post 8 Best Single Kettlebell Workouts You Can Do at Home

8 Best Single Kettlebell Workouts You Can Do at Home

Connor Sellers
Published by Connor Sellers | Senior Coach
Last updated: January 30, 2024
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Kettlebell is, in my opinion, the most functional piece of gym equipment that can be used in many ways to make workouts more versatile and beneficial for your entire body.

However, the only workout that is more functional than the one done with two kettlebells is the workout performed with a single kettlebell.

That’s why I undertook a 30 hour-research and tested more than 25 single kettlebell exercises to finally single out the best ones I can create workouts with.

After reading the article, you will be ready to elevate your current kettlebell training with a full-body kettlebell workout of your choice.

Quick Summary

  • The best single kettlebell workouts include explosive kettlebell power, a kettlebell leg burner, a 10-minute EMOM blast, the kettlebell get-down, kettlebell abs, and much more.
  • You can program kettlebell workouts based on movement patterns such as push, pull, hip-hinge, and knee-bend.
  • According to a study from PubMed, the kettlebell swing is a great exercise for developing power and explosive strength.
  • Kettlebells can be used for aerobic and anaerobic workouts, making them excellent for increasing muscle mass and even burning fat.

The Best At-Home Workouts You Can Do With a Single Kettlebell

A person holding a single kettlebell in the gym

Some of the staple exercises following workouts must have to target large muscle groups include [1]:

However, those aren’t the only exercises you must include to hit all major muscle groups, and we must not forget to target the core to develop the whole body holistically.

A well-structured kettlebell and bodyweight circuit is a full-body workout (this rule has exceptions) consisting of different kettlebell movements that all hit, ideally, a different movement pattern.

This is the only way to build lower and upper body strength and hypertrophy and to develop those core muscles necessary to keep your spine fixed, as well as lower the chance of injury. 

Below you may find workouts done with only one kettlebell that will ideally build muscle and burn fat.

"If you have room for only one piece of strength equipment in your home gym, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better alternative than the oddly-shaped powerhouses known as kettlebells. Working out with kettlebells can get you stronger, more powerful, and transform you into an overall more competent athlete."

- Alex Polish, Certified Personal Trainer

Workout 1: Explosive Kettlebell Power

A person doing explosive kettlebell workouts in the gym

I recommend this workout for powerlifters and weightlifters looking to condition their muscles on active rest days.

Here is the entire explosive kettlebell power workout consisting of 7 rounds in total:

  • Kettlebell swing: Assume a wider-than-shoulder-width starting position and do 10 reps. According to a study from PubMed, this exercise great for developing power and explosive strength [2].
  • Burpee: Perform 10 reps without resting between the bottom and top positions.
  • Kettlebell squat: Assume a wider than shoulder-width position with your feet and your knees follow the direction of your toes for the descending phase.
  • Push-up: The starting position in the shoulders is 60 degrees abduction, 45 degrees flexion, and 30 degrees internal rotation.

Workout 2: Kettlebell Leg Burner

We designed this simple leg-day workout for kettlebell beginners.

Here is the entire kettlebell leg workout (duration: 15 minutes) that targets muscles such as the quadriceps, hamstrings, and glutes:

  • Air squat: Perform 20 reps of air squats without resting in the starting standing position.
  • Kettlebell deadlift: Complete 20 reps without sagging your butt or entering a bad lumbar spine position.
  • Sit-up: Perform 20 reps.

Workout 3: 10-Minute Emom Blast

A person doing emom blast workouts with a kettlebell

EMOM means every minute on the minute.

This means you should perform a fixed number of reps in one minute and rest before the following one begins.

The faster you complete the set, the more you can rest.

Here is the entire workout (10 minutes):

  • On even minutes: Perform a total of 20 kettlebell swings. This includes the start of the workout too.
  • On odd minutes: Perform a total of 12 burpees.

You might also like to check out this EMOM for beginners program.

Workout 4: The Kettlebell Get-Down

Here is the entire kettlebell get-down workout that lasts for 20 minutes:

  • Mountain climber: Perform 30 reps without changing the starting plank position.
  • Kettlebell squat: Complete 20 reps with an eccentric phase until your inner thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • Push-up: Perform 10 reps with the full range of motion and your chest touching the floor.

Workout 5: Kettlebell Abs

A person in the gym doing kettlebell deadlifts

Here is the entire kettlebell abs workout that lasts for 6 rounds:

  • Kettlebell deadlift: Perform 20 reps with your spine straight and avoid bending your knees too much since we want to hit a deadlift movement pattern.
  • V-up: Complete 20 reps without resting on the floor in the bottom position.
  • Air squat: Perform 20 reps without resting in the top standing position.

Workout 6: Kettlebell Burpee Grinder

The kettlebell burpee grinder aims to perform 100 burpees as fast as possible. It's a personal favorite of mine.

However, you must perform 7 fat burning kettlebell swings every minute on minute.

The best way to complete the workout is to do the burpees as fast as possible and never let the kettlebell swings slow you down.

Workout 7: Full House

A person doing kettlebell squats in the gym

Here is the entire full house single kettlebell workout that is done in 10 rounds:

  • Kettlebell squat: Perform 8 reps and aim to reach the squat depth where your thighs are parallel to the ground.
  • V-up: Complete 8 reps and avoid resting in the bottom lying position of the exercise.
  • Kettlebell lunges: Perform 8 reps without resting in the top position and transition from leg to leg as fast as possible.

Workout 8: Kettlebells in Threes

Here is the entire kettlebells in Threes workout performed for 15 minutes in total:

  • Kettlebell squat: Do 9 reps with the squat depth described in the previous workouts.
  • Kettlebell swing: Complete 6 reps as fast as possible.
  • Burpees: Perform a total of 3 reps as fast as possible.

Workout 9: The Chipper

A person doing kettlebell pushups in the gym

Here is the entire "The Chipper" workout:

  • Kettlebell squat: Perform 50 reps with the squat depth described in the previous workouts.
  • Push-up: Complete 50 reps as fast as possible without worrying if your chest touches the ground.
  • Kettlebell swing: Do 50 reps as fast as possible.
  • Burpee: Perform 50 reps with a moderate tempo to avoid quick burnout that will prevent you from finishing the workout.
  • Kettlebell deadlift: Complete 50 reps and avoid arching your back to decrease the chance of potential injury.

Workout 10: Swing, Press, Chop

This workout consists of three parts:

  1. Kettlebell swing and squat: Perform 20 reps of standard kettlebell swings using the hip hinge, and drop into a deep squat position on your second rep. Alternate between these two for 20 reps. Complete 3 sets with 90 seconds rest in between.
  2. Single-arm kettlebell Z press: Complete 10 reps for 3 sets, each arm, and rest for 1 minute between each set.
  3. Hollow body kettlebell chop: Complete 12 reps using the slow tempo. Repeat for three sets, and don't rest more than 60 seconds in between.

Harnessing the Power of Mind-Muscle Connection in Kettlebell Workouts

Over the years, I've learned that kettlebell training is not just about lifting weights; it's about engaging your mind with every lift, swing, and squat.

The mind-muscle connection is a crucial element that can transform your kettlebell workouts from routine exercises into a path toward phenomenal strength gains and muscle engagement.

Here's how you can tap into this powerful connection.

1. Understanding the Mind-Muscle Connection

The mind-muscle connection refers to being consciously aware of the muscle you are targeting during a workout. It's about mentally focusing on muscle contraction and movement rather than simply going through the motions.

This focused approach leads to more effective workouts, as you're able to stimulate the muscles more efficiently.

2. Techniques to Enhance Mind-Muscle Connection

Here are techniques you can use to enhance the mind-muscle connection when doing your kettlebell exercises:

  • Visualization: Before you start your kettlebell exercise, close your eyes and visualize the muscle groups that will be involved. Imagine them contracting and working through the exercise. This mental rehearsal sets the stage for a more engaged workout.
  • Slow down your reps: Perform each kettlebell movement slowly and deliberately. Slowing down allows you to focus on the muscle contraction and ensures proper form, reducing the risk of injury.
  • Touch and feel: Gently touching or tapping the muscle being worked can heighten your awareness of it. For instance, lightly touching your glutes during kettlebell swings can remind you to squeeze them at the top of the movement.
  • Breathing techniques: Coordinate your breathing with your movements. Exhale during the exertion phase of the lift and inhale during the release. Proper breathing not only helps with focus but also enhances muscle activation.

3. Applying Mind-Muscle Connection in Kettlebell Exercises

Here are examples of how you can incorporate mind-muscle connection in these kettlebell exercises:

  • Kettlebell swings: Focus on your glutes and hamstrings. Visualize them powering the movement as you swing the kettlebell upward.
  • Kettlebell goblet squats: Concentrate on your quads and glutes. Feel them stretch as you lower down and contract as you stand up.
  • Kettlebell presses: Target your shoulder and arm muscles. Imagine them pushing the weight up and controlling it as you lower it down.

4. The Benefits of a Strong Mind-Muscle Connection

The benefits of a strong mind-muscle connection include:

  • Increased muscle activation: By focusing on the muscle being worked, you increase its activation, leading to more effective strength building.
  • Improved muscle control and form: This connection helps in maintaining proper form, thereby enhancing the efficiency of the workout and reducing the risk of injury.
  • Enhanced muscle growth: Studies have shown that a strong mind-muscle connection can lead to greater muscle growth and strength gains over time [3].

FAQs

Is 100 Kettlebell Swings a Day Enough?

It depends on your goal and current physique if 100 kettlebell swings a day is enough. It is more than enough if you live a sedentary lifestyle, but if you are an athlete or a young male in your 20s, maybe it isn't the best volume and the only workout you should do.

What Is the Single Best Kettlebell Exercise?

The single best kettlebell exercise is farmers carry. Farmers carry is one of the most functional exercises that will strengthen your core musculature and teach it how to prevent movement in the frontal and transverse plane.

Is 10 Minutes of Kettlebells Enough?

It depends on your training method if 10 minutes of a kettlebell is enough. If you are doing high-intensity interval training, it is probably more than enough to work out 10 minutes with kettlebells.

How Can I Avoid Joint Pain From Kettlebell Workouts?

You can avoid joint pain from kettlebell workouts by using high-quality and tested joint supplements.

These supplements will keep your joints healthy, maintain or improve their range of motion and increase your workout performance.

Also, using joint supplements, along with specific training sessions, is the best way to reduce the chance of potential injury occurring at the level of the joints.

I suggest reading our guide on the 7 best joint supplements in 2023 to pick a high-quality product that will suit your needs the best.

Let me know what your favorite single kettlebell workout is and why.


References:

  1. https://bmcsportsscimedrehabil.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s13102-019-0130-z
  2. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22580981/
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26700744/
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