Training - 2022 / 11 / 29

Kettlebell exercises that train the whole body

Working out with kettlebells is incredibly effective and there is a great variety when it comes to exercises that you can do, which work different parts of the body.

Here, @karin_lundstrom demonstrates a challenging flow session with 8 kettlebell exercises that you can do in under an hour. You can do the workout at home as well as at the gym, the only thing you need is a kettlebell.

”Kettlebells are the perfect tool for training movements in a flow” – Karin Lundström

Warm up

Around the world

Do this:

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart

  • Rotate your kettlebell around your body by alternating hands in front and behind

The exercise works:

  • Around the world is a Kettlebell exercise that mainly targets the forearms, but also trains other parts of the body, such as the glutes, hamstrings and lower back.

Halo

Do this:

  • Stand with a straight back and engage your core while rotating your kettlebell around your head

  • Make sure the kettlebell stays as close to the neck as possible

The exercise works:

  • Halo is a very good warm-up exercise for your shoulders. Here you train several muscles at the same time, for example triceps, biceps and obliques.

Mixed Flips

Do this:

  • Start by swinging your kettlebell back and forth

  • When your kettlebell approaches shoulder height, swing it and release it so that it gains height and spins in the air

  • When it rotates back, catch it with your other hand

The exercise works:

  • Flips with kettlebells train large parts of the body and also improve stability and grip strength. As it is an intense exercise, you also get cardio into the mix.

Power Swing

Do this:

  • Stand with a kettlebell in front of you on the floor

  • Activate your hips and grab the handles of your kettlebell and let it travel between your legs

  • Then start swinging

The exercise works:

  • Kettlebell swing is an exercise that trains the whole body and targets both the upper and lower body, as well as your core

Full Swing

Do this:

  • By activating your glutes, hamstrings and core, you then use your legs and hips to propel your kettlebell up

  • The power of the swing from the hips allows you to get it all the way up above your head

The exercise works:

  • Kettlebell swings are a full-body exercise that both strengthens muscles and can improve posture. By doing more reps, it also becomes a form of cardio exercise.

Do the 5 warm-up exercises for 2 rounds and then rest for 1 minute before starting the next exercises.

What is a kettlebell?

But what is a kettlebell? It is a training tool in the form of a weight in cast iron or steel, with a rough handle, which you can include in everything from yoga sessions to crossfit workouts.

It's a really good piece of equipment to have for workouts at home and will help you strengthen all muscles while you can also strengthen your core and improve your balance. How great is that?!

What weight of kettlebell should I choose?

When it comes to choosing the weight of your kettlebell, consider yourself and your strength level. Taking too heavy a weight can lead to injury, so instead start lower and gradually increase the weight of your kettlebell.

For these exercises, Karin recommends a weight of between 12-24 kg, but as mentioned above, start from the weight that feels good and challenging for you. The focus here is to maintain a good flow and form. If you are new to training with kettlebells, it can also be good to take a lighter weight when you learn to master the technique for the various exercises.

8 exercises with kettlebells

Warmed up and ready, time to start a challenging session of fun kettlebell exercises.

Do 6-13 reps per exercise and side and do the session 2 rounds with 1 minute rest between rounds.

Always start from yourself and adjust the weight and number of repetitions so that it feels good.

Single Arm Snatch R + L

Do this:

  • Stand with a slight squat, with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and hold your kettlebell in one hand with an overhand grip

  • Explode upward out of your squat and drive the kettlebell upward

  • When you reach your shoulders, rotate your hand and continue to press upward overhead

  • Remember to use your hips to lift

  • Do 6-13 repetitions per side

The exercise works:

  • The exercise increases your strength and targets the upper back and shoulders to increase strength and improve stability

Single Arm Over Head Squat R + L

Do this:

  • Start standing with your legs shoulder-width apart and hold the kettlebell with your hand extended above your head

  • Maintain the position of the arm while lowering into a squat

  • Do 6-13 repetitions per side

The exercise works:

  • When you do an overhead squat with a kettlebell, you train both shoulders and legs at the same time

Single Arm Clean and Jerk R + L

Do this:

  • Hold your kettlebell in one hand, place it between your legs

  • Drive it up towards the upper body and from there press the kettlebell up over your head

  • Use your legs and hips to power up and over your head

  • Do 6-13 repetitions per side

The exercise works:

  • An explosive kettlebell exercise that trains several large muscle groups such as hamstrings, glutes and shoulders. The exercise also helps you improve stability in the back and core.

Single Arm Reverse Lunge R + L

Do this:

  • Grab the handle of your kettlebell and hold your arm straight above your head

  • Keep your back straight and go down in a controlled lunge

  • Maintain the position of the arm at all times

  • Do 6-13 repetitions per side

The exercise works:

  • Lunges with a kettlebell train both legs and buttocks while you strengthen the mobility of the whole body

Single Arm Thruster R + L

Do this:

  • Go down into a deep squat while, with a grip, resting your kettlebell on your arm in a so-called "racked position"

  • On the way up, use the power of your legs to propel the kettlebell to the top position above your head

  • Do 6-13 repetitions per side

The exercise works:

  • Kettlebell thrusters are a really good exercise for the whole body and train legs and hips as well as butt, core and back

Standing Windmill R + L

Do this:

  • Swing your kettlebell so that you are in a standing position with your arm extended overhead with a firm grip

  • Go down slowly and keep your hips out to the side

  • Try to touch the floor with your free hand and then come back up to the starting position

  • Do 6-13 repetitions per side

The exercise works:

  • Kettlebell windmills train shoulders, while strengthening your core muscles, hamstrings and improving general joint mobility. It is a really good exercise for training stability and mobility.

Tip:

  • If you haven't done this exercise before or feel unsure, you can start by running through the exercise without the kettlebell first

Turkish Getups R + L

Do this:

  • Start in a lying position

  • Grab your kettlebell in your right arm and hold it straight up

  • Bend the right knee while the left leg is extended

  • Bring yourself up to a seated position with your eyes on your kettlebell, that is still in the same position

  • Bring yourself back up to standing in a controlled manner following the movements you see here in the video

  • Do 6-13 repetitions per side

The exercise works:

  • A Turkish getup is a slightly different kettlebell exercise. Muscles throughout the body work. The exercise focuses on your small stabilizing muscles and helps mobilize the hips and upper back, while strengthening your core.

Kneeling Windmill R + L

Do this:

  • Begin the exercise by standing in a half-kneeling position with your legs wide apart

  • Press your kettlebell overhead, avoiding arching your back

  • Keep your eyes focused on your kettlebell throughout the exercise

  • Push your glutes back a little and rotate your chest to the side

  • Squeeze your shoulder blades together and lower your free elbow and touch the ground with it

  • Do 6-13 repetitions per side

The exercises works:

  • Kneeling windmill is a kettlebell exercise for your core, as well as for strength, hip mobility and shoulder stability.

Kettlebell exercises for all levels

It's easy to adjust the training with kettlebells, choose the weight that suits you and gradually increase as you get stronger and stronger. You will feel a difference in your arm strength and get a firmer, smoother grip when you do kettlebell exercises for your arms.

You can put together several kettlebell training programs so that you can activate different parts of the body, such as the back, arms and legs. An example of a leg exercise that also trains the butt is doing lunges with a kettlebell in hand. If you want to activate your arms and back, a kettlebell row is an excellent exercise. Then you activate the muscles in your back and shoulders, take a big step back with your right leg, while holding the weight in your right hand. Let your left elbow rest on your knee as you lift and lower the weight in a controlled manner. Do your number of repetitions and then switch sides.

Wrap up

As you can see (and hopefully also feel, now after the session) is that the Kettlebell is a really good tool for training the whole body.

Exercising with kettlebells is effective, fun and easy to do both at the gym and at home. It is possible to vary and adapt kettlebell exercises according to both muscle groups and strength. We hope you enjoyed this workout!

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