This 20 minute kettlebell workout is complete training session. In just 20-minutes every major muscle group including a whole host of synergist and stabiliser muscles will be stimulated. In addition, thanks to the functional exercises that feature in this 20 minute kettlebell workout, the cardiovascular muscles are also engaged.
As well as developing functional, multi-muscle strength this short workout will promote fat loss and full-body fitness. The kettlebell deadlift and single arm press will develop upper body strength in your back and shoulders. In addition to getting the pulse rate up, the kettlebell swing and thruster will improve Posterior Chain and dynamic muscular endurance.
Finally, the kettlebell under the leg pass is a great core conditioning and coordination enhancing exercise. According to Pavel Tsatsouline, author of The Russian Kettlebell Challenge, ‘This drill – a favourite of the Russian military – unexpectedly works the midsection’ while also strengthening grip and quad strength.
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How it works
Firstly you are going to warm-up with 10-minutes of rowing or 10-minutes of skipping. After a good warm-up set a 4-minute countdown on your training timer and begin working through the five exercises below.
The objective here is to treat the kettlebell exercises as a mini circular circuit. Start at the first exercise, kettlebell swing, complete 10 repetitions, then move on. Attempt to cycle through the five exercises as many times as you can in 4-minutes.
When the timer sounds finish off the exercise and take a 1-minute rest. Repeat three more times. It’s worth marking off every complete lap of the circuit. This way, with each circuit, you’ll be able to compete against yourself and tabulate the number of total repetitions performed.
Rowing machine or skipping rope
20-Minute Kettlebell Workout
10-minutes rowing or skipping. To better prepare yourself for the workout it is wise, every minute or two, to complete one short lap of the circuit. You don’t have to complete 10reps on each exercise, two or three will do. Including resistance exercises into your workout gets the muscles engaged and it’s not such a shock when you start the circuit.
1: Kettlebell swing – 10reps
Standing upright grasping the kettlebell between your legs. Your palms should be facing inwards, feet a little over shoulder-width apart.
Maintaining correct posture – back straight, knees slightly bent – pull the kettlebell under your legs and, using glute strength, propel it forward.
When the kettlebell is level with your shoulder, let gravity return it to the start position.
Receive the kettlebell with your hips and, using the energy generated, initiate the next repetition. For a full and comprehensive tutorial of the kettlebell swing follow the link.
2: Kettlebell thrusters – 10reps
Standing over the kettlebell, take a reverse grip of the handle. In one smooth movement swing the bell up in front of your chest. The kettlebell should be upturned with the base facing the ceiling.
Keeping your back straight squat until your knees are in a 90ᵒangle.
Fire through both quads powering out of the squat ensuring, as you do so, to push the kettlebell high above your head. From the outstretched position lower the kettlebell back to your chest while simultaneously sinking into the next squat. For a more detailed tutorial of the kettlebell thruster follow the link.
3: Kettlebell single arm press (jerk) – 10reps (5 each arm)
Standing over the kettlebell with a shoulder-width stance (or slightly wider), grasp it and, in one fluid movement, swing it back and execute a clean. The kettlebell should be resting in the nook of your arm and your arm resting on your torso.
Taking a short sharp dip at the knee use your quadriceps to get a bit of momentum in the kettlebell. Assist the upward flight of the kettlebell with shoulder and arm strength.
From here, using as little energy as possible, allow the kettlebell to fall back into the nook of the arm. Bend the knees to absorb the impact.
Immediately initiate the next repetition. Complete 5 reps on one arm before changing sides.
4: Under the leg pass – 10reps
Stand over the kettlebell with your feet spaced 1.5 shoulder-width. Lift the kettlebell with one hand.
Keeping your back straight and knees bent, begin threading – or passing – the kettlebell through and around your legs.
Now trace out a figure of 8 ensuring to maintain a smooth continuous movement for 10 full cycles.
5: Kettlebell deadlift – 10reps
Feet firmly planted and spaced about shoulder-width, hold the kettlebell in front of your thighs with your palms facing inwards.
Hinge at the hips and keeping your hamstrings straight, scrape the kettlebell down your inner calves.
Engage your core and bring your chest parallel with the floor, before moving back up to the top of the exercise. For a more detailed tutorial of the kettlebell deadlift follow the link.
Enjoyed this workout? There’s plenty more where this one came from! The Hungry4Fitness Book of Circuits Vol. 1 contains 50 tried and tested circuits.
Circuit training is one of the best forms of physical exercise for maintaining and increasing overall-fitness. A well designed circuit will provide a great cardiovascular workout, strengthening the heart and lungs in the process, whilst also improving muscle endurance and developing functional strength. This unique combination, of fat burning and muscle building, which singular exercises, such as running, cycling, swimming or weights cannot give, will help to sculpt a lean defined physique.
(As we are very interested in user experience here at Hungry4Fitness, we would be very grateful if you could take a few seconds out of your day to leave a comment. Thanks in advance!)
Adam Priest, former Royal Marines Commando, is a personal trainer, lecturer, boxing and Thai boxing enthusiast.