You Only Need Five Moves And A Kettlebell To Build Functional Fitness With This Beginner-Friendly Circuit

Woman holding kettlebell
(Image credit: AzmanL / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Starting to exercise can feel hard if your body’s not used to physical activity, but at least it doesn’t have to be complicated. All you need is one kettlebell  , Whether you’re building strength at home with one kettlebell, or prefer to skip queuing for machines and work out in your own corner of the gym, getting a full-body session with just a kettlebell is possible. 

This routine created by online coach Chris Hover is made up of five kettlebell exercises. It’s great for beginners, skipping difficult-to-master moves like the kettlebell clean and kettlebell snatch, but people with experience of strength training will also benefit.

Some of these exercises—such as the goblet squat and suitcase deadlift—recruit multiple big muscle groups so use a moderate to heavy weight if you have access to a range of kettlebell weights. However there are a couple of moves—particularly the kneeling press shoulder exercise—that isolate weaker muscle groups, so unless you have a particularly strong upper body it’s a good idea to switch to a lighter kettlebell.

Take a look at Hover’s Instagram Reel where he demonstrates each move. If you need more detailed explanations, we have a goblet squat form guide that can help.

It’s a good idea to pause and brace your core before beginning each exercise by squeezing your glutes and abdominal muscles. This will maximize muscle engagement and help you to maintain good posture throughout the workout.

Move through 10 reps of each exercise except for the unilateral movements. For those, do 8 reps on each side for the suitcase deadlift and 20 reps each side of the offset march.

Complete the circuit four times in total, taking 90 seconds of rest in between each round. Like most circuit workouts, doing a series of exercises without rest in between will get your heart rate up and improve your cardio fitness. Depending on how quickly you move through the reps, this workout should take around 20 minutes.

For another accessible routine, try this kettlebell workout for beginners.

Need help choosing between deals? Our guide to the best kettlebells can help.

Alice Porter

Alice Porter is a journalist who covers health, fitness and wellbeing, among other topics, for titles including Stylist, Fit & Well, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Grazia, VICE and Refinery29. When she’s not writing about these topics, you can probably find her at her local CrossFit box.