10-Exercise Beginner Kettlebell Workout for Your Full Body | SELF

Beginner kettlebell exercises are an excellent way to add variety to your workout routine, whether you’re new to strength training or just getting a little bored with your go-to dumbbell moves. The beginner kettlebell workout we’ve created below will hopefully allow you to challenge your muscles in new ways, which is key to seeing strength gains. Plus, if you’ve ever worked out at a crowded gym with limited weight rack choices, you’ll love these kettlebell exercises for beginners: They only require a single kettlebell!

To help you get to know this excellent training tool, Andy Speer, co-owner of SoHo Strength Lab in New York City, picked a few kettlebell exercises for beginners. To get started with this beginner kettlebell workout, you’ll need a 10- to 15-pound kettlebell (or 4 to 6 kilograms). If you’ve already got a steady strength training program and feel comfortable with heavier weights, you can start with a 20-pound kettlebell (or heavier).

Let’s lay down some terminology, too, since different exercises have you holding different parts of the kettlebell: The bell refers to the heavy sphere at the bottom. The handle (the loop attached to the bell) can be gripped at the top, or on the sides, which are called the horns. Holding a kettlebell in a racked position means you’ll hold the top of the handle and allow the bell to rest on the outside of your forearm, with your hand held at shoulder height. If you’re new to kettlebells, experiment with the different grips: Hold the kettlebell in a racked position, hold it by the horns using both hands, or carry it using the handle with your arm at your side. We’ll walk you through several grips in the beginner kettlebell workout below.

You can incorporate this beginner kettlebell workout into your typical training routine two to three times per week or select just a few exercises to try as you see fit. If you’re doing all the moves as a workout, you’ll notice that we offer two variations for the reverse lunges (a reverse lunge with overhead hold or a reverse lunge with a press) and the swings (a classic two-handed kettlebell swing and a single-arm alternating kettlebell swing). You can do whichever variation you’re in the mood for, however the reverse lunge with overhead hold and the two-handed kettlebell swing are the beginner-friendly options. The first several moves should help improve stability while the swings at the end offer a nice cardio bonus.

Our model, Saneeta Harris, is a blogger, SFG Level 1 certified kettlebell trainer, and the founder of @NaturalHairGirlsWhoLift.

The Workout


This workout is made up of three circuits. You’ll do 3 rounds of each circuit (meaning you do each circuit three full times), resting 30-60 seconds between rounds. Rest for 60 seconds between circuits. Rest only as needed between moves.

Circuit 1
Do each move below in order for 8-10 reps on each side.

  • Staggered Stance Halo
  • Reverse Lunge (variation of your choice)
  • Staggered Stance Row

Circuit 2
Do each move below in order for 8-10 reps on each side.

  • Push-Press
  • Squat to Biceps Curl

Circuit 3
Do each move below in order for 8-10 reps.

  • Swing (variation of your choice)
  • Triceps Press

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