All You Need Is One Kettlebell And 20 Minutes For This 12 Days Of Christmas Workout

Reindeer headband on kettlebell
Festive headgear is optional, but recommended, for this 12 days of Christmas workout (Image credit: Longfin Media / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

The festive period couldn’t have less to do with working out, but that hasn’t stopped the fitness world from getting into the spirit of the season. Mostly through a festive workout format based on “The Twelve Days of Christmas” carol. It’s big on YouTube and, as far as we can tell, originated as a CrossFit WOD.

The CrossFit versions are, as you might expect, pretty full-on, but here’s a more accessible kettlebell workout from trainer Roxanne Russell. All you need is one kettlebell and all the moves are low impact.

Try it over the weekend as a break from the festivities, or next week to get yourself out of a post-Christmas slump. “Get your workouts done early in the morning, it will make you feel great throughout the day,” says Russell.

The format is easy to do, if complicated to explain, but thankfully Russell’s video is a follow-along workout so just grab a kettlebell and press play.

Russell uses a 10kg kettlebell in the video, although with lots of rows and leg exercises, don’t be shy about picking a heavier weight—Russell isn’t. “I was only demonstrating in the workout video,” Russell told me. “When exercising I would pick a heavier weight”.

If you liked this workout you’ll be delighted to discover it’s not the only “Twelve Days of Christmas” workout Russell has posted. There’s this abs and core kettlebell workout and this full-body kettlebell challenge from last year.

And if you came to this workout expecting 12 workouts spread over 12 days, just check out Coach’s 12 days of Christmas workouts—a dozen routines from top PTs to take you from 25 December into the new year.


Need help choosing? Our guide to the best kettlebells can help?

Lou Mudge
Health writer

Lou Mudge is a health writer working across Coach and Fit&Well. She previously worked for Live Science, and regularly writes for Pet’s Radar. Based in Bath, UK, she has a passion for food, nutrition and health and is eager to demystify diet culture in order to make health and fitness accessible to everybody.


Multiple diagnoses in her early 20s sparked an interest in the gut-brain axis, and the impact that diet and exercise can have on both physical and mental health. She was put on the FODMAP elimination diet during this time and learned to adapt recipes to fit these parameters, while retaining core flavours and textures, and now enjoys cooking for gut health.