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A Simple and Effective Kettlebell Workout

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The kettlebell is a utilitarian fitness tool. It can be used for most of the same exercises as dumbbells, but also lends itself well to several other dynamic movements such as Russian swings, overhead swings, and goblet squats.  The best part; entire routines can be designed around the use of a kettlebell or two, while still allowing for varied and effective workouts. This  small footprint of equipment allows for quick and safe workouts in the event you find yourself unable to make it to the gym for coaching, on travel away from home, or simply stuck with your time occupied by entertaining holiday guest (if they want to join you, there is a partner version of the workout below as well!)


The kettlebell swings (KBS), whether the American overhead version or the Russian variety, recruit an astonishing amount of muscle for such simple movements. This muscle activation makes swings a great way to establish a baseline for many other strength movements, including squats (abdominals, flutes, quadriceps), deadlifts (lower back, forearms, shoulders). You can use a mix of low volume technique oriented sets with high-rep sets aimed at developing muscular (and mental!) endurance.  Here is a sample routine that will help improve many physical skills including balance, strength, power, endurance, stamina, speed, and coordination. The completion of this simple yet effective workout series will leave you with a great base to transition into a CrossFit gym once your holiday season calms down in order to continue investing  in yourself. As always, this workout can/should be scaled appropriately.  Feel free to sign up for a free class with us HERE, or contact us at CrossFit Little Creek via email at or by phone or text at (302)990-2352. You can reach us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter as well!  Now, on to the workout!


Beginner- 3 rounds

Intermediate (can complete a full round without breaking up any swings)- 4 rounds

Advanced- (can complete several rounds without breaking up swings)-5 rounds

20 Kettlebell Swings (Demo Video)

2 Secondary movement reps

Rest 30 seconds

20 KBS

4 Secondary movement reps

Rest 30 seconds

20 KBS

6 Secondary movement reps

rest 30 seconds

40 KBS

Rest 60 seconds

For a partners, (or small groups) have one person rest while the other completes their swings. Once the first person is done swinging, the other will follow behind.

Secondary Movements

Goblet Squats

Front Squat  (Demo Video)

Back Squat (Demo Video)

Overhead Press

One-handed Overhead Press- a rep w/ each hand= one


Goblet Lunges

Perform this workout every other day for four weeks. Pick one of the other secondary movements from the short list provided.  The focus of each workout is the kettlebell swings, so don’t get too wrapped up about the weight or repetitions needed for the other supporting movement.  If you only have access to a kettlebell, then doing the swings alone or adding one of the secondary movements that can be done with the same kettlebell will suffice. All workouts should be timed, however the goal is completion with as few and short of breaks as possible… no need to rush through the swings while working. Your time will be used to gauge progress along the way.

If you enjoy this workout, or want to see even more ways that you can quickly get in the best shape of your life, come try a class with us. You can sign up HERE to start your fitness journey today!