Log in to BOXROX Pro

5 CrossFit Kettlebell Workouts To Build Strength and Muscle

Upgrade your performance with this old and highly effective exercise tool.

Kettlebell workouts are a great way to build strength, muscle, conditioning and mental toughness, but where did it all begin? The Kettlebell as we know it today originated in Russia approximately 350 years ago. The first appearance of the word in a Russian dictionary appeared in 1704. They were originally used as handled counterweights to weigh out dry goods on market scales.


People started throwing them around for entertainment and they were later put to use for weight lifting.


The forefather of the modern fitness gym, Dr. Vladislav Krayevsky, founded the St. Petersburg Amateur Weightlifting Society on August 10, 1885, considered the birth of weightlifting in Russia. A proponent of what he called “heavy athletics”, in 1900 Krayevsky wrote “The Development of Physical Strength with Kettlebells and without Kettlebells”. He was one of the most influential pioneers of fitness of his day.

His students included the legendary strongman George Hackenscmidt, “The Russian Lion”, who credited him with teaching him everything he knew and Eugene Sandow, “The Father of Modern Day Body Building”.



  • Both cardio and strength training
  • Losing weight, toning up and increasing muscular definition
  • A highly efficient form of training (quick workouts are possible in a short space of time with excellent results)
  • Unparalleled core conditioning exercises
  • Training the entire body with a choice of hundreds of Kettlebell exercises
  • Scalable training suitable to people of all ages, abilities and gender

They are especially good at improving your grip, back, and shoulders, which is why Kettlebells are very popular in the Russian military. Russian Special Forces personnel pride themselves on their “wiry strength, lethal agility” and consistent staying power

There is no better way to burn fat than with sets of Kettlebell Swings, Snatches and Clean and Jerks. These ballistic exercises work your body as one unit and require a great deal of hard work. The harder you work, the more calories you burn. High rep Snatches work more muscle groups and will build strength in the lower back, shoulders, and hip flexors.


Recovery is crucial for athletes. However, programs in which you train to failure and take a week off afterwards to hang out are not effective for athletes. The key is to improve performance and conditioning. Doing a few light kettlebell workouts per week will speed up recovery by getting some blood into the worked muscles.


Enough talk. Time to hit the Box and try these Kettlebell Workouts:

1. WOD 1

  • 4 Rounds for Time
  • 400m Run
  • 10 Pull Ups
  • 20 Fr Rack Walking Lunges
  • 15 Push Ups
  • 10 KB Snatch each side

Chinese Shaolin Monks used large padlocks with handles for training that closely mirrors modern kettlebell exercises.


150 Kettlebell Thrusters

Mat-Fraser-KettlebellsSource: CrossFit Games
The Champ with kettlebells

Strongman Arthur Saxton performed with a 113 lb kettlebell while lifting a barbell that weighted 370 lbs with the other hand.

3. WOD 3

  • For Time
  • 50-40-30-20-10
  • KB Goblet Squats
  • KB Swings
scaling tips crossfit beginners kettlebell swingSource: Stevie D Photographer
Get your work done!

Kettlebells are a fantastic way to unearth weaknesses and imbalances in your strength and movement.

4. WOD 4

  • 4 Rounds for Time
  • 10 Pull Ups
  • 10 Shoulder to Overhead
  • 15 Push Ups
  • 20 KB Swings
  • 20 Wallballs
crossfit partner wodsSource: RX'd Photography
kettlebell partner wods

Kettlebells are a great way to improve balance and coordination for athletes


1. Min 1 KB Swings
2. Min 2 KB Swings

X. Min X KB

kettlebell workouts female athlete
Strengthen your mental toughness

Kettlebells can provide increased strength without increased mass.

Image Sources

Related news