Full Body Kettlebell Workout Guide [PDF]
In this Full Body Kettlebell Workout Guide [PDF] for all levels, you’ll learn about the different types of kettlebells, plus the 7 best kettlebell exercises you can do to get in the best shape of your life.
Here They Are:
- Kettlebell Swings
- Kettlebell Goblet Squats
- Kettlebell Romanian Deadlifts
- Kettlebell Halos
- Kettlebell Strict Presses
- Kettlebell Rows
- Kettlebell Russian Twists
- Performing a full body workout with kettlebells can be one of the best body fat destroying, muscle building and strengthening exercise routines for the entire body, including your posterior chain (hamstrings, erectors, glutes …) and some of your anterior chain too (shoulders, abs, pillar and core strength).
- Kettlebells can benefit both men and women and are safe to help improve lower back strength and health when proper kettlebell form and technique is used.
- Kettlebells can be used virtually anywhere (which I love) to get in a kick-butt workout that incorporates all the most important muscles in your body. Up the ante by varying reps, pace, intensity, priority and variety to increase athleticism and brute strength. If you’ve perfected your kettlebell swings try this; follow a brutal set of KB Swings immediately with a superset of Kettlebell Goblet Squats (the most amazing squat variation ever, for many reasons). This strength training superset will surely get your muscles swelling and your heart pumping.
- Want to skip the minutia and get right into it? Download my Full Body Kettlebell Workout [PDF] below. It’s FREE!
Keep reading to progress your kettlebell form and technique with this kettlebell exercise video guide. You’re also going to become an expert in kettlebell history too.
My Intro To Kettlebell Exercise
I’ll never forget the day I saw my first kettlebell. I was a trainer at Equinox in West Hollywood, CA.
At that point in my life, I had been tossing weights around for a very long time.
But, interestingly enough was never exposed to KB’s until I saw my personal training manager coaching her client on proper kettlebell form and technique.
Needless to say these strange looking devices piqued my interest and I immediately understood the value they represented.
And not long after I became certified kettlebell coach and slightly obsessed training with them.
What Is A Kettlebell?
A Kettlebell is a cast iron ball with a single handle that had been used in Russia during the 18th century.
Kettlebells were originally used as a system of weights and measures for trading grains and other goods.
They were adopted into use for physical fitness because they were found to be an effective tool for conditioning as well as:
- Improving muscular endurance
- Improving strength
- Improving power
- Improving athleticism
“I’ve always felt that Kettlebells are one of the most powerful fitness tools all in one a single apparatus.
Russian Kettlebells Vs. Competition Kettlebells: The Main Difference
Kettlebells, typically measured in kilograms, come in two standard styles: Russian kettlebells and Competition kettlebells.
There’s one main difference between Russian Kettlebells and Competition Kettlebells and that’s size.
Russian Kettlebells vary in shape and size as the weight of the bell increases. Competition Kettlebells do not!
Take a look at the difference. Both are 32 kg and 8 kg respectively.
Russian Kettlebells Size Comparison
Competition Kettlebells Size Comparison
Kettlebell Weight: Kilos (Kg) To Pounds (Lbs) Conversion
Converting kettlebell kilos to grams can be confusing. I know it was when I started using them.
Here’s the simple math formula for converting kilos to pounds.
To convert Kettlebell kilograms to pounds you simply multiply kilograms by 2.2.
A 12kg kettlebell weighs 26.4lbs.
12kg x 2.2 = 26.4lbs
A 8kg kettlebell weighs 19.8lbs
For more conversions check out the Kettlebell Weight Conversion Infographic below.
Did you find this Kettlebell conversion chart helpful? If so, please share it on facebook, twitter and pinterest.
Kettlebell Weight: What Size Kettlebell Should You Use?
Choosing the right size kettlebell can seem confusing at first. But in fact, you can apply the same common sense principles when choosing kettlebell weight as you would with dumbbells.
Begin with light kettlebells and progress from there.
To start, I recommend the following…
8 kg or 19.8lbs
12 kg or 26.4lbs
12 kg or 26.4lbs
16 kg or 35.2lbs
It’s been my experience that 1-2 kettlebells are all that’s necessary for both men and women.
If you really have limited space, one kettlebell can get the job done and be just as effective as two.
Note: Before adding more kettlebells to your collection, try increasing reps for intensity.
Benefits of Kettlebell Training
What makes kettlebells such a unique tool is the offset handle at the top of the bell.
Key kettlebell training benefits include the ability to train power development without the technical lifting experience of standard Olympic style barbell lifts.
So unlike training with traditional dumbbells, a kettlebell’s unusual form and distribution of weight lengthen and shorten the lever length of an individual’s appendages. This mechanical disadvantage requires greater neural activity and unusual motor recruitment patterning which is of benefit to you and your training program.
Simply put: The so called “disadvantage” of using kettlebells is good. Kettlebells make you work harder, recruit more muscles to get the job done and get you in better shape!
Proper Kettlebell Form, Technique and Safety
Learning how to use kettlebells with correct form and technique requires knowledge and a very specific skillset. While kettlebells may be beneficial for some, they may also pose some increased risks for others.
The kettlebell swing is one example. Dr. Stuart M. McGill claims that …
Since there are large shear compressive loads when performing the kettlebell swing expressed on the lumber spine, it may be contraindicated for an individual who is sensitive to spinal shear compressive loading to perform certain exercises.(3)
Takeaway: If you have spinal issues, consult a physician or certified kettlebell instructor.
Why Are Kettlebells So Good For you?
Kettlebells are excellent in so many ways, but mainly because of the way they benefit your entire posterior chain (back of your body).
As cited by Wikipedia the muscles of the posterior chain include:
- Lats (mid/upper back including lower and mid traps)
- Posterior deltoids
Can You Get a Full Body Workout with Kettlebells?
Absolutely! Kettlebells provide a full-body strength and conditioning routine unlike any other tool out there.
Plus, you don’t need much space to train with kettlebells, unlike barbells and large commercial gym training equipment.
Once you become adept at using them the exercise routine possibilities are virtually endless.
Full Body Kettlebell Workout Routine [All Levels]
Here’s a list of the kettlebell exercises you’ll be doing in this workout.
- A 1 – Kettlebell Swing
- A 2 – Kettlebell Goblet Squat
- B 1 – Overheard Kettlebell Strict Press
- B 2 – Bent Over Single Arm Kettlebell Row
- C 1 – Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift
- C 2 – Kettlebell Halo
- C 3 – Kettlebell Russian Twist
Here’s what you’ll need:
1-2 Kettlebells, plus an open space to swing, hinge, squat, push and pull.
Here’s how you’ll do it:
Perform this routine in super-set fashion meaning one KB exercise followed by the next then rest 1-2 minutes.
Group kettlebell exercises A1 with A2
Group kettlebell exercises B1 with B2
Group kettlebell exercises C1 with C2 and C3
Perform A1 & A2. Rest. Repeat A1 & A2 Again.
Perform A1 & A2. Rest.
Perform B1 & B2. Rest.
Perform C1, C2 & C3.
Makes Sense? If not, hit me up in the comments.
Workout Duration: Approximately 60 minutes
Routine Frequency: 3x per week (Monday, Wednesday and Friday)
- Mondays – 12 reps per kettlebell exercise
- Wednesday – 15 reps per kettlebell exercise
- Fridays – 20 reps per kettlebell exercise
Beginners: 1 set
Intermediate: 2-3 sets
Advanced: 3-4 sets
Rest Intervals: 1-2 minutes
Pro Tip: Adjust kettlebell weights according to the rep scheme you are working with. When performing higher reps use light kettlebell weights. When performing lower reps use heavier kettlebell weights.
Full Body Kettlebell Workout Video Guide
The kettlebell swing is by far of the best exercises on this planet.
Here’s what a close friend, professor and kinesiologist, Peter Parasiliti, MS, CSCS had to say about swings.
“The kettlebell swing is an excellent exercise that not only reinforces the foundational hip hinge pattern, it adds an aspect of power development that’s accessible (unlike barbell Olympic lifts which require high levels of technique development), into an individual’s training program which is necessary regardless of age. There is evidence that power development is not just essential for athletes but also beneficial for older populations to help maintain healthy movement capacity and function throughout a life span.”
And now let’s check out this Men’s Health video on how to do a kettlebell swing correctly.
If Proper Kettlebell Swing Form and How to Properly Do Kettlebell Swings is a concern for you, Click Here to see the tutorial.
Kettlebell Goblet Squat
This short and sweet video from Onnit Academy demonstrates how to do a kettlebell goblet squat with proper form and technique.
Double Kettlebell Strict Presses
Learn how to do a double kettlebell strict press from Hylete.
Bent Over Single Arm Kettlebell Row
Kettlebell trainer Greg Brookes demonstrates how to do a bent over single arm kettlebell row.
Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift
Proper Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift (RDL) form and technique is crucial for staying safe and injury free. Let’s take a look at this video on KRDL’s from OTL Fitness.
Kettlebell Halo | Kettlebell Exercise
BJ Gaddour demos how to properly do a Kettlebell Halo and also adds in a bonus. Check out to video to find out what Kettlebell variation he tosses in to make your workout more challenging.
Kettlebell Russian Twist: How To Do It
Hit play to find out how to do the Kettlebell Russian Twist for a stronger and more shredded core. This is one of my favorites!
Full Body Kettlebell Workouts: The Bottom Line
Incorporating full body kettlebell workouts into your gym rotation is an exceptional way to get fit and stay fit.
And when it comes to building strength and losing body fat, kettlebell routines are no second class workout.
But it does takes time to develop this skill set.
So be patient and soon enough you’ll be flipping, swinging and tossing kettlebells like the Master himself — Pavel Tsatsouline.
So try this full body kettlebell workout 2-3 times a week and let me know how it goes!
Share your thoughts and comments below and share this article with your friends on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.
Until next time,
~ Christian @Body360Fit
PS. What’s your struggle with kettlebell swings been? If you need help with kettlebells and kettlebell training I do offer online personal training and one to one personal training in my private west hollywood gym?
PPS. Have Anything Else To Share About Kettlebells Or Otherwise? I’m Here To Help. Let Me Know In The Comments Below.
1. “Erectors” – Wikipedia, n.d, July 5 , 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erector_spinae_muscles
2. “Kettlebell” – Wikipedia, n.d, July 5 , 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kettlebell_swing
3. Mcgill, S., & Marshall, L. (n.d). Kettlebell Swing, Snatch, and Bottoms-up Carry: Back and Hip Muscle Activation, Motion and back Loads, Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 16-27.
4. “Posterior Chain– Wikipedia, n.d., July, 5 2020, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Posterior_chain
Contributing Author: Peter Parasiliti, MS, CSCS Associate Director of Physical Activity – Optum Adjunct Kinesiology Instructor Los Angeles Community College District & Cal Lutheran University