Step Up Your Home Training With This Challenging Kettlebell Workout

(Image credit: Unknown)

If you’re an experienced gym-goer you may have found that many of the home workouts doing the rounds don’t do it for you. If that sounds like you, and you’re yearning for something truly testing, then try this kettlebell workout from Joe Corrie, head of fitness at Core Collective. Lacking a kettlebell? Get your hands on one by browsing our selection of the best kettlebells (updated frequently to indicate what’s still in stock).

Full-Body Kettlebell Workout

The workout is broken up into three sections. The first will help you get ready for the other two, but is still challenging in itself, so make sure to warm up properly.

Section 1

Do three rounds of three exercises, decreasing the amount of reps each time from 20 to 16 to 12. Rest as required, but aim to get through the exercises without too much recovery time.

1A Kettlebell swing

Kettlebell swing

(Image credit: Unknown)

Sets 3 Reps 20, 16, 12

“Stand with the kettlebell placed about a foot [30cm] in front of you,” says Corrie. “Hinge from the hips and grab the kettlebell handle with both hands. Pull the kettlebell backwards, creating tension in your hamstrings. Drive your hips forwards, squeezing your glutes, which will make the kettlebell swing out in front of you. Let the kettlebell swing back down and hinge at the hips again, creating tension through the hamstrings. Repeat the hip drive to move straight into your next rep.”

1B Chest-to-floor press-up

Sets 3 Reps 20, 16, 12

“Start in a high plank position with your hands in line with your chest,” says Corrie. “Bending at the elbows, control yourself down until you lie flat on the floor. Lift your hands off the floor briefly, then push down again to lift yourself back into the high plank position. Keep your core tight throughout.”

1C Alternating V-up

Sets 3 Reps 20, 16, 12

“Lie on your back with your legs outstretched and your hands extended above your head,” says Corrie. “Start to raise your right leg, keeping it as straight as possible, then as your leg moves raise both arms and draw your shoulder blades off the floor. Contract your core muscles, bringing your leg and arms to meet in the middle. Slowly lower back to the starting position, then repeat with the opposite leg.”

Section 2

“Now we’re going to turn up the heat slightly,” says Corrie, ominously. Work for 12 minutes, doing four rounds of the following three exercises.

2A Kettlebell sumo deadlift high pull

Sets 4 Time 40 sec Rest 20sec

“Stand with your feet just wider than shoulder-width apart with a slight bend in your knees and the kettlebell between your legs,” says Corrie. “Hinge at your hips to reach down and grab the handle while keeping your arms straight. Drop your bum slightly to create tension through the hamstrings. Once the tension has been created, keep your chest up while driving down into the floor with your feet – this will start lifting the kettlebell off the ground.

“As the kettlebell reaches your hips and you move into an upright position, shrug your shoulders and pull with your arms to take the kettlebell to just under your chin – thumbs to chin, elbows above your ears. Hold for a second, then reverse this movement pattern, controlling the kettlebell back down to the starting position.”

2B Kettlebell goblet reverse lunge

Sets 4 Time 40 sec Rest 20sec

“Stand holding the kettlebell upside down in both hands close to your chest, with your elbows tucked into your sides,” says Corrie. “Step back with your right foot, placing your toes and the ball of your foot down roughly a metre behind you. Bend both your knees until your back knee gently touches the ground and both knees are at right angles. Use the glute and quad of your front leg to push you up to standing again. As you get to an almost standing position, lift your back foot and place both feet back together again. Repeat this on the opposite side.”

2C Jump squat

Sets 4 Time 40 sec Rest 20sec

“Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart,” says Corrie. “Push your hips backwards and bend your knees to lower your bum below your knee crease while keeping your chest up. Keeping your chest proud, drive your heels hard down into the ground, extend your legs and hips to launch yourself vertically into the air. Cushion your landing by repeating the above process as your feet make contact with the ground.”

Section 3

“Now we really let loose!” says Corrie. “The finisher is an AMRAP, which means as many rounds as possible. Push yourself, taking short breathers where needed. Get this done and it’s all over.”

Complete as many rounds of these three exercises as you can in seven minutes.

3A Single-arm kettlebell clean

kettlebell clean

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Reps 8 each side

“Start with the kettlebell between your feet,” says Corrie. “Hinge at your hips and bend your knees slightly so you’re able to grab the kettlebell handle with your right hand. Extend your legs and hips, and use this power to pop the kettlebell upwards. As the kettlebell moves upwards, punch your elbow forwards and gently catch the kettlebell in your elbow crease. Pull your elbow back towards your body, releasing the kettlebell and allowing it to swing like a pendulum back into your hips. Push your bum backwards, creating tension in the hamstrings, then drive your hips forwards again to start your next rep. Complete your reps one side, then repeat on the opposite arm.”

3B Kettlebell thruster

Reps 8

“Hold the kettlebell in both hands at chest height, hooking your thumbs around the handles and resting the bell in your palms,” says Corrie. “The top of the handle should be resting on your chest.

“Lower by pushing your hips backwards and bending your knees, until your bum is below your knee crease. Drive your feet into the floor and extend your legs and hips to push back up. As you reach full extension, use the momentum created to press the kettlebell overhead. Lock your elbows out at the top. Reverse this process and use the tension created on the way down to shoot back up for another rep.”

3C Chest-to-floor burpee

Reps 8

“Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with your weight in your heels and your arms at your sides,” says Corrie. “Push your hips back, bend your knees and lower your body so you can place your hands on the floor directly in front of, and just inside, your feet. Shift your weight onto your hands and jump your feet back into a high plank position. Bend your elbows to lower your body to the ground. Once your chest has touched the floor, push the floor away to get yourself back into the high plank position. Jump your feet forwards again, then jump up explosively and reach your hands behind your head. Land and immediately lower into your next rep.”

CCTV, Core Collective’s home on-demand online fitness classes, are now available with a monthly (£12.99 a month) or annual (£9.99 a month) subscription. Visit the Core Collective website to register for a free seven-day trial

Nick Harris-Fry
Senior writer

Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.