Kettlebell Exercises for Full Body Training

kettlebell windmill

Kettlebells have been around long enough for everyone to get the concept of their use, yet not many use them still. The common thought process tends to be kettlebell exercises are only for CrossFit, which is far from the truth.


Kettlebell exercises help improve your strength, mobility, and even flexibility with most movements. Many of the exercises you choose from work the body as a whole with ballistic training.


They are perfect for accessory lifts, and have a great carry over for athletes of all sports.

Kettlebell Exercises are more than Swings


The kettlebell swing is definitely the ultimate compound exercise through ballistic training. This movement strengthens your core and entire posterior chain, but also improves balance and gives your heart attention also.


However, the swing is not the only exercise you can do with the kettlebell. You can also perform cleans, clean and jerks, snatches, Turkish get ups, Halos, and much more. These on top of using them for exercises similar to dumbbell movements.


The only difference being that the weight on the end of the handle makes your body use more muscles to execute each exercise. Even when it’s just for bent over rows.


Those that are not ballistic-based are called “grinds”, which are kettlebell exercises like the goblet squat, good mornings, rows, etc. They require more muscle focus and controlled contraction.


Kettlebell grinds are great for when either are dumbbells are taken, or to mix in with ballistic exercises.

Benefits from Kettlebell Training


• Strength-based cardio
• Mobility and flexibility
• Muscle development and endurance
Strengthens stabilizer muscles
• Improves core and balance

Lots of great process comes from kettlebell training, and it doesn’t mean you have to do a kettlebell only workout. You can easily do powerlifting and add exercises like the swing or windmill to improve your training.


Seriously, you will have an all new respect for this cannonball with a handle once you do some lifts with them. Don’t go in with a crazy resistance and damage the muscles you probably don’t use much of.


Be humble and treat the kettlebell just like a heavy set of doubles with the barbell.


Discussion on Core Muscles Real Fast…


Your core muscles are not just your abs and oblique, and those with more knowledge it isn’t just your lower back included as well. The core muscles of your body are ones that attach to the spinal column and pelvis.


Essentially all the muscles that contract to protect your spine. When you see the exercise list below state it focuses on the core, you will know it’s all or most of these muscles.
Muscles included are:
• Rectus and Transversus Abdominis
• Internal and External Obliques
• Spinal Erectors and Multidus
• Latissimus Dorsi and Trapezius
• Adductors and Glutes
• Diaphragm

Kettlebell Exercises for…well anywhere


Kettlebell Swing (one or two hand)
Type: Ballistic Exercise
Focus: Shoulders, Core, Hamstrings, Quads

kettlebell exercises swings

Kettlebell Windmill
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Shoulders, Core, Hips

kettlebell workout windmill

Kettlebell Halo
Type: Ballistic Exercise
Focus: Shoulders, Core

kettlebell halos

Kettlebell Slingshot
Type: Ballistic Exercise
Focus: Shoulders, Core

kettlebell exercises slingshot
Bottom left shows how the back looks during switching of hands


Kettlebell Clean
Type: Ballistic Exercise
Focus: Shoulder, Core, Hamstring, Quads
Note: This is the main exercise movement that places you into the racked position, which is when the kettlebell rests in the front pocket formed by the bend in your elbow with hand in front of your chest.

kettlebell workout clean

Kettlebell Push Press
Type: Grind Exercise / Power
Focus: Shoulders, Core

kettlebell push press
Middle image shows bend in knees into the press. Catching the press with knees bent again takes the impact and creates stability.

Kettlebell Clean and Jerk
Type: Ballistic Exercise / Power
Focus: Shoulders, Core, Hips, Hamstrings, Quads

kettlebell clean and jerk
Used split jerk for these

Kettlebell Snatch
Type: Ballistic Exercise / Power
Focus: Shoulders, Core, Hips, Quads

kettlebell exercises snatch

Turkish Get Up
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Shoulders, Core, Hips

kettlebell exercises Turkish get up

Kettlebell Bent Row
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Shoulders, Upper Back, Core

kettlebell bent rows

Kettlebell Goblet Squat
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Core, Hamstrings, Quads

kettlebell grind exercise goblet squat

Kettlebell Racked Squat
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Core, Hamstrings, Quads

kettlebell exercises racked squat

Kettlebell Farmer Walk
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Core

kettlebell farm walk exercise

Kettlebell Straight Arm Sit Up
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Shoulders, Core

kettlebell core exercise

Kettlebell Sit Up Press
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Shoulders, Core

kettlebell core exercise

Kettlebell Lunges
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Core, Hamstrings, Quads

kettlebell exercises lunges
Forward and reverse lunges

Kettlebell Strict Press
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Shoulders

kettlebell shoulder press

Kettlebell Good Morning
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Core, Hamstrings

kettlebell good morning exercise

Kettlebell Single Arm Deadlift
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Shoulders, Upper Back, Core, Hamstrings, Quads

kettlebell exercise deadlift

Kettlebell Single Leg Deadlift
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Shoulders, Upper Back, Core, Hamstrings, Quads

kettlebell workout single leg deadlift
I like to throw my leg forward after the deadlift for balance

Kettlebell Floor Press
Type: Grind Exercise
Focus: Shulders, Chest, Core

kettlebell exercises floor press

Placing a Kettlebell Workout Together


Kettlebell exercise can be placed into a workout to do at home or when short on time. You should only take 30 minutes tops to complete the entire workout. Each workout will do everything for you, which is:
• Develop muscle development and endurance
• Improve strength
• Increase mobility and flexibility
• Provide cardio


Below is an example workout you can execute using exercises from the ones covered. If you are using enough resistance 8-10 repetitions on each side is more than enough.


However, if the kettlebell is a bit on the lighter side for some, then you will do 10-12 repetitions instead.


Only 30 seconds max for rest between exercises, or go straight into each one as a circuit. The choice is yours really.
Key: Sets x Repetitions

kettlebell racked position
The “racked” position

Warm Up:
A1 Dynamic Stretches 5 minutes
B1 Kettlebell Halo 2×10 (each direction)
C1 Kettlebell Sling Shot 2×10 (each direction)

Example Kettlebell Workout:
A1 Kettlebell Windmill 3×8-10 (per side)
B1 Kettlebell Cleans 3×8-10 (per side)
C1 Kettlebell Push Press 3×8-10 (per side)
D1 Kettlebell Goblet Squat 3×12-15
E1 Kettlebell Two Hand Swings 3×12-15

full kettlebell workout
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Brian Pankau

Brian Pankau

Experienced personal trainer and strength coach

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