Best Kettlebell Exercises for Full Body Strength and Performance

Most people assume that you need a full gym of equipment to build full-body fitness and strength. That’s just not the case. To prove this point we’ll showcase some of the best kettlebell exercises that will develop strength and fitness throughout your whole body.

Most of these movements are dynamic and recruit muscles throughout your body, and they work to develop functional strength that will help you perform everyday movements more effectively.

With some kettlebell training using the movements described below you can make yourself stronger and really maximize your body’s efficiency so that you’re more comfortable performing everyday tasks.

Turkish Get-Up

The Turkish Get-Up is one of the all-time best kettlebell exercises for strength development throughout your entire body. It’s not designed to give you massive muscles, but to help your body function properly and to improve your overall fitness level at once.

You’ll essentially go from a lying position to standing with a weighted load in your hand while doing this exercise.

Performing the Move:

Start by laying on a padded surface with one leg straight and the other with your knee raised vertically and foot planted on the floor. One arm is laid flat and the other is vertical holding the kettlebell.

Now slowly move your trunk to an upright position so you are sitting with the kettlebell raised vertically still.

Now carefully climb to a kneeling position with the weight raised and finally come to a full stand. Finish the exercise by dropping back to kneeling, sitting and finally laying.

Do one side several times and then move to the other. Start with a light weight or no weight and work your way up while focusing on comfortable and fluid movements.

Kettlebell Swing

This swinging movement works the legs and upper body and makes your cardio system work as well for a good conditioning exercise.

Performing the Move:

Grasp a kettlebell with both of your hands while keeping your arms straight with a slight bend to prevent elbow locking. Swing the weight between shoulder height and to a position between a pair of bent knees. Keep your feet flat throughout, and go from a slight squat position to straight legs as you drive the weight upward and out while keeping your arms at the same bent position all throughout the movement.

The Goblet Squat

Work your legs and upper body at once with the Goblet Squat.

Performing the Movement:

Start upright with legs slightly bent and your arms grasping the ring of the kettlebell almost as if you’re grasping a steering wheel while driving. Drop back into a squat position with the kettlebell just above either of your knees in that central position and come back up again to complete the movement.

The Kettlebell Press

This upper-body movement is similar to a military press but on just one side of the body. It activates your core and shoulder muscles in a big way but should build leg strength and challenge many of your other upper-body muscles as well.

Performing the Movement:

To perform this exercise slip your hand into the ring of the kettlebell with your fingers on the inside of the ring and your thumb on the outside.

The weighted part of the kettlebell should be positioned at the back of your hand and you should have your palm facing forward when getting started.

Start with your arm tucked with your elbow at your side, then press the kettlebell upwards so you’re holding it straight up above you. Drop it back down to complete the movement.

Kettlebell Clean or Clean and Press

One of the most functional training lifts other than the Turkish Getup on this list is the Kettlebell clean. This movement has you practice grabbing something low with a single hand and lifting it up to about shoulder height. It will make picking up heavy objects during the day simple and comfortable to do when practised enough.

Performing the Movement:

Set the kettlebell on the floor in between both of your feet. Squat down with your butt above knee height and grab the ring of the kettlebell. Drive the weight upward using power from your legs by really squeezing your glutes and hamstrings to force your body up.

Grasp the weight and lift it up to shoulder height while rotating your hand around to move the kettlebell around your wrist rather than up and over it. You can finish the movement with a kettlebell press as described up above, or you can just drop back down to the lower position.

Kettlebell Snatch

The kettlebell snatch is really one of the best kettlebell exercises for building strength and power and it’s described as an excellent full-body exercise. If you’re comfortable doing most of the other exercises on this list you can move on to a snatch to make yourself even stronger.

Performing the Movement:

Squat down and grasp the kettlebell on the floor with your hips hinging to raise it up into the starting position with the weight at knee level. Grasp the ring with the back of your hand facing away from your body.

Now swing the arm upward in an arc close to the body until the weight is up over your shoulder just to the side of your head. While raising up the weight turn your arm so your palm is facing the opposite direction by the time the weight is up to the top position.

Turn your arm back down as the weight drops in a lowering arc. Come to a squat position with the kettlebell between your legs to complete the movement. Be careful to avoid dropping the weight and instead focus on lowering it in a controlled arc to protect your joints and to get the most from this movement.

This is a highly technical lift, so start light and master the form of the movement before increasing the weight. It should feel natural and comfortable the whole time, and if it feels jumpy you need to smooth out your technique more.

Best Kettlebell Exercises Take Away

The kettlebell is a powerful exercise device and can help you build full-body strength when used properly. Learn some of the movements on this list and you’ll find yourself relying on your kettlebell collection more and more to really enhance your strength and fitness.

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6 best kettlebell exercises

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