Do these 8 kettlebell exercises in a full body kettlebell workout at home. Build muscle and burn fat with a single kettlebell (or single dumbbell). Modifications are offered to scale this full body kettlebell workout for beginners and pregnancy to advanced athletes.
Build total body strength and raise your heart rate in a low impact way with these 8 kettlebell exercises at home.
The kettlebell is one of my favorite pieces of gym equipment to build strength, power and endurance — all in a low impact way.
Although some of the most popular kettlebell exercises (think swings and squats) target the lower body, kettlebell training is an effective way to strengthen EVERY major muscle group in the body.
No kettlebell? No problem. You can do this entire workout with a single dumbbell (follow Rachel on the left in the workout video).
Kettlebell Exercises FAQs
Are Kettlebell Exercises Effective?
YES. Kettlebell training significantly boosts aerobic capacity, while also improving core strength and dynamic balance (American Council on Exercise). The kettlebell also lends itself well to compound exercises, which engage multiple muscle groups at the same time. This makes kettlebell training one of the most effective full body workouts.
Do Kettlebell Exercises Burn Fat And Build Muscle?
Yes, kettlebells are a versatile tool for burning fat, building muscle and increasing power capacity. Kettlebells have the additional benefit of an offset center of gravity compared to something like a dumbbell or barbell – your muscles have to do the work of moving the weight AND stabilizing it, which increases the intensity.
What Kettlebell Exercise Works The Most Muscles?
The kettlebell swing is an efficient exercise as it improves full body strength and cardiovascular fitness (raises your heart rate). While your shoulders and arms are involved in the kettlebell swing, most of the effort should come from the legs and hips. It’s a compound movement that’s great for any level.
30-Minute Full Body Kettlebell Workout
Kettlebell workouts are one of my favorite ways to strength train while also increasing cardiovascular capacity and endurance.
These are the 8 best kettlebell exercises at home, in a 30-minute full body kettlebell workout.
We’re working in timed intervals, so your job is to complete as many reps as you can during the 40 second work periods.
I suggest adding this kettlebell routine to your weekly workout plan 1-2 times a week to build muscle, increase mobility, and improve endurance.
Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, hips, hip adductors (inner thighs), lower back and core muscles.
How To Do A Hand Switch Squat Pulse and Kettlebell Clean
Start in a standing position, feet hip-width apart or slightly wider, core engaged. Holding the kettlebell between your legs with your right hand.
With chest up, lower down into a squat, pushing your hips back and down until your hips align with your knees (making a 90-degree angle with your hips and knees). Knees push out towards your outer three toes.
Pulse for a two-count, transferring the kettlebell handle to your left hand on the second pulse.
Then exhale as you drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes to stand tall and bringing your right heel in to tap your left heel.
As you stand, clean the kettlebell up to your left shoulder. Think about driving the weight up with your hips.
Then, step out with your right foot and sit into a low squat and pulse for a two-count, this time transferring the kettlebell to your right hand on the second pulse.
Clean the kettlebell up to your right shoulder as you stand tall, bringing your left foot in to tap your right.
Single Leg Deadlift and Single Arm Row
Targets: The posterior chain or backside of the body — hamstrings, glutes, hips, lower back, mid-back, arms, biceps, abs and core.
How To Do A Single Leg Deadlift and Single Arm Row
Start standing with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold one kettlebell in your left hand, palm facing your body.
Transfer your weight into your right foot and kickstand your left foot (b-stance). Think about keeping 80% of your weight in your right foot, 20% of your weight in your left toe.
With your right knee bent, hinge at your hips as you lower the kettlebell down towards the ground, balancing on your right leg. Keep your hips square to the mat. You should feel a good stretch in your right hamstring (back of your right leg) at the bottom of this movement. Range of motion looks different for everyone.
As you reach this deadlift position, perform a single arm row by pulling the kettlebell back toward your left hip.
Lower the kettlebell with control, then drive through your front right heel, squeezing your glutes and hamstrings to push your hips forward and return to the starting position.
Start standing with feet hip-width apart, holding a kettlebell in your right hand. Step your left foot back into a reverse lunge position.
Lower into a lunge, aiming for 90-degree bends in both knees. As you lower down, swing the kettlebell along the right side of your body, ending behind your right hip.
Drive through your front right glute to stand tall, using the power from your hips to drive the kettlebell up to shoulder height as you stand.
Push Up and Kettlebell Pass
Targets: Arms, chest, shoulders, triceps, back, abs, obliques and core.
How To Do A Push Up and Kettlebell Pass
Start in high plank position with your shoulders stacked over your wrists, weight evenly distributed amongst all 10 fingers. Place the kettlebell just behind your right hand on the mat.
Perform a push up by lowering your chest down towards the ground, elbows fall back towards hips.
Then exhale as you push back up into high plank position.
Hold high plank, keeping your core stable, as you reach across your body with your left hand to pull the kettlebell across your body, placing it behind your left hand on the mat.
Repeat this sequence, performing one push up, then pulling the kettlebell to the right of your mat.
Modification: Perform push ups from your knees and the kettlebell pass from your toes; or follow Rachel on the left and perform modified push ups and modified plank passes, taking both from your knees.
Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, hips, core, and all the stabilizing muscles in your back and shoulders.
How To Do Kettlebell Swings
Start standing with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart; engage your core.
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.
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.
Deadlift Clean, Uneven Squat and Kettlebell Thruster
Targets: Hamstrings, glutes, hips, quads, back, shoulders and core.
How To Do A Deadlift Clean, Uneven Squat and Kettlebell Thruster
Start standing feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold the kettlebell in your right hand between your legs.
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.
Then, drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes as you drive your hips forward to return to standing.
As you stand tall, clean the kettlebell up to a front racked position, catching it at your right shoulder.
Then, 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.
Press through your heels to stand tall as you press the kettlebell weight overhead directly above your right shoulder.
Lateral Lunge and Curl
Targets: Legs, outer glutes and hip abductors (used for side-to-side movements), hip flexors, biceps, abs and core.
How To Do A Lateral Lunge and Curl
Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding the kettlebell by the horns between your legs at hip height.
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.
Then, drive through your left foot to reverse the movement, pushing you back up to center. Option to tap or float your right foot.
As you return to a standing position, curl the kettlebell up towards your shoulders before returning it to hip height.
Targets: All heads of the shoulder muscles including the anterior deltoid, medial deltoid and upper portion of the pecs (chest muscles); AND abs, obliques and deep transverse abdominal core muscles.
Challenge your core and upper body with this exercise (I had to drop down to my 18 lb kettlebell for this one).
How To Do Kneeling Rainbows
Start in a kneeling position, knees under hips, core engaged.
Grip a kettlebell in both hands, horn down, and “head” of the kettlebell up. Start with the kettlebell at your right hip.
Aim to keep both arms straight as you raise the kettlebell in an arc or “rainbow” shape, bringing it in front of your face before ending at your left hip.
Repeat this movement, returning the kettlebell in an arc to your right hip.
Modification: You can always perform this kettlebell exercise from a standing position. Note, the farther the weight is away from your body, the harder this exercise will be.
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