Kettlebell Workouts

kettlebells greyscale

Kettlebell training is fun.  Part of it is the novelty of using something that’s not a dumbbell or a barbell, and part of it is the fact that many kettlebell exercises feel like (literal) child’s play – swinging and heaving those things every which way.  Of course, if you want to go the more traditional route, you can use kettlebells for most conventional dumbbell/barbell exercises, too.  I enjoy kettlebell training as a fun addition to my usual routine (lifting, bodyweight circuits, a little yoga, and hobbling running when I’m not broken), and wanted to share a couple quick kettlebell workouts in case any of yall have been wanting to give kettlebells a shot.  The first one is a strength focused workout, and the second is more conditioning/cardio focused, but they’ll both give you an quality workout that ends with a puddle of sweat and a big smile. Don’t be intimidated by those funny looking orbs-with-handles – kettlebells pack a surprising punch (and they are often deceptively heavy!), but they make for some truly fun workouts.  Choose a kettlebell that is heavy enough to make the exercises challenging by the final reps of each set, but not so heavy that you risk dropping it on your face during the overhead press/hold portions.  Let me know how you like these workouts!


**Before you start, make sure you know how to do a basic kettlebell swing properly.  Jen Sinkler, one of my favorite trainers, has an excellent explanation (includes video) of how to perfect your swing.  She even explains that you have to basically “make it look dirty” to do it right, which is pretty much a great way to get me to do any exercise ever…but really, she’s right.  So get dirty and get swingin’, yall!**

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Kettlebell Strength Circuit

4 Rounds:

  • 20 Kettlebell Swings
  • 10 Kettlebell Goblet Squats (hold kettlebell right in front of your chest)
  • 10 Bent-over Kettlebell Rows (each side)
  • 10 Sit-Ups (hold kettlebell for resistance)
  • 10 Kettlebell Overhead Lunges (each side; hold kettlebell overhead on same side as back leg)
  • 10 Kettlebell Clean + Press (each side)
  • 10 Kneeling Wood Choppers (each side; hold kettlebell for resistance)
  • Rest 2-3 minutes, repeat for 4 rounds total.


Kettlebell Conditioning Intervals

Grab your kettlebell.  Set a timer for 20 minutes.  Every minute on the minute, do 15 kettlebell swings.  Once you’ve done those 15, you have the remainder of that minute to rest.  As soon as the next minute hits, start swinging.  Repeat for the full 20 minutes.  To make this more challenging, you can graduate to a heavier kettlebell or increase the number of swings per minute.  Swing hard and swing fast – as long as you can do it with proper form – but make sure that you don’t exceed a 1:1 ratio of work:rest (so you’ll be swining that ‘bell for 30 seconds each minute at most).  As you get stronger and faster, you’ll find you’re able to do more swings in those 30 seconds!  You can also extend the time to make it a 30 minute workout, but I prefer to keep this shorter and sweeter sweatier, and really bust my ass for those 20 minutes.


Now go swing some kettlebells around..and don’t forget to make it dirty!

kettlebells vintage fitness strongman

Do you work out with kettlebells? 

Do you have any favorite kettlebell exercises or workouts?  (Link up in the comments so everyone can join in the fun!)


4 thoughts on “Kettlebell Workouts

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