Best Kettlebell Workout

Best Kettlebell Workout

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There are a number of very simple principles that you need to understand in order to design the Best Kettlebell Workout.

Firstly it is important that you understand the 5 basic movement patterns. These movement patterns simulate the way we get around in daily life and in nature. By including these 5 basic movement patterns ensures that you use as many muscles as possible in the body, which in turn would mean expending maximum energy. The more energy we use the more calories we burn!

Also by using these 5 simple movement patterns ensures that your workouts are well balanced, in other words you are not doing too many pushing movements rather than pulling movements or not enough hip dominant movements versus knee dominant movements.

Of course every workout should be designed for your individual needs but these principles give you a very good foundation.

The 5 Basic Movement Patterns for the Best Kettlebell Workout

The Kettlebell Squat

The squat is a knee dominant exercise that uses most muscles of the body but in particular the buttocks and thighs. You can hold the kettlebell with 2 hands or racked against the body with one hand. You can hold the bell upside down, as in the goblet squat or you can rack two kettlebells for the double squat.

The Kettlebell Lunge

As with the Kettlebell Squat the Lunge is a knee dominant exercise but it involves more balance and focuses in on the buttocks more intensely. You can choose to lunge forwards or backwards, or to increase hip mobility and single leg strength perform the side lunge. Similar to the squat the kettlebell can be held either in the racked position against the body, with two hands or one kettlebell in each hand.

The Deadlift

For this movement pattern you are focusing more on the hip hinge than the knee hinge used with the squat and lunge. The deadlift pattern hits the buttocks and hamstrings more aggressively but also focuses in on the back and core muscles. You need good core muscles to deadlift properly so get your technique right before adding too much weight. The obvious choice for this movement would be the kettlebell swing either one handed or two handed. You can also use the single leg deadlift for a more static based exercise that will help improve your core synergy.

The Pull

Pulling movements are very important for working the back of the body. The upper traps get a lot of work during kettlebell training but the mid and lower traps are often neglected. There is a lot of muscle mass here and it is also very important for your posture. To counteract all that sitting we do pulling exercises are vital. You can try the High Pull for a more cardiovascular pull, the Renegade Row for a more core intensive pull or the bent over row for an easier but more focused pull. Whichever option you choose try to aim at targeting the mid and lower back rather than the area just around the upper shoulders. A good tip is to focus on keeping the shoulders down and away from the ears.

The Push

The 5th movement pattern is the Push. Pushing requires strong shoulders and good shoulder timing and stability. The obvious choice for pushing based exercises is the overhead press. You can perform this exercise with one kettlebell or 2 and include a clean with every repetition for a full body movement but this will not be as shoulder intensive. Another option and one that I highly recommend is the Turkish Get Up. Everyone should be able to perform a good Turkish Get Up before moving onto any overhead pressing. The reason for this is that pressing overhead requires good shoulder stability to avoid injury and this must be developed first, the best way is with the Get Up or the Windmill.

The Best Kettlebell Workout

So now we have our 5 basic kettlebell movement patterns all we need to do is put them together for the best workout.

Here are 3 examples:

Workout 1

  • Turkish Get Ups x 3 each side
  • Kettlebell Swings x 20
  • Reverse Lunges x 10 each
  • High Pulls x 10 each
  • Kettlebell Squats x 20
  • Rest 1-2 minutes
  • Repeat 3 Circuits

Workout 2

  • Kettlebell Windmills x 5 each side
  • High Pulls x 10
  • Single Leg Deadlifts x 5 each side
  • Side Lunge x 10 each side
  • Squat and Press x 10 each side
  • Rest 1-2 minutes
  • Repeat 3 Circuits

Workout 3

  • Kettlebell Swings x 10 each side
  • Kettlebell High Pulls x 10 each side
  • Kettlebell Clean and Press x 10 each side
  • Forward Lunges x 10 each side
  • Goblet Squat x 20
  • Rest 1-2 minutes
  • Repeat 3 Circuits

Now you understand the basics perhaps you can start to write some of your own kettlebell workout programs using the 5 basic movement patterns above. I look forward to hearing about your best kettlebell workout!

Here are of my Best 125 Kettlebell Workouts

Good Luck!

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