Kettlebell Full Body Workout
Whether your goal is to lose weight, tone up, or simply increase your fitness levels, kettlebells are an amazing bit of kit that can level up your workouts. Coming in a huge range of weights, they are often easier to get hold of than dumbbells or barbells when the gym is busy. They're also a great tool for dynamic, explosive exercises!
Interested in incorporating more kettlebell moves into your workouts? We've shared some our favourite kettlebell exercises below, as well as a step by step full body kettlebell workout to follow along at the gym.
What are the benefits of using kettlebells?
Kettlebells are a unique bit of kit. The shape and structure of a kettlebell means the centre of gravity sits away from your grip, which is why a 5kg kettlebell feels heavier than a 5kg dumbbell. Working with kettlebells relies on a greater level of strength and balance to combat this, which means you are recruiting more stabilising muscles to perform movements than you would be with a dumbbell. A lot of kettlebell exercises also recruit the cardiovascular system too, and as the kettlebell handle is typically thicker than a dumbbell, so they are excellent at improving your grip strength.
6 Kettlebell Moves You Need To Try
Not ready to commit to a full kettlebell workout? Try adding in some of these moves to your weekly workouts instead!
Kettlebell swings are a full body exercise that engages a huge number of muscles and gets your heart pumping. It's also great for burning calories!
Lunges are a great way to workout your lower body, and can also help to improve your balance and coordination. Kettlebells add weight to the lunge and can be used to make it more challenging.
Squats are already one of the best exercises out there, why not take it to the next level with a kettlebell? Holding a kettlebell while squatting changes your centre of gravity and can target different core muscles vs squatting with a barbell. It also helps to strengthen the arms as your muscles are holding the kettlebell in place!
Kettlebell staggered stance RDL
Staggered stance RDLs (sometimes called B-stance RDLs) offer the benefits of unilateral training, such as addressing imbalances between legs, but are much easier to perform as they require less balance than single leg RDLs. Bringing in a kettlebell will recruit more stabilising muscles and help to build up strength quickly.
Kettlebell marches are a great way to develop your core muscles, balance, and upper body strength.
The kettlebell row targets your shoulders, back, and core, which makes it an excellent move to help improve your posture, as well as build upper body strength.
Kettlebell Full Body Workout
Feeling brave enough to take on a full body kettlebell workout? This one is tough but definitely worth it - you'll burn calories, build strength, and increase your cardio fitness.
1. Kettlebell Sumo: 20 reps x 3 sets
- Start by positioning the feet in a wide stance squat position
- Rotate the feet slightly outwards and complete one squat, followed by two squat pulses.
- Hold the kettlebell close to the midline, and avoid bringing it away from the body
- Make sure that the knees are tracking over the toes, so they don’t cave in
- Keep the abs braced and sit nice and tall throughout
Kettlebell Single Arm Swings: 20 reps x 3 sets
- Grip the kettlebell side on, hooking the thumb around the handle to keep it nice and secure
- Hinge at the hips and move the kettlebell between your legs
- Squeeze the glutes and drive the kettlebell forward with the hips to gain momentum
- Keep the working arm tight to the body and don’t excessively over swing
Kettlebell Side Lunges: 20 reps x 3 sets
- Front load the body with the kettlebell at the chest, keeping it nice and close to the body and the elbows tucked down
- Step out to the right into a lateral lunge position, sitting back and down into the hips
- Once stabilised use your glutes and working leg to drive back up into the standing position
- Make sure your knee doesn’t come over your toe throughout the movement
- Complete the rep range on one side first, and then switch to the other side
Kettlebell Press and Overhead Tricep Extension: 20 reps x 3 sets
- Bring the kettlebell up to the chest, and then drive above the head into a press position
- Bend the elbows bringing the kettlebell back behind the head into the tricep overhead extension position
- From here use the triceps to drive the kettlebell back overhead into the press position and then back down to the press.
- Keep the core braced throughout and a neutral spine with the hips aligned with the shoulders
V-Sit Russian Twist Combo: 40 secs x 3 sets
- Keep the kettlebell nice and close to the midline, resting securely against the chest
- Bring the feet off the floor, bend at the knee and flex the feet up towards the ceiling
- Complete one Russian twist on each side, aiming to control the twist and isolate it through the core rather than the whole body
- From there extend the legs out and then back into that v-sit position
- Keep the core braced and the head lifted throughout
Kettlebell Plank Drag Throughs: 40 secs x 3 sets
- Bring yourself down into a high plank position, keeping your hands underneath the shoulders for stability
- Keep the core braced and engaged throughout
- With the kettlebell placed at one side of the body in line with the chest, use the opposite arm drag the kettlebell through
- Try to keep your body as stable as possible and avoid twisting or lifting the hips