8 Kettlebell Exercises For Beginners With Beginner Kettlebell Workout

A beginner kettlebell workout can be a great introduction to strength training. These beginner kettlebell exercises can be used to create a fun and diverse kettlebell training programme to help you in your first steps in resistance training.

8 min read
Sean Klein
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Sean Klein
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In This Resource
  • Are Kettlebell Workouts Good For Beginners?
  • Benefits of Kettlebell Training for Beginners
  • Strength Training
  • Muscle Gain
  • Low Skill Training Exercises
  • Time Efficient
  • How To Start Kettlebell Training
  • Keep It Simple
  • Keep Workout Frequency Low
  • Avoid Ballistic Exercise
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • What Weight Kettlebell Should A Beginner Use?
  • Is A 10 Minute Kettlebell Workout Effective?
  • Can I Lose Weight With Kettlebells?
  • How Beginners Can Use Kettlebells To Learn Technique and Gain Body Awareness
  • Squat Exercises
  • Hinge / Deadlift Variation
  • Core Exercises
  • Vertical Press
  • Carry Variations
  • Sample Beginner Kettlebell Workout
  • References

Kettlebells are a great introduction to strength training. With these exercises you’ll be able to start your first kettlebell session today. We have picked the 8 simplest exercises for beginners and have a great full body kettlebell workout for anyone to try. Let’s have a look at the benefits of kettlebell training and then go through these 8 simple exercises.

Are Kettlebell Workouts Good For Beginners?

It’s pretty clear that kettlebells are on of the best tools for beginners getting into strength training. Barbend have written a great comprehensive guide to strength training for beginners here , all of the principles discussed in this article will apply to kettlebell training. Any form of resistance training is very beneficial to beginners, but kettlebells have a lot of simple exercise that allow beginners to reap the benefits. Whereas barbells require more fixed positions and better technique, kettlebells are an excellent introductory tool to strength training.

Benefits of Kettlebell Training for Beginners

Strength Training

It’s been shown that kettlebell training is an extremely effective form of strength and power training that allows you to strengthen all the key movement patterns and muscle groups, and achieve all the benefits of resistance training. (1) Beginners won’t need to use particularly heavy weights as strength adaptations can initially come from more high rep and light weight exercises.

Muscle Gain

Beginners will see huge benefits to muscle growth from using kettlebells as almost any sort of stimulus will result in muscular growth and all muscle groups can be targeted with an effective kettlebell programme. The amount of sets done per week will play a huge role in how much hypertrophy occurs.

Low Skill Training Exercises

The kettlebell as a tool is very effective for beginners, as it is versatile and a single kettlebell can be used to develop multiple areas of the body. It’s also a great introductory tool as it allows you to do very low skill exercises with light weights, enabling you to start your road to strength.

Time Efficient

Having a minimalist training set up at home with only a few kettlebells can give beginners an easy way to find enough time to get start with resistance training. Finding time in your schedule to get into strength training can be very challenging, so kettlebells can be a great way to make strength training achievable for those on a busy schedule.

How To Start Kettlebell Training

Keep It Simple

Starting kettlebell training can be a little daunting as there are so many different exercises available and so much information about different variations about sets and repetitions that are effective. The key is to start simple and easy, pick exercises with low skill requirements (like the exercises listed below) and use weights you feel comfortable with. We also give guidelines on weights, sets and reps below so you can create your own workout or use one of the sample workouts suggested.

Keep Workout Frequency Low

In terms of training frequency (how often you train) a great starting point is twice a week with sessions that you feel are manageable and fun. Give yourself some time to gain the skills required to perform the exercises with more weight and progressively add weight.

Avoid Ballistic Exercise

If you’re unable to perform the basic strength training movement patterns with kettlebells then adding ballistic movements like kettlebell swings and kb snatches probably isn’t a good idea. Mastering the goblet squat, kettlebell deadlift, kettlebell floor press etc should come first, then you’ll be able to dive into the more ballistic style of movements.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Weight Kettlebell Should A Beginner Use?

The weight used will really depend on the individual and the movement pattern they are performing. A 21 year old male who has a long athletic back ground but has never done any strength training and therefore a beginner will lift a lot more than a sedentary 70 year old female, making this question impossible to answer. The weight used should be challenging enough t create adaptation but not so challenging that the exercise cannot be performed with good technique.

We created an algorithm that solves this problem, if you download the app and enter your details, you’ll be provided with training based on your gender, experience, age and equipment you have available.

Is A 10 Minute Kettlebell Workout Effective?

Yes, a 10 minute of almost any form of movement is effective in the sense that movement is beneficial to health in so many ways. Effective for a specific goal like muscle growth or cardiovascular development though is hard to say unless the specific session is known. Kettlebells can be used for so many different goals that they are effective for multiple outcome. 10 minutes is a very short exercise bout, but could be the perfect amount of time for a high intensity interval training session. Fitting a full strength training session into 10 minutes would be challenging and it probably requires a little more time.

Can I Lose Weight With Kettlebells?

Kettlebell training can be used to burn calories as it require energy to be performed. This will increase your energy expenditure. An increased calorie expenditure will help you lose weight but only if your calorie expenditure is more than calorie consumed. Kettlebells can play a role in the the energy in / energy out equation, but for weight loss this is the key to success.

How Beginners Can Use Kettlebells To Learn Technique and Gain Body Awareness

Squat Exercises

The kettlebell counterbalance squat is a kettlebell exercise that will be one of the best tools you can use to help with learning the squat. This is because it allows you to maintain an upright torso through an external cue. This is one of the best beginner exercises you can add into a full body kettlebell workout. In terms of kettlebell lunge variations for beginners, the kettlebell squat in lunge will be the best option. This allows beginners to find a stable stance and stay there, making the exercise much more about strength rather than stability compared to a kettlebell front rack walking lunge.

Hinge / Deadlift Variation

The KB Sumo Deadlift is a great first step into hinging for beginner’s. Due to the wide stance the range of motion is reduced making it much more approachable for beginner’s, making this a great option for a kettlebell workout for beginners.

Core Exercises

The best core variation for beginners is the KB suitcase hold as it’s one of the most simple exercises available which will still allow a great deal of physiological stress. This is a great entry into core stabilisation exercises.

Vertical Press

The best kettlebell shoulder presses variations for beginners are the unilateral options as the require a lot less mobility that the bi-lateral variations, making them more approachable for beginners. An example of this would be the half kneeling KB press.

Carry Variations

The best kettlebell carry variations for beginners are always the simplest variations, thankfully most of the carry variations are relatively simple, that being said some are complex and should be avoided by beginners.

Sample Beginner Kettlebell Workout

Warm Up

2-3 Rounds

Top of Press Up Hold x 30-60 seconds

Kettlebell Counterbalance Squat

Plank x 30 seconds

A1) Kettlebell Floor Press

A2) Goblet Squat in Lunge

B1) Kettlebell Deadlift

B2) Half Kneeling Kettlebell Press

C1) Tall Kneeling Hip to Halo

C2) Kettlebell Farmers Carry


  • Manocchia, Pasquale1; Spierer, David K.2; Lufkin, Adrienne K. S.1; Minichiello, Jacqueline1; Castro, Jessica1. Transference of Kettlebell Training to Strength, Power, and Endurance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: February 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 2 - p 477-484 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825770fe
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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.

    Sean Klein


    Programme is a workout app that plans every workout for you

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