Ten Circuits That Build Full-Body Strength and Fitness
There has been a large spike in the number of people purchasing home gym equipment over the past few months as many gyms have been closed due to COVID-19.
As a result, people have had to think outside the box when it comes to home workouts. This is particularly true for those who only have access to a minimal amount of kit.
However, even without specific equipment, it is entirely possible to make large advancements in your fitness.
This article will begin by considering the kettlebell and the benefits of using one. It will then go on to provide ten highly effective single-kettlebell workouts that you can do at home.
Kettlebell Training At Home
The kettlebell is one of the most versatile pieces of fitness equipment that money can buy. In fact, It is so versatile that you only really need one kettlebell to enjoy a great workout.
It is an all-in-one conditioning tool that allows you to effectively work a variety of different fitness components including strength, balance, aerobic capacity, endurance, and flexibility (1).
In addition, it is also commonly used as an effective alternative to steady-state cardio. If you’ve attended any gym circuits class before you’ll likely be well acquainted with the kettlebell.
If your goal relates to muscular strength or size, the kettlebell is also an excellent tool. There are a vast number of kettlebell exercises to choose from which makes it easy to target specific muscles.
Furthermore, while there are a handful of more complicated exercises, the majority of kettlebell exercises are very straightforward and accessible for all skill levels.
Finally, unlike a number of other pieces of fitness equipment, kettlebells do not take up a vast amount of space and you will only require a small area to perform a workout.
The Ten Workouts
This section will provide ten different single kettlebell workouts that focus on developing specific fitness components or work towards particular health and fitness goals.
Pay particular attention to the recommended number of rounds and ensure to take a minute or two to rest between rounds.
1) Every Minute On The Minute
EMOM’s are a very straightforward yet highly effective workout structure that involves performing two exercises on designated minutes.
For this workout, on the even minutes, you are to perform 20 alternating kettlebell swings. On the odd minutes, you are to perform alternating KB clean and presses.
If you complete the prescribed number of reps before the minute is finished, use the remaining time to rest and recover.
|Even Minutes: Alternating Kettlebell Swings||20 reps|
|Odd Minutes: Alternating KB Clean and Press||10 reps|
2) Advanced Kettlebell Workout
For those who are highly conditioned or have lots of experience with kettlebells, the following advanced workout is recommended.
It involves a number of more complex moves such as the kettlebell high pull, lateral swing, and Turkish Get Up.
Simply work through the following session taking as little rest as possible between exercises. It is recommended to complete the circuit for three to five rounds.
|Kettlebell Clean and Press||10 reps (per side)|
|KB High Pulls||10 reps (per side)|
|KB Snatch||10 reps (per side)|
|KB Lateral Swings||10 reps (per side)|
|KB Turkish Get Up||2 reps (per side)|
3) Balance and Strength Workout
By using just one kettlebell, you remove counterbalancing. When using two kettlebells simultaneously the weights counterbalance each other which enhances stability.
However, by removing one kettlebell from the equation, the exercise suddenly feels a lot less stable. Therefore, the core muscles must engage to a greater degree to promote stability.
The following workout utilizes all single-sided exercises to reduce stability to really challenge your balance and strength. For this workout, perform a minimum of three rounds.
|Front Rack Kettlebell Squat||10 reps (per side)|
|Heavy KB Suitcase Carry||20 meters (per side)|
|KB Single-Leg Deadlift||10 reps (per side)|
|KB Overhead Carry||20 meters (per side)|
|KB Windmill||10 reps (per side)|
|Plank with KB Pull Through||20 reps|
4) Leg Burner Workout
For those looking to develop lower extremity strength and definition, the leg burner workout is the perfect choice.
The circuit incorporates an array of highly effective lower body resistance exercises in order to develop the glutes, quads, hamstrings, and calves.
With such a high number of reps, the legs will build significant fatigue, therefore, perform only two or three rounds of this workout.
|Kettlebell Goblet Squats||20 reps|
|Offset KB Walking Lunges||10 reps (per side)|
|KB Deadlift||20 reps|
|KB Goblet Lateral Lunges||10 reps (per side)|
|KB Good Morning||20 reps|
|KB Calf Raises||20 reps|
5) Upper Body Strength
When it comes to maximizing strength, a lower rep range appears to be more beneficial than a high one (#). Therefore, the following workout utilizes a lower rep range than other workouts.
This workout has been designed for those who aspire to improve their upper body strength and general fitness and uses a combination of bilateral and unilateral exercise.
Complete three to five rounds of this circuit. If needed, take additional rest periods between exercises to ensure good form is maintained.
|Single-Arm KB Floor Press||6 reps (per side)|
|KB Floor Pullover||12 reps|
|Single-Arm KB Bent Row||6 reps (per side)|
|KB Front Raise||12 reps|
|Single-Arm KB Overhead Press||6 reps (per side)|
|KB Upright Row||12 reps|
6) Full Body Strength
In a similar fashion to the previous workout, the full body strength kettlebell workout also uses a lower rep range to optimize strength development.
Every exercise selected in this workout recruits a variety of muscle groups the length and breadth of the body.
Once again, good technique should be a top priority, therefore, take additional rest periods where required. This workout should be repeated three to five times.
|Kettlebell Goblet Squat||12 reps|
|Single-Arm KB Push Press||6 reps (per side)|
|Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift||12 reps|
|KB Single-Arm Renegade Row||6 reps (per side)|
|Single-Arm KB Overhead Lunges||6 reps (per side)|
|Heavy KB Suitcase Carry||20 meters|
7) Deep Core Workout
Building core strength can have an array of benefits on strength, stability, movement, proprioception, and injury prevention (3).
The exercises included in this workout incorporate a variety of different movements and challenge full body stability to most effectively work the deep core muscles.
It is recommended to complete this workout for a minimum of three rounds. Additional rounds can be added to increase intensity and challenge.
|KB Turkish Get Up||2 reps (per side)|
|Plank with KB Row||5 reps (per side)|
|KB Windmills||5 reps (per side)|
|KB Slingshot||10 reps|
|KB Russian Twists||10 reps|
|KB Sit and Press||10 reps|
8) Fat Burning Workout
Fat loss is one of the most popular health and fitness goals. Although nutrition plays a massive part in fat loss, exercise can facilitate weight loss.
By performing high-intensity exercise and burning a great number of calories, the body will be forced to break down body fat stores.
This workout uses a descending pyramid training structure beginning with 40 reps and working down to 10 reps. Work through each exercise taking as little rest as possible.
Complete the following for three to five rounds.
|Kettlebell Swings||40 reps|
|KB Snatch||15 reps (per side)|
|Alternating KB Swings||10 reps (per side)|
|KB Clean and Press||5 (per side)|
9) Swing Only Workout
The kettlebell swing is seen as the ultimate kettlebell exercise. It develops strength, speed, power, and burns a high number of calories.
One of the best things about the kettlebell swing is the fact that there are a number of swing variations. Each variation has its unique characteristics and works the body in a slightly different way.
The following workout incorporates four swing variations – the American swing, lateral swing, rotational swing, and Russian swing.
It is recommended to perform the circuit a minimum of three times. However, additional rounds can be added if desired.
|American Kettlebell Swings||30 reps|
|KB Lateral Swings||15 reps (per side)|
|One-Arm KB Swing with Rotation||15 reps (per side)|
|Russian KB Swings||30 reps|
10) Explosive Power Workout
Leading on from the previous workout, the kettlebell swing is especially great for developing the amount of power the posterior chain can generate.
This final workout incorporates two basic plyometric exercises in conjunction with the kettlebell swing to develop explosiveness and general athleticism.
Perform this circuit three to five times. Be aware that a greater period of rest between rounds is needed for this particular workout in comparison to the others. Look to take a minimum of three minutes.
|Kettlebell Swings||20 reps|
|Tuck Jumps||10 reps|
|KB Swings||20 reps|
|Lateral Skater Jumps||10 reps|
Training without the use of a gym or with only minimal equipment can be challenging, however, it is by no means impossible.
As the aforementioned ten single kettlebell workouts demonstrate, it is very possible to make training enjoyable, varied, and effective, without having a lot of equipment.
1 – Vancini, Rodrigo Luiz; Andrade, Marília Santos; Rufo-Tavares, Weverton; Zimerer, Carla; Nikolaidis, Pantelis Theodoros; de Lira, Claudio Andre Barbosa (2019-03-27). “Kettlebell Exercise as an Alternative to Improve Aerobic Power and Muscle Strength”. Journal of Human Kinetics. 66: 5–6. doi:10.2478/hukin-2018-0062. ISSN 1640-5544. PMC 6458586. PMID 30988835.
2 – Schoenfeld, Brad J.; Grgic, Jozo; Ogborn, Dan; Krieger, James W. (2017-12). “Strength and Hypertrophy Adaptations Between Low- vs. High-Load Resistance Training: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis”. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. 31 (12): 3508–3523. doi:10.1519/JSC.0000000000002200. ISSN 1533-4287. PMID 28834797.
3 – Huxel Bliven, Kellie C.; Anderson, Barton E. (2013-11). “Core Stability Training for Injury Prevention”. Sports Health. 5 (6): 514–522. doi:10.1177/1941738113481200. ISSN 1941-7381. PMC 3806175. PMID 24427426.