If you’re on the lookout for some highly effective kettlebell workouts for beginners then you’ve come to the right place. Cavemantraining is the home of some of the world’s best kettlebell workouts.
We’ve put together a short list of some of the best ones:
- Simple 8-minute Kettlebell Workout by a Male Trainer
- Simple 8-minute Kettlebell Workout by a Female Trainer
- The Basics—Beginner Kettlebell Workout
- Beginner Workout for Total Body
- Beginner Kettlebell Workout With 1 Kettlebell
For beginner workouts, it’s important to focus on simpler and basic exercises or slightly more advanced exercises but with a light weight. It’s also important to focus on getting the form and technique right, this obviously comes down to the user, so, slow down and break things up.
List of Kettlebell Workouts for Beginners
The following are 5 simple but highly effective kettlebell workouts for beginners with one kettlebell and basic exercises. All workouts come with a video, some will have a full technique video available, and for some, we’ve provided some step-by-step how to’s. If you enjoy the workouts, please help by sharing the workouts with others, and do come and let us know how you went.
1) Simple 8-minute Kettlebell Workout by a Male Trainer
30 seconds of work on one side and then switch to the other side.
- Single-arm kettlebell swings (right side)
- Single-arm kettlebell swings (left side)
- Racked squat (right side)
- Racked squat (left side)
- Shoulder press (right side)
- Shoulder press (left side)
- Figure-of-eight (60 seconds)
- Repeat everything from the beginning
How to perform the Single-arm Swing: Grab the handle by the middle and bring the kettlebell through the legs by hinging at the hips and knees while keeping the shins vertical. Keep the spine straight at all times, including the cervical. Swing the weight up by standing tall. The weight is pulled out by the action of standing up. Stand up straight by extending the knees and hips. Direct the weight forward. At the top of the swing wait, wait for the weight to fall back down and delay hinging until the weight is close to the legs and then follow through by hinging at the hips and knees.
How to perform the Racked Squat: Clean the weight on the last rep of the swing and rack the weight properly. The feet should be outside of hip width and slightly angled out. Break at the ankles, knees, and hips. Keep the shoulders high and push the hips low. Press the heels into the ground and focus on pulling your shoulders up. The shoulders should rise first.
How to perform the Shoulder Press: Start from a good racking position. Keep the elbow under the weight at all times. Tense everything in the body to create a solid base to press from, but especially the abs, chest, lats, and glutes. Press overhead until the elbow is straight. The forearm would have rotated during the press to have the base of the kettlebell pointing back once overhead. Perform the action in reverse to lower into racking.
How to perform the Figure-Of-Eight: Hold the kettlebell by the corner and let it travel diagonally through the legs making sure it doesn’t hit anything. Have the other hand ready to take over by grabbing the kettlebell by the other corner. Stand up and bring the kettlebell around to make a big figure of eight. Let the weight come back through the legs from the front and repeat the same process on the other side. Keep your core tight and shoulders packed.
2) Simple 8-minute Kettlebell Workout by a Female Trainer
- 1 minute of Swings
- 1 minute of Squat Deadlifts
- 30 seconds of Around the Body
- 30 seconds of Around the Body going the other way
- 30 seconds of the Halo
- 30 seconds of the Halo going the other way
- Repeat everything one more time
How to perform the Double-arm Swing: Grab the handle with two hands and bring the kettlebell through the legs by hinging at the hips and knees while keeping the shins vertical. Keep the spine straight at all times, including the cervical. Swing the weight up by standing tall. The weight is pulled out by the action of standing up. Stand up straight by extending the knees and hips. Direct the weight forward. At the top of the swing wait, wait for the weight to fall back down and delay hinging until the weight is close to the legs and then follow through by hinging at the hips and knees. Bring the kettlebell back to the floor on the last rep in place for the next exercise.
How to perform the Squat Deadlift: Come into the lower part of the squat and grab the handle with two hands. Stand back up tall to lift the weight from the ground. Bring the weight back to dead every time. The feet should be outside of hip width and slightly angled out. Break at the ankles, knees, and hips. Keep the shoulders high and push the hips low. Press the heels into the ground and focus on pulling your shoulders up. The shoulders should rise first.
How to perform the Around the Body: Hold the kettlebell by the corner. Pass the kettlebell to the other hand and swing the kettlebell in a circle around the body. Pass the kettlebell back to the other behind the back making sure you grab it by the corner. Everything should be nice and firm with nothing moving but the shoulders. Keep the elbows straight.
How to perform the Halo: Hold the kettlebell by the horns with the base facing up. Bring the kettlebell to one side of the head, behind the head, the other side of the head, and back to front. Repeat this motion creating a circular path around the head. Everything should be nice and firm with nothing moving but the shoulders.
3) The Basics—Beginner Kettlebell Workout
The hardest thing in this workout is the transition to Goblet grip, but you can put the weight down and then pick it up in a Goblet grip or use any other grip that works for you to squat with. This beginner workout is:
- Goblet squat
- Single arm-swing (both sides)
- Front press (both sides)
You perform 5 reps of each and complete 5 rounds, rest when required.
You can also switch the single-arm swings for double-arm swings and do 5 or 10 reps in total. More details for this workout are available here.
The following illustration shows how to clean for the Goblet squat, which can be replaced with just picking up the weight from the ground, and the Goblet squat itself.
4) Beginner Workout for Total Body
Start the workout with a dead start and then:
- 5 x kettlebell swings
- 5 x kettlebell racked squats
- 5 x kettlebell shoulder presses
- 3 / 3 x kettlebell reverse lunges and twist
(or just hold the kettlebell without twisting)
2 rounds followed by 1-minute of rest and repeat 6 times, or 1 round followed by 30 seconds rest and repeat 12 times.
This workout can also be adjusted to suit intermediate and advanced, check out the details here.
5) Beginner Kettlebell Workout With 1 Kettlebell
- Transition: Deadlift to a neutral stance
- 6 x hang lift (double-arm squat style)
- Transition: Double-arm dead clean
- 3 x presses L
- Transition: Double hand switch and clean
- 3 x presses R
- Transition: Double-arm backswing drop to dead in position for dead swing start
- 4 x swing double-arm
- Transition: Open hand horn clean
- 4 x squat thumb through horn grip
2 rounds and 1-minute rest.
Repeat 4 times. A full video breaking down the explanation can be found here.
When a session is designed by a professional then most kettlebell workouts can be adjusted to suit beginners. For example, in our online kettlebell library, we have 170+ kettlebell workouts with a large percentage of those designed for intermediate to advanced, however, they contain information in the form of alternatives, progressions, and programming info to adjust the workouts to suit beginners. This means if for example, a more advanced exercise is used in the workout, an alternative exercise is provided that beginners can do instead of the more advanced ones. A few examples of progressions or variations to more advanced exercises:
- Clean and Push Press leads to the Snatch
- Quarter Windmill leads to the full Windmill
- The Windmill prepares one for the Bent Press
- Double-arm leads to Single-arm Swings
- Single kettlebell work leads to double kettlebell work
The above options show how a progression becomes an alternative for a more advanced kettlebell exercise. You can check out a more advanced full-length free kettlebell workout that you can follow along with here.
How Beginners Advance
A great way for beginners to advance with their form, technique, strength, endurance, etc. is by repetition. Repeating the beginner kettlebell workouts long enough and putting the focus on improvement. Gradually going faster, longer, heavier, etc. leads to improvement. Gradually increasing complexity leads to improvement. No matter what, it’s important to know how to execute good form and technique, and proper mechanics for injury prevention. There are plenty of ways a beginner can learn:
- YouTube videos
- Working online with a kettlebell coach
- Reading kettlebell books
- Taking online kettlebell courses
- Becoming certified online
Cavemantraining has plenty of free videos on YouTube that teach the important parts of kettlebell training but we also have the ability to work with a coach for specific goals or follow our online program in our private group. There are plenty of courses and certifications to choose from as well.
Kettlebell Swing for Beginners
In the following video, a complete beginner is taught how to kettlebell swing. It’s a long video but great for any beginner to truly understand the intricacies of the kettlebell swing.
There are two free resources highly recommended for beginners to checkout, Master Kettlebell Grips, and Master Kettlebell Racking. Both of these free PDFs will take the level of kettlebell training of any beginner to the next level.
If you enjoyed the information about kettlebell workouts for beginners, please help by sharing, do come and let us know how you went with the workout in our groups, and check out our online shop if you want to join others with online workouts, buy books, or enroll in online courses.
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