Working out with only one tool has its benefits. Keeping things simple requires less brainpower and saves time to spend more time thinking about what we may want to do for a workout. Training with a single piece of equipment makes lots of sense, too, as at-home workouts are surging in popularity.
Whether you have one rusty kettlebell in your basement or you don’t feel like venturing too far from the kettlebell storage rack at your gym, this workout keeps it simple with one tool and one section of the body.
Bonus: Kettlebells also provide the benefits of full-body integrated movement, improve strength and stability, are little to no impact, and offer a high caloric burn.
This quick and easy workout involves four days of lower-body training alternating with a day of rest or another fitness activity you enjoy.
SINGLE-ARM FARMERS CARRY
Carry exercises are an excellent way to integrate a strong core brace with the lower body gait.
The move: For this exercise select a medium-to-heavy kettlebell, hold it strong in one hand and walk about 15–30 yards with minimal upper body movement or swinging. Repeat on the other side.
Kettlebell swings are the “gold standard” kettlebell exercise and are what most people think of when they see a bell. They are ideal for developing lower-body power and create a massive calorie burn.
The move: Select a medium kettlebell weight. With an overhand grip, hold the handle of the bell with both hands. Keeping a neutral spine, hinge the hips back, squeeze your glutes, and unhinge your hips with speed and power. The bell should “float” out directly in front of the body. Return to the hinge and repeat.
KETTLEBELL GOBLET SQUAT
By bringing the weight to the front of your body, kettlebell goblet squats help create a counterbalance to allow the squatter to feel safer and squat deeper.
The move: Select a heavy kettlebell and hold it with both hands on the horns. Keeping the shoulder blades down and back, and chest tall and proud, sink your hips as low as possible. Pressing hard into the floor, come back up to a stand.
KETTLEBELL GOBLET FORWARD LUNGE
Holding the kettlebell in the “goblet” position can help the user maintain a stronger and more stable upper body posture throughout the move.
The move: Begin in the same position as the goblet squat — holding onto the horns of the bell and chest tall and proud. Step the right leg forward and bend both knees to 90 degrees. Press the full right foot into the floor and return to a stand. Repeat on the other side.
This is a functional movement that maps directly to picking heavy things up and putting them back down — something most of us do daily. This particular movement also targets the backside of your body, the hamstrings and glutes.
The move: Begin with your heaviest kettlebell on the floor. Hinge forward, maintaining a neutral spine, and grab the handle of the bell. Keeping your shoulder blades down and back, squeeze your glutes, drive your hips forward and stand up without rounding your lower back. Lower down in the same fashion and repeat.
KETTLEBELL CURTSY LUNGE
This exercise adds the element of rotation and lateral movement to these lower-body workouts, with a specific target to the gluteus medius, an important hip and knee stabilizer.
The move: Holding a medium-to-heavy kettlebell in your left hand, ground the full right foot and step the left leg behind the right. Lower the left knee down to the point it almost touches the floor and sits behind and past the right heel. Return to a stand and repeat.
Check out “Workout Routines” in the MyFitnessPal app to discover and log workouts or build your own with exercises that fit your goals.