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Top 5 Kettlebell Exercises for Beginners

It seems that everyone is joining the kettlebell revolution, and for good reason. The odd shaped weight, originally created to train the Russian army, is the perfect full body workout, providing cardio, strength and flexibility in one small package. Choose a weight that you are comfortable with, generally a 6kg/18lb for women, and a 16kg/35lb for men if you’re a fit beginner. Throw these 5 moves into your next workout, or use them on their own for a strictly kettlebell routine. We recommend that you have a kettlebell boss show you how to perform these moves before jumping in, as like any other piece of equipment, using incorrect form can be detrimental.)

Kettlebell Deadlift

This motion is the foundation for most kettlebell exercises, and engages your hamstrings, glutes and back.

How to do the Kettlebell Deadlift:

  • Begin this exercise with the kettlebell on the floor in front of you.
  • Stand with your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, and slightly turn your toes out.
  • Squat down and pick up your kettlebell, then stand up, extending your hips and knees. Drive your power through your heels, making sure to keep your chest up and back and shoulders straight.
  • Lower your kettlebell to its original floor position, keeping your glutes engaged and eyes forward.

MaxChallenge: Use one kettlebell on either side. When performing the movement, make sure to keep your shoulders over the kettlebells.

10 reps, 3 sets

Kettlebell Swing

The swing targets all of the muscles in your lower back and hips.

How to do the kettlebell swing:

  • Begin with the kettlebell on the floor in front of you.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, toes slightly turned out.
  • Grab the kettlebell with both hands while bending your knees and hips enough to allow you to swing the bell through your legs.
  • Keeping your back tight, chest out and your eyes forward, thrust your hips forward and slightly bend your knees.
  • Swing the kettlebell a few inches forward, then bring it back through your legs.
  • Repeat the swing again, but push the kettlebell out until your arms are parallel with the floor. -Repeat in a continuous motion.

MaxChallenge: Hold the kettlebell with only one hand, doing the same movement, keeping the kettlebell in the center of your legs.

10 reps, 3 sets

Kettlebell Squat

As one of the most versatile kettlebell moves, the squat has many variations. It engages your quads, hamstrings, and glutes.

How to do the kettlebell squat:

  • Hold your kettlebell close in front of your chest.
  • Keep your feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Keep your back tight and engage your core as you push your hips back, bending at the knees .
  • Lower your body until your thighs are parallel with the floor, making sure not to let your knees pass your toes.
  • Keeping your back straight, push yourself up to the original position.

MaxChallenge: Hold one kettlebell in each hand.

10 reps, 3 sets

Russian Twists

Though most kettlebell exercises engage your core, this exercise is great for targeting your abdominals. These twists prove to be a great alternative to the traditional crunch which, lets face it, is old news.

How to do the Russian Kettlebell twist:

  • Sit down with your knees in front of you, feet planted on the floor, and kettlebell placed by your right hip.
  • Grab the kettlebell with both hands, one on each side of the handle.
  • Bring the kettlebell up to your chest, keeping elbows at your sides.
  • Lean back slightly so that you are balancing on your glutes.
  • Exhale as you rotate your torso to the left, lowering the kettlebell so that it almost touches the floor, but don’t let it touch..
  • Bring your body back to your original position.
  • Do the same for the right side to complete one rep.

MaxChallenge: Raise your feet a few inches off the floor when performing the exercise.

10 reps, 3 sets

Kettlebell Lunge Press

This is a great move to engage multiple muscle groups at one time.  The lunge press engages your shoulders, back, arms, core, glutes and legs.

How to do the Kettlebell Lunge Press:

  • Begin by holding your kettlebell with both hands in front of you and at your chest, keeping elbows at your sides.
  • Stand with your feet shoulder width apart.
  • Bring your left foot forward and lunge forward onto one knee while simultaneously lifting your arms up, raising the kettlebell overhead.
  • To reverse, lower your arms and return to standing position.
  • Repeat the move with your right leg to complete one rep.

MaxChallenge: up the weight of your kettlebell.

10 reps for each leg, 3 sets



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