All too often, the gym is really busy and that can have a pretty big impact on your workout quality. If like most people, you end up having to train at peak times there’s a good chance that you’ll be waiting around for the kit you want/need to use.
Thankfully, I’ve got a solution that’ll allow you to have a brilliant workout without queuing for ages to use specific pieces equipment – a single kettlebell workout.
That’s right – a whole workout with a single kettlebell! This workout is the ultimate in convenience – and perfect for home workouts. Grab a suitable kettlebell and get to work. No time wasted waiting, no messing around adjusting weights – simply one kettlebell, seven exercises and a lot of reps!
Before we go any further, it’s important to point out the obvious disclaimer. This workout is a guide and not medical advice. Before you follow any workout or fitness plan, make sure you have been cleared by your doctor to do so.
I’m making an assumption at this point that you know how to use a kettlebell safely. If you’re unsure about kettlebell technique, have a qualified kettlebell instructor teach you correct form so you know you are working safely and effectively.
If you’re confident you know how to use a kettlebell, let’s go ahead.
Single Kettlebell Workout
First of all, you’ll need a kettlebell. Go pretty heavy otherwise your workout intensity (and therefore your results) will be compromised. As a guideline, I’d suggest you go no lower than 16kg for men and 12kg for women.
If you’ve got a solid history of kettlebell training and general strength work, aim for 20kg+. Personally, I do this workout with a 24kg, 30kg or 32kg kettlebell, depending on what’s free at the time.
The kettlebell workout is high-intensity. The idea is that it’s an all-body workout, performed in a circuit style. You should complete every rep of an exercise before you move on to the next one.
Once you have completed every rep of all 7 exercises, rest for 1-3 minutes and repeat the circuit.
Beginners should aim for 2 rounds. Intermediates for 4-5 and advanced trainees should go for 6+.
Important Point: Make sure you maintain good form throughout the single kettlebell workout. It’s better to work safely and complete the session than it is to go all-out with speed and end up hurting yourself.
The Single Kettlebell Workout Routine
As mentioned, perform every rep of the exercise before moving on to the next one. When you have completed all 7 exercises, rest for 1-3 minutes and repeat.
When performed correctly and with the right weight kettlebell, this is a very, very tough workout. So you can leave your ego at the door.
- Double arm KB swings x 20
- Single Leg Deadlifts (10 per side)
- Single Arm High Row (10 per side)
- Goblet Squats x 20
- Single Arm KB Push Press (10 per side)
- Alternating KB Push Up (10 per side)
- KB Russian Twists x 20
For a basic form guide, here’s a video demonstrating a few reps of each exercise – this will point you in the right direction…
Single Kettlebell Workout Demonstration
Work hard and work as fast as you safely can. Keep your rest periods as short as possible (but recover properly) and always maintain good form throughout the exercises.
This is a full-body workout. At the end of the workout you’ll be tired, have a great pump and a new found respect for the kettlebell! You may wonder how one item can entertain a whole workout, and question why you haven’t explored using them before!
Kettlebell Buying Advice
As with any type of gym equipment, there is a huge selection on the market. As a result it’s really easy to get confused with what to buy. Often, the temptation is to grab the cheapest. However, that’s a really, really bad strategy: You’ll often get what you pay for, so it’s worth investigating a little from the start.
Over the last 10 years I’ve bought hundreds of kettlebells (seriously – I used to manage 15 gyms for a chain so bought a lot of kit!) which means I’ve learnt a thing or two.
Go for cast iron where you can. There are a number of reasons for this:
- Cast iron are the hardest wearing, so are not easily damaged.
- Typically they are more accurate, weight-wise.
- Due to the density of the metal, they are usually smaller, making them easier to store and use.
- A cast iron kettlebell can be used for more exercises such as the push ups included in this workout.
Cast Iron Kettlebell
You can buy cast iron with a protective rubber coating. These are OK, but bear in mind that over time the rubber will get damaged and wear away – in some cases the rubber falls off completely, so you won’t always know what weight the bell is!
Metal Handled Kettlebell
Next in the line are the metal handled, rubber-bodied kettlebells. These are fine for most people and are slightly cheaper. If it’s for personal use these should be perfectly adequate. The slight drawback with these bells is that the rubber can become damaged and chip away, meaning they can lose weight over time.
Check they are well made – especially in the join between the handle and the rubber. On a couple of occasions I’ve seen cheap kettlebells break where the handle joins the bell. You certainly don’t want that.
Finally, there are plastic kettlebells. I’d urge you to avoid these at all costs. They aren’t as hard wearing, are typically much bigger than cast iron or rubber kettlebells and don’t feel as good in the hand. If budget is the issue, I’d urge you to save a little longer and buy cast iron or rubber kettlebells.
Compare Prices on Kettlebells
I hope this single kettlebell workout article provides more of an idea as to what kettlebell you should purchase to meet your needs, without compromising your goals.
When used correctly, kettlebells are a fantastic training tool and can be used for all kinds of different training goals. Keep checking back for more kettlebell workouts
Steve Hoyles is a personal trainer and fitness blogger at www.hoylesfitness.com. He has been a certified kettlebell instructor for 10 years and has successfully helped thousands of people improve their health and fitness both in person and online.