12 Kettlebell Exercises For You to Try!

kettlebells pic

Always wanted to attempt Kettlebell Exercises but not sure how to do them correctly?

Below are 12 Kettlebell Exercises For You to Try!

With a step-by-step guide, as well as a video demonstrating the correct technique.

  • 6 (12) Reps Heavy for Strength
  • 10 (20) Reps Moderate for Hypertrophy
  • 20 (40) Reps Light for Muscle Endurance

Example: 6 Reps per side for Single Arm Exercises (6 x 2 = 12) and 12 Reps for Double Arm Exercises

1. Double Arm Swing

Difficulty Level: Beginner

Muscle Group(s):

  • Total Body
  • Back
  • Core
  • Legs
  • Back and Neck
  • Hamstrings
  • Glutes
  • Quadriceps
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Trapezius
  • Abdominals

Modality: Power

Equipment: Kettlebell (KB)

Benefits:

  • Neuro-motor development
  • Aerobic training effect with high caloric expenditure
  • Power, functional strength, speed, coordination, timing, focus and injury prevention mechanisms

Preparation:

  • Begin from a lowered squat position with both hands on the KB in between the legs.
  • Pull the KB back toward the thighs by rocking the bodyweight into the heels and brace wrists against inner thighs.

Movement:

  • Powerfully extend lower body to accelerate the bottom of the KB up and away.
  • As it ascends, counterbalance the foward pull of the KB by shifting the bodyweight back.
  • As it descends along the same pathway, absorb the KB with the entire body.

2. Push Press

Difficulty Level: Beginner

Muscle Group(s): Total Body

Modality: Power

Equipment: Kettlebell (KB)

Benefits:

  • Neuro-motor development
  • Aerobic training effect with high caloric expenditure
  • Power, functional strength, speed, coordination, timing, focus and injury prevention mechanisms

Preparation :

  • Stand feet hip-width apart and the KB in the “rack” position, bent arm resting against the trunk and the palm towards the midline to create a triangle.

Movement :

  • Dip the lower body into a shallow squat.
  • Powerfully extend lower body and shrug shoulder to accelerate KB up.
  • Finish movement by extending arm overhead.
  • As the KB’s center of mass shifts back overhead, the body weight should counterbalance forward.
  • Absorb KB descent with lower body.

3. Figure 8

Difficulty Level: Beginner

Muscle Group(s): 

  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Abdominals
  • Legs
  • Glutes
  • Total Body
  • Core

Modality: Strength

Equipment: Kettlebell (KB)

Benefits:

  • Neuro-motor development
  • Dynamic hip, trunk and shoulder stability
  • Strength, coordination, focus and timing

Preparation:

  • Begin in a bent over position, legs will be bent and trunk almost horizontal and one hand on the KB between the legs.

Movement :

  • Swing KB back between legs to pass it to opposite arm behind the leg.
  • Circle KB around leg to pass to other side in a continuous figure 8 pattern.
  • A slight swaying of the lower body will facilitate the figure 8 movement.

4. Side Press (Progression of Windmill)

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Muscle Group(s):

  • Core
  • Obliques

Modality:

  • Strength
  • Stability

Equipment: Kettlebell (KB)

Benefits:

  • Neuro-motor development
  • Dynamic hip, trunk and shoulder stability
  • Strength, coordination, focus, dynamic flexibility and balance

Preparation:

  • Stand with feet staggered forward and back, the back leg will be straight and slightly turned out with the front knee slightly bent. The ipsilateral arm of the back leg holds the KB in the rack position.

Movement:

  • Project hips back on an oblique angle.
  • Maintaining lordosis, incline and rotate trunk toward the KB as the hips flex.
  • KB arm extends upright in coordination with trunk movement.
  • Return to the upright position with KB arm extended overhead.

5. Woodchopper Lunge

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Muscle Group(s): Total Body

Modality: Power

Equipment: Kettlebell (KB)

Benefits:

  • Neuro-motor development
  • Aerobic training effect with high caloric expenditure
  • Power, functional strength, speed, coordination, timing, focus and injury prevention mechanisms

Preparation:

  • Stand feet together and the KB in the “rack” position, bent arm resting against the trunk and the palm towards the midline to create a triangle. The second hand is clasped over the other.

Movement:

  • Keeping feet parallel, lunge contralateral (to KB) leg forward on an open diagonal.
  • Move upper body in a chopping motion and swing KB outside of the lunging knee.
  • Pivoting at hip, incline trunk to absorb bell.
  • Drive front leg down to reaccelerate to start position.


6. Double Arm Swing Half Turn

Difficulty Level: Advanced

Muscle Group(s):

  • Total Body
  • Back
  • Legs
  • Back and Neck
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Abdominals
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Core

Modality: Power

Equipment: Kettlebell (KB)

Benefits :

  • Neuro-motor development
  • Aerobic training effect with high caloric expenditure
  • Power, functional strength, speed, coordination, timing, focus and injury prevention mechanisms

Preparation :

  • Begin from a lowered squat position with both hands on the KB in between the legs.
  • Pull the KB back toward the thighs by rocking the bodyweight into the heels and brace wrists against inner thighs.

Movement:

  • Powerfully extend lower body to accelerate the bottom of the KB up and away.
  • As it ascends overhead, turn with a three step movement.
  • As it descends, prepare to absorb with a squatting action.
  • As the KB swings between the legs, brace the wrists.

7. Turkish Get Up

Difficulty Level: Advanced

Muscle Group(s):  Total Body

Modality: 

  • Strength
  • Stability

Equipment: Kettlebell (KB)

Benefits:

  • Neuro-motor development
  • Dynamic hip, trunk and shoulder stability
  • Strength, coordination, focus, dynamic flexibility and balance

Preparation:

  • Begin from a supine position, maintain the KB arm perpendicular throughout movement.

Movement:

  • Sitting upright, tuck contralateral leg in while stepping over with the ipsilateral leg.
  • Lunge through to a standing position with the KB overhead.
  • Descend to start position following same path.
  • Use second arm whenever necessary to stabilize.

8. Double Arm Swing Kick

Difficulty Level: Highly Advanced

Muscle Group(s):

  • Back
  • Legs
  • Back and Neck
  • Hip Flexors
  • Core
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Glutes
  • Abdominals
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Total Body

Modality:

  • Power
  • Balance

Equipment: Kettlebell (KB)

Benefits:

  • Neuro-motor development
  • Aerobic training effect with high caloric expenditure
  • Power, dynamic flexibility, coordination, timing and focus

Preparation:

  • Begin from a lowered squat position with both hands on the KB in between the legs.
  • Pull the KB back toward the thighs by rocking the bodyweight into the heels and brace wrists against inner thighs.

Movement:

  • Powerfully extend lower body to accelerate the bottom of the KB up and away.
  • As KB reaches vertical, shift weight to one leg and kick the other leg.
  • As it descends along the same pathway, absorb the KB with the entire body.

9. Double Kettlebell Cleans

Difficulty Level: Highly Advanced

Muscle Group(s):

  • Legs
  • Shoulders
  • Core
  • Abdominals
  • Back and Neck
  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Quadriceps
  • Deltoids
  • Rhomboids
  • Latissimus Dorsi
  • Obliques
  • Back
  • Total Body

Modality: Power

Equipment: Kettlebell (KB)

Benefits:

  • Neuro-motor development
  • Aerobic training effect with high caloric expenditure
  • Power, functional strength, speed, coordination, timing, focus and injury prevention mechanisms

Preparation:

  • Begin from a lowered squat position with one KB between the legs and another KB resting in the “rack” position, bent arm resting against the trunk and the palm towards the midline to create a triangle.

Movement:

  • Powerfully extend lower body to accelerate bottom KB up while simultaneously lowering the top KB.
  • Catch the top KB in the racked position while other KB is absorbed with a squatting action.

10. Sideplank Snatch

Difficulty Level: Highly Advanced

Muscle Group(s):

  • Core
  • Obliques
  • Abdominals
  • Shoulders
  • Deltoids
  • Total Body

Modality:

  • Power
  • Stability

Equipment: Kettlebell (KB)

 Benefits:

  • Neuro-motor development
  • Dynamic trunk, hip and shoulder stability
  • Strength, coordination, focus and balance

Preparation:

  • Lie sideways with legs straight, bottom arm straight under shoulder and top arm on kettlebell.

Movement:

  • Bring hips up and forward so body comes in a straight plank position.
  • Extend top arm to catch the KB overhead in a snatch action.

11. Single Arm Swing Half Turn

Difficulty Level: Highly Advanced

Muscle Group(s): Total Body

Modality: Power

Equipment: Kettlebell (KB)

Benefits:

  • Neuro-motor development
  • Aerobic training effect with high caloric expenditure
  • Power, functional strength, speed, coordination, timing, focus and injury prevention mechanisms

Preparation:

  • Begin from a lowered squat position with one hand on the KB in between the legs.
  • Pull the KB back toward the ipsilateral thigh by rocking the bodyweight into the heels and brace wrist against inner thigh.

Movement:

  • Powerfully extend lower body to accelerate the bottom of the KB up and away.
  • As it ascends overhead, turn with a three-step movement.
  • As it descends, prepare to absorb with a squatting action.
  • As the KB swings between the legs, brace the wrist.

12. Woodchopper Lateral Leap

Difficulty Level: Highly Advanced

Muscle Group(s): Total Body

Modality: Power

Equipment: Kettlebell (KB)

Benefits:

  • Neuro-motor development
  • Aerobic training effect with high caloric expenditure
  • Power, functional strength, speed, coordination, timing, focus and injury prevention mechanisms

Preparation:

  • Stand feet together and the KB in the “rack” position, bent arm resting against the trunk and the palm towards the mid-line to create a triangle. The second side hand is clasped over the other.

Movement:

  • Keeping the feet parallel, laterally leap with the leg that is contra-lateral to KB.
  • Move the upper body in a chopping motion to swing KB outside of the landing knee.
  • Maintain lordosis while absorbing the bell.
  • Drive down into the floor to return to start position.


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