1 Kettlebell, 9 Workouts You Can Do Anywhere
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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
Every minute on the minute (EMOM) for 10 minutes:
- 10 kettlebell swings + 5 burpees
- 30 seconds goblet squats
- 30 seconds rest
Rest 1 minute
- 20 seconds kettlebell swings/10 seconds rest
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
10 minute EMOM:
- Odd minute: 16 alternating single arm swings
- Even minute: 10 clean and jerk (5 each arm)
- 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
- 50 right arm kettlebell swings
- 50 left arm kettlebell swings
Advanced Kettlebell Workouts
- Male - 24kg
- Female - 16kg
10 minute EMOM
- Odd minute: 10 kettlebell swings + 5 burpees
- Even minute: 10 kettlebell snatches
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)
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?