The SparkPeople Blog

6 Kettlebell Workout Routines

By: , SparkPeople Blogger
5/27/2013 6:00 AM   :  91 comments   :  337,115 Views

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.

In the January 2011 issue of Fitness magazine, John Porcari, PhD, an exercise researcher at the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, stated that "an intense 20-minute workout with kettlebells burned on average, an astonishing 400 calories, or 20 calories a minute."

If you have never used kettlebells, you may want to check with your local gym or Y to see if they offer classes for beginners led by a certified kettlebell instructor as form and technique are very important 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 advantage with kettlebell workouts is they tend to target all the major muscle groups during a workout which is why I have included workout 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 led by SparkPeople member Zorbs13, an Agatsu-certified kettlebell instructor. Not only does she demonstrate proper form, but she demonstrates proper breathing during the exercise.

Fitness Magazine Kettlebell Workout Routine

Self Magazine Kettlebell Workout Routine

Prevention Magazine Kettlebell Workout Routine

Women's Health Magazine Kettlebell Workout Routine

Health Magazine Kettlebell Workout Routine

FitSugar Kettlebell Workout Routine

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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  • 91
    When I go to Zorb13's Blog for the demonstrating the 2-hand swing with kettlebells there isn't a video. Lots of comments regarding the video but no video...that I can see. I would love to see this. I just bought Kettlebell's but read that you have to be careful and practice. - 3/29/2014   8:07:00 PM
    Kettlebell training has gained lot of popularity. It is quite a good source of strength training. We are introducing kettlebell training in our gym. Here is our website:!programs/c
    - 3/10/2014   7:12:23 AM
    Beefcake3D is a great kettlebell & dumbbell workout / exercise / fitness app for tablets.

    For Android:

    For iPad:

    Website: - 12/27/2013   8:38:10 AM
  • 88
    I've had a kettlebell for alittle while now, and have just begun training with "Live Fit" and I'm really excited about it. It's a whole new experience for me! - 10/30/2013   6:48:58 AM
  • 87
    Kettlebells are awesome!! It is the class I don't want to miss! - 8/11/2013   5:57:15 AM
  • 86
    I can't lie that Prevention Magazine is one that I have to try. I love my kettlebells, and have the butt kicking Kettleworks videos. I love how kettlebell workouts are usually combination so you can get a good workout in a little bit of time. - 8/10/2013   7:30:01 PM
  • 85
    I love kettle bells. - 8/10/2013   10:09:22 AM
  • 84
    My local recreation centre is offering an intro to kettlebells class in the fall. I think I'll be signing up. I'm hoping my dad and my husband will join me, too. They never sign up for classes with me because most fitness classes are all-women (even though they are officially co-ed, it seems only women sign up). - 8/10/2013   9:44:51 AM
  • 83
    This is for comment #50. Checkout they sell kettlebells, videos and books. - 7/16/2013   10:34:36 PM
  • 82
    I used to use kettlebells with a group of people from my job before they were that popular in the states. It definitely is a workout, I found it very hard to do on my own, helped me to do it with others. - 7/16/2013   10:32:23 PM
    I am totally in agreement with comment 63. I am not sure I want this. Besides I have done regular weights ,problem is , when you don't continue the muscle falls to the ground. - 6/29/2013   5:14:16 PM
  • 80
    the fit sugar link is now broken - 6/27/2013   2:27:06 AM
  • 79
    the fit sugar link is now broken - 6/27/2013   2:27:04 AM
  • 78
    i love kettlebells. - 6/13/2013   6:37:57 PM
  • 77
    I have two kettlebells that I have used sparingly. I am now encouraged to use them more after viewing some of the videos and reading the article. - 6/1/2013   9:45:40 PM
  • 76
    I want to check and see if my gym offers instruction on how to use kettle bells and give this a try. - 6/1/2013   10:30:36 AM
  • 75
    I sure will try it! - 5/28/2013   10:37:43 PM
  • 74
    Kettle balls are fun i agree - 5/28/2013   9:45:09 PM
  • 73
    I love working out with my kettlebell. I need to get a heavier one. - 5/28/2013   8:05:55 PM
  • DARDAR92
    I tried Beth Chamberlain's (yes the soap opera star) and her trainer Anthony's DVD and it's fantastic! Almost killed me at the beginning, but now it's fun! - 5/28/2013   6:46:04 PM
  • 71
    I had dismissed kettlebell workouts once, but now I'm ready to give it a shot. I have a Jillian Michaels CD collecting dust that teaches you which ones to use (for you) and how before dumping you into a routine. Now I can't wait to go try it, thanks! - 5/28/2013   3:57:30 PM
  • 70
    I love K-bells. IzzyBarish on Youtube has great instruction, as does Steve Cotter, who is a world champ. - 5/28/2013   3:00:08 PM
  • 69
    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 - 5/28/2013   1:01:15 PM
  • 68
    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. - 5/28/2013   12:40:07 PM
  • 67
    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. - 5/28/2013   11:27:03 AM
    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. - 5/28/2013   11:09:44 AM
  • 65
    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. - 5/28/2013   11:08:30 AM
  • 64
    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! - 5/28/2013   10:01:37 AM
    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 :/ - 5/28/2013   9:35:01 AM
  • 62
    I'm HUGE on (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! - 5/28/2013   8:50:43 AM
  • 61
    I bought kettlebells about four years ago along with a 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! - 5/28/2013   8:49:56 AM
  • 60
    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. - 5/28/2013   8:40:29 AM
  • 59
    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. - 5/28/2013   7:32:11 AM
  • 58
    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!!! - 5/28/2013   6:46:06 AM
  • 57
    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!!! - 5/28/2013   3:05:20 AM
  • 56
    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? - 5/28/2013   1:48:02 AM
  • 55
    I love using my kettlebell. my gym is talking about teaching a class. I will be the first one to sign up. - 5/27/2013   9:14:49 PM
    I have to get one. - 5/27/2013   11:26:15 AM
  • 53
    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" - 5/27/2013   10:16:46 AM
  • 52
    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. - 3/6/2013   2:41:47 PM
    I bought a kettlebell, I just need to actually start using it! Thanks for the workouts. - 2/15/2013   2:35:39 PM
  • 50
    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! - 1/25/2013   4:15:18 AM
  • 49
    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. - 10/12/2012   10:26:55 AM
  • 48
    Kettlebells are my exercise routine of choice. Though I have several exercise videos, I still go back to the Kettlebell Konnection by 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! - 4/14/2012   9:15:20 AM
  • 47
    I LOVE my Kettlebells - wouldn't do strength training any other way. - 4/9/2012   8:17:29 AM
  • 46
    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. - 2/15/2012   12:35:01 PM
    A trainer who will teach proper form before giving it a try at home.

    - 7/21/2011   2:45:23 AM
    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.
    - 6/23/2011   4:27:34 AM
    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. - 3/29/2011   11:33:36 AM
  • 42
    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. - 3/12/2011   10:20:48 PM

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