10 Kettlebell and Bodyweight Workouts (Get Fit Anywhere)

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Published by Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT | Staff Writer
Last updated: December 28, 2023
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Kettlebell and bodyweight workouts offer a convenient way to improve balance, strength, and muscle mass.

They require minimal equipment and can be done anywhere - at home, in a park, or even in a hotel room while traveling.

As a certified personal trainer, I will reveal the ultimate kettlebell and bodyweight workout with which I’ve witnessed the best results within a decade of working as a personal trainer.

Quick Summary

  • The best kettlebell and bodyweight workouts include shoulder taps, kettlebell swings, kettlebell goblet squats, burpees, and kettlebell thrusters.
  • These workouts require minimal equipment and can be performed anywhere, making them ideal for home, park, or travel routines.
  • A study from PubMed revealed that six weeks of biweekly kettlebell training increased maximum strength by 9.8% and explosive strength by 19.8%, demonstrating its effectiveness in enhancing both maximum (half squat 1RM) and explosive (vertical jump height) strength.
  • In my experience, kettlebell and bodyweight workouts are perfect for those with busy schedules, offering a versatile and efficient way to maintain fitness without needing access to a gym.

Kettlebell and Bodyweight Training

A woman performing a kettlebell and bodyweight workout

1. Shoulder Taps

In my experience, this bodyweight exercise increases shoulder strength and mobility, engages your core, and improves coordination and balance.

  1. Get in a plank position, place your feet shoulder-width apart, hands under your shoulders, and your body forming a straight line from your head to your ankles.
  2. Lift your right palm off the floor, tap your left shoulder, then bring it back to the floor.
  3. Repeat with your left hand tapping your right shoulder. Avoid shifting side to side.

2. Kettlebell Swings

This kettlebell exercise is popular among fitness enthusiasts. According to one of the studies from the PubMed website, it can boost your balance, explosive power, and weight loss [1].

To do a kettlebell swing: 

  1. Stand with your legs hip-width apart, holding the kettlebell with both hands.
  2. Slightly bend your knees, push your hips backward keeping your back flat and your neck straight.
  3. Swing the kettlebell between your legs and snap your hips forward to drive the kettlebell forward to chest height. Keep your core tight to protect your lower back.
  4. Repeat until you reach the desired amount of reps.

3. Kettlebell Goblet Squats

Goblet squats with kettlebell and bodyweight workout

This compound exercise targets multiple muscle groups at once (glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, the core, forearms, shoulders, and upper back), helping to increase strength and improve jumping performance [2].

To get started:

  1. Hold a kettlebell close to your chest using both hands.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart withr toes pointed slightly outwards.
  3. Slowly press your hips back to lower your body until your thighs parallel the floor.
  4. Push through your heels to return to the standing position. Remember to engage your core, keep your chest lifted, and your back straight throughout the movement.
  5. Repeat until your reach the desired amount of reps.

“The goblet squat can help you identify and fix some common problems that occur during all types of squats.”
- Laura Williams, Editor at Verywellfit.com

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4. Burpees

This bodyweight exercise can be a great addition to workout programs to strengthen the legs, buttocks, hips, arms, chest, abdomen, and shoulders.

How to perform this exercise:

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  2. Squat down to place your hands on the floor between your legs.
  3. Kick your feet back to drop down into a push-up position with your arms extended and palms on the ground.
  4. Do one push-up.
  5. Jump your feet forward toward your palms and stand up.
  6. Jump straight up with your arms reaching towards the ceiling. Engage your core to maintain proper technique.
  7. Do another repetition.

5. Kettlebell Thrusters

Holding two kettlebells in front of chest

I love kettlebell thrusters because they can help you target your quads by exercising your hamstrings, glutes, shoulders, lats, triceps, and core.

To do a kettlebell thruster: 

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and grasp a kettlebell’s handle with both hands in front of your chest.
  2. Slowly squat down.
  3. Push your heels into the ground to return to the starting position, and press the kettlebell overhead using momentum. It's essential to keep your core engaged throughout the movement and your elbows close to your ribcage as you press overhead.
  4. Lower the kettlebell to your chest as you squat for the next rep.

6. Bird Dogs

Bird dogs is a bodyweight exercise that can help you strengthen your core, enhance your stability, and improve your posture [3].

To start:

  1. Get into the hands and knees position.
  2. Raise your right arm in front of you while lifting your left leg back behind you.
  3. Hold this position for a few seconds, ensuring that your back is straight and your abs are engaged throughout the exercise to maintain stability.
  4. Lower your leg and arm back to the floor and switch to the other side.
  5. Do another repetition.

7. Pull-Ups

Doing pull up bars

Pull-up bars are an excellent exercise to build your upper body strength and muscle without requiring any training equipment.

To get started: 

  1. Hold a quality pull-up bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Raise your feet from the ground to hang from the pull-up bar.
  3. Pull yourself towards the pull-up bar until your chin is above it.
  4. Extend your elbows to lower yourself back down to the starting position and repeat. Remember to exhale as you pull yourself up and inhale as you lower yourself.
  5. Repeat until your reach the desired amount of reps.

8. Single Leg Deadlift

The Single Leg Deadlift targets the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and core muscles. 

To perform this exercise using a kettlebell:

  1. Hold a kettlebell down in front of you, stand with your feet hip-width apart, and slightly bend your knees.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips while lifting one leg off the floor and keep it straight.
  3. Lower your torso towards the floor while maintaining a neutral spine.
  4. Slowly return your leg to the floor.
  5. Repeat until your reach the desired amount of repetitions.

9. Mountain Climbers

Performing bodyweight workout

Based on my biomechanical analysis of the movement, mountain climbers target the glutes, hip flexors, and abdominals.

To start:

  1. Begin in a plank stance with hands shoulder-width apart.
  2. Pull your right knee towards your chest.
  3. Switch to the other leg, bringing your left knee to your chest and your right foot back.
  4. Continue alternating legs until you reach the desired amount of reps.

“If you're not used to this movement, it is easy to let your weight shift back so that your body ends up in a down-dog kind of movement. Keep the weight balanced and shoulders over your wrists.”
- Paige Waehner, Personal Trainer

10. Supine Figure Four

Finish your workout with a good stretching exercise to loosen your muscles.

How to do the supine figure four:

  1. Lay on your back.
  2. Create a "figure four" shape by crossing your right ankle over your left knee.
  3. Gently lift your left thigh towards your chest with the hands until you feel a stretch in your right hip.
  4. Hold for a few seconds before repeating on the opposite side.

Why Should You Incorporate a Kettlebell and Bodyweight Workout? 

Bodyweight workout with kettlebell

You should incorporate a kettlebell and bodyweight workout to build strength and muscle, to improve cardio, flexibility, and overall athletic performance.

According to the study found on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website, five kettlebell exercises have been individually described with proposed clinical or performance benefits: a modified swing, thruster, arm bar, reverse lunge with the overhead press, and a lunge clean [4].

Kettlebell training provides unique benefits and challenges, requiring full-body engagement and activating multiple muscle groups simultaneously.

Bodyweight exercises can be done anywhere and require no equipment, making them a convenient addition to any workout routine. You can combine these exercises from the comfort of your home to achieve your fitness results.


Can You do A Full Body Workout with Just Kettlebells?

Yes, you can do a full-body workout with just kettlebells. With exercises like goblet squats and kettlebell thrusters, you can target all major muscle groups in your body.

Can You Build Muscle with Just Bodyweight Exercises?

Yes, you can build muscle with just bodyweight exercises. Exercises like push-ups, pull-ups, and planks can be modified to fit your fitness level, build muscle, improve flexibility, and boost balance and coordination.

How Can Mobility and Flexibility Training Enhance Kettlebell and Bodyweight Workouts?

Incorporating mobility and flexibility exercises into kettlebell and bodyweight workouts can significantly improve joint health and range of motion. This integration not only enhances workout performance but also reduces the risk of injuries.

What Are the Best Kettlebell and Bodyweight Workouts for Different Age Groups?

For seniors, kettlebell and bodyweight workouts should focus on low-impact, joint-friendly exercises, while teenagers can benefit from more dynamic and strength-building routines. Tailoring workouts to age-specific needs ensures both safety and effectiveness.

How Does the Mind-Body Connection Play a Role in Kettlebell and Bodyweight Training?

Kettlebell and bodyweight training can greatly benefit mental health by reducing stress and improving cognitive focus. Engaging in these workouts regularly can lead to better mental clarity and an enhanced sense of well-being.

What Nutritional Guidelines Should Be Followed Alongside Kettlebell and Bodyweight Workouts?

A balanced diet rich in protein, healthy fats, and complex carbohydrates is essential to support the energy requirements and muscle recovery needed for kettlebell and bodyweight workouts. Hydration and nutrient timing, such as post-workout protein intake, are also crucial for optimal performance and results.

Are There Any Inspiring Success Stories from Kettlebell and Bodyweight Training?

Many individuals have achieved remarkable transformations through consistent kettlebell and bodyweight training, often leading to improved strength, endurance, and body composition. These success stories can serve as powerful motivation and demonstrate the effectiveness of these workout methods.


  1. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22580981/
  2. https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-goblet-squat-4589695
  3. https://www.verywellfit.com/how-to-do-the-bird-dog-exercise-3498253
  4. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6719359/
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About The Author

Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT
Staff Writer
Lisa Lorraine Taylor, BSc, CPT holds a BSc degree in Holistic Nutrition from Clayton College of Natural Health and is the owner of Taylor Made Fitness. Her philosophy centers on cutting through the hype and misinformation surrounding dietary supplements, focusing instead on practical, science-backed strategies for health and weight loss.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Christiana Mikesch, CPT
Senior Coach
Christiana Mikesch, CPT is a personal trainer and author with contributions to publications like the Chicago Tribune and Yahoo. She emphasizes a holistic approach to weight loss, combining an energy-fueling diet, goal-oriented workouts, and daily habits. Her approach avoids short-term goals and fosters a lifelong commitment to health and well-being.
Learn more about our editorial policy
Dr. Kristy June Dayanan, BS, MD is an author with a BS degree from University of the Philippines and an MD from University of Perpetual Help System. Her ability to simplify medical science complexities and dietary supplement jargon for the average reader makes her a valued medical fact checker and reviewer.
Learn more about our editorial policy

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