There are so many kettlebell leg exercises that you can use in your training to create both a lot of adaptation and also a lot of variety. Most people do the same 3-5 exercises on repeat, this can create a stagnant workout programme that leads to poor consistency.
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Here we have 10 different variations of kettlebell leg exercises to keep your workout routine effective and fun. Let’s have a look at the benefits of kettlebell leg exercises and the 10 exercises you can use in your kettlebell leg workout.
One of the major benefits of the kettlebell as a tool for leg exercise is its shape, the way it can be carried in multiple positions allows for a huge variety of exercises. You can use a goblet position, front rack position or hold the kettlebell by your side. Making it practical for the kettlebell lunge exercise, the single leg deadlift and many other movements you can add to a kettlebell workout.
Also its great for uni-lateral (one sided) training as you can do a lot of the exercises with one or two kettlebells. This all results in fun interesting training due to the high variety of exercises available. Not only is it fun training, it’s also extremely effective, even if you don’t have a heavy kettlebell there are exercise variations which can create a lot of stimulus without a lot of weight. Kettlebell single leg work can be added to both athletic and general population work.
They can also be effective as a primary exercise for the lower body if this is the only piece of equipment you have (see sample leg workout below). This is especially true if you’re a beginner, where something like goblet squats can be an excellent introduction into the squatting movement pattern. The goblet squat is a great example of one of the best exercises beginners can use to get themselves familiar with the squat movement pattern. Ben Bruno discusses squat progressions at length with in this article . That being said, kettlebells can also be used as a tool to increase strength in the squat for more advanced athletes(1).
These leg exercises with a kettlebell can be used in a variety of training situations. For full body resistance training they can be great as secondary exercises after a heavy barbell lift. A secondary exercise is often called an accessory exercise, it’s just a term used to highlight that it comes after the primary lift of the session. Each kettlebell exercise can be labelled in this way based on how much fatigue it creates, typically starting with exercises that create the most fatigue and then moving onto exercises that cause less fatigue. This principle is applied to all leg exercise and all equipment styles.
Finally the lunge variations are great exercises to add into cardiovascular / Crossfit style workouts. Done 2-3 times a week should see good progress on strength in the movement pattern and in muscular development of the leg.
Running can be supplemented with strength training for the benefit of health but also to take some minutes off your personal bests through improved performance. This style of strength training can be done on the days you don’t go for a run. Running requires a lot of strength in the glutes and training with kettlebells can provide this.
Doing a kettlebell workout in general or just a kettlebell leg workout can involve using multiple hand positions with the kettlebell. For example doing a single leg deadlift, the kettlebells are in the suitcase position next to the legs. Whereas a Front Rack KB Squat, the kettlebells are placed in the front rack position. A final example is the kettlebell lunge exercise which can be done from either the suitcase position or the front rack position, both of which can develop leg strength but also the core musculature. Ensuring you’re aware of good positions in both style of exercise will allow for long term training success.
These are going to be split into two categories with 15 of each.
These kettlebell leg exercises will put emphasis on the hamstring muscles but will also have a secondary effect on the core musculature and the muscles in the back. If you practice these exercises regularly they can help in developing your deadlift.
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This resource was written by Sean Klein. Sean Richard Klein has thousands of hours of coaching experience and a BSc in Sports Science with Management from Loughborough University. He owns a gym in Bayonne France, CrossFit Essor, which runs group classes and a Personal training studio.