Kettlebells may be the ultimate training tool. Give them a try with these beginner-safe (but still challenging) moves, which deliver toning, core strengthening and a cardio session—all in one workout. PLUS! Watch a step-by-step guide to all the moves.
Your trainer: Andy Speer, co-owner of SoHo Strength Lab in New York City, designed this workout exclusively for SELF.
You’ll need: a kettlebell—10 to 15 pounds (4 to 6 kilograms) if you’re a beginner, 15 to 20 pounds (6 to 8 kilograms) if you have experience with them.
Do: this 7-move circuit 3 times a week. Perform moves 1, 2 and 3 to improve balance; do 3 sets. Next, try moves 4 and 5 for sculpting; do 3 sets. Finish with moves 6 and 7 for a cardio challenge; do 3 sets.
Grip kettlebell handle with weight on top and hold at chest height. Stagger legs and bend knees. Lift weight to eye level; slowly circle it around head to the left (weight and handles swap positions as you go). Circle it to the right (as shown) for 1 rep. Do 5 reps.
Works shoulders, legs
Hold kettlebell in left hand with arm extended above shoulder, weight resting on back of wrist. Step left foot back into a reverse lunge (as shown). Step forward to stand for 1 rep. Do 10 reps; repeat on opposite side.
Works shoulders, abs, legs
Hold kettlebell in right hand with arms hanging straight at sides, legs staggered a few feet apart with left foot forward. Bend at waist so torso is at a 45-degree angle to floor, back straight. Lift kettlebell to rib cage (as shown), pause and lower for 1 rep. Do 15 reps; repeat on opposite side.
Works upper back, shoulders, biceps, abs
Stand with feet hip-width apart. Hold kettlebell in right hand at shoulder height, weight on back of wrist. Squat, then stand as you press kettlebell overhead (as shown). Return to start for 1 rep. Do 10 reps; repeat on opposite side.
Works shoulders, triceps, abs, legs
Squat and Curl
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, toes turned out 45 degrees, gripping kettlebell with both hands at chest height. Squat until thighs are parallel to floor, then do a biceps curl (as shown). Return to start. Do 2 squats; then do 2 curls at the bottom of the second squat. Continue adding reps to finish with 5 squats and 5 curls.
Works biceps, upper back, abs, legs
Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, gripping kettlebell with both hands. Bend knees, then hinge at hips to swing kettlebell between legs. Stand as you swing it to chest height (as shown). Do 20 reps.
Works abs, glutes, hamstrings
New to this move? Learn how to do the kettlebell swing in four steps.
Grip kettlebell at base of handle with both hands, weight on top, and raise directly overhead (fingers behind you). Stagger feet and bend knees. Keep elbows close to ears as you lower kettlebell behind head to neck level (as shown). Pause, then straighten arms to raise kettlebell overhead for 1 rep. Do 10 reps.
Works triceps, shoulders, abs
Photos courtesy of SELF