You only need a kettlebell and these 7 moves to train your entire body — here's how

Woman performing a kettlebell squat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

If you’re on the hunt for a minimal equipment workout that targets multiple muscles, these seven exercises hit all areas of the body and you only need a kettlebell to complete the routine.

While there's no shortage of workouts that focus on specific muscle groups, a full-body session from fitness coach  Caroline Idiens is designed to provide you with a comprehensive workout, all with the convenience of a single piece of equipment. So if you prefer a workout routine that doesn't require you to spend hours at the gym and instead focuses on holistic strength and endurance, this workout is the perfect choice.

Before getting stuck in, you might want to consider whether or not you want one or more kettlebell weights to complete each exercise, or if you prefer the adaptability of an adjustable kettlebell. Either way, you will find a brilliant selection in our roundup of the best kettlebells.

Just as the bigger muscles in our body will be able to lift heavier weights, exercises that target more than one muscle group will also be able to do so, too. Meanwhile, you may struggle to comfortably lift a heavier weight in an isolation exercise.  You can learn more about isolation vs compound exercises here. 

What is the workout? 

This kettlebell routine is a dynamic and efficient full-body workout consisting of seven distinct exercises. You'll perform 15 reps for all exercises except for the kettlebell swings, which you’ll do for 12 reps, along with 12 reps on each side for the unilateral exercises. Aim to complete four sets of the entire routine. 

You can follow along with Idiens’ workout via a demonstrational video below, or if you want a closer look at how to perform the exercises, take a look below:

Seated Overhead Press x15

The Seated Overhead Press primarily targets the deltoid muscles in the shoulders, as well as the triceps. It's an excellent exercise for building shoulder and arm strength.

To do one, sit on a sturdy surface with your legs extended — the floor will do. Hold the kettlebell at chest height with both hands. Press the kettlebell overhead until your arms are fully extended. Lower the kettlebell back to chest height.

Kettlebell Swing x12

The kettlebell swing is a dynamic exercise that primarily targets the glutes, hamstrings, lower back, and core muscles. It's an excellent full-body exercise for power and explosiveness.

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding the kettlebell with both hands in front of you. Bend at the hips and knees slightly, keeping your back straight. Swing the kettlebell between your legs while maintaining a strong core. Thrust your hips forward and swing the kettlebell up to chest height.

Sumo Squat 3 Pulses x15

This exercise primarily targets the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, and adductor muscles. It's an effective lower body exercise that helps improve leg strength and muscle endurance. 

Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart, toes pointed slightly outward. Hold the kettlebell at chest height with both hands. Perform a deep squat, ensuring your knees track over your toes and your back remains straight. Pulse at the bottom of the squat three times.

What are the benefits?  

This full-body workout is designed to deliver numerous benefits for your overall fitness journey. As this routine includes moves that target multiple muscle groups simultaneously, it provides a well-rounded and efficient workout in a shorter amount of time.

By incorporating compound movements and resistance, this workout enhances both muscular strength and endurance. Many of the exercises mimic everyday movements, promoting better functional fitness, which is essential for daily activities.

The dynamic nature of these exercises also helps to burn calories and promote weight loss. Please note, if weight loss is a goal of yours, we don't advise over-exercising and neglecting to eat to satiety. Fuelling your body correctly and listening to what your body needs should always take priority.

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Jessica Downey
Fitness Writer

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. Her love for keeping fit and fueling her body with healthy and enjoyable food quite naturally led her to write about all things fitness and health-related. If she isn’t out testing the latest fitness products such as the latest running shoe or yoga mat for reviewing then she can be found writing news and features on the best ways to build strength, active aging, female health, and anything in between. Before then she had a small stint writing in local news, has also written for Runners World UK (print and digital), and gained experience with global content marketing agency, Cedar Communications.

Born and raised in Scotland, Jessica is a massive fan of exercising and keeping active outdoors. When at home she can be found running by the sea, swimming in it, or up a mountain. This continued as she studied and trained to become a PPA-accredited magazine journalist in Wales. And since working and living in London, she splits her time between weight training in the gym, trying new fitness classes, and finding scenic running routes. Jessica enjoys documenting this on her fitness-inspired Instagram page @jessrunshere where she loves engaging with like-minded fitness junkies.

She is a big fan of healthy cooking and loves learning more about this area with expert nutritionists she has met over the years. Jessica is a big advocate for building healthy relationships with food rather than building restrictive attitudes towards it. When she isn’t eating or running she also enjoys practicing yoga in her free time as it helps her to unwind and benefits her performance in other sports.