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Tuesday Training: The Skinny on Kettlebells and a Super Fast, Super Amazing Kettlebell Routine

 

Tuesday Training: The skinny on Kettlebells and a Super Fast, Super Amazing Kettlebell Routine

 I’ve been a huge fan of kettlebells ever since I first worked out with them. They bring strength, cardio, and flexibility training together into one efficient workout. Working out with kettlebells is a crazy tough workout, but that’s why it’s so effective. Even the most well trained athletes have trouble lasting through a workout when they switch to kettlebells. They are more challenging to your body than dumbbells because the super thick handle challenges your grip strength and the asymmetrical weight in relation to the handle challenges your core to the maximum. The extra work to your muscles means more calories burned, which equals greater fat loss.

 Check this fun fact out: When studying various forms of exercise and calories burned during exercise, the American Council on Exercise said that using kettlebells burns twice the amount of calories of regular weight lifting. They also said, β€œThe only other thing…that burns that many calories is cross country skiing uphill at a fast pace.” Now if that doesn’t speak volumes about the toughness and effectiveness of kettlebell workouts, I don’t know what does!

 The beauty of kettlebells is that you don’t need a ton of different exercises to get an amazing workout. Every exercise I’ve posted here engages multiple muscles and will really challenge your core. When you do this routine you are not only getting a super fast and super awesome workout, but you will also increase your cardio fitness, your strength, and your flexibility.

 Not sure which size kettlebell you should use? Here’s a good guideline if you are new to kettlebells: Women should start around 18-25 pounds and Men should start around 35-45 pounds. But remember: the perfect weight for you is when you start to struggle on the last few reps – You may need to go a lot lighter or a lot heavier, depending on your fitness level. 

Try this super fast, but extremely effective kettlebell routine and see what you think!

 *I highly recommend kettlebells for a greater workout and challenge during this routine, but you may sub out dumbbells, if necessary. If you have any questions on how to sub out dumbbells or how to position the dumbbells for the exercises below, just drop me a comment and I’ll help you.

 Super Fast, Super Amazing Kettlebell Routine

Do this routine in a circuit which means you do the first exercise and then keep moving on to the next until you’ve reached the end. Then it’s time to repeat!

 10 snatch, pull, and presses

20 kettlebell swings

10 figure 8’s

10 halos (5 each direction)

Rest for one minute

Repeat 2X

 

SNATCH, PULL, AND PRESS
Grab a kettlebell and stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart and toes turned out slightly (picture 1). Place the kettlebell on the floor between your feet. In a powerful movement, stand up and lift the weight to your chest (picture 2). Grab the sides of the handle and explosively, push the kettlebell overhead (picture 3). Lower it to your chest and then to the floor.
KETTLEBELL SWINGS
Hold a kettlebell with both hands and stand wider than shoulder width apart. Squat down and immediately stand and swing the kettlebell about to shoulder height. As the kettlebell starts to swing back down, bend your knees, push your hips back, and squat down, swinging the kettlebell in between your legs. Then swing it back up to shoulder height as you stand.
FIGURE 8’S
Stand with your feet wider than shoulder width apart and squat into a quarter squat. Hold the kettlebell behind your left leg with both hands, one arm on each side of your leg. Grab the bell with your left hand and swing it in front of your right leg, between your legs, and behind your right leg in a figure 8 pattern. Grab it with your right hand and swing it in front of your right leg, between your legs, then behind your left leg. That’s one rep.
HALOS
Hold a kettlebell upside down by the horns with both hands. Extend your arms overhead. Keeping your shoulders down and abs tight, rotate your torso from the waist in a circle to the left. The kettlebell should make small halos overhead. Do the prescribed amount and then swith direction.
Kettlebell workouts kick my booty! Here is an after pic of me lying on the floor with a sad face because I just got owned by my very own kettlebell.
Kelly – 0 Kettlebell – 1

 

 

 

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68 comments

  1. Can’t wait to try this. There are kettlebells at my gym but I never knew what to do with them. I’m excited to try them out now.

    • Primally Inspired

      Awesome, you’ll have to let me know what you think after you use them. I definitely have a love/hate relationship with my kettlebells. I love them because of the great workout they give me, but I hate them during the actual workout! haha πŸ™‚

      • How many days a week should we be doing kettlebells? Thanks

        • Primally Inspired

          I like doing kettlebells 2 or 3 times a week. I do full body workouts with my kettlebells, so I always leave a day or two in between workouts to give my muscles a chance to rebuild and rest. Those days in between kettlebell workouts are good days for low impact activity like gentle yoga, stretching, a nice walk or light jog or just resting πŸ™‚

  2. Would I just use one kettlebell for the whole workout? Like the same weight for each exercise?

    • Primally Inspired

      It all depends. I like kettlebells because you generally only need 2 different weights – a heavier weight for more explosive, powerful moves and a lighter one for more repetitions or more difficult moves like the Turkish getup.
      For this particular workout, I use 2 different size kettlebells. I use a 35 lb. kettlebell for the 1st 3 exercises and then an 18 lb. one for the overhead halos. If you are new to kettlebells and female, I’d probably try a 25 lb. kettlebell for the first 3 exercies and a 10 lb one for the halos. But, you should play around with the weights and find the correct one for YOU. Remember, you want it to be a challenge, so pick a weight that is tough, but that you can complete the amount of repetitions. You know it’s perfect when you start to struggle on the last 2 reps. Good luck!

      • Thank you!!! I just got back from the gym and used the kettlebells for almost the first time. Well it was the first time using them that I actually knew what to do so I consider it my first time. YOu are right. It is tough! I was good with the weights you told me to use and did 25 lbs for the first 3. It was really really hard, but I did it and felt like I got the best lifting workout of my life!!! I then used a 10 lb on the halos, but on the last circuit, I dropped down to a 5 because I was so tired. I love this!!!

        • oh and I had to take little tiny breaks after the snatch pull and press and the swing because it kicked my butt!!!

          • Primally Inspired

            I’m so glad you liked it! And I’m glad you were able to find some weights that challenged you. That was smart to drop a weight on the last set instead of just not doing it. Even if you can’t do any weight, you should still do the exercise with no weight if you are able. And don’t worry about needing small breaks in between those – I needed to grab a swig of water between them, too πŸ˜‰ They definitely kick my butt, too!

  3. I love kettlebells, too!

  4. I love working out with kettlebells, also. I tried this workout and it’s a really good one. Thank you for posting it.

  5. Wow kettlebells are hard! I did them for the first time this past week and it was very difficult, but I liked the challenge. I felt like I did sprints for 20 mintues hahahaha!

  6. Great kettlebell workout! Thanks!

  7. I did this workout tonight and it was amazing. Thank you! I am following all your Tuesday training and have really enjoyed them so far.

  8. There are kettlebells at my gym that I’ve been wanting to try and now I can because I know what to do with them. Thanks for all the great fitness posts! I LOVE them!

  9. Thanks like your Tuesday Training: The Skinny on Kettlebells and a Super Fast, Super Amazing Kettlebell Routine | Primally Inspired

  10. I simply want to say that I loved this kettlebell workout. Thank you for posting these!

  11. I went over your fitness posts and I believe you have a lot of excellent info, saved to favorites (:.

  12. Great stuff, you should do a youtube channel with this stuff!

  13. Hi, I’ve never used Kettlebells and would like to get some but for now can you guide me through using regular dumbells for your new year workout?

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Sarissa,
      Sure thing!

      Single Arm Squat to Press: Hold a dumbbell at shoulder height when you go into a squat. As you stand up, press it towards the sky.

      Swings: Turn the dumbbell so that it’s vertical. Grasp the top part of the dumbbell with both hands and swing it just like the picture.

      Chest Press with Hip Raise: Hold the dumbbell like you normally would for a chest press.

      Deadlift to High Row: Turn one dumbbell so that it’s vertical. With both hands, hold that one dumbbell on the top part of the dumbbell and keep your hands like that for the exercise. If it’s more comfortable to hold both hands right below the top part on the handle, you can do that, too. Whatever is more comfortable for you.

      Reach and Extend Abs: Grasp one dumbbell with both hands. The dumbbell should be horizontal. You can either grasp the ends of the dumbbell with both hands or hold both hands on the handle.

      Twisting Obliques: You can either use the dumbbell horizontally with both hands or vertically with both hands – whichever is more comfortable to you!

      I hope that helped! If you need anything explained better, let me know! Good luck πŸ™‚

  14. First time I have ever seen kettlebell halos demonstrated that way. Interesting!

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Shawna! Yes this is a different exercise than the halo that most people are familiar with. The way I’m demonstrating, you keep your arms straight the whole time – it really works great for your core and lower back. The other halo exercise, you have your elbows bent and bring the kettlebell around your head. But this is a different exercise – it’s just called the same thing. Hope that makes more sense now!

  15. Hi, I wanted to know if the workout above is a whole body workout or only targeting specific areas of the body?

  16. Also, how often should I be doing this kettle workout in order to see results? Thanks so much in advance!

  17. Does anyone know how many calories this workout burns?

  18. After trying the kettlebell for the first time, is it normal to have lower back pain. If so what should I do to reduce the pain? Kettlebell kick my kick but it was a good workout.

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Ashley!
      This workout does hit your lower back muscles a lot. If you are in serious pain, you should get yourself checked out by a professional.
      You should always stretch out all your muscles out after working out and def. get your back stretched out. If you need some good back stretches, let me know. Putting ice on for 15 minutes at a time helps the pain and reduces inflammation, too.
      Do you have a foam roller or have access to one? I like to roll my back out when it’s sore.

      • I stretched after the work but the next day it has been hurting. I also haven’t workout in along time. I would love for some good back stretches. I don’t have foam roller. Thanks for your help.

        • Primally Inspired

          Sounds like you may have overdone it. Whenever you haven’t worked out in a long time, it’s best to start with lighter weight and work your way up so you don’t strain or hurt yourself πŸ™

          Here’s some good back stretches that I like:
          *Lie on your back and bring your knees to your chest. Hug your knees and gently rock side to side for at least 30 seconds. This is a great massage for the back.
          *While you are still lying on your back, bend your knees with your feet flat on the floor and stretch your arms out to the side like a T. Lower both knees gently to the right side. Now turn your head the opposite direction of your knees and hold that position for 30 seconds. Repeat on the other side.
          *Get on your hands and knees and pretend someone punched you in the stomach – hollow out your stomach and round your back as far as you can. It should look like a cat when they stretch out πŸ™‚ Hold for a few seconds and then straighten your back out. Repeat a few times.
          *While you are on your hands and knees, sit back on your heels and stretch your arms out a few inches further. This should feel really good. Hold it there for as long as you want – at least 30 seconds.

          Hope that helps and hope your back starts to feel better soon πŸ™‚

    • Lower back pain is occurring from performing the swings incorrectly. All the power to swing the bell should come from thrusting your hips forward, not from your shoulders or your back. Try some youtube videos for demonstrations of proper form, or find a trainer who is Russian Kettlebell Challenge certified for a private lesson. Proper form is so crucial to avoid injury. Correct swings will NOT cause back pain. Remember that the swing is not a squat; hinge at the hips and your knees will naturally bend slightly.

  19. I am a little late finding this post, but I found it on pintrest and couldn’t get too the gym to try it out. Well I have to tell you it kicked my butt! I am thrilled that I tried it out but I was not able to finish the entire thing. I used a 12 lb kettle bell and it was very difficult. Is it ok to start out with a lighter dumb bell and work my way up? I want to make sure I am getting the best out of it but I think the 12lb was just too heavy for me right now. I’ll take any advice. Love your site and your blog.

    New Follower!

    • Primally Inspired

      Hi Kara! Thanks so much for your comment πŸ™‚

      It’s very important to find the right weight for YOU! If 12 lbs was too difficult, go lighter for sure! Kettlebells are so challenging – Even the most well trained athletes can’t finish workouts when they switch to kettlebells for the first time.
      If you are a newbie, it’s very important to start on the lighter side and work your way up, so you can avoid straining and injuring yourself. Once you feel comfortable and that it’s too easy then it’s time to go heavier. Once you feel comfortable, here’s my advice: the perfect weight is when it starts to get hard or you start to slow down on the last 2 reps. If you can crank out 5 more reps with your weight, than that’s too light for you and you need to go up.

      Hope that helps! So glad to have you here πŸ˜€

  20. Hi there, just wanted to mention, I loved this article. Keep on posting! I love learning about everything you have been posting here πŸ™‚

  21. I was so excited when I saw this work out, cause I have been looking for different kettlebell workouts and I am not going to lie.. I even thought it was going to be pretty easy. But as I type this I am sweating and breathing heavily after finishing this work out.

    • Primally Inspired

      Awesome!! πŸ˜€ The key to getting a challenging workout is picking a challenging enough weight. So many women pick up those little 5 lb kettlebells and that’s not nearly challenging for them. If you pick a weight that you start to struggle on the last 2 reps, you’ll get a kick butt workout EVERY time that will for sure change your body shape for the better and build lean muscle. So glad you liked it, Kelsey – thanks for the comment!! πŸ™‚

  22. I am an almost-60 year old woman who hasn’t done anything NEAR a workout in forever! I garden, take care of my farm animals, including milking a cow and several goats every day. I am active in those ways, but just haven’t the habit of working out. Where would I start? I have a ‘bad’ knee and sometimes I have back issues. The knee is the biggest problem when I’ve tried to start walking for exercise. By the 3rd day I can no longer walk without limping. When I limp my back will get out. It feels like a hopeless cycle.

    Love the primally inspired gluten-free and sugar-free or low sugar recipes. We eat what we grow mostly, including raw milk, our own butter and cream, eggs from our pastured chickens, and venison for our red meat. So glad I found your site for the great bread recipes.

  23. Can this be done everyday or should it be done every other day?

  24. I just like the helpful information you supply to your articles. I will bookmark your blog and take a look at once more right here frequently. I’m moderately sure I will learn many new stuff right here! Good luck for the next!

  25. Saved as a favorite, I really like your
    blog!

  26. Love this workout. I have been using kettlebells for a few months. I recently started working with a personal trainer to get into shape and have incorporated the bells into my workout. I am 62 yrs old. Started with 10# kettlebells and now starting on 20#. I read Tracy Reifkinds book to learn the proper form. Never had any back pain. I am addicted. Best cardio workout I have ever done. The first type of exercise I actually look forward to!

  27. Ok, just found this on Pinterest! I am heading to get me a kettlebell. Pretty excited. I am pretty overweight, but want to move and exercise but my feet hurt so I can’t jump around. If I could get my belly gone I would be a happy girl! Do you think this is a good way to go? Thanks!

  28. Long live kettlebells!!! I love to see more people jumping on this bandwagon. So good for you! If anyone out there is still cross-country skiing uphill out fast pace, I highly suggest you start swinging those kettlebells! πŸ˜‰ Thanks for sharing this, great post!

  29. Hi I would really appreciate it if u could some how figure out the amount of calories this burns as it is imperative to my meal plan. Thanks so much! Just kicked some butt!!
    Denise.

  30. Thank you for this workout! I have just begun working out again so I cut this workout in half and warmed up with 15 minutes of cardio. Just half of this workout kicked my butt! I can’t wait until I can do the whole thing! Thanks for inspiring πŸ™‚

  31. Thank you for this… My friend and I just tried this for the first time… holy cow I can feel it all over, awesome! I had no idea where to even start with the kettlebells. So glad I found this!

  32. I tried this workout for the first time today and I am in love! It was tough and I can’t wait to do it again. I don’t think i’ve ever done a workout that I felt the effects of that fast. I look forward to trying more of the workouts that you post!

  33. Just found this workout and I plan to try it! Can you tell me approximately how long it takes to go through it? I’m assuming around 15 to 20 minutes? Need to know how much time it will take if I do it before work. Thanks! This looks great!

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