Whether you’re trying to add a little more oomph to your sports game, to get in shape, or to build a sexier body, kettlebells can be great tools. Kettlebells are wonderful because they help to build functional fitness, making you better able to perform your daily tasks without pain; they use a lot of muscles at once, which helps you burn more calories and to improve your muscular coordination; and they can help you become stronger, improve your posture, and lower your risk of injury.
Kettlebells yield wonderful results when they’re used in any workout, but when you use them in high intensity interval training (HIIT), you get unique benefits. In addition to all of the benefits that regular kettlebell workouts give you, HIIT kettlebell workouts can help you burn even more calories, build muscle and rev up your metabolism. Here are five great interval kettlebell workouts to get you started.
1. Fitness Magazine 20-Minute HIIT Kettlebell Workout
The first time you do this routine, use 10- to 15-pound kettlebells. If this proves too easy or too hard, you can adjust the weight next time. 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. Fitness Blender 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. Men’s Fitness 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 pushups
- 12 American kettlebell swings
After each three-minute set, take a minute of rest. Repeat this three times for the full workout.
4. Men’s Fitness 5-10-15 Kettlebell Workout
This next workout by Men’s Fitness incorporates kettlebell movements along with other strength-building exercises. Perform as many rounds as you can of the following exercises:
- 5 pull-ups
- 5 kettlebell snatches per arm
- 15 kettlebell figure-8s
If you’re a beginner, do this continuously for between six and eight minutes. If you’re more advanced, try doing it for between 10 and 15 minutes.
5. Fitness Blender 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.