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3 Kettlebell Workouts For Women

workouts
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If there’s one piece of equipment that you can use to perform a full-body workout, it’s the kettlebell. It might not look like much – a big metal ball with a handle attached – but there are a multitude of exercises you can do with a kettlebell and many of those moves use several muscle groups at once. What’s more, because the weight of the bell isn’t where your grip lies, the centre of gravity changes as you move the kettlebell around. This forces your core muscles to work extra hard to keep your balance. Kettlebells are also ideal for short workouts because they can help build muscle and burn fat at the same time.

If you find the weights room of your gym somewhat intimidating, then a kettlebell is well worth getting to know – it’s often found in other areas, and still offers a high level of resistance to work with. Plus, kettlebells are a great addition to a home gym. They’re small and can be moved around and stored easily.

To help get you started we’ve got three kettlebell workouts for you, one targeting the lower body, one focusing on the upper body, and the final one an all-over full-body session. Each takes less than 20 minutes to complete.

How to do these workouts

Each workout consists of three moves. Perform each move for one minute, with a 10-second break between them. Take a one-minute rest after the third exercise, then repeat the whole thing three times for a total of four rounds.

Full-Body Kettlebell Workout

Kettlebell swing

workouts

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Time 60sec Rest 10sec

Stand with your feet just wider than hip-width apart. Hold the handle in both hands in front of you with your arms extended. Keep your knees soft as you push your hips back, swinging the kettlebell back through your legs. Thrust your hips forwards to create the momentum to swing the kettlebell forwards and up to your eye level. Squeeze your glutes as the kettlebell swings up and keep your core engaged. Then control the swing of the kettlebell back down and repeat.

Kettlebell thruster

Time 60sec Rest 10sec

A squat and a press in one, this move uses momentum from the squat to get the kettlebell above your head. Stand with your feet just wider than hip-width apart with toes pointing outwards slightly. Hold the bell of the kettlebell in both hands, close to your chest. Squat by pushing your hips back and bending your knees, as though you were going to sit down. Once your thighs are parallel to the floor, push up through your heels to rise and press the kettlebell overhead. Then lower the kettlebell back to chest height and go straight into the next rep.

Kettlebell floor press into Russian twist

Time 60sec Rest 60sec

The final minute switches between two moves. Lie on your back on the floor, with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Hold the kettlebell in both hands over your chest – holding the bell part, not the handle – and press it straight up until both arms are extended. Pause, then lower under control. Repeat this four more times for a total of five reps.

Then raise your torso off the floor so your body forms a V-shape. Still holding the kettlebell, engage your core and rotate your torso, bringing the kettlebell down to your left side, then rotating and taking it to your right side. Do 10 reps on each side, then return to the chest press. Continue until the minute is up.

Lower-Body Kettlebell Workout

Goblet squat

workouts

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Time 60sec Rest 10sec

Hold the kettlebell handle-down with your hands on the bell, and stand with your feet hip-width apart. Keeping your core engaged, back straight and torso upright, bend your knees and push your hips back to drop into a squat. Lower until your elbows are between your knees, then push down through your heels to stand back up.

Deadlift

workouts

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Time 60sec Rest 10sec

Stand with your feet hip-width apart with the kettlebell on the floor between your feet, slightly in front of you. Push your hips back and bend your knees, keeping your feet firmly on the floor. Lower your upper body, ensuring your back remains flat, and grasp the kettlebell handle in both hands, then push through your heels to rise, keeping your arms extended throughout. Pause, then bend your knees and push your hips back again to lower the kettlebell back to the floor.

Reverse lunge

workouts

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Time 60sec Rest 60sec

Hold the kettlebell as you did in the goblet squat. Keeping a flat back, step your left foot back and bend both knees until your left knee hovers just above the floor. Your front right knee should be directly above your right ankle or foot. Then push up through your right foot to come back up to standing. Alternate sides with each rep.

Upper-Body Kettlebell Workout

High pull

workouts

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Time 60sec Rest 10sec

Stand with your feet hip-width apart, holding the kettlebell handle in both hands in front of you, with your arms extended. Engage your core and pull the kettlebell up, bending your elbows and moving them out and up. The kettlebell should end up in front of your collarbone and your elbows should come up higher than your shoulders. Pause here, then lower the kettlebell under control. Ensure you maintain a flat back throughout.

Kettlebell press

workouts

(Image credit: Unknown )

Time 60sec Rest 10sec

Stand with your feet just wider than hip-width apart. Hold the kettlebell in one hand in the rack position, with the bell resting on your forearm, at shoulder height with your elbow bent. Keeping your core engaged, extend your arm to press the kettlebell overhead. Pause at the top, then lower the kettlebell back to shoulder height. Aim for 30 seconds each side.

Bent-over row

Time 60sec Rest 60sec

Hold the kettlebell in front of you with your arms extended. Hinge at the hips and lean forwards so your body is almost parallel to the floor. Keep your core engaged and your back flat as you pull the kettlebell towards your bellybutton, pushing your elbows out to the sides. Keep your neck in line with your spine throughout. Squeeze your back muscles at the top of the move, then slowly lower the kettlebell.

Lucy is a freelance journalist, and former health and fitness editor across various UK women’s magazines. She is also a level 3 personal trainer and is trained in pre- and post-natal fitness.