Kettlebells aren’t always the go-to piece of gym equipment when you’re looking at what you should include in your weight training, but kettlebell exercises are not ones to miss out on. They have a massive range of variations, each with a lot of benefits. Their design even means that they are ultra-compact (perfect for a home gym) can outperform dumbbells for some exercises and really help you get the best out of every exercise.
These 10 kettlebell exercises are up there with the best of them. They’re all awesome at what they do, and more importantly, there’s something for every muscle group in some way or another. You can squeeze at least one of them into almost any workout.
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- Lunges With Pass
- Swings With Pass
- Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts
- Goblet Squat
- Turkish Get-Ups
- Clean & Press
- Front Raise With Pass
- Farmers Walks
- Renegade Rows
- Kettlebell Push-Ups
1. Lunges With Pass
Lunges with a pass are one of the best uses of the practicality of kettlebells. They are fantastic exercises no matter what you use, but the style of the kettlebell means you can seamlessly pass it under your leg with each stride, engaging your core and outer legs for stability and giving you that extra edge. Just make sure you’re taking it steady and keeping your knees where they should be, not going past your midfoot, and not touching the floor.
2. Swings With Pass
Kettlebell swings are unique to kettlebells, as the name suggests, and they are one of the best sues you can find for them. They activate your whole posterior chain, like deadlifts, but with the added use of your forearms to keep balance. Again, the addition of the pass means that you need to stabilise yourself too, which is always excellent for keeping your core strong. Your whole upper leg muscle group will thank you for it.
3. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlifts
Deadlifts are always going to be one of the best, if not the single best exercise that you can do. They again use your whole posterior chain, and they are a real feat of your true strength. Using kettlebells to mix things up with them is one thing but adding this monster of a variation is a whole new thing altogether.
Single leg Romanian deadlifts are incredible for your hamstrings above all else, but the balance that you need to keep yourself stable again makes it even more effective than it already was. It’s just an all-around incredible exercise.
4. Goblet Squat
Squats are another compound exercise that is up there with the best of the best. They work wonders for your legs, and using kettlebells makes them far more comfortable than they usually are. It’s not quite a goblet squat because of the grip and the positioning of your hands, but it’s an amazing way to ensure your form is at its peak and that you’re getting the most out of the exercise.
5. Turkish Get-Ups
This is undoubtedly one of the best kettlebell exercises out there. It’s a whole-body exercise that can make your core even stronger than it is with the previous exercise. Your core is the centre of your strength training on a general level; this is one of the best ways to make sure it’s at its best consistently. Make sure that you use each arm individually though to prevent imbalances!
6. Clean & Press
The clean and press is the first of our kettlebell exercises which is an awesome shoulder and tricep builder as well as a leg and lower back builder too. If you can nail your form here, it can hit a huge range of muscles really well and give you a full-body exercise, which is always awesome. Again, train each arm equally and make sure you’re using a weight you can press well rather than just deadlift or swing.
7. Front Raise With Pass
Front raises are a little similar in motion style to the kettlebell swing but don’t confuse the two. This exercise is an incredible shoulder exercise, and it helps to build up your anterior (front) deltoid. Again, we add a pass to utilise your core and other muscles to keep you balanced and stable. Don’t let the momentum build up for the best results.
8. Farmers Walks
Although they first seem like a forearm builder, farmers walks using kettlebells is actually one of the most effective exercises you can do for your overall strength. Again, it’s a hugely functional move that gives you real-world application too, and with kettlebells, it’s even better. You’ll build up your back, shoulders, forearms and your core as you carry huge weights as far as you can!
9. Renegade Rows
Next up on the list, we need to make sure that the upper back is being used to its full potential, and kettlebells can help with that too. Renegade rows are an amazing exercise, and using sturdy, heavy kettlebells is a really effective way to do it. Pull back until you get a proper contraction and keep your elbows tight to your core to make sure that you aren’t relying on your biceps or rear delts too much.
10. Kettlebell Push-Ups
Finally, kettlebell pushups are a little different from the rest of the list, but they still deserve their place. Chest exercises are challenging to do with kettlebells, but using them in this way means that you can go deeper than standard pushups would allow you, with a better grip. This engages your chest way more than standard pushups do and makes them an effective and inventive way to use them.
All these exercises are practical and effective ways to use kettlebells, and they are all well worth trying out. No matter where you are in your training, these exercises will help with your progression. You can do them all together for a full-body workout, or cherry-pick what will compliment your favourite workouts already. Regardless, they’re one to watch.
Prefer dumbbells? Check out the Top 10 Dumbbell Exercises…
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