Kettlebell Exercises for Beginners
Kettlebell Exercises for Beginners
  • Kettlebell Exercises for Beginners

what to do with kettlebells

Learn hundreds of kettlebell exercises and advance quickly to build muscle and strength-train like the pros.


5 Best Kettlebell Exercises Beginners Can Do Right Now

No experience needed.

The exercises below are awesome for all-levels, but they don't require any advanced technical skill. So, kick off your kettlebell training workouts with these today! Build that core strength by adding beginner kettlebell exercises to your routine, and better yet - dive in and take a full class. The workouts feel great. No need for multiple machines, equipment, and hours of running. Try the Kettlebell Test Drive class above!


Sit-Up Twist

Ribbons are one of our favorite kettlebell arm exercises. They're not just great for toning your arms, but also great for upper body strength and shoulder mobility.

Kettlebells Needed: 1
Weight Recommended: Light, Medium or Heavy
Pace Recommended: Slow-Medium

Directions: Grasp the bell bottom side up by the horns. Starting at your hip, move the kettlebell across your torso and bring it past your ear, then pass it behind and around your head as deep as you can while keeping your forearms parallel. 

Once you've brought the bell around your head, pull the kettlebell down to your opposite hip. Once you reach the opposite hip, come back up the way you came and repeat the process.

Make it easier: use lighter weight
Make it harder: use heavier weight

kettlebell ribbons

The SitupTwist is one of our absolute favorite kettlebell ab exercises. It's not just great for your abs but also obliques, shoulders and biceps.

Kettlebells Needed: 1
Weight Recommended: Light or Medium
Pace Recommended: Slow

Directions: Starting on your back with knees slightly bent and holding the kettlebell by the horns, perform a situp and then rotate your chest and shoulders 90 degrees while keeping your elbows tight to your ribs. 

Once you've fully rotated, touch the kettlebell down softly beside your hip. Pick the kettlebell up and rotate 180 degrees to the opposite hip and touch the kb down again. Pick the kb back up and rotate 90 degrees back to center, recline to the floor and repeat the process. This time, start by rotating the opposite direction as you did previously.

Make it easier: place your feet under something heavy to assist the situp Make it harder: elevate for your feet to make the move more challenging
Make it better: hold the bell bottom side up for a deeper rotation

kettlebell situp twist

Goblet Squat

Offset pushups

Tricep Extensions

The goblet squat is one of the true kettlebell classics. Great for your legs, it also hits your erectors, biceps and shoulders and due to the counterbalance, allows you to get deeper into your squat when performed properly.

Kettlebells Needed: 1
Weight Recommended: Medium or Heavy
Pace Recommended: Medium

Directions: Starting with your feet shoulder-width apart, toes pointing slightly outward (you may need to adjust the stance depending on your build). Hold the kettlebell upside-down by squeezing the ball of the kettlebell with your palms. 

Keeping your forearms parallel and chest up, drop your hips into a squat. Try not to round your back. Maximum depth is not always necessary, but you do want to make sure your knees are pointed the same direction as your toes are pointed. Briefly hold the bottom position of the squat and wedge your elbows into your knees for an extra hip and groin opener, helping to increase mobility.

Make it easier: use a lighter kettlebell
Make it harder: use a heavier kettlebell
Make it better: keep tension on the kettlebell and don't sacrifice the depth of the squat or rush standing back up out of the squat.

kettlebell goblet squat

Some love them, some hate them, but pushups are one of the best exercises a person can go. If you're doing them on your toes, they're really full body, working many muscle groups at the same time with an emphasis on your chest, lats, abs and back. Perform them slowly for strength and for power come up explosively, which gives you an added benefit of increasing your heart rate.

Kettlebells Needed: 1
Weight Recommended: Medium or Heavy
Pace Recommended: Slow for strength, fast for power

Directions: From a plank position, set your hands just outside of shoulder width to determine positioning, and set a kettlebell on its side under one hand with the handle pointed away from you (the added stability in this position is important). 

Lower your chest as close as you can to the floor with your elbows tracking at about a 45-degree angle from your webs. The webbing of your fingers should be in alignment with your shoulders. Push up to straighten the arm completely that is planted into the floor (the arm of the kettlebell-side won't straighten completely). Repeat.

Make it easier: perform on your knees
Make it harder: turn it into a "plyo" pushup by exploding off the floor and swapping which hand is on the kettlebell every rep.
Make it better: keep your hips aligned between your feet and your shoulders.

offset kettlebell push up

Simple but potentially brutal, we love tricep extensions. Not only will you strengthen your triceps, but when performed well you can improve elbow mobility, reverse kyphosis (tech neck), and flex your thoracic spine with this rib and chest opening move.

Kettlebells Needed: 1
Weight Recommended: Light-Medium
Pace Recommended: Medium

Directions: Hold the kettlebell upside-down, with your thumbs pointing to your back. Lift the kettlebell up and over your head. Keeping your elbows in and shoulders packed and still (don't shrug), bend your arms and lower the kettlebell behind your head to 90 degrees or more. Hinge only at the elbow and achieve the fullest range of motion that you can, maintaining tension on the kettlebell the entire time. 

Once you've achieved full depth, straighten your elbows (again, try to keep everything else still) until your arms are fully extended directly overhead. Repeat.

Modifier: may be performed standing, seated, or kneeling

kettlebell tricep extension
Just the Right Amount of Everything.

Just the Right Amount of Everything.

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Kettlebell Test Drive: Full Body 30-Minute Workout

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Kettlebell Test Drive: Full Body 30-Minute Workout