The 6 Hardest Kettlebell Exercises For Your Workout Routine

If your looking to increase the complexity of your workouts then we have the exercises for you. Sometimes it can feel as if the exercises we are performing arn’t challenging enough, this can lead to stagnation and lack of motivation. Thats why it’s important to incrementally make your training more and more challenging as you progress physically and technically.

5 min read
Sean Klein
Written by
Sean Klein
Published on
Last updated

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In This Resource
  • Why Hard Exercises are Important
  • How To Use Hard Exercises
  • Hard Doesn’t Mean Heavy
  • The 6 Hardest Kettlebell Exercises For Your Workout Routine

Why Hard Exercises are Important

It is really important to keep finding and adding challenging and novel exercises into your training regime, otherwise you will stagnate and get bored with your training. Part of training consistently is finding ways that make it fun and interesting for you. Thats why using exercises like the ones in this list is a great way to keep your training fun.

Not only psychologically is it important but physiologically it can be very beneficial to learn new skills, it enables a sense of challenge which engages you in the task you perform.

How To Use Hard Exercises

Hard exercises should be approached with caution, not to state the obvious, but these exercise will require much higher degrees of technical proficiency than other more simple kettlebell exercise. Start with light weights until you have found your groove with the exercise, then you can think about adding weight.

Hard Doesn’t Mean Heavy

This list is based on technical difficulty, obviously lifting up a 200kg kettlebell (if that even exists) is much harder than doing a single arm Turkish sit up, but for the sake of this article, I based the criterion of hard to mean both technically and physically challenging.

The 6 Hardest Kettlebell Exercises For Your Workout Routine

The single arm Turkish sit up is one of the most challenging core exercises you can perform with a kettlebell. This exercise can be very hard even when the weight is very light. It is important not to create a swinging momentum when performing this exercise. All the work should be done by the core musculature. Make sure you start with a light weight if you have never attempted this exercise previously.

The single arm overhead bottom up KB carry is probably the most technically difficult carry in our entire exercise library. This exercise will challenging both grip strength and shoulder stability so be sure to start with a light weight that you are confident with overhead. Do not perform this exercise if you cannot fully extend the elbow or shoulder joint, if there is a slight bend in either you still have a long way to go with regular carries before you can attempt this exercise.

The KB front rack cursty squat is a very taxing exercise, it requires single leg strength and co-ordination, upper back and core strength to keep the kettlebell in place and finally good mobility to be able to hit the correct positions. All of these factors add up to make this one of the most challenging kettlebell exercise to add into your workout routine.

The KB Hollow Hold is another very challenging kettlebell core exercise. This should only be used in your training regime if you have already mastered the basics of the dead-bug and hollow hold. Add a kettlebell into the mix will add weight to the extension you are resisting, therefore making the exercise more challenging.

The KB single leg straight leg deadlift is a very hard exercise, not just in terms of physically difficulty but also technical difficulty. If your looking for an extremely hard hinge variation that works both your posterior chain and your balance then this exercise is a must try.

Finally we have the KB Start Side Plank, which as you can see is a very challenging core variation that you can do with a kettlebell. It is difficult for both shoulders, the one maintaining the body stable and the other keeping the kettlebell stable. If you bored of standard side plank variations then give this one a go and it will not disappoint.

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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


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