When trying to build strength and power, the mighty kettlebell can be just as effective as any other free weight (dumbbells and barbells included) plus you get added versatility meaning you can switch up your movements, hit muscles from a different angle and inject some fun into your workouts at the same time.
Having a strong and powerful lower body is not only good for aesthetics – muscular strength is key in many sports but it can also help you perform everyday tasks such as opening heavy doors, lugging shopping bags to the car, and running for the bus. It’s also really important to keep training as we age as our power and strength tends to decrease. This lower body kettlebell workout will get you moving in new and different ways whilst hitting all the muscles in your lower region, as well as torching your core.
Some Things To Consider Before You Begin
1. Quality over quantity
As you move through this workout make sure to pay particular attention to form and listen to your body. Don’t go too heavy first off, and only use weights that you can lift with good, safe form and technique. If you start to slow mid-way through a set, or the rep doesn’t feel right compared to the previous one, then stop as you risk injuring yourself which will only set you back.
2. Hold the kettlebell correctly
Make sure you’re gripping the kettlebell by the handle and holding it deep in your palm rather than by your fingers. This will ensure good grip and prevent it slipping from your grasp and flying off into the room, or dropping onto your feet!
3. Warm-up before you start
You should ensure you warm up before any physical exercise in order to get the blood flowing around your body and to the muscles you’re about to work.
Although this workout will concentrate mainly on your lower body, your upper body will also be worked so it’s worth paying some attention to these muscles too. You can start by running or jogging on the sport for a couple of minutes and then grab a light kettlebell and perform around a minute of Kettlebell Around the Body slingshots – passing the kettlebell around your waist from one hand to the other, which will help to warm up the shoulder, forearms and core – followed by a minute of Kettlebell Halos, which is very similar but around your neckline and will warm up the upper back and arms. Then perform around a minute of Figure Eights to warm your legs and hip hinge.
Videos tutorials for these warm-up moves are below:
If you’re new to training with kettlebells then use a light weight to start to make sure you get the form right. This way you’ll help to avoid injuring yourself and be more confident when it comes to increasing the weight.
This workout consists of four exercises split across two circuits and you will require no more than one kettlebell to do them all.
Perform the first circuit three times with 30 seconds rest between exercises. After your third time through, rest for 60 seconds and then move on to the second circuit, again with 30 seconds rest in between exercises.
The whole workout should take you around 20 minutes to complete.
- Kettlebell Swing
- 30 seconds rest
- Kettlebell Goblet Squat
- 30 seconds rest
- Perform three times
- Rest 60 seconds before moving onto Circuit Two
1. Kettlebell Swing
Muscles worked: All your posterior chain muscles including your back, abs, glutes, and hamstrings.
How to perform it: Get into a quarter squat holding the kettlebell in both hands and in-between your legs. Keep your arms straight and powerfully extend through your hips to swing the kettlebell forward and up to about chin height. Squeeze your glutes at the top of the move before lowering the kettlebell to complete one rep. Perform 10 reps in total to complete one set. Rest 30 seconds and then move onto the next exercise below.
2. Kettlebell Goblet Squat
Muscles worked: A full-body movement that works your quads, calves, glutes and core.
How to perform it: Take the kettlebell by the handle and turn it upside down and bring it in to your chest ensuring your elbows are tucked at your sides. Standing with feet at shoulder-width and feet pointing slightly outwards, bend at your hips and knees to come down into a squat so that your elbows touch your sides. Make sure to keep your chest up and pause for a second. Now drive through your heels to stand back up to complete one rep. Perform 10 reps to complete the set, rest 30 seconds and repeat exercise one in this circuit and so on until you’ve completed both exercises three times, resting in-between. Once you’ve completed Circuit One, move on to Circuit Two below.
- Kettlebell Clean
- 30 seconds rest
- Kettlebell Front Squat
- 30 seconds rest
- Perform three times
1. Kettlebell Clean
Muscles worked: Although this exercise primarily focuses on the hamstrings and glutes, it also works your anterior chain (hip flexors, abdominals and quads) and your upper body including your upper back, shoulders, chest and triceps.
How to perform it: Stand with your feet at shoulder-width and hold the kettlebell with one hand between your knees. Hinging at the hips and bending your knees, swing the kettlebell between your legs, then extend through your hips and knees to drive the kettlebell upwards, allowing momentum to pull it up whilst keeping it close to your body. Catch the kettlebell by your shoulder and on the outside of your wrist with elbow tucked to your side. Drop the kettlebell back down to the start and perform a further nine reps to complete 10 reps in total to complete the set. Rest 30 seconds and then move onto the next exercise below.
2. Kettlebell Front Squat
Muscles worked: A move to benefit not only the quads and hamstrings, but also the glutes and calves. This is a great move for working the stabiliser muscles that help keep the body stable and balanced throughout the exercise
How to perform it: Standing with feet shoulder-width apart, hold the kettlebell at your shoulder so it’s sitting on the outside of your wrist and tuck your elbow in to your side. Now bend at your hips and knees and lower into a squat so your thighs are in line and parallel with the floor, keep your chest up. Now drive through your heels to stand up. Perform this move for a total of 10 reps and then repeat exercise one in this circuit until you’ve completed both exercises three times. Once you’ve completed Circuit Two you’re done!
Time To Stretch And Rest!
Once you’ve completed both circuits three times you’re done with your workout, and no doubt you’ll be feeling it too! It’s really important to stretch out your muscles after intense exercise to prevent muscles soreness and injury and to keep your muscles supple. This way they’ll recover quicker and be primed and ready for your next workout. If you can tag regular stretching onto the end of your workout then this will also help to improve flexibility and range of motion. If you’d like some ideas for some post-workout stretches, I’ve included some of my favourite total body stretches here.
And if you’re looking to invest in some decent kettlebells but you’re unsure which to go for, I’ve included my top eight recommended kettlebells in this review.
Do try this workout and see how you go. Remember the key to strength and progression is to start light, get used to the weight and then work up to heavier kettlebells when you can complete all reps in an exercise with good form. If you do try it out, let me know how you get on in the comments below, I’d love to know.
For a kettlebell workout that focuses on your upper body, why not take a look at my upper body kettlebell workout that will complement this routine to help you to build an impressive all-round physique that’s both strong and powerful.