When we say you can hit a full body workout with just one kettlebell people call us crazy. But the fact is, kettlebell training is an awesome place for beginners to start. What is essentially a handle forged iron ball opens up a whole world of fat loss and muscle building. Do it right, and you’ll get a great cardio session too. Stick with us while we guide you through this kettlebell workout for beginners.
The Kettlebell Workout for Beginners You Need Today
First things first, let’s crush this workout.
Complete every exercise for the number of reps given before taking a short break. Then, once you’ve got your breath back, move on to the next.
You’re aiming to complete each of these kettlebell exercises back to back. And when you’ve reached the end of the line, it’s time to start again from the top.
You’ll be doing this for a total of four or five times.
Do your best to keep your heart rate high to make give this workout the most effect.
Finally, choose a weight that you’re comfortable swinging, but one that’s still challenging. Good technique is hands down better for your body goals than super high weights. Don’t worry about the numbers, concentrate on being smooth and efficient.
Let’s do this!
Times a week: x3
Exercise 1 – 8 reps of Goblet squats
Exercise 2 – 8 reps of Sumo deadlifts
Exercise 3 – 8 reps of Push press on each side or 10 two-handed
Exercise 4 – 12 Kettlebell swings
Rest: However long you need
Progressing the workout – taking it to the next level
If you’re reading this you’re probably wondering how to take it to the next level, right? That’s a good thing, because it’s by progressing workouts that we get those gainz.
More specifically though, it’s all down to progressive overload. You can learn all about that here in our complete guide.
For this workout routine, you have five main options. These are:
- Grab a heavier weight
- Shorten your rest times
- Add extra sets
- Increase intensity
- Raise frequency (number of workouts)
By choosing either one or a combination of these things you can progress any workout. The only thing that really limits you is your creativity.
Want to build muscle? Add more reps and shorter rest times.
Dialing in your strength? Grab a heavier weight and run longer breaks.
How about endurance to outlast the top competition? Shoot for 16+ reps and get in the zone.
Fat loss? Well, any of the above. Remember that to burn the most calories you want to hit higher intensities, though.
Workout how you want, when you want! Enjoy the process and smash your goals.
How to do the kettlebell exercises
Being a beginner shouldn’t mean you have to stumble around the gym. Instead, we’re going to breakdown every single move so you can go in there confident. Who knows, you might look like a bit of a pro too.
First up, the kettlebell goblet squat.
How to kettlebell goblet squat
- Grab a kettlebell by the horns and hold it close to your chest. Your wrists should be in a neutral position and your elbows pointing down at a slight, outward angle. It’ll also help to pack your shoulders here – i.e. actively think about squeezing them into their sockets.
- Set your feet so they’re shoulder-width apart or a little wider. Face your toes forward, ideally somewhere between 0-20 degrees. Brace your core to support you nice and neutral spine.
- Supporting your weight through your mid-foot, descend into a squat under control. Try to keep your knees slightly outside of your big toe or at least tracking over it. While descending, your core should be kept tight, eyes facing forward, and back flat.
- Let your hamstrings and glues work to control your body down. Try not to drop lazily into the hole because this can lead to injury.
- Once your thighs pass parallel to the ground, or your butt past your knees, drive through the mid-foot to return to the top. While you’re doing this maintain a braced core without flaring or flailing your elbows.
- You’ve smashed it. Next rep coming up right now.
How to kettlebell sumo deadlift
- Set your feet around double shoulder-width apart. Now, depending on the stress on your knees, you want to keep toes towards the front or facing slightly out
- Break at the hip to hinge backward. Let your arms fall straight down as you grab the kettlebell handle tight.
- Straighten your back by bracing your core and hold your chest up proud. To activate the upper back, imagine squeezing a coin between your lats. This should also help to pack your shoulder joint
- Keep your chest up as you extend your knees. Let the kettlebell hand from your hands without using your arms to pick it up.
- Fire your glutes to help bring your hips forward and to the top of the lift. As this is happening your spine and neck should still be neutral.
- When you hit your top position, squeeze the glutes again without arching your back.
- Return the kettlebell to the floor by breaking at the hip while you bend your knees, without letting them cave-in toward each other. All the time this is happening your core is engaged, eyes are facing forward, and your arms are straight.
- That’s one rep done! Just seven more to go.
How to kettlebell push press
Depending on how strong you are you might want to do this one-handed or two-handed. If going single side, perform eight each arm. But if you’re going for two hands on the horns try to hit 10 instead.
One-handed kettlebell push press
- Hold a kettlebell in the shoulder rack position on one side. To do this, grab a kettlebell by the handle and raise it to shoulder height. Your forearm will now be facing upward at 90-degrees. Your elbow will be tucked in tight to your side and your elbow flexed. The kettlebell will have the bell resting against the outside of your forearm – your wrist should be straight and not flexed.
- Set your feet shoulder-width apart and facing forward. As always, brace your spine by engaging your core.
- Initiate the powerful push by bending the knees slightly. Now, explosively press the kettlebell above your head until your arm is straight. To keep your shoulder safe, try to pack it by actively engaging the muscles around it. Imagine pushing it back into the joint.
- Aim to land with the kettlebell in a straight line above where it started. If you start to lose form and lean one way or the other, choose a lighter weight. Keeping this straight is the safest way to perform this move.
- Once you’ve hit the top, reverse the previous steps until you’re back in the rack. Now, complete the set number of reps before going again on the other side.
Two-handed kettlebell push press
- Remember how we set up before going in on those goblet squats? You’re going to need to do the same here.
- Instead of descending into a squat though, we’re doing to make a slight bend in the knees. Only slight.
- Explode upward by pushing through your mid-foot. As you feel the power meet your arms guide the kettlebell overhead. Finish with both arms straight and the ‘bell directly above where it started.
- Lower the kettlebell under control to return to the starting position. Try to land with soft knees to take the impact away.
- You know the score! Nine more to go for this one.
How to kettlebell swing
- Set your feet shoulder width apart with your feet facing forward. Brace your core and pack the shoulders by pulling them back and screwed into their socket.
- Making sure your shoulders stay pulled back and shins vertical, push your hammies being you and bend at the hip. Let your arms fall straight down as you grab the kettlebell handle. Bend your knees to get there if you need to.
- If you haven’t already, bend your knees while keeping your back straight. Pull your hips back to the top so your back is now flat like a table top. Take all the slack out of your body here.
- Pick the kettlebell up by performing a deadlift. Extend your hips, lockout your knees, and keep that spine neutral and shoulders pulled back.
- To get the swing going drive your knees outward, hammies back, and hinge at the hip. This will create a little momentum for the bell to swing behind you, but the big swing will come from you hiking the kettlebell. Imagine you’re hiking an American football.
- You’ll feel the kettlebell want to swing back to the front once it hits an apex. When it does, explosively hinge your hips forward to propel the kettlebell in front of you. As you’re doing this you want your feet to be screwed firmly into the ground as you drive through your mid-foot.
- Simply guide the weight using your arms. Don’t use them to raise it.
- Let the bell swing until it reaches its peak. For this variation, we’re suggesting you hit a Russian swing and let it go all the way up to eye-level. Ensure you’ve got a tight grip on the handle and your shoulders are still pulled back.
- As it hits the top of the swing, gravity will want to pull it down. Let the kettlebell swing back between your legs as it goes behind you. It’s really important to keep the core braced, feet firmly on the ground, and back flat during this part.
- As the kettlebell begins to swing back in front, drive your hips again to maintain momentum. Fire your hammies and get the glutes involved as much as you can too. Think to yourself: hamstrings and glutes.
- Rinse and repeat for 12 reps.
How to rest
Move around. A little bit of active recovery is good for the mind, body, and soul. Seriously though, it’s really good to keep moving between sets.
Then when you’re done, soak it all in. You just crushed and completed a full body kettlebell workout for beginners. It won’t be long until you’re creating your own like a pro.
Good luck out there. Keep living the muscle mindset life.