I’m a big fan of kettlebells. Kettlebells are by far the most effective and convenient conditioning tool around. I would choose a single kettlebell over a gym membership any day of the week. The freedom that the kettlebell gives is unmatched by any gym machine, and you can use a kettlebell to workout anywhere. You can use one at home if you’re in a hurry, drop it in the trunk of your car and workout at the beach on a sunny day, or take it with you on a weeklong boat trip.

Why Do Kettlebells Work?

Kettlebells are highly effective for a number of reasons. Here are my top three: 
  1. The calorie burn. Kettlebells demand the use compound movements, which work nearly every muscle in your body. This triggers a dramatic hormonal response that burns a lot of calories both during and after the workout. A 2010 study showed that kettlebell work can burn up to 20.2 calories per minute.
  2. Cardiovascular capacity. Kettlebell workouts will challenge your cardiovascular capacity when you are in a “flow,” performing back-to-back exercises without resetting. Another study conducted in 2010 proved that kettlebell work can tax both the aerobic and anaerobic systems.
  3. Explosivity, stability, and core strength. The kettlebell swing and the kettlebell snatch are ballistic movements that dramatically improve both strength and explosivity. Moreover, the off-centered handles of the kettlebell provide a continuous challenge for shoulder and core stability.


Having said all that, kettlebells are just a tool. They must be used correctly to get the desired results. Being lazy or having lousy form can hurt you. I can’t stress enough how important it is to respect the kettlebell and make sure that you get your form checked by a professional who knows what they are doing.
If given time to learn proper technique, the kettlebell can become your best workout buddy. I’ve had months when I was under a lot of pressure or short on time and all I could do was move around a heavy kettlebell for 10-20 minutes and that was more than enough to get a serious workout for the day.
Hard kettlebell swing
Kettlebells are just a tool, but their myriad uses make them the best tool available. [Photo courtesy CrossFit Stars]

9 Single-Kettlebell Workouts

Below are nine workouts (3 beginner, 3 intermediate, 3 advanced) that you can do anywhere using a single kettlebell. The beauty of these workouts is that they will take less than 10 minutes to complete. 

Beginner Kettlebell Workouts

  • Male - 16kg
  • Female - 8kg


Workout #1:

Every minute on the minute (EMOM) for 10 minutes:
  • 10 kettlebell swings + 5 burpees
Workout #2:
5 Rounds:
  • 30 seconds goblet squats
  • 30 seconds rest
Rest 1 minute
8 Rounds:
  • 20 seconds kettlebell swings/10 seconds rest
Workout #3:
For Time (time cap of 10 minutes):
  • 50 kettlebell swings
  • 50 sit ups
  • 40 kettlebell swings
  • 40 sit ups
  • 30 kettlebell swings
  • 30 sit ups
  • 20 kettlebell swings
  • 20 sit ups
  • 10 kettlebell swings
  • 10 sit ups

Intermediate Kettlebell Workouts

  • Male - 20kg
  • Female - 12kg
Workout #1:
10 minute EMOM:
  • Odd minute: 16 alternating single arm swings
  • Even minute: 10 clean and jerk (5 each arm)
Workout #2:
5 Rounds:
  • 30 seconds alternating single arm kettlebell swings
  • 30 seconds burpees 
  • 30 seconds goblet squats
  • 30 seconds rest
Rest 1 minute (including 30 sec rest from last round)
4 minutes, as many reps as possible (AMRAP) of:
  • 1 Turkish get up (right arm) + 4 single arm kettlebell press
  • 1 Turkish get up (left arm) + 4 single arm kettlebell press
Workout #3:
For Time:
  • 50 right arm kettlebell swings
  • 50 left arm kettlebell swings

Advanced Kettlebell Workouts

  • Male - 24kg
  • Female - 16kg
Workout #1:
10 minute EMOM
  • Odd minute: 10 kettlebell swings + 5 burpees
  • Even minute: 10 kettlebell snatches
Workout #2:
10 minute AMRAP
  • 10 suitcase deadlifts (right arm)
  • 10 single arm swings (right arm)
  • 10 snatches (right arm)
  • 10 suitcase deadlifts (left arm)
  • 10 single arm swings (left arm)
  • 10 snatches (left arm)
Workout #3:
8 rounds for time (time cap of 10min):
  • 2 Turkish get up (1 left arm + 1 right arm)
  • 4 clean and press (2 + 2)
  • 6 snatches (3 + 3)

Get a Kettlebell, Lose Your Excuses

These workouts can be done anywhere and in any space. All you need is a 2 meter x 2 meter area to workout. The better you get at handling the bell, the more creative options you’ll have with your workouts. The kettlebell gives you no excuse for not getting a workout in even if your day is as busy as hell.
Which weight kettlebell should you choose?
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