Shaped like a cannonball with a handle, a kettlebell is weighted off-center compared with a dumbbell and extends beyond your hand, increasing the lever effect of the weight. Moving it requires both speed and strength — a combination that builds power, or the ability to contract one’s muscles rapidly.
This makes many Kettle Bell exercises suitable for high-intensity interval training or other formats of cardiovascular exercise. This Full Body Kettle Bell circuit consists of 6 movements for 3-4 rounds for 12-15 reps each (unilateral movements may vary). Allow little to no rest between exercises to enhance metabolic conditioning and anaerobic endurance. Allow 1-2 minutes rest after completion of each round.
Kettle Bell Sumo Squat
How to Perform: Straddle Kettle Bell (KB) with feet wider than shoulder-width apart and toes pointed outwards. While keeping your back flat and chest proud (shoulders back), bend at the knees into a squat position to pick up KB with both hands (palms facing you). Return to starting position with KB. Sit back into a squat the same way you picked up the KB, sinking low enough to where the KB touches the floor or until your thigh and calf reach a 90-degree angle. Repeat for 12-15 repetitions.
Kettle Bell Staggered Single-Arm Row
Reps: 12-15 each arm (24-30 total)
How to Perform: Start in a stable staggered stance with one foot in front of the other (about 6in between the front heel and back toe), with KB on inside of the front foot. Maintain a slight bend in the knees and hinge at the hips to reach down and pick up the KB with the opposite arm of the front leg. While keeping your back flat and chest proud, row KB up to your chest with a slight rotation of the torso. At the top of the movement, pause and squeeze the shoulder blade for 2-3 seconds before returning to the starting position. Repeat movement for 12-15 repetitions on each side.
Kettle Bell Swing
How to Perform: Start with KB on the floor slightly in front of you and between feet, which should be shoulder-width apart. Bending slightly at the knees but hinging mainly at the hips, grasp KB and pull it back between your legs to create momentum. Drive your hips forwards and straighten your back to send the kettlebell up to shoulder height. Let the bell return back between your legs and repeat the movement for 12-15 repetitions. Focus on using the hips to drive the KB instead of the upper body.
Kettle Bell Front Raise
How to Perform: Start with KB in both hands (by sides of handle or by the body) and feet shoulder-width apart. With knees slightly bent, back flat, and chest proud; raise KB in front of you to about shoulder height. Squeeze hands together throughout the movement to maintain isometric contraction along with concentric shoulder flexion. Slowly return KB to starting position and repeat for 12-15 repetitions.
Kettle Bell Single-Arm Curl to Press
Reps: 6-8 (12-16 total)
How to Perform: Start with KB in one hand at your side with your palm facing forward and feet shoulder-width apart. While keeping your back flat and chest proud, curl KB with bicep without allowing KB to rotate in your hand maintaining an isometric contraction along with the concentric curl. At the top of the curl, internally rotate forearm while pressing KB above your head (maintaining isometric contraction). After the press, externally rotate forearm while returning KB to top of curl position. Finally, extend the arm back to starting position and repeat for 6-8 repetitions each arm.
Kettle Bell Crunch
How to Perform: Start on floor in a supine position (on your back) with your knees bent and feet flat on the ground. Grasp KB in both hands (by sides of handle or by the body) and hold above chest with arms slightly bent, yet firm. Begin by lifting shoulders off the ground while squeezing core and pushing your stomach into the floor (metaphorically). KB should translate up and forward above the knees before returning back to the starting position. Repeat for 12-15 repetitions.