Full-Body Exercises

Get Ripped with These Six Must-Do Kettlebell Exercises

Learn the kettlebell moves you need to burn more fat and pack on the muscle for a lean, ripped body.

Kettlebell Swing


If you want to pack on more muscle and get ripped faster, start using kettlebells. Not only will you generate more power, build more lean muscle, and spike your metabolism, but you’ll also improve your balance and stability.

Because of its shape, you can push, pull, and swing the kettlebell like nothing else and unlock a new branch of exercises that are impossible with the tools you have now.

Follow these six best kettlebell exercises to add more muscle, melt more fat, boost your endurance, and move better. You’ll improve your body quickly and build the foundation for every other kettlebell exercise. (Bicep curls, however, are forbidden.)


1) Kettlebell Deadlift

Kettlebells start here. The deadlift adds muscle to your hips, hamstrings, glutes, and back. It also ingrains a good hip-hinge—the process of bending forward at your hips while keeping your lower-back flat and bending your knees slightly—necessary in almost every kettlebell move.

How to do it:

Stand shoulder-width apart with the kettlebell between your legs and the handle inline with the bony part of your ankles. Bend from hips and grab the kettlebell with both hands. Before you lift, your shins should be vertical, your back should be almost parallel with the ground, and your lower back should be flat.

Squeeze the handle hard, pull your shoulders backward, and crush your armpits. Lift the kettlebell by pushing through the ground, not by pulling up. Stand tall and squeeze your glutes at the top. On the way down, place the kettlebell at the same exact spot you lifted it from.

How to use it:

Use on your lower-body workouts to as the main lift or as an accessory exercise to the barbell squat or barbell deadlift.

2) Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is a fantastic exercise to strengthen your body and burn a ton of fat. It develops tremendous power in your hamstrings, glutes, and core, which will improve your other lifts like the squat and deadlift. It also crushes your lungs and blasts your metabolism because it repeats so quickly.

Adding the swing to your workout will absolutely improve your athleticism. It is, however, one of the most butchered exercises on Earth. Start with the kettlebell deadlift first—it will build a great foundation and teach good technique.  

How to do it:

Start in a deadlift position with the kettlebell a few feet in front of you. Then, hike the kettlebell back between your legs like a center in football and explosively drive your hips forward. Imagine propelling the kettlebell to a target in front of you.

Here are the two most common problems you’ll encounter:

1. “Squatting” the kettlebell swing. At the bottom of the swing, your torso is too upright and your knees are too far forward: it looks like a squat. This happens because you haven’t mastered the deadlift yet.

Work on your kettlebell deadlift and then retry the swing. Only bend your knees slightly.

2. Too much arms. Your arms should feel like noodles because it’s the hips that propel the movement. Instead, use a towel swing: wrap a towel around the kettlebell handle and grab the ends of the towel. Then, swing the kettlebell.

With a correct swing, the kettlebell should reach around the height of your belly button or chest, no higher.

How to use it:

Use it as a power exercise early in your workout or at the end as a brutal finisher.