from in front of you to have it supporting a lunge position behind you.

Advanced Workout

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Objective: To enhance total body muscular strength and endurance, focusing on further strengthening the core, as well as increasing cardiovascular capacity.
Total time taken (estimated, excluding rest time): 40 mins
Number of circuits to be performed in one workout: 3

Download this workout in PDF (right click and save)

Exercise Number of Repetitions Important notes
Kettlebell windmill 6-8 repetitions for each side A challenging exercise, for which some may need to use lighter kettlebells than for those exercises which utilize swing. When kettlebells is directly raised overhead, keep your gaze fixed on the weight in order to keep your shoulders aligned.
Kettlebell Deadlift Aim for 12-15 repetitions, maintaining proper form throughout. Engage your core, tighten your glutes, and keep your arms extended as you raise your body by pushing up through your feet. Don’t pull the kettlebells up with your arms, just let it come along with you, until you come to a standing position.
Kettlebell Clean 10-15 repetitions Grip position is important: At the start, bend your knees to reach down and grip the handle of the kettlebell with your right hand, your thumb pointing behind you. In rack position, the kettlebells should be resting on the forearm, which is tucked close to the body, the fist at your chest.
One-Arm Kettlebell Split Jerk 4-5 each side initially, build to 8-10 with experience and fitness level Crucial movements such as the clean and overhead press are stages in this complex exercise and need to be mastered first.
Kettlebell Pistol Squat 4-5 for each leg initially, build to 8-10 with experience and fitness level Drive up through your heels when going up.

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