There are lots of kettlebell workouts for legs.
Most kettlebell exercises will work the whole body but some are more leg orientated than others.
Below I’ve listed 3 fundamental kettlebell workouts for legs, each workout getting progressively more challenging than the one before.
1. Beginners Kettlebell Workout for Legs
The hip hinge movement works into the hamstrings, quads and buttock muscles.
The best way to master the hip hinge is through the deadlift exercise, so we begin our first workout using the single arm deadlift.
Watch a video of the Kettlebell Single Arm Deadlift below:
The single arm deadlift will not only work your legs but also strengthen your core and lower back muscles.
The second exercise we are going to use for our beginners kettlebell workouts for legs is the Goblet Squat.
The goblet squat challenges the quads more than the deadlift and also creates demands from the hamstrings and buttocks too.
It is very important that during the goblet squat that the movement is deep enough so the thighs are parallel with the floor.
Shallow squats will not activate the buttock muscles correctly and will develop incorrect movement patterns that will negatively effect movement in general.
Both the single arm deadlift and the goblet squat are going to increase your heart rate due to the huge amount of muscle mass used for each exercise.
Here’s an image of the Kettlebell Goblet Squat:
Kettlebell Leg Workout 1
- Single Arm Deadlift x 8 – 12 reps each side
- Goblet Squat x 8 – 12 reps
- Rest 60 seconds and repeat for 3 circuits
Beginners can start performing this workout without holding a kettlebell for the goblet squats and then as they become stronger they can add a kettlebell to the exercise.
2. Intermediate Kettlebell Workout for Legs
Once the beginners kettlebell workout for legs has been mastered then you can add in the kettlebell swing.
The kettlebell swing works most muscles in the body but in particular it heavily works the hamstrings, glutes and back.
The swing is a dynamic exercise that demands explosive hips and will rapidly increase the heart rate.
Here’s an image of the Two Handed Kettlebell Swing:
The second exercise for the intermediate kettlebell workout for legs is the reverse lunge.
The reverse lunge is massive leg based exercise that will deeply develop the quads, hamstrings and buttocks.
It is important that you are comfortable performing goblet squats before moving onto the reverse lunge. Goblet squats will develop the necessary strength required to perform the lunge movement pattern.
Ensure that the back knee kisses the floor for each repetition in order to maximise the amount of work done by the buttocks and legs.
Here’s an image of the Kettlebell Reverse Lunge:
Kettlebell Leg Workout 2
- Two Handed Swing x 20 reps
- Reverse Lunge x 10 each leg
- Goblet Squat x 10
- Rest 60 – 90 seconds and repeat for 3 circuits
The kettlebell lunge is a very demanding exercise so when first starting out you may want to practice without the kettlebell before loading the movement later.
The reverse lunge can be intensified by holding 2 kettlebells by your sides for each repetition.
3. Advanced Kettlebell Workout for Legs
Finally we move on to the most demanding of all the kettlebell workouts for legs.
We start with the kettlebell swing as used in the previous workout except this time swinging with only one hand.
Using one hand for the kettlebell swing will put greater rotational demands on the body and so working the core muscles harder.
Here’s an image of the One Handed Kettlebell Swing:
The next exercise is a variation of the lunge but this time moving sideways.
The kettlebell side lunge will place even more demands on the quads and buttocks whilst also improving hip mobility.
Those new to the kettlebell side lunge should ensure they keep their chest up and heels firmly on the floor throughout the movement.
I’d recommend that practice is performed without the kettlebell before loading the movement later.
Side lunges require good flexibility from the adductor muscles (inner thighs) so progress slowly.
Here’s an image of the Kettlebell Side Lunge:
The last exercise for this advanced kettlebell workout for the legs is the pistol squat.
Pistol Squats take good hip mobility as well as leg strength but they are well worth the effort.
The kettlebell pistol squat will work into the hamstrings, quads, buttocks, core and are very cardiovascular.
To first develop strength for the pistol squat you can practice by holding a band or strap attached directly in front of you.
Here’s an image of the Kettlebell Pistol Squat:
Once the pistol squat has been mastered with the assistance of a resistance band or strap then holding a light kettlebell with both hands in front of you will help with the balance.
Kettlebell Leg Workout 3
- Single Handed Swing x 15 each arm
- Side Lunge x 8 each side
- Pistol Squat x 5 each side
- Rest 90 seconds and repeat for 3 circuits
Take your time and work your way through this workout. You can perform assisted pistol squats as part of the circuit, just as you can side lunge without holding a kettlebell.
First and foremost, perform each exercise with perfect technique before adding a kettlebell to the movement.
Conclusion of Kettlebell Workouts for the Legs
Above I’ve listed 3 very important kettlebell workouts for the legs.
Each workout builds and progresses on the one before based upon logical movement patterns.
Most importantly, don’t progress too quickly. Wait until you have mastered each workout before moving onto the next one.
Perfect exercise form is far more important than the size of kettlebell you can lift or the amount of repetitons you can perform.
Bad technique will always develop faulty movement patterns that are both very hard to undo as well as create compensations throughout the body.
Best of luck and enjoy the workouts.
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below: