14 Kettlebell Workouts with Video Examples

My love for the kettlebell has grown even deeper since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. It takes up minimal space and allows for creativity. This is probably why there was a kettlebell shortage last year!

There are many reasons to love kettlebell training, but the two main reasons are the efficiency and versatility of the bell. There are SO MANY ways to use them which means they offer the ability to work out lots of different muscles and muscle groups. Doing the right workout with a kettlebell can help you burn fat, get strong, and enhance cardiovascular endurance.

So grab your kettlebell and let's get your creative juices flowing. Click here to view the full list of kettlebell workouts in this post or get started with a closer look at a classic kettlebell workout and one of our favorites, the kettlebell swing:

1. The Kettlebell Swing

 

Here's our dear friends at Iron Monkey Strength crushing some kettlebell swings in their Pedestals. It brings us a ton of joy to show off the hard work their members are putting in.

How to do it: The kettlebell swing generates momentum from a hip hinge rather than a squat. That is, as your body tips down toward the concrete, you must press your hips back without bending your knees too far. It's more similar to a Romanian deadlift than a squat. As you can hear in the video, squeezing the glutes and bringing the kettlebell up high are important aspects of this exercise. Experiment with pushing through your heels and bursting from your hips to send the weight swinging upward from your quads.

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2. The Kettlebell Slingshot



The slingshot is probably our favorite kettlebell swing variation. Also commonly termed "kettlebell around the world" or "the kettlebell circle," the kettlebell slingshot is a simple exercise. All you need to perform it is the kettlebell of your choice and ample space.

How to do it: Standing with your shoulders relaxed, hips stable and body in an upright position, take the kettlebell and hold it around your waist area. Keeping the kettlebell close to the body, swing the kettlebell around your waist toward your other hand. Change hands as you move it around your waist. You should be moving the kettlebell completely around your body or through your legs as you perform the slingshot, passing it from one hand to the other as you complete the exercise. As you're doing it, make sure that you're engaging the core muscles and shoulder muscles.

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3. The Kettlebell Swap

    We borrowed most of thes exercises in the video above from Joel Seedman at Advanced Human Performance. He's been a long time Pedestal supporter and is an absolute wizard on all things strength and conditioning. 

    How to do it: A kettlebell swap exercise requires that you maintain your posture and position while swapping the kettlebell from one arm to the other. In other words, your body stays still while the weight moves across your body forcing your feet to work hard to keep you balanced. 

    Another benefit of the kettlebell swap is when the weight moves from side to side it hits both the lateral and medial sides of the foot. This means that the swap is the Swiss army knife of barefoot exercises. Whether you have flat feet, high arches, supination, eversion, pronation, or inversion the swap has you covered. 

    Try to focus on driving the big toe into the ground and maintaining alignment from head to toe. Perform the exercises below 3x per week on off days or as a dynamic warm-up before heavy lifting. 

    Five variations in the video:

    1. Single Leg KB Swap
    2. Single Leg Swap With Knee Raise
    3. Single Leg RDL & Swap
    4. Wall RFE Lunge With Swap
    5. Eccentric Isometric Lunge
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      4. The Kettlebell Skier Swing Variation

       

      One variation you may not have tried is the alternating skier swing. This variation has two great benefits

      1. Unilaterally train your body in an explosive manner
      2. Challenge your full body coordination/timing

      How to do it: 

      To do this move, pick up two kettlebells at half the weight you'd typically use for a kettlebell swing. Stand straight with feet hip-width apart. Drop your chest toward the floor, holding your arms locked around your torso, with your spine neutral and hip hinge back. Then, press your hips forward and swing the kettlebells to shoulder height using your glutes and hamstrings.

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        5. The Kettlebell Shovel Hold

        Instead of waiting for the next snowstorm to get a great shovel workout in or if you live in a place where you don't need to shovel snow, here is the kettlebell shovel hold.

        How to do it:

        Begin with your feet shoulder-width apart, hands in front of your waist, and a kettlebell in one hand. Extend both arms out to the side until they form a 45-degree angle. Hold this pose for a few seconds before bringing your arms in and changing hands.

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        6. The Kettlebell Snatch

         

        How to do it:

        Begin in the standard hinged-at-the-hips position. Swing the kettlebell up and over your head. Allow the kettlebell to flip over the top of your hand before casting it forward as if shooting a basketball. Keep the kettlebell balanced at the midline of your body as you cast and it descends. Enter the backswing when the forearm and pelvis make contact. Return to a neutral stance and repeat.

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        7. The Kettlebell Get-Up

         

        How to do it:

        Begin in a fetal position facing the kettlebell and slide your hand through the handle. Pull it close to your chest, then roll onto your back. Bend the knee on the same side as the hand that holds the kettlebell. Press the kettlebell overhead like you are performing a chest press.

        Get up on your free side, pulling your shoulder back and your chest up. Sweep your free leg back and bridge high. You should be in the shape of a stable triangle. After that, assume a lunge. To get to a standing position, push off with the ball of your foot.

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        8. The Kettlebell Burpee & Gorilla Row

        🦍MY 10 FAVORITE ROWS!

        🧠Brighter minds than me like @drjohnrusin recommend doing 2-3x as much rowing (horizontal pulling) as pullups/pulldowns (vertical pulling) for shoulder health and performance.

        Here are 10 of my favorite ways to get that ✅done. I like sets of 8-15 reps for most rows, but of course will go lower and higher rep on occasion. Use all the tools and all the angles to get all dem GAINZZZZZZZZ! I've got a feeling my buddy @JayFerruggia might like this post...

        1. Kettlebell Gorilla Rows 2. Chest-Supported Rows 3. @Purmotion_Official AirFit Rotational Rows 4. Parallel Bar EQualizer Rows 5. Free-Band Bent-Over Rows 6. Cross-Over Band/Cable Rows 7. @UltimateSandbag 2:1 Rows to Curl 8. 1-Arm Landmine Rows 9. Hammer-Grip Multi-Grip/Swiss Bar Rows 10. Dual Landmine/Renegade Rows

        🏝Where can you get all my equipment? Go to 💻GardenOfGainz.com (direct link in my bio) and get 10% off with my coupon code: TheDailyBJ

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        A post shared by BJ Gaddour (@bjgaddour) on 

         How to do it:

        Start with your feet shoulder-width apart with a kettlebell in each hand. Bend your legs with your knees out until the kettlebells are on the ground. Lift one straight up, and then the other.

        If you want to get in a fast full-body workout in a short period of time, burpees and gorilla rows will do the trick. When combined, these workouts will leave you feeling fantastic and eager to take on the remainder of the day. If you taste how good you do, you'll want to start every day with this one-two punch of glory.

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        9. Swing + Clean + Press + Front Squat Complex

         

        How to do it:

        Begin with two front swings. To execute the swings, stand with your legs slightly wider than shoulder-width, then swing the kettlebell forward while straightening your knees.

        Follow with two lifts by bringing the kettlebell up in front then over your head and hold. Squat with the kettlebell held at shoulder height.

        This one comes to us from our friend and Pedestal enthusiast Mavericks Field House. Perform the complex for 1 minute and rest for 30 seconds. You can perform it on one side for the entire minute or alternate sides each rep. 10 Rounds is a solid work session but you can always do more or less. 

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        10. Kettlebell Exercises that Increase Ankle Mobility

        People often look at a kettlebell and think strength training or full body workouts, but very few recognize another equally important way to incorporate the kettlebell; mobility work. Try these six mobility drills for your feet and ankles utilizing the kettlebell:

        1. Open-stance half-kneeling ankle mobility

        How?

        Begin the open-stance half-kneeling ankle mobility move on one knee with the other cocked at a 90-degree angle with the foot out. Hold the kettlebell in both hands. Lean toward the foot that is flat on the floor.

        2. Half-kneeling ankle mobility with KB assist

        How? Kneel on one knee with your feet facing forward. Hold the kettlebell on your knee. Lunge forward gently.

        3. Single-leg standing bell calf stretch

        How?

        Stand on one leg and hold a kettlebell in the opposite hand. Raise up on your toes, the lower slowly to your starting position. Repeat with the opposite leg.4.

        4. Achilles rolling on horns

        How? 

        Place your feet on the bell with one crossed over the other. Rock gently back and forth from the heels.

        5. Single-leg calf raise

        How? 

        Stand on your kettlebell's handle, braced against the wall. From there, raise one calf, then the other.

        6. KB gas and brake

        How?

        Hook your toes through the handle of your kettlebell while seated with your legs out. Curl your toes toward you.

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          11. Kettlebell Nuggets from Kelly Matthews (6 movements) 

           

          This 6 movement KB workout is from our dear friend and elite performance coach @kellylmatthews. Be sure to follow her IG and visit her website for killer programming and consistently awesome workout inspiration.

          How to do it:

          Smoothly transition from one position to the next and rest in between if possible. Complete these six exercises for a full-body workout.

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            12. Two 20-minute Kettle Bell Flows from Kelly Matthews

            A1 

             

            A2 

             

            If you only have 20 minutes to workout, these two kettlebell flows from @CoffeesAndKettlebells are for you! You can perform them as A1 & A2 for as long as you have time for and I promise you will feel the burn.

            How to do it:

            Kettlebell flows combine weight training with the meditative feel of yoga. Complete each circuit slowly and deliberately.

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            13. Full Body Kettlebell Workout #1

             

            This video from ONNIT features 6 kettlebell workouts that engage your entire body. All you need is a kettlebell (or dumbbell) and 20-30 minutes.

            How to do it: They recommend 8-10 reps for 3 rounds of the following exercises: single arm row, reverse lunge, single arm overhead press, sumo squat, leg raises, and B-stance Romanian deadlift (RDL).

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            14. Full Body Kettlebell Workout #2 

             

            Below is the workout taken right from Kelly's Instagram:

            We encourage you to perform at least 3 Rounds

            1: Single arm swing to transverse squat
            2. Single leg bent over rows
            3. Squat, clean, rotational press
            4. Hop, snatch, windmill
            5. Tall Kneeling Double arm clean
            6. ISO split squat halos
            7. Push up, deadlift, swing (as a finisher)

            Each movement can be done for time (40 seconds on, 20 seconds off) or a certain amount of reps (8 to 12 reps). You can also watch Kelly via the video above.

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            Workouts in this post: 

            1. The Kettlebell Swing
            2. The Kettlebell Slingshot
            3. The Kettlebell Swap
            4. The Kettlebell Skier Swing Variation
            5. The Kettlebell Shovel Hold
            6. The Kettlebell Snatch
            7. The Kettlebell Get-Up
            8. The Kettlebell Burpee & Gorilla Row
            9. Swing Complex
            10. Kettlebell Exercises that Increase Ankle Mobility
            11. Kettlebell Nuggets from Kelly Matthews (6 movements),
            12. 20 Minute Kettle Bell Flows from Kelly Matthews
            13. Full Body Kettlebell Workout #1
            14. Full Body Kettlebell Workout #2