This Expert PT Recommends Kettlebell Training For Strength, Power And Cardio Gains—And These Are The Six Exercises To Master First

Woman performing deadlift with kettlebell
(Image credit: francesco / Getty Images)

Kettlebell training is rarely given the credit it deserves. Unless you’re speaking to iFit trainer Hannah Eden, that is. 

“Kettlebells are my favorite training tool,” she says. “They’re so fun to use, and they’re a great way to build strength, develop power and work the cardiovascular system.”

Eden also likes how you can’t go through the motions when training with a kettlebell. 

Or in her words: “You have to be dialed in and focused on what you’re doing, otherwise you’re going to drop a weight on your head.”

To help you avoid that fate, she’s shared six of her favorite foundational kettlebell moves in this video for the Onnit Academy, describing in detail how to execute them with immaculate form. 

The kettlebell deadlift and squat in Eden’s video can be performed as standard muscle-building exercises where the weight is moved at a fairly consistent speed. 

Whereas the kettlebell swing and clean require explosive power to move the kettlebell. 

When performing these exercises, the location of the kettlebell’s handle means you’re rarely holding the weight at its center of mass. It’s continually pulling your body off balance, forcing stabilizing muscles in your core and around your joints to put in a shift as they work to maintain optimal body positions. 

That’s why Eden describes working with kettlebells as an “unconventional, ballistic” form of training. It will develop your stability, coordination and power, strengthening your muscles and joints to create a more robust, athletic body. 

So, next time you’re in the gym, consider giving the squat racks the cold shoulder as you make a beeline for the kettlebells in the corner. You can put what you learn in the video into practice with this beginner kettlebell workout or one Coach’s many kettlebell workouts.

Harry Bullmore
Staff writer

Harry covers news, reviews and features for Coach, Fit&Well and Live Science. With over a decade of training experience, he has tried everything from powerlifting to gymnastics, cardio to CrossFit, all in a bid to find fun ways of building a healthy, functional body.