For building practical strength (without a lot of fuss or fancy equipment), kettlebells can be your best friend. Designed with dynamic movements in mind, kettlebell exercises use several muscles at once, helping you become functionally stronger all over.
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Because of their uneven weight distribution, kettlebell exercises rarely isolate just one muscle; instead, they make you work your whole body with a variety of compound movements, helping you become balanced, stronger and even improve your posture. Combine the strength-training of kettlebells with some high-intensity interval training (HIIT), and you’ve got yourself and all-in-one workout that will get your heart rate up and tone your body all over.
Trust us: These five HIIT kettlebell workouts are intense, but they’ll can help you burn fat, build muscle and rev up your metabolism.
1. 20-Minute HIIT Kettlebell Workout
Perform as many repetitions of these exercises as you can in one minute. Move quickly, but maintain proper form. Rest for 30 seconds between exercises, and once you’ve done the whole circuit, take a full minute of rest, then do it all once more. According to Fitness Magazine, you’ll burn about 10 calories per minute during this workout.
Begin with kettlebell “press it ups.”
- Lie on the floor on your back with your legs slightly bent.
- Hold the kettlebell over your chest in both arms.
- Slowly perform a sit-up while you press the kettlebell up over your head, then return to the starting position.
Next, perform “dip and kicks.”
- Begin with your feet about shoulder width apart, holding the kettlebell in your left hand at shoulder height with the elbow bent.
- Perform a squat, and as you rise, kick out with your left leg, raising it until it’s parallel with the ground.
- Do this for 30 seconds on each side.
The next exercise is the “flutter kick.”
- Lying on your back, hold the kettlebell in both hands with your arms and legs lifted straight up over you.
- Tighten your core to keep your shoulders and head up, and move your legs up and down one by one, trying to touch each shin to your hands and then lower it to the floor.
Then it’s time for “loopy lunge.”
- Stand as though you were going to perform a regular lunge, and hold the kettlebell on the left side.
- Perform a lunge with your right leg, and while your leg is bent, thread the kettlebell under your leg and take the handle with your right hand.
- Finish the lunge and return to your original position, then repeat on the other side.
Next comes “crank it.”
- This movement is essentially a modified burpee that incorporates a kettlebell.
- Start in squat position with the kettlebell on the floor in front of you.
- Squat down, put your hands on the ground and jump your feet back into a plank.
- Jump your feet back up to your hands, and as you squat up, grasp the kettlebell and lift it up to your chest.
The last exercise of this HIIT kettlebell workout is “booty burner.”
- For this exercise, you’ll need two kettlebells.
- Holding the kettlebells, lie on your back in a bridge position, then slowly perform presses with the kettlebells.
For more information on this workout, including videos of the exercises, go to FitnessMagazine.com.
2. Kettlebell HIIT Routine
Fitness Blender has a great HIIT kettlebell workout. The half hour video begins with a short warm up, then incorporates clean and press, full swings and figure 8 curls. To check out this routine, visit FitnessBlender.com.
3. 11-Minute Kettlebell Interval Workout
If you want a workout to do when you’re in a hurry, try this simple routine. For three minutes, perform as many rounds as you can of the following exercises:
- 3 reps kettlebell clean and press (you’ll need one kettlebell for each hand)
- 6 push-ups
- 12 American kettlebell swings
After each three-minute set, take a minute of rest. Repeat this three times for the full workout.
4. 5-10-15 Kettlebell Workout
This next workout by incorporates kettlebell movements along with other strength-building exercises. Take 1 kettlebell and a stopwatch. Set the buzzer for 15 minutes and perform as many rounds as possible of:
- 5 kettlebell clean and presses on each arm
- 10 goblet squats
- 15 kettlebell swings
Next time, beat your total.
5. Brutal Kettlebell HIIT Cardio Tabata Workout
This 19-minute video from Fitness Blender combines kettlebell exercises with cardio movements. It uses the Tabata sequence of 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds of rest, and it includes exercises like kettlebell halos, mountain climbers, squat jacks, kettlebell snatches, and other exercises that are sure to make you feel the burn.