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5 Full-Body Exercises You Can Do with One Kettlebell

A woman in child's pose next to a kettlebell.
Jacob Lund/Shutterstock.com

If working out at home has taught us anything, it’s that quick and efficient exercises can absolutely get the job done. But can you do a full-body workout if you only have one kettlebell? Absolutely—and here are some of our favorite moves!

Kettlebell Squat and Overhead Press

Brace your core and prepare to activate your entire body. This exercise tackles all the big muscle groups and works every area to the point of failure. Aim for 10-12 reps, and pay great attention to your form.

Grab your kettlebell with both hands and grip the handles tightly, holding it right in front of your chest. Bring your arms close to your torso, keeping your elbows neatly tucked in. Stand with your feet slightly wider than your hips, and then open your feet to a 45-degree angle.

Take a big inhale and come into the squat. Make sure your knees are tracking your feet and your back is straight. Activate your core even harder by tucking your pelvis in, but avoid overextending your lower back.

As you exhale, lift out of the squat, while simultaneously lifting your arms over your head into an overhead press. When your legs are fully extended, your arms should be over your head and holding the kettlebell high.

Inhale and lower the kettlebell toward your chest, as you bend your knees until you’re once again in a squat position.

Kettlebell Romanian Deadlift to Squat

An amazing superset that tackles all of the leg muscles can be done with just two simple exercises performed back to back: Romanian deadlifts and squats.

Starting with the deadlift, set a good foundation by standing straight, with your legs a bit wider than your hips, and your feet facing forward. Hold the kettlebell by the handle and let it hang from your arms.

Inhale, brace your core, activate your quadriceps, and then, with a straight spine, slowly bend forward. Try to get as low as you possibly can until you can feel the stretch in your hamstrings. Avoid locking out your knees by slightly bending them if your flexibility doesn’t allow for full extension.

Exhale and lift until you’re back in a standing position and squeeze your glutes at the end of your exhale. Inhale and drop down to a squat, keeping your spine straight, and then exhale back to standing, once again squeezing your glutes at the end.

Inhale to go back into your deadlift, and then repeat 10-12 times.

Kettlebell Backward Lunge to Forward Lunge

Lunges are one of the best exercises you can do for your lower body. However, if you hold a kettlebell in front of your chest at the same time, it’s one hell of a workout for your upper body, too!

Start in a neutral standing position, with your feet hip-width apart. Hold the kettlebell in front of your chest and keep your elbows tucked in.

Inhale and step into a backward lunge. Try to maintain a 90-degree angle in both legs. Exhale and come back to neutral, and then inhale into a forward lunge. Once again, always pay attention to your form. Exhale back to neutral, and then repeat 10-12 times on both legs.

Kettlebell Swing

Nothing fires up the glutes better than the kettlebell swing! It’s a great exercise for the entire body, as it activates every muscle. It also helps you build stability and strength, as well as improve your control, focus, and mobility.

Start in a standing position with your feet slightly wider than your hips. Grab the kettlebell tightly and activate your core. Keeping your spine straight and your hips locked, inhale and let the kettlebell drop down and back, between your legs.

Exhale, and then explode forward, lifting the kettlebell to eye level. Use that momentum to send the kettlebell forward, but keep your body tight, and squeeze your glutes at the end of your exhale. Inhale and drop the kettlebell down and back again, and then repeat 12-15 times.

Kettlebell Side Lunge

Side lunges really work the outer part of your body by engaging not just your legs and glutes, but also your hips, obliques, and even your shoulders.

Take a wider stance, about twice the width of your hips. Grab the kettlebell by its handle and let it dangle downward. Roll your shoulders back and, with a straight spine, inhale as you slowly lower the kettlebell toward the inner part of your right leg, bending it in the process.

Exhale and return to standing with both legs straight. On your next inhale, repeat the same motion with your left leg, and then alternate for 12-15 reps.

Just because you only have one piece of fitness equipment doesn’t mean you can’t do a killer workout. These kettlebell moves will work your entire body and have you sweating from head to toe. Try them out during your next home exercise session and feel the burn!

Karla Tafra Karla Tafra
Karla is a certified yoga teacher, nutritionist, content creator and an overall wellness coach with over 10 years of international experience in teaching, writing, coaching, and helping others transform their lives. From Croatia to Spain and now, the US, she calls Seattle her new home where she lives and works with her husband. Read Full Bio »
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