Kettlebell Exercises for Beginners To Get Started with Kettlebells


The kettlebell revolution is in full swing. If you don’t know what a kettlebell is, then its time that you found out. It’s a type of weight training equipment that is shaped like a cannonball with a handle attached to it. Originally from Russia, it’s now a popular tool which is used all over the world to become stronger, fitter, and leaner. What makes kettlebells so special? The biggest difference between a kettlebell and a standard weight is that with a kettlebell, the weight is off center. This makes your core and grip work a lot harder. It’s often said that even a 20 minute kettlebell workout is extremely effective.

It gets even better if you train at home. It requires very little space to be used and kettlebells can easily be stored under your bed. Plus, you do not have to spend time changing the weights as the kettlebell is fixed and all you have to do is select the kettlebell of your choice and get started!

The first thing you need to do is to start with the basics before you attempt all of the advanced juggling type exercises with kettlebells.

Kettlebells For Beginners: Basic Kettlebell Exercises

  • Swings
  • Cleans
  • Overhead Presses
  • Front Squats
  • Rows
  • Windmills
  • Snatches

kettlebell-exercisesOnce you have mastered these moves, then move on to more advanced exercises like lunges, alternating swings, floor presses, etc. You will find it beneficial if you try to learn the basics in the sequence shown above if you are trying to learn them one by one.

When you begin training in some of the exercises like cleans and snatches, you might find that you end up banging up your forearms with the bells crashing onto it. This is natural in the beginning and is eliminated with practice. Thus, it is necessary to avoid doing too many reps of such exercises in the beginning. Do a few reps everyday to learn the proper form without harming yourself.

Like all other forms of training, with kettlebells if you lift the same weight for the same number of reps, it will not help you improve in strength and muscle growth. You must move onto heavier kettlebells in order to increase your overall strength and lean muscle mass.

Now let’s look at some workout routines that you can try with kettlebells. If you have been training with other forms like traditional weights, running or bodyweight exercises and you want to add kettlebells into your training routine, then gradually start with kettlebell swings. Do about 2-3 sets of 10 reps at the end of your normal workouts. Once you are good with kettlebell swings, then keep adding 1 exercise from the basic kettlebell exercise list gradually.

However, if you’re currently not following any training program and want to start fresh with kettlebells or want to switch over to an all kettlebell workout, then do the following program that I learned from kettlebell guru Mike Mahler.

Kettlebell Workouts: Monday, Wednesday, Friday

  • One arm kettlebell Clean and Military Press – 2 sets of 5 reps left and right
  • One arm kettlebell Bent Over Row – 2 sets of 6 reps left and right
  • One arm kettlebell Windmill – 1 set of 3 reps left and right
  • One arm kettlebell Front Squat – 2 sets of 6 reps left and right
  • One arm kettlebell Swing – 2 sets of 10 reps left and right

After two weeks, add another set to all the exercises. So, that is enough talk for now. Its time to use this ancient Russian equipment for great results. Dasvidaniya!

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About Author

Arnav Sarkar

Arnav is a strength and fitness instructor based in India. He has completed his gym instructor certification from the American Council on Exercise (ACE). See my profile page for more information!

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