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30-Minute Kettlebell Leg Workout with Abs

Build a strong lower body at home with this kettlebell leg workout! From deadlifts to swings, this kettlebell workout builds strength in the big, power-generating muscles in your lower body while also targeting the abs and core. This AMRAP format effectively builds muscle and burns fat.

Strengthen and tone the legs, butt and abs with this kettlebell leg workout.

If you’re used to dumbbell workouts, kettlebell exercises offer a great way to mix up your routine. Kettlebells have an offset center of gravity compared to a dumbbell or barbell, so your muscles have to do the work of moving the weight and stabilizing it, which increases the intensity.

Kettlebell workouts are particularly good for runners because they target your power generating muscles: the hips, glutes and hamstrings. Today’s leg workout has the added bonus of unilateral (single-sided) exercises which engage the deep core.

No kettlebell? No worries, you can do this entire workout with a single dumbbell.

woman performing a single leg deadlift with a kettlebell in a leg workout

30-Minute Kettlebell Leg Workout With Abs

Build lower body and core strength while challenging your cardiovascular endurance with this 30-minute kettlebell leg workout.

From kettlebell swings to squats and deadlifts, this kettlebell leg workout is an intense lower body burnout.

Add this kettlebell routine to your weekly workout plan 1-2 times a week to build muscle, increase mobility, and improve endurance.

Workout Equipment:

Medium to Heavy Kettlebell or Singe Dumbbell.

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided Kettlebell Leg Workout on YouTube, led by certified personal trainer Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 6 Kettlebell Exercises
  • Repetition Based (perform 8 reps of each leg exercise and 20 reps of the kettlebell swings)
  • AMRAP Format (“as many rounds as possible” — We’ll set a timer for 4 minutes with the goal of completing all 6 exercises in 4 minutes. Repeat x4 AMRAPs.)
Woman performing a Front Rack Squat + Single Arm Thruster | kettlebell leg workout

Prefer to Watch On YouTube?

youtube icon Leg Workout

Workout Outline

  1. Uneven Squat and Kettlebell Thruster
  2. Kettlebell Swing
  3. Kettlebell Front Rack Step Up and Knee Drive
  4. Kettlebell Deadlift and Front to Back Hop
  5. Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift and Lateral Lunge
  6. Eccentric Leg Lowers

6 Kettlebell Leg Exercises

Uneven Squat and Kettlebell Thruster

Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, quads, shoulders and core.

woman performing a dumbbell uneven squat and single arm squat thruster

How To Do An Uneven Squat and Kettlebell Thruster

  1. Start standing feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold the kettlebell in your right hand at your right shoulder (front racked position).
  2. Sit your hips back, aiming to get both thighs parallel to the mat as you perform a squat, keeping the kettlebell at your right shoulder.
  3. Press through your heels to stand tall as you press the kettlebell weight overhead directly above your right shoulder.

Modification: If your kettlebell is too heavy for this exercise, or if holding a kettlebell in the front rack position is uncomfortable for your wrist; substitute one heavy dumbbell. Or perform kettlebell or dumbbell goblet squats.

Kettlebell Swing

Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, hips, core, and all the stabilizing muscles in your back and shoulders.

woman performing kettlebell swings

How To Do A Kettlebell Swing

  1. Start standing with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart; engage your core.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips to reach for the kettlebell handle with both hands. Place your hands on the horns of the bell, palms facing your body.
  3. 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.
  4. 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).
  5. As the kettlebell begins to descend, think of catching the weight with your hip hinge, loading the glutes and hamstrings.

Kettlebell Step Up and Knee Drive

Targets: Legs, butt, quads, lower abs and core.

This unilateral exercise requires deep core engagement to drive the knee of the opposing leg up while balancing on the standing leg.

woman performing a kettlebell step up and knee drive in a kettlebell AMRAP workout

How To Do A Kettlebell Step Up and Knee Drive

  1. Begin in a neutral standing position, holding a kettlebell in your right hand, front racked at your right shoulder.
  2. Step your right leg onto a chair or bench, driving through your right glute to stand tall. Right knee should track over right foot and shoulders and upper body should be stacked over hips throughout the step up.
  3. As you reach standing position on the chair/bench, drive the left leg up to your chest, performing a knee drive.
  4. Slowly lower your left leg down, followed by your right leg as you lower back down to the starting position with control. Keep the dumbbell front racked at your shoulder the entire time.

Modification: If you don’t have a chair or bench, or don’t want to add a level-change, perform a reverse lunge, stand, reverse lunge, knee drive. Be sure to keep your toes behind your front knee.

Kettlebell Deadlift and Front to Back Hop

Targets: Legs, hamstrings, glutes, quads, and calves.

This is an explosive movement that will also raise your heart rate.

woman performing a kettlebell deadlift and front to back hop in a kettlebell leg workout

How To Do A Kettlebell Deadlift and Front to Back Hop

  1. Start standing feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold the horn of the kettlebell with both hands between your legs.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your hips back as you lower the kettlebell down along the front of your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs (hamstrings). Focus on keeping your back in neutral alignment with your neck and shoulders throughout the entire movement (straight line from head to tailbone). Keep a slight bend in your knees to avoid ‘locking out’ the joint.
  3. With control, set the kettlebell down on the ground between your feet. Then, hop up to the front of your space, landing with control in a loaded squat position.
  4. Immediately hop back so your feet are in line with where you set the kettlebell. Again, land softly in a loaded squat position. Reach down to grab the horn of the kettlebell.
  5. Then, drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes as you drive your hips forward to return to standing.

Modification: Make this a low impact exercise by taking out the front to back hop and just performing kettlebell deadlifts.

Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift and Lateral Lunge

Targets: Legs, hamstrings, glutes, outer glutes and hip abductors (used for side-to-side movements), hip flexors, abs and core.

woman performing a single leg deadlift and lateral lunge with a kettlebell

How To Do A Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift and Lateral Lunge

  1. Start standing with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one kettlebell in your left hand, palm facing your body.
  2. Transfer your weight into your left foot and kickstand your right foot (b-stance). Think about keeping 80% of your weight in your left foot, 20% of your weight in your right toe.
  3. With your left knee bent, hinge at your hips as you lower the kettlebell down towards the ground, balancing on your left leg. Keep your hips square to the mat. You should feel a good stretch in your left hamstring (back of your left leg) at the bottom of this movement. Range of motion looks different for everyone.
  4. Then drive through your front left heel, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings to push your hips forward and return to the starting position.
  5. Then with your right foot, step out wide and to the right, shifting your weight into your right heel as you push your hips back, bending your right knee while leaving your left leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat with your left leg.
  6. Then, drive through your right foot to reverse the movement, pushing you back up to center.

Eccentric Leg Lowers

Targets: Lower abs and core.

This is your core burnout exercise — you’ll feel every muscle in your abs fire up to support you.

woman performing eccentric leg lowers in a kettlebell workout

How To Do Eccentric Leg Lowers

  1. Lay flat on your back with your legs straight. Option to support yourself by sending the arms overhead, gripping a chair, bench or something stable. Lift your heels so they hover a few inches above the floor. 
  2. Bend your knees as you slowly bring your legs towards your chest.
  3. Once your knees and hips are at 90 degrees, straighten your legs toward the ceiling. Then slowly lower your legs toward the floor, keeping the low back pressed firmly into the mat.
  4. Stop when your heels hover a few inches above the mat. That’s one rep. 

Modification: Option to bend at the knees or drop one leg at a time.

Kettlebell Leg Workout FAQs

Can Kettlebell Workouts Build Strong Legs?

Yes! The kettlebell is one of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment and lends itself well to compound leg exercises that engage multiple leg muscles at once. Kettlebell leg exercises will challenge your lower body strength, cardio conditioning, balance, stability, flexibility and mobility.

What Are The Best Kettlebell Leg Exercises?

The best kettlebell leg exercises are compound exercises that engage several muscle groups at once. These exercises include hip hinges/deadlifts, kettlebell squats, lunges, cleans and kettlebell swings.

Pin this 30-Minute Kettlebell Leg Workout

Best Kettlebell Exercises for Legs

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  1. Hi Lindsey I am enjoying your 30 day program so much Ihave been a member of a gym with A Personal trainers etc For about 35/40 years and thought I couldn’t live without it. Since lockdown I turned my summerhouse into a gym and found you and Lesley fight masters yoga online, I haven’t missed the gym at all I actually think I train more effectively without the distractions of being in a big gym. Looking forward to what you have in store for next weeks plan please keep up the good work.

  2. Hi! This workout kicked my butt! Thank you! I’m curious, roughly how many calories it burns?

    • Way to go Michelle! This is a tough one (and it moves fast)! Calorie burn varies from person to person (depending on your personal characteristics as well as how fast you moved, how heavy your weights were)…that said, I personally burned around 400 calories filming this workout. -Lindsey

  3. Love this article! I did the workout and loved it. When you state you only ran 10 miles prior to the marathon, so you mean total? Or at a time? Did you run for the whole 30 days? I strength train but want to add a half-marathon to accomplishments so I am curious. Thank you!

    • Hi Kate!
      So Sorry I’m just seeing this message! And thanks for giving this post a read. To answer your question — the most I ran prior to the marathon was 10 miles total at a time. I ran several 5 milers + a couple 7-8 milers as well. I did 1 longer run {6-10 miles}, and one shorter run {3-5 miles} a week leading up to the race + strength + HIIT training on the non-running days. I hope that helps. And I wish you all the best with your half marathon training! -Lindsey