Kettlebells can look scary and intimidating for beginners that have never used them before. But I assure you there is nothing to fear! In fact, by not picking up those kettlebells you’re missing out on countless benefits that come with throwing* this bowling ball looking weight around (*don’t actually throw it!). The kettlebell is a great exercise tool to use for targeting multiple areas at once. Most kettlebell exercises are full body movements that are challenging, but very effective. Even kettlebell workouts for beginners target several muscle groups because the act of using a kettlebell requires the use of numerous muscles, inluding your back, core, lower body, and upper body. Kettlebell exercises address all areas of fitness: strength, power, and endurance. Another benefit of kettlebells is they burn calories faster than isolation exercises.
As a kettlebell beginner you should be focused primarily on proper form. Follow the instructions and videos below for the exercises. Only increase your intensity when you feel comfortable with your form. This will protect you from injury and allow your muscle to get used to moving in a new way.
4 Kettlebell Exercises for Beginners
The kettlebell swing is by far the most popular kettlebell exercise. It’s a basic move that is very effective and can be altered for different levels of difficulty.
Tips before you begin:
- the swing should come from hinging at the hips, instead of a squating motion
- use your hips to drive the kettlebell forward, not your arms
- keep your spine straight when hinging forward – a curved spine is not good form
How to do it:
- Stand up straight with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart with both hands on the kettlebell handle.
- Hinge at your hips, while bending your knees slightly and pushing your bottom back.
- Start by swinging the kettlebell forward while standing up straight, using your hips to drive the kettlebell.
- Then swing it between your legs as you hinge forward again.
- After you finish your reps on a downswing, carefully stop your momentum and set the kettlebell down on the ground.
Kettlebell One-Arm High Pull
This simple kettlebell workout targets the biceps, lats, and glutes.
How to do it:
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart, grasping the kettlebell in one hand.
- Squat slightly and hinge at your hips. Similar to a kettlebell swing.
- Instead of swinging, pull the kettlebell straight up towards your chest when you stand up.
Kettlebell Goblet Squat
You likely already know how to do this exercise and it is an easy exercise to do. This exercise works your lower body. Remember to keep your back and core engaged during this movement to protect yourself from injury.
How to do it:
- Stand with your legs slightly shoulder-width apart. Hold the kettlebell at your chest with both hands on the outside of the handle, or underneath the kettlebell.
- Keep your feet flat and the weight in your heels.
- Sit back and squat until your elbows hit your knees. Make sure your knees don’t go beyond your toes.
- Stand back up while engaging your glutes.
This exercise should not be done swiftly like the kettlebell swing. Take your time, keep your back and core engaged, and hinge at the hips (not the spine). The windmill targets your shoulders, abs, obliques, back, and hips.
How to do it:
- Hold the kettlebell in one hand above your head, while standing in the standard position with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart. The kettlebell should be resting on your forearm.
- With your arm straight in the air, hinge at your hips to touch your toes with the opposite hand.
- Stand up straight again.
Kettlebell Beginner Workout Routine
The four kettlebell exercises listed above are highly effective for beginners. Now that you have the moves down, let’s start utilizing these exercises for a full-body workout routine. Remember to prioritize proper form during any kettlebell workout.
Warm up: 50 juming jacks, 50 high knees
- Kettlebell Swings (10 to 12 reps)
- Kettlebell One Arm High Pull (10 to 12 reps on each side)
- Kettlebell Goblet Squats (10 to 12 reps)
- Kettlebell Windmill (8 to 10 reps on each side)
Rest for one minute after the entire circuit. Complete the circuit 3 times.
Some kettlebell exercises seem challenging to do, but they are easier than they look. Kettlebell exercises are ideal for targeting multiple areas of the body and sculpting lean, sexy muscles! They are a well-rounded form of exercise, increasing your strength, power, and endurance.