6 Kettlebell Workout Routines

By , SparkPeople Blogger
Just like fashion trends come and go, same can be said about workout trends. Hundreds of years ago Russian bodybuilders were using cannonball-like equipment for strength training. Little did they know then that their workouts would be turned into classes in gyms across the globe 300 years later. The reason kettlebell workouts are so popular is they provide strength training, cardio, balance and flexibility all in one short workout.

According to the American Council on Exercise, one 20-minute kettlebell workout burns up to 400 calories. This is the same calorie burn as running at a six-minute mile pace for 20 minutes! 

If you have never used kettlebells, you may want to check with your local gym or YMCA to see if they offer classes for beginners led by a certified kettlebell instructor as form and technique are very important to learn when doing this type of workout routine. Poor form and technique can lead to injury and you may not get the results you expect.

One of the biggest advantages of kettlebell workouts is they tend to target all the major muscle groups during a workout session, which is why I have included routines in place of individual exercises for this week's fitness round-up.

Here is a link to a video demonstration on how to do the 2-Hand Swing. This is one of the essential kettlebells moves you should try to learn when you are first starting out. 

Kettlebell for Beginners

Kettlebell Core Exercises

Kettlebell Legs Workout

Kettlebell for Beginners: Strength-Building Moves

7 Calorie-Torching Kettlebell Moves

Beginner Kettlebell Cool Down

Have you ever used kettlebells or taken a class using them? Would this be a workout routine you would like to incorporate into your current exercise regimine?

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This sounds like it is a great core tool
1 I look forward to trying one and will make sure to get proper instruction on form prior to actually swinging one!! Thanks, Hugz, Sharon Report
Please don't use Bob Harper videos unless your kettlebell is less than 8 pounds. He's not a certified kettlebell instructor and does not properly instruct in the performance of the swing. There are many FREE videos on youtube taught by qualified instructors. Also, there are certified instructors on the SparkPeople boards who are great resources for questions. Report
DEFINITELY use one bell, not terribly heavy, to begin with, and start with a simple swing, focusing on a smooth rocking motion. Don't try to be too aerobic and work off too many calories with two heavy bells at once. These are not to be taken lightly... they can easily cause back, wrist, hand and neck injuries in nearly anyone. My husband was #1 US champion for years and retired from the sport last year due to an injury. He has multiple discs fused and some messed up knuckles, as do many of gireviks. That said, at 67, he also still looks incredibly fine. Report
These may have saved my life- my sanity at the very least. I'm 71, approx 100#, completely out of shape, with some serious medical problems. In Sept. I decided I had to change my life around NOW. I found DragonDoor on the internet and was intrigued by kettlebells. They certify trainers (RKC) and have a list (geographic) of people certified as instructors. I found a couple in my Phoenix area, but if you have to travel a bit, do it at least for a few lessons to learn the proper form.
My first session had me exhausted in 10 minutes, which left me with 50 minutes positive that I was completely insane for trying this. I literally collapsed in the parking lot on my way to the car. I postponed the next 2 weeks, but I didn't cancel the rest of the sessions, for which I will forever be thankful, because now (8 months later) I am rejuvenated. My first session had me using a 5# KB which exhausted me. The next time I was using 2- 10# and I haven't looked back since. After 6 lessons I was using a 44# for deadlifts and swings and able to do 10-12 reps without a problem, which is almost half of what I weigh. These workouts have improved my posture (I'm an inch taller than when I started), my strength, my body fat composition (5" off my waist) and , best of all, my outlook on life. I expect to be singing KB's praises until the day that I die.
P.S. For Christmas my daughters each got a set of kettlebells and 5 sessions with my PT. Report
I'd say you could get the same kind of calorie-burning effect by doing martial art exercises with weapons like I've done for many years. A baseball bat is one of the best and something most people have. Using it on a bag or dummy is good but if you don't have one just swinging it in the air is fine. The key to a good workout is to practice strikes as hard and fast as you can; velocity is your resistance: you always try to go faster. The leverage and weight of a baseball bat provide good resistance when you do that. Report
I hate to exercise. I am not good at doing anything. To find out that I love kettlebells and I can do some of the routines is totally amazing! Report
I've heard horror stories about Kettlebell workouts so I'm going to clear of them for now until I've gained strength through the use of dumbbells and barbells. Someone mentioned using a Bob Harper video for kettlebells and that it was too advanced. I can't handle Bob Harper. Some people love him but this one video left my lower back aching for days. I don't trust that guy :/ Report
I'm HUGE on LiveFitRevolution.org (free, not a commercial enterprise). The film in-gym workouts and share them online. You have to register for access but it's totally free and they've never spammed me in over a year. They're committed to making the world healthier. Big fan! Report
I bought kettlebells about four years ago along with a DVD...it is an INTENSE workout, not for the weary or the weak! But a great workout. You must pay attention to form or you might injure yourself...that being said, in the past couple of years I have gotten so out of shape so I quit using them. I am about ready to try again! Report
I requested a set of kettlebells for Mother's Day. I had ordered 2 exercise Dvds 3 weeks prior. The day I used my bells; I was sore for 3 days and could barely walk. I could feel all my targeted muscle group from my kettlebell workout. It's another one of my best Mother's Day gift. Report
I have used them a little--I'd love to find a class but haven't been able to find one taught by anyone certified and I'm nervous about taking a class from someone who is NOT certified. They are amazing. Report
I started taking a class a few months ago and it is truly the only class where I feel completely sore from head to toe the next day. It is amazing! I have really weak hips and poor balance, so the KB class has been incredibly beneficial for me. I didn't realize it burned so many calories! BONUS!!! Report
I really wanted to try this but I can't because the video isn't available! I waited about 15 minutes for it load up only to be told I wouldn't. I waste WAY too much time sittin' on my butt WAITING for things suggested to load up only to be shot down! Really makes me want to work out! NOT! Nice try SP! Try again though!!! Report
I have been at best a chubby person all my life. Even when I played sports as a youth I never had much muscle definition anywhere. I started swinging 9 months ago. I have some amazing muscles definition that came with my 100lb weight loss in both my arms and most amazingly in my abs. I have Kettlebells to thank for that. Anyone want to buy a very unused weight machine? Report
I love using my kettlebell. my gym is talking about teaching a class. I will be the first one to sign up. Report
I have to get one. Report
I have never tried them, but I would guess for someone who is obese and never exercised for years that they might not be the best choice for starting out.. I do think, though, when I am a little more "with it", I might like to try it" Report
I think the suggested kettlebell workouts are great if you have used kettlebells before. But as someone who just began using them a couple of weeks ago, I would strongly suggest having a training session first. I signed up for an 8-week kettlebell class for one night a week and I love it. My body hurt like hell the after the first class, but three weeks in and I only feel my muscles during the workout....which is a major accomplishment. The class is small in size, mostly women, with all physical abilities, from 20-somethings to seniors. But the best thing is that if your form is incorrect the trainer is there to let you know. You can't get that from a video. Having the right form during a kettlebell workout not only provides you with the most efficient burn, but it keeps you from injuring yourself. Report
I bought a kettlebell, I just need to actually start using it! Thanks for the workouts. Report
Can someone recommend a good beginner workout for someone that is not currently in shape? I got a kettlebell with a Bob Harper DVD but it's a bit too advanced for me right now. Thank you! Report
I love my kettlebell! As an apartment dweller, it's useful to have a few exercises that burn a lot of calories without jumping around. Report
Kettlebells are my exercise routine of choice. Though I have several exercise videos, I still go back to the Kettlebell Konnection by GoFit.net which came with my first 7lb kettlebell two years ago. Now I'm comfortable with the 10lb kettlebell and still doing this workout. Love it! Report
I LOVE my Kettlebells - wouldn't do strength training any other way. Report
I LOVE kettlebells. I have been working out with them for 4+ years now and no matter what else I have tried, I always get the best results with KBs. If you haven't tried them I recommend working out with someone who knows what they are doing. Report
A trainer who will teach proper form before giving it a try at home.

Hi friends it is good to say the workout routine is going rapidly in our country, so i thankful to all people to do it.
I love my kettlebells. I have at home a 10, 15, 20 and two 25 lbs. I reserve the 10 to practice moves I haven't really mastered. I've been swinging for about a year but have really gotten into it in the past 6 months. I just finished the 21 day kettlebell swing challenges, and it has made me so much stronger, it's amazing. Report
I LOVE, LOVE working out with kettlebells. Four rounds of swings, squats and Turkish get-ups is a good a workout as anything else you can do in the gym. Report
I got a set of kettlebells for by birthday on Feb 11, 2011. 5lbs, 10 lbs and 15 lbs. I am working my way up slowly to 30 min but even 10 min gets your heart pumping. Great article...Donna Report
HI -I got a 10 lb. kettlebell for Christmas-I went and bought a 5 and 8 lb. one soon after. I started low and slow and I'm happy that mine came with 3 work outs. On days when I felt strong I just used a higher wt. Report
I saw the infomercial for KettleWorx this morning i am very interested in trying this workout. Report
I asked for and received an 8 lb. kettlebell for Christmas after I had seen a kettlebell workout in Prevention magazine. I am eager to get started with this workout, especially after reading these posts! Report
I have tried kettlebells after much research. I bought 2 -10 lb kettlebells and purchased 2 dvds from prevention off of amazon. I really did get a full body work out in about 30 minutes. I was doing the demonstration and beginner workout, sweating profusely with my heart really pumping. Report
I go to a kettlebell class at the gym. Report
There is not a more versatile tool than kettlebells. I have had continued success with thousands of people on an International level with my kettlebell DVD's. You can view them at this website.

http://www.ontheedgefitness.com /

It's amazing how strong and lean you can get with such a short workout. Happy New Year and enjoy your kettlebells! Report
I'll have to try these. They look different and fun. Thanks. Pam Report
gonna have to give this a try this year! Report
For those who are excited about kettlebells after reading this article, I wanted to point you the two Kettlebell SparkTeams here on SparkPeople. One is just plain "Kettlebells" and the other is "The Kettlebell Challenge". Feel free to jump over to the teams to ask questions or to get some advice. Report
These are all great workout ideas. I have a 5 lb but want to get an 8lb and will save this blog and try these moves for a different type of strength training. Thanks! Report
I will make this part of my weekly routine. I like to rotate different types of exersize to keep my body crazed. Report
I love using kettlebells. My gym has several different weights. Report
I have been a swinger for over 2 years and love it. My posture has improved, my bone density has improved and I can do it anywhere! I use both an 8kg and 12 kg bell depending on the exercise. My coach does a good job of making sure everything is done correctly to avoid injury. Kettlebells have really mad a difference in how I feel. Report
Been looking at these for a while... just tried the prevention link workout with a dumbbell and I am sold.
I will be getting a kettlebell and doing the workout a few times a week. Doing the routine, I could feel it in my core; and I am constantly doing propreoceptive core work. Looking forward to the challenge!
Dianne Report
I've seen these around, and thought about trying them. After reading this and looking at the routines, I just may do it. Thanks. Report
sunny thanks for the link i would need to take a class or i might hurt some one or my self lol Report
Actually kettle bells most likely originated in Scotland and not Russia. If you check pictures of gyms of the late 19th and early 20th Centuries you will see rack upon rack of kettle bells. Almost all the old time strong men used them and posed with them. They remained popular in Russia long after they disappeared from most other gyms which is why they have the current Russian label. While the current craze has been largely the result of the work of Pavel Tzatzouline this is one more example of a time test exercise tool being "rediscovered" just as Indian Clubs have been "rediscovered". Report
WARNING! Research these first! Make sure you understand proper form and which size is appropriate for you FIRST! Don't just jump into using these or you will hurt yourself. They are wonderful for all the reasons listed in the article, but safety must come first. They are quite heavy and can do lots of damage if dropped or used the wrong way.
I did a lot of reading up on them before making my purchase (they are a little pricey too), and am so glad I did. It made using them that much more enjoyable.
I love mine! Report
Kettlebells are going to be my workout of choice. Other articles I've read say kettlebells balance out weak muscles and increase flexibility which I need! Report
I switched to kettlebells a year ago. I was really just looking for something new to try because of burnout. I like them so much that I dont do any other type structured workouts. The work outs are intense and you get the benifits of cardio and strength training all at the same time. The added bonus is workout times are shorter but I feel that I get a better work out. A word for the wise. Get help when first starting out. My advice find a certified trainer or order a program over the internet. Kettleworxs would be a good start. There are other programs out there just have to look and find the one you feel comfortable with. In closing Kettlebells rock. Try it you will like it. Report
I haven't tried them yet, but want to! Report