The 5 Best Full-Body Kettlebell Exercises That Will Light You Up

How to perform wall sits with kettlebell holds - best full-body kettlebell exercises

Building the home gym of your dreams is an exciting and rewarding pursuit. There's nothing like being able to play your own music and not waiting for equipment. Plus, saving time and gas money by not needing to drive across town to the gym is also a nice perk. But not everyone has the funds to build their dream home gym upfront; we often need to do so piece by piece, which, while smart, can also take some time. In this article, I'll cover effective full-body kettlebell exercises and whether you can reach your goals with this underrated piece of equipment.

Unfortunately, I've known plenty of individuals over the years who have made the mistake of thinking, "I can't make serious strength and fitness gains without a bench and squat rack!" While these pieces of equipment indeed play a prominent role in opening the door to full-body strength training exercises, you do not have to wait until you have access to these more expensive equipment purchases to let the gainz begin! For those looking to build a home gym over time, I suggest purchasing a set of kettlebells as one of your first equipment purchases. And it doesn't even need to be a complete set! A pair of heavy, medium, and light kettlebells should cover your bases quite nicely. The result is an infinite combination of exercises that can keep you sweating and making gains as you slowly build up your home gym.

To prove how effective a set of kettlebells can be, I'll run you through five challenging full-body exercises! Each exercise is a compound movement, meaning it challenges large muscle groups and strengthens your body functionally. Even better, these exercises will also challenge your endurance, mobility, and even the stability of your joints. So, if you want some serious strength and endurance gains with only a few kettlebells, here you go:

  1. Stand directly over your kettlebells with your feet in a sumo squat position (i.e., make your stance wider than the width of your shoulders).
  2. Squat down so your hands can grab the kettlebell handles. You will maintain this squat position for the rest of the exercise.
  3. While keeping your lower and mid back in a strong, flat position, pull one kettlebell up as high as you can, then slowly lower it down to the floor and repeat with the other arm. Perform all of your repetitions in an alternating fashion.
Pro tip: Want to kick it up a notch? Pull both kettlebells off the floor an inch or so and keep them here the entire time; don’t let them rest on the floor at any point in time during your set.

The kettlebell swing is a classic full-body kettlebell exercise that should be a staple movement for any individual looking to burn calories while strengthening their entire body. The kettlebell swing is a hip-dominant movement, meaning it will tax your glutes and legs as you perform the movement, but it doesn't stop there; the hip-hinging movement performed will also challenge your lower and middle back muscles. And there's still more! It also taxes your shoulders and upper back due to the arm swing motion being performed. Basically, this exercise works the "everything muscle" on the backside of your body, leaving your muscles burning and your lungs huffing and puffing for more air.