This exercise builds strength in the lower back the
gluteus and the hamstrings. Begin with the feet about hip-width apart and a
kettlebell on the floor in front of you.
- Bend the knees and keep the back flat as you lower down to pick up
- Squat as low as you can, keeping hips, back and knees behind the
- Make sure your abs are braced and look comfortably forward to keep
your neck in alignment.
- Pick up the weight and stand up, using the power of your legs to
push back to start.
- Repeat for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps
These build the quads, gluteus and hamstrings. You
can do this exercise with one kettlebell held with both hands, or with two
- Stand with feet hip-width apart and hold a kettlebell in both hands,
or one in each hand.
- Bend the knees and, keeping the torso upright and the back straight,
lower into a squat, taking the weight towards the floor.
- At the bottom of the movement, keep your abs in and your knees
behind your toes.
- Squeeze the glutes to push back up without locking the knees.
- Repeat for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps.
This exercise works a variety of muscles, but is
particularly good for the obliques. This is also a great exercise for
improving stability and balance. Start this exercise with a lighter
kettlebell, and work up in weight as you get more comfortable with the move.
- Hold a kettlebell in the right hand, turning the right toes out and
the left toes forward.
- Take the left arm straight up and lean to the right, kicking the
left hip out and bending the right knee as you lower the weight towards
- At the bottom of the movement, be careful not to collapse over your
leg and be sure your left arm is straight. Look up at your left hand for
more of a challenge.
- Straighten back to start, keeping the left arm up.
- Repeat for 8-16 reps before switching sides, completing 1-3 sets.
The kettlebell variation on a pushup creates a
challenge because one arm is elevated on the kettlebell during the exercise.
This works your arm muscles a bit differently than a traditional pushup, so
its a great variation.
- Get into a pushup position, on the knees or toes, placing one hand
on the handle of the kettlebell (harder) or on the bell part of the
- Keep the abs braced and the torso stiff as you bend the elbows,
lowering into a pushup.
- Because one hand is elevated, only go down as far as you comfortably
can and avoid straining the shoulder of the elevated arm.
- Push back to start and repeat for 8-16 reps before switching sides.
One armed rows work the lateral muscles. When
completing them with kettlebells, youre bent over at the waist, with
one arm out to the side for balance.
- Hold a heavy kettlebell in the left hand and bend over at the waist,
back flat and abs engaged, until the torso is parallel to the floor.
- Hold your right arm out for balance and keep the knees bent to
protect the lower back.
- Squeeze the back muscles to pull the elbow up to torso level.
- Lower the weight and repeat for 8-16 reps before switching sides.
Next, well move on to ballistic exercises. Ballistic exercises
require bursts of movement, so theyre best kept until you feel
really comfortable with kettlebell technique.
This is a basic kettlebell exercise, that works the
entire body, particularly the core muscles. Make sure that when you thrust
the kettlebell upward, the motion originates in your hips.
- Hold a kettlebell in both hands with legs hip-width apart.
- Begin with some warm up swings to get a feel for the weight and the
movement. Start by squatting and taking the weight between the legs
(arms should touch the inner thighs). Keep the torso upright and the abs
- At the bottom of the movement shift your weight back and thrust up
through the hips to bring the weight up to about hip level.
- After practicing a few swings, continue swinging the weight up
higher until you get to shoulder level, squatting down and powering
through the hips up each time you swing the weight up.
- At the top of the movement, the kettlebell should feel weightless.
Use your hips and legs to move the weight, rather than your arms.
- Continue swinging for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps.
This exercise is a lot like a one arm upright row.
Use your hips and legs to generate the power needed to pull the kettlebell
- Hold a medium kettlebell in the right hand, left arm out for balance
and feet hip-width apart.
- Squat down, keeping the torso upright and thrust the hips up as you
- On the way up, bend the elbow and pull it up to shoulder level (or
just above shoulder level), drawing the weight up towards the chest.
- Lower back down and repeat for 8-16 reps before switching sides.
This exercise works the entire body, and is one you
should master before moving on to more expert exercises, like the clean and
- Hold a light-medium kettlebell in the right hand, feet hip-width
- Bend the knees and squat as you swing the weight down between the
- Thrust the hips up as you swing the weight up to shoulder level,
bending the elbow and taking the weight up at a slight angle.
- At the top of the swing, the kettlebell should feel weightless.
- Swing the weight back down and repeat for 8-16 reps before switching
This move should be performed very deliberately,
with concentration on form. This is a great exercise for the arms and
- Hold a medium-heavy kettlebell in the right hand, feet hip-width
apart, with the arm straight.
- Lower into a squat with the torso upright and the abs braced.
- Thrust the hips up as you come up, pulling the kettlebell straight
- Rotate the elbow down as you pull the kettlebell up, catching it at
- Absorb the weight of the kettlebell and the movement by squatting
slightly, keeping the wrist neutral.
- Lower the weight and repeat for 8-16 reps before switching sides
This is a great core exercise that helps you to
maintain strength and balance. Take care with form and keep motions
- Stand with feet shoulder width apart and hold a medium kettlebell
with both hands. You can hold either side of the weight, which is
easier, or the handle, which adds more momentum.
- Keeping the elbows bent and into the body, contract the abs and
rotate the torso to the right, only rotating as far as you comfortably
can and focusing on the abs. Keep the lower body stable and the hips
- Rotate the torso to the left, again focusing on the obliques.