Top 5 Kettlebell Exercises To Boost Your Workout

Often referred to as the ultimate training tool, kettlebells are an ideal solution for those looking for a time efficient whole body workout.

School Of Personal Training Posted Jun 10, 2016 Future Fit Training

Kettlebells are a great way to add variety to your training, they help keep sessions fresh and stimulating and challenge the entire body.

Whilst kettlebells are a brilliant training tool, they deserve the utmost respect from those looking to work with them. It’s vital to master correct technique and invest time in learning how to use them safely and effectively. This is a fundamental part of our Complete Kettlebell Trainer course; making sure students get plenty of time to perfect their own technique to develop skill and confidence, before learning how to instruct others.

There are numerous exercises that can be performed with kettlebells, but if you are looking to boost your workout these are our top 5 kettlebell exercises.

The Swing

This is a foundation kettlebell exercise and completely unique to kettlebell training; there is no other piece of gym equipment that can be substituted and used in the same way.

Often performed incorrectly, especially by those without any formal training, once mastered it is a powerful and effective exercise which develops cardiovascular conditioning as well as strength endurance.

Performed with one hand, or both, this is the first dynamic kettlebell specific exercise we cover on the Complete Kettlebell Trainer (link to course) course.

Boost your workout by adding a HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) kettlebell swing session to the week. Perform 30 seconds of kettlebell swings with all out maximum effort with 15 seconds rest and repeat for 20 minutes.

The Clean

The clean is another really important and valuable kettlebell exercise to learn. It takes the kettlebell in one ‘clean’ move from the floor to a rack position. This is either a resting point, before continuing with more cleans, or is the start position for other exercises such as overhead presses.

Boost your workout by alternating 30 seconds of kettlebell cleans with 30 seconds of mountain climbers, before switching hands and repeating. Continue for 10 minutes in total. Use as a finisher at the end of a gym session for maximum metabolic stimulation.

Turkish Get Up

The Turkish Get Up is a powerful controlled movement which takes the lifter from lying on the floor, to standing and back down again. It has direct benefit and relevance for human movement as it teaches us how to incorporate upper and lower body strength, stability, flexibility and balance. 

It looks complicated but is simpler than it looks when broken down into stages as we do on the Complete Kettlebell Trainer course.

Boost your workout by completing 5 Turkish Get Ups on one side before changing hands. Rest for 30 seconds then complete a further 4 TGUs alternating sides, rest for another 30 seconds then continue - repeating the cycle for 3, 2 and finally 1 TGU.

Russian Twist

The Russian Twist is a classic exercise often completed with other training tools, such as a medicine ball. Substituting with a kettlebell makes it more challenging as the position of the handle means the weight is pulling away. Adding Russian Twists to your programme is an excellent way of challenging the core and abdominal muscles, particularly targeting the obliques.

Boost your workout by super-setting 30 seconds of Russian Twists with 30 seconds into a V-sit hold. Complete 3 rounds with minimal rest.

The Snatch

The Snatch is an explosive kettlebell exercise and uses just about every muscle in the body. It challenges the cardiovascular system, promotes flexibility in achieving the overhead position, and builds explosive power. It takes time and many hours of practice to perfect good technique. Whilst we teach the mechanics of this ultimate kettlebell exercise on the Complete Kettlebell Trainer course we always recommend students leave the course and continue with daily practice to really hone technique. 

Boost your workout by completing snatches for time. Alternate hands as necessary or change hands after every 10th snatch and continue for anywhere between 5-10 minutes with no rest.

Written by Jacqueline Hooton