This Kettlebell HIIT Workout Is Great For Total-Body Conditioning

Woman rests after kettlebell workout
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Kettlebells are among our favourite training tools, so we had to include them in our 12 days of Christmas workouts series. Omar Mansour, a level 3 personal trainer and coach for audio-led fitness app WithU, has provided this HIIT session to help you get the biggest benefit from your bells.

Kettlebell workouts are great for total-body conditioning, Mansour says, because they allow you to work on four important aspects of fitness: strength, endurance, flexibility and balance.

“Not only can you target certain areas of the body, but kettlebell workouts are also extremely beneficial for improving core strength and stability. Performing explosive movements with a kettlebell helps to stimulate the abdominal muscles,” says Mansour.

Colour us convinced. Grab a kettlebell and get ready.

How To Do This Workout

Mansour has put together three circuits, where you work for time rather than reps. Do two rounds of each circuit, then move on to the next circuit. 

Make sure you warm up before beginning the workout, and use this stretching routine to warm down afterwards.

Circuit 1

1 Kettlebell reverse lunge

Man performs lunge with kettlebell

(Image credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus / Davi Zapico)

Time 30sec Rest 20sec 

Stand with your chest proud and shoulders back, holding a kettlebell in both hands in front of your chest. Step back with one leg, keeping the ankle, knee and hip on each side in line, and bend both knees to 90° to lower. Push through your front foot to return to standing. Switch legs with each rep.

2 Single-arm kettlebell row (right side) 

Woman performs single-arm kettlebell row

(Image credit: Getty Images / Ryan J Lane)

Time 30sec Rest 20sec

Holding a kettlebell in your right hand, adopt a split stance with your left leg in front of your right. Keeping a straight back, lower your torso. Lift the kettlebell to your ribs, keeping your elbow close to your torso as you lift. Squeeze your shoulder blades, then lower the kettlebell under control. 

3 Single-arm kettlebell row (left side)

Time 30sec Rest 60sec

As above, but switch sides.

Circuit 2

1 Goblet squat 

Woman performs goblet squat with a kettlebell

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Time 30sec Rest 20sec

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell in front of your chest with both hands. Push your hips back and bend your knees to lower, keeping your elbows inside your knees. Drive up through your heels to rise.

2 Single-arm kettlebell press (right side) 

Man holds kettlebell in the rack position

The rack position (Image credit: Getty Images)

Time 30sec Rest 20sec

Hold the kettlebell in your right hand in the rack position by your right shoulder, with the kettlebell resting on the back of your right forearm. Brace your core and press the kettlebell straight up. Exhale as your press, and inhale as you lower the kettlebell back to the rack position. 

3 Single-arm kettlebell press (left side) 

Woman performs single-arm kettlebell press

(Image credit: Getty Images / Peter Muller)

Time 30sec Rest 60sec

As above, but switch sides.

Circuit 3

1 Kettlebell deadlift  

Woman performs deadlift with kettlebell

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Time 30sec Rest 20sec

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and the kettlebell on the floor between your feet. With a slight bend in your knees, hinge forwards at the hips and push your hips back to lower and take hold of the kettlebell in both hands. Keep your elbows tucked in, squeeze your back muscles to help keep your back flat, and keep your neck in line with your spine. Push your hips forwards and try to press the floor away from you as you stand up. Don’t overextend and lean backwards at the top of the move. Reverse the move and return to the start. 

2 Kettlebell halo 

Woman demonstrates three positions of the kettlebell halo exercise

(Image credit: iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Time 30sec Rest 20sec

Holding the sides of the kettlebell handle, hold the kettlebell upside down and in front of your face. Brace your core, then slowly move the kettlebell over your right shoulder, behind the back of your head, and over your left shoulder. Pause, then reverse the movement.

3 Plank

Man performs forearm plank

(Image credit: Getty Images / Oscar Wong)

Time 30sec Rest 60sec

Get yourself into position resting on your forearms and toes, so your body forms a straight line from head to heels. Drive your elbows into the floor and keep your wrists in line with your shoulders. Pull your bellybutton in, and squeeze your glutes and your thighs. Hold this position for time. 

Lucy Gornall

Lucy is an experienced health and fitness journalist, and was formerly health editor for TI Media’s portfolio of women’s titles. Lucy qualified as a level 3 personal trainer with Train Fitness in 2016, and also holds qualifications in pre- and post-natal fitness, as well as in nutrition for exercise.