Five of my favorite kettlebell exercises in one challenging kettlebell cardio workout at home. From kettlebell swings to squats, cleans and presses, this at home kettlebell workout is quick and effective. The AMRAP format means you can move at your pace — challenge yourself!
Bonus: this workout is done in an AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) format. You work at your pace, completing as many rounds as you can in the 20-minute time period.
No kettlebell? No problem. You can do this entire workout with a single dumbbell (follow Rachel on the right in the workout video).
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Kettlebell Cardio Workout FAQs
Is A Kettlebell Workout Good Cardio?
Yes! Kettlebell workouts provide a great, low impact way to raise your heart rate. Kettlebell workouts challenge your full body strength, cardio conditioning, balance, stability, flexibility and mobility.
What Kettlebell Exercises Improve Cardio Endurance?
Kettlebell swings are one of the best exercises to improve your cardiovascular endurance. The kettlebell swing is a dynamic, full body exercise that will raise your heart rate. That said, many kettlebell exercises engage multiple muscle groups at once. These compound movements increase muscle mass and raise your heart rate.
Kettlebell Cardio Workout (20-Minute AMRAP)
Five kettlebell cardio exercises designed to push you in this 20-Minute Kettlebell AMRAP Workout.
This is a great workout to come back to — measure your progress and see how many rounds you can get through each time you try the workout.
Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, hips, core, and all the stabilizing muscles in your back and shoulders.
The kettlebell swing is a full body exercise with an emphasis on the hamstrings, glutes and back. A dynamic exercise that will increase lower body strength and raise your heart rate.
How To Do Kettlebell Swings
Start standing with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
Hinge forward at the hips to reach for the kettlebell in front of you. Place your hands on the horns of the bell, palms facing your body.
Then with a slight bend in your knees and weight in your heels, ‘hike’ the kettlebell back between your legs to start the swing movement.
Drive through your heels to stand tall, pushing your hips forward as you squeeze your glutes to swing the kettlebell up to shoulder height. Aim for shoulder height, with arms extended out away from the body. Think long, loose arms (your arms are just a vehicle for moving the bell, your hips and glutes generate the power to move the bell).
As the kettlebell begins to descend, think of catching the weight with your hip hinge, loading the glutes and hamstrings.
How To Do A Tap Back (Staggered Deadlift) and High Pull
Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a kettlebell in your left hand at your hip, palm facing in towards your body.
Stagger your feet, so your right leg is slightly in front of your left foot. Kickstand your back left foot, left heel floating off the ground. Keep 80% of your weight in your front foot, 20% in your back left toe.
Maintain a staggered stance as you hinge at the hips. Push your hips back towards the wall behind you as you glide the kettlebell down the front of your leg, core tight.
Drive through your front right heel to push your hips forward; pulling your back left toe/hip forward, square and in line with your front right toe/hip.
Use the momentum from your hips to pull the kettlebell up towards your left shoulder, performing a high pull. Your left hand is just a vehicle for moving the weight — the power comes from the hips, glutes and hamstrings.
With control, lower the kettlebell back to the starting position and repeat.
Lateral Lunge and Narrow Squat
Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, inner thighs (adductors) and core.
How To Do A Lateral Lunge and Narrow Squat
Start standing feet hip-distance apart, holding a kettlebell in your left hand near your left hip.
Step your right leg out to the side as you push your hips down and back to perform a lateral lunge. Bend your right knee while keeping your left leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat with your right leg while your left leg remains straight. Knees and toes point forward.
Then push off your right foot to reverse the movement, pulling your inner thighs together as you stand tall to return to the starting position.
Then sit your hips down and back to perform a narrow squat. Keep your chest up and core engaged to balance the uneven load of the kettlebell on the left side of the body.
Drive through your heels, pressing your hips forward to return to standing and repeat the lateral lunge and narrow squat sequence.
Modification: Option to omit the uneven load and hold a kettlebell or dumbbell at your chest.
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip-distance apart, toes pointing forward. Hold a kettlebell with both hands by the handle (aka horns) at your chest.
Bend at your knees and sit your hips back as you lower the kettlebell down towards the ground, performing a squat. Option to tap the bottom of the kettlebell on the ground if your range of motion will allow.
Then drive your hips forward to stand tall as you jack your feet together, performing a squat jack.
As you stand tall, pull the kettlebell up towards your chest (this is the ‘clean’ portion of the clean squat). If you’re using a kettlebell, slide your hands down the horns of the kettlebell, catching the weight at your chest.
Then jack your feet wide as you lower the kettlebell back down and repeat.
Modification: Option to omit the jump and step in and out.
Burpee Pick Up and Overhead Press
Targets: Full body with an emphasis on the legs, hamstrings, hips, glutes, back, shoulders, abs and core muscles.
Burpees have been named one of the best fat-burning HIIT exercises.
How To Do A Burpee and Overhead Kettlebell Press
Stand with feet hip-distance apart. Place your kettlebell between your feet in the center of your mat.
Engage your core and lower your hips down to the bottom of a squat as you plant your hands on the mat.
Step or jump both feet back to a high plank position. Create a straight line with your body from head to feet.
Pause for a moment, then in one explosive movement, step or jump both feet forward. Feet should land near your hands as you pop up into low squat position.
Pick up your kettlebell with both hands and drive through your heels to stand. Keep the kettlebell close to your body as you pull it up to shoulder level (hands slide down the horns as they did in the kettlebell clean).
Once you reach a standing position, perform an overhead press by driving the kettlebell overhead with both hands.
With control, lower the kettlebell down and repeat this complex, full body kettlebell exercise.
Modification: Make this low impact by performing a walking burpee. Option to add an incline by placing your hands on a chair or bench and performing burpees from an incline.
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