If you have read any of my previous articles, you will know that I pride myself on giving you the most space and equipment-efficient workouts possible. These kettlebell workouts for beginners are no different. You will only need a single kettlebell and space to swing it.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced athlete looking to better understand how to utilize the kettlebell, this article will give you some actionable content that you can implement immediately to get more out of your kettlebell and body.
Firstly let’s talk about why utilise the kettlebell. Why I believe this training gear is superior to every other training equipment available to you.
Quite simply: versatility. It provides the ability to assist you in all aspects of fitness from strength, speed and power to help improve your conditioning and muscular endurance.
As our society continues to move away from manual labour, our general work capacity, core stability and grip strength continue to diminish.
The thicker handle and grip of the kettlebell help us to work on improving our grip strength while the loading positions give us the chance to build a stronger core and improve our body’s robustness.
These kettlebell workouts for beginners will give you everything you need to start your journey into kettlebell training, but also provide some pretty tasty work to even the most experienced Kettlebell Swingers and Slingers.
Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners
You can check a video of all movements performed in any of these kettlebell workouts for beginners here.
1. EMOM X AMRAP
- 12 KB Russian Swings (24/16 kg)
*Add 2 reps every minute
Where better to start our Kettlebell journey than with the King of Kettlebell exercise the Kettlebell Swing!
The Kettlebell swing supposedly is the most beneficial exercise available to you as it not only helps to correct most modern-day issues of tight hips, weak core and glutes but also helps to build a stronger posterior chain, which is the key to almost all athletic endeavours.
In this workout, you’ll start using an every minute on the minute protocol completing 12 reps in your first minute and resting for the remainder of the minute. You will then add two reps for every minute that follows continuing until you cannot complete the reps in the minute window.
Try to aim for over 30 reps within the minute.
2. 10-Minute AMRAP
- +2 KB Goblet Squats
- 4 Burpees
The second and equally important Kettlebell exercise is the KB Goblet Squat, invented by the man, the myth, the legend Mr Dan John and used by coaches all over the word as a loaded squat progression.
For this workout, you will perform 2 kettlebell Goblet Squats followed by 4 Burpees. Each round, add 2 more goblet squats but remember to maintain good form and go deep when you squat.
The loading position of the goblet squat allows us to eliminate some of the sticking points found in the back-loaded squat variations whilst also increasing core and postural muscles activation as we fight to maintain a neutral spine
3. Down in 5’s
- 25-20-15-10-5 reps
- KB Thrusters
- KB Explosive Deadlifts
A chance to tick many boxers here. The thruster gives you a double compound movement crossing 4 joints and working everything from your toes to your fingertips. The explosive deadlifts allow you to fire up the glutes and hamstrings to produce some posterior power.
As the rounds tick on and the reps decrease your focus here is to increase the intensity finishing on 5’s with a flurry.
4. Kettlebell Bro Sesh
- 50-40-30-20-10 reps
- KB Ballistic Rows
- 10-20-30-40-50 reps
We all like a bro session from time to time. You will complete 50 Ballistic rows followed by 10 Push-ups.
The Ballistic Rows decrease by 10 reps per round with the Push-ups increasing by 10 reps per round to hit your back and biceps, chest and triceps in one compact piece.
Related: The Ultimate Kettlebell Upper Body Workout
5. Tanked Up Tabata
2 min Work|1 min Rest x 8 rounds
- 2 Burpees
- 4 KB American Swings
- 6 Lunges
This is a real chance to open up the throttle. I call this Tanked up Tabata because, well, it’s Tabata but with extra firepower.
You will complete 2 minutes of work followed by 1 minute of rest. In the 2 minutes, you will complete as many rounds as possible of the 3 movements – you should be able to clock up some work here, rest for a minute and repeat 8 rounds. A real lung buster!
Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners
- 10 Right-Arm Kettlebell Snatches (24/16 kg)
- 10 Burpees
- 10 Left-Arm Kettlebell Snatches (24/16 kg)
- 30 Air Squats
- 15 Right-Arm Kettlebell Push Press (24/16 kg)
- 15 Burpees
- 15 Left-Arm Kettlebell Push Press (24/16 kg)
- 45 Air Squats
- 20 Right-Arm Kettlebell Cleans (24/16 kg)
- 20 Burpees
- 20 Left-Arm Kettlebell Cleans (24/16 kg)
- 60 Air Squats
- 25 Right-Arm Kettlebell High Pulls (24/16 kg)
- 25 Burpees
- 25 Left-Arm Kettlebell High Pulls (24/16 kg)
- 75 Air Squats
- 30 Right-Arm Kettlebell Swings (24/16 kg)
- 30 Burpees
- 30 Left-Arm Kettlebell Swings (24/16 kg)
- 90 Air Squats
In my list of kettlebell workouts for beginners, this might be the best for levelling up your kettlebell training into single-arm movements. Although slightly more advanced, they are still basic kettlebell movements that you will be rewarded for learning. The ability to explosively Snatch, Clean and Press the Kettlebell will help you build the power to sprint faster, jump higher and lift heavier in other movements.
Not only great for a beginner working on your single-arm Kettlebell movements when performed at a steadier pace, but it also gives the more experienced trainer a chance to test their power output while working under fatigue. The burpees and air squats take enough out of the body to make each round increasingly more difficult even though each round’s movement becomes slightly easier.
20 min EMOM
- 1. 45 Jumping Jacks
- 2. Max KB Hike Swings
- 3. 45 Jumping Jack
- 4. Max KB Headcutters
- 5. Rest
This is a go-to method for me when I want a minimal kit but highly effective strength and conditioning workout. Jumping Jacks keep the lungs pumping which in turn helps to make the Kettlebell movements more challenging.
The goal here is to complete as many reps of the Kettlebell movements as possible pushing yourself to match or beat your previous round.
8. Knock Off
- 300 KB Russian Swings
- 200 Air Squats
- 100 Burpees
It may sound too disgusting to be a beginner workout but this workout will give you an understanding of workout management – how to break down the movements into the most effective method for you. Whether you go for 10 rounds 30-20-10 rep approach or you grind out 300-200-100 reps is up to you. The goal is to get it finished as fast as possible.
The 20 Single Most Important Kettlebell Exercises
9. Old Money
10 min AMRAP
- +1 Burpees
- +1 KB Russian Swings
A classic combination of Swings and Burpees, but this short AMRAP increases by 1 rep every round giving you a different challenge as the workout progresses.
Since it is only 10 minutes, you should be able to really attack this and chase a high score. If you want to add some extra spice to this you can add a multiplier for the weight used.
- 8kg – x0
- 12kg – x1.1
- 16kg -x1.3
- 24kg – x1.6
- 32kg – x1.9
This means you will combine your total KB Swings and Burpee reps and multiply them by the weight used, if you use in-between weights or heavier weight than 32kg you can work out the multiplier yourself.
- 12 KB Sumo Deadlift High Pulls
- 9 KB Taters
- 6 KB Push Press
Single kettlebell, a two-handed variation on the classic CrossFit WOD DT. This variation gives you a chance to get a serious bang for your buck as you hit every muscle group in the body.
Your goal is to complete this as fast as possible maintaining form throughout. For an extra challenge, try and do so without releasing the kettlebell.
Remember: You can check a video of all movements performed in any of these kettlebell workouts for beginners here.
I hope these workouts give you everything you need to get on your way and find your love for the Kettlebell, I hope they also give you some understanding of how to program your own minimal kit training.
If you need anything more from me I can be found on Instagram @LukeyDPT or www.lukeydpt.com
You can find my Ebooks via the store on my website which will give you some structure Kettlebell Functional Fitness and I also work with clients in a remote coaching capacity if you require something more.
Keep the Fitness alive.
About Luke Downing
“NASM Certified Personal Trainer Minimal Kit specialist, Daddy to Luca & Roma Ray. As a father and business owner, I’m well aware that not everybody has hours each day to spend in the gym. I believe that you can do a lot without a lot, which is why I’m a lover of the single Kettlebell workout. I like to keep things as functional as possible, which means I do not waste time with unnecessary movement’s. Everything I do with my athletes has a purpose and a carryover to sports, activities and everyday life.”