You only need 5 moves and 1 kettlebell to develop full-body strength — here’s how

woman doing kettlebell workout
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Looking for a full-body workout that doesn't require you to go to the gym? We've found a challenging five-move workout you can do anywhere. And the only equipment you need is one of the best kettlebells.

While incorporating different types of workout equipment into your strength training is good for providing diversity in your exercise and targeting specific muscle groups at a time, a kettlebell is great for building strength and muscle in unilateral and compound exercises. Kettlebells are also a portable piece of strength training equipment meaning you can complete a workout like this indoors or outdoors in your local park.

Maintaining a tight grip around the handle is a given when it comes to holding a kettlebell properly, but you should also ensure to engage your core to help with balance and coordination throughout the moves. You can check out demonstrations of the exercises below where the creator of this workout Fernanda Shaw shows how it's done.

CAP Kettlebell: from $20 @ Amazon

CAP Kettlebell: from $20 @ Amazon
This kettlebell is made of high quality cast iron with no weld or seam casting. It's coated in an industrial enamel paint for enduring protection. It's perfect for swings, deadlifts, squats, get ups, snatches, and other athletic/cross training workouts. It's available in various sizes. Pictured is the 25-lb. kettlebell at $41.

What is the 5-move full-body kettlebell workout?

The five exercises that you will complete in this workout have been crafted together to develop strength and muscle all over. So get ready to sweat through a mix of movements including some jumps, plank pull-throughs and lunges. 

You will spend 30 seconds on each move, take a 15 second break and then move onto the next exercise. You should also take one minute rest between rounds to allow your muscles time to prepare for the next circuit. This will also give you time to take a swig from one of the best water bottles and keep up your hydration levels. 

Set out to complete three rounds in total and if you have more gas in the tank after three, challenge yourself with a fourth round. 

A solid kettlebell workout like this five move routine from Shaw offers a convenient, effective, and accessible way to build strength and muscle without the need for extensive equipment or gym access. Let’s take a closer look at the exercises included and how they can contribute to your strength gains.

Kettlebell jump squats are classed as an explosive exercise and primarily target the lower body muscles, including the quads, hamstrings, glutes, and calves. The jumping motion adds intensity and power to traditional squats and as well as this, the exercise can improve your explosive power which is useful during ball sports and sprinting.

The kettlebell reverse lunge press combines a reverse lunge with an overhead press and again has a big focus on the lower body muscles used in the jump squats. However, it adds in an overhead press targeting the shoulders, triceps amd upper back. This compound move is a great way to engage the upper and lower body and help promote full-body strength development.

a woman performing a plank with a kettlebell pull through

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Moving into the kettlebell plank pull through push-ups, you will engage the chest, shoulders, triceps, core, and back muscles. The plank position will help to strengthen the core and stabilizer muscles meanwhile the push-up will help target the chest and triceps. Then adding the pull-through motion with the kettlebell adds in a bonus movement for challenging your back muscles.

Next up are kettlebell overhead forward lunges which entail holding a kettlebell overhead while performing forward lunges. This move adds resistance to the lower body muscles, and the overhead position also engages the shoulders, upper back, and core muscles to stabilize the body.

Finally, you have a core classic: kettlebell around the worlds. This exercise targets the shoulders, upper back, and core muscles while also engaging the stabilizer muscles throughout the body. As you rotate the kettlebell around the body in a controlled motion, the exercise aims to promote shoulder mobility, stability, and strength while challenging the core helping to strengthen and define the muscles here.

Ready for a full-body blast? Pick up a kettlebell and get going.

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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.