kettlebell workout routines

Kettlebell Workout Routines

Kettlebell workouts have gained in popularity over the last few years, and for good reason.

Kettlebells – small cast-iron weights designed for ballistic exercises – are extremely versatile pieces of workout equipment. Available in many different sizes for varying resistance, they can be effectively used in both strength and flexibility training, or in exercises that combine strength and cardiovascular training. Whether your goal is weight loss, toning, or building muscle, these routines offer killer results.

In particular, they can be very useful in high intensity interval training, or HIIT. For more information, see my article on HIIT here.

I often introduce kettlebells relatively early on with my clients, once they become comfortable with the basics of resistance training. If you have the right form, balance, and technique down, you can safely introduce kettlebell exercises into your strength training workout.

Here are 3 kettlebell workout routines to get you started…

Kettlebell Workout Routines

Kettlebell Workout Routine 1 – Upper Body

This workout is all focused on your arms, back, shoulders, and chest, giving you a complete upper body workout. For each exercise, do 3 sets at 8-12 reps (depending on your workout goals) at an appropriate weight.

  • Kettlebell Bicep Curls – Grip a kettlebell in each hand and alternate between underhanded curls.
  • Kettlebell Chest Press – Lying face up on a workout bench, grip a kettlebell in each hand and perform a traditional chest press.
  • Kettlebell Rows – Bending your knees, lean forward slightly at your waist and hold your back straight. Holding a kettlebell in each hand, engage in a row, pulling each eight into your torso.
  • Kettlebell Tricep Extension – Grip a kettlebell with both hands and perform a seated tricep extension.
  • Kettlebell Lifts – Stand upright, holding a kettlebell with both hands towards the ground. With a straight back, lift the kettlebell up to chest height, engaging your shoulders and back.

Kettlebell Workout Routine 2 – Lower Body & Core

This workout is all focused on your quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. For each exercise, do 3 sets at 8-12 reps at an appropriate weight.

  • Kettlebell Squats – Gripping a kettlebell with both hands at chest height, lower yourself into a deep lunge.
  • Kettlebell Lunges – Holding a kettlebell in each hand, perform a traditional stationary lunge. For more of a challenge, try performing a walking lunge instead.
  • Kettlebell Deadlifts – With a straight back and a slight bend at your waist, lift 2 kettlebells with either hand until you are standing straight. Then return to starting position by leaning forward, bending your knees, and lowering the kettlebells to the floor again.
  • Kettlebell Calf Raises – Holding a kettlebell with both hands at chest height, lift your heels off the floor, hold, and lower again.
  • Kettlebell Side Bends – With a kettlebell in each hand, bend to one side, lowering the weight to the floor. Lift to starting position, and lower opposite side, engaging your obliques.

Kettlebell Workout Routine 3 – Full Body

This workout offers more dynamic kettlebell exercises that target your full body. For each exercise, do 3 sets at 8-12 reps at an appropriate weight.

  • Kettlebell Swing – Holding a kettlebell with both hands, stand feet at shoulder-width. With control, swing the kettlebell up to chest height, straightening your back as you lift. Then swing back down, allowing the weight to move behind you through your legs, bending your knees and leaning forward. Repeat movements in a continuous sequence.
  • Balance Row – Hold a kettlebell in your left hand in a standing position, heels touching. Lift your left knee upward, balancing on your right foot. As you do this, lift the kettlebell upward along the side of your body at the same pace, bending your elbow.
  • Figure Eights – Holding a kettlebell in one hand, bend your knees and lower your body into a squat. Passing the kettlebell between your hands in a continuous sequence, move the kettlebell between your legs in a figure-8 pattern. When you’ve circled both legs, you’ve completed one set.
  • Lunge Press – Standing with your feet hip-width apart, hold the sides of a kettlebell with both hands. Starting with the weight at chest height, engage in a stationary lunge and lift the kettlebell overhead. Return to starting position and repeat on opposite side.

All of these workout routines are great beginner kettlebell workouts. If you’re intimidated by the gym or just looking for a convenient home workout, check out this Altus 2 In 1 Power Medicine Ball And Kettlebell Set. It allows you to switch between medicine balls and kettlebells by using detachable handles. Talk about flexible home workout equipment!

Have any questions or feedback about these Kettlebell Workout Routines? Please leave a comment below…