25 Oct The 3 Best Kettlebell Exercises for Fat Loss?

Posted at 16:35h in Kettlebells by Scott

What are the best kettlebells exercises for fat loss?

That’s a common one, especially for those new to kettlebells.

The truth is that all the kettlebell exercises are effective for fat loss, it just depends on the type of training protocol your doing. In other words, how you are programming your kettlebell training.

But, if you asked me what are the top 3 exercises for fat loss, I’d probably narrow it down to the 3 on this list.

Remember, it’s all about the basics.

Let’s take a look and I’ll tell you why these are the top of the list.


If you know anything about kettlebells, then you already know how effective this exercise is.

As I’ve mentioned several times, this is probably one of the single best exercises you can do simply because it addresses so many things with one exercise.

There’s not another exercise that is truly as complete as the kettlebell swing.

For fat burning, muscular strength and power, and for cardiovascular fitness, the swing is the king.

Learn how to do this the right way and you’ll have amazing, almost instantaneous results.

Don’t take my word for it though, read the great book, “The Swing” by Tracy Reifkind.

Sometimes the swing is my entire workout and sometimes it’s all I need – especially in a time crunch.

The swing is a fast, explosive exercise that will have your heart rate elevated after just a few reps. While it’s a great cardiovasular conditioning exercise, it’s also much more than that.


This may come as a bit of a surprise to some that aren’t as familiar with the exercise, but it’s another outstanding exercise to obliterate body fat.

While this exercise is radically different from the swing, it is very effective – and has several unique benefits.

The get-up is a slow, deliberate movement that teaches you how to move better, move stronger, builds strong, powerful shoulders, and is excellent for total body conditioning.

Everyone that I have taught this to seems to discover what a challenging and rewarding exercise it is.

After you learn it and do a few reps, you’ll immediately understand the fat burning, strengthening, and conditioning benefits that come from this exercise.

A few reps under heavy load is the key to realizing the potential of the get-up.

It’s a very deceiving exercise because the benefits aren’t fully understood until you actually experience it for yourself.

As with the swing, the key is to learn how to do this exercise correctly and safely, then add a weight to the movement to maximize the results.

Again, “moving under load” is the key here.

Powerful, effective, and a beautiful movement, not just an exercise.


There’s absolutely no doubt that this is an effective fat burning and high level conditioning exercise.

Anyone who’s done the snatch knows this exercise takes an incredible amount of energy expenditure, cardiovascular conditioning, and total body strength to get the bell overhead in one fast, explosive movement.

The snatch is a “beast of an exercise,” but you must have a good kettlebell swing before you can snatch.

The swing is the foundation of many other kettlebell exercises, including the snatch.

In the high-rep kettlebell snatch, your cardiovascular system and muscular endurance will be challenged to a high level.

Just in case you’re not familiar with the snatch, this exercise takes the kettlebell from a low position and elevates the kettlebell overhead in a fast, explosive movement (a ballistic, the same type of movement as the kettlebell swing).

There are many different protocols you can do with this exercise, as well.

To demonstrate the power of this exercise, one of the requirements to become a certified instructor is to complete the kettlebell snatch test.

In the snatch test, you must complete 100 reps in 5 minutes or less with an appropriate size kettlebell (depends on your gender and age).

The snatch test is a test of strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and mental toughness.

No doubt this will stimulate powerful fat burning hormones – such as growth hormone, testosterone, and others.

If you want to take your fitness to an entirely new level…

Train to complete the kettlebell snatch test, whether or not you want to become certified as an instructor.


If, I had to name the 3 best kettlebell exercises for fat loss, they would be:

  • The swing
  • The get-up
  • The snatch

Remember what I said earlier though.

All the kettlebell exercises are highly effective for fat loss, depending on how you use them. Kettlebells are a very dynamic, unique total body tool that offer outstanding benefits to improve body composition and performance.

But, let’s not forget that the key to fat loss is great nutrition. If you’re nutrition isn’t designed for fat loss, your exercise plan won’t matter much.

30 Apr The Kettlebell Swing for Rapid Fat Loss

Posted at 03:35h in Fat Loss, Kettlebells by Scott 72 Shares

The kettlebell swing may be the most effective exercise for shedding body fat fast.

When combined with good nutrition, the swing may be the king for fat loss for most people.

While it’s hard to crown any exercise the absolute “best” because there’s so many variables, I’d say it’s definitely one of the most essential exercises we have available for the goal of fat loss – and for many other strength and performance benefits, of course.

Now, that’s not saying there aren’t other great exercises for fat loss. There certainly are, but the swing is unique.

As I’ve stated many times before, the key is to learn how to perform this powerful exercise – correctly.

Proper technique is key for training effectiveness.

I want to repeat that because it’s so important, proper technique is key for training effectiveness.

The Russian style swing is brutally effective when it’s done right.

For your understanding, the Russian swing projects the kettlebell horizontally to approximately shoulder level.

This “can be” all that’s needed for a high level of cardiovascular conditioning and elevated metabolism for fat burning benefits.

Here’s proof and a powerful case study.

Meet Tracy Reifkind.

Tracy experienced a dramatic body transformation by incorporating the kettlebell swing into her weight loss program.

She lost 120 pounds by focusing on – and mastering – this exercise.

Her secret was NOT monster “cardio” sessions.

Instead, she focused on the kettlebell swing twice per week for an average of 15-2o minutes.

The two-handed (or one-handed) kettlebell swing has been called “a fat-burning athlete builder” by Dan John, which may very well be the best description of the exercise I’ve ever heard.

The kettlebell swing is a fat-burning athlete builder. – Coach & Author, Dan John

My experience has demonstrated over and over again how powerful and effective the kettlebell swing is for fat loss.

And, for improved overall strength and conditioning performance.

When I want to accelerate fat loss, I simply increase the kettlebell swing volume and intensity for brief periods.

There are many variables, of course. It also comes down to great programming.

If you’re interested in learning about a proven and highly effective program that uses the kettlebell swing and 5 other kettlebell fundamental exercises, check out Kettlebell Domination to see if it’s a fit for you.

There is no other exercise that combines the cardiovascular benefit and resistance training advantage like the kettlebell swing, in my opinion.

Possibly the kettlebell snatch, but the challenge is that the snatch is not as widely available for everyone to perform – it’s the next level of the swing.

The swing is the foundation of kettlebell training and virtually anyone can learn how to perform it with proper coaching.

Here’s a simple 3-step plan to get started with the swing the right way:


This is the critical first step.

Learn about the swing and how to properly perform a two-handed kettlebell swing.

What’s the BEST way to do that?

The best way to learn how to swing safely and effectively is from a certified instructor. This is ideal.

Live-in-person training is always best, but certainly remote coaching is reasonable and available these days.

Please use caution with YouTube videos, as many DO NOT teach the swing with a proper hip hinge.

The best way is to find a qualified, certified instructor.

There are also many solid books and training resources available.

If you’re new, I’d highly suggest starting with Simple and Sinister by Pavel Tsatsouline.

This will give you the fundamental understanding of the Russian style (or hardstyle) kettlebell swing.

Even if you’re experienced, if you haven’t read this book, I strongly encourage adding this to your reading list as soon as possible.

I guarantee that you will gain valuable insights.


Use an appropriate size kettlebell.

Average strength males typically use a 16kg to 24 kg and average strength ladies use an 8 kg – 12 kg kettlebell. This may vary depending on current strength levels, general conditioning, and more (sedentary vs. active, lean vs. overweight, young vs. old).

My preferred kettlebell brand is produced by Rogue Fitness and can be found here.


A good sessions could be 10-12 reps every minute for 10-12 minutes.

Of course, this entirely depends on current conditioning levels, so this is just a general beginner’s guideline and can be adjusted as necessary.

Again, the key to this is to learn how to swing properly.

I can’t say this enough.

If you learn how to perform a proper swing with good technique, you will get results.

It’s a complete exercise and a *’two-for-one’ strength and conditioning exercise that’s very unique and effective (*’two-for-one’ meaning that you get the strength AND conditioning benefits with one exercise).

Learn to swing – and experience the benefits.

To get 12 powerful and effective kettlebell workouts, grab the Kettlebell Impact Report, you can get it for FREE right here.


Tim Ferriss noted in his book, The 4 Hour Body, that he performed 75 reps of kettlebell swings just twice per week (Mondays and Fridays) and in 6 weeks he dropped to his lowest body fat percentage in years.

It should be noted that he did this after a light, protein rich breakfast.

Nutrition, obviously, has a tremendous amount to do with fat loss so let’s not discard that fact.

Beginners should start with sets of 10 and build up volume progressively.

I’ve found that anywhere from 50-100 reps total is typically effective, but this will “depend”on many other things.

If you’re more experienced, the opposite end of the spectrum is Dan John’s legendary 10,000 Swing Challenge.

Not only in this a 4 week crash course in body recomposition, but it’s a test of mental toughness and grit.

So, how many reps per session?

50 to 100 seems to be the “sweet spot” for most people.

Performing 50 to 100 reps of the kettlebell swing exercise seems to be the “sweet spot” for most people in a training session – but this depends on experience, level of conditioning, and other training factors.

It’s a wonderful exercise that has a role in any program, from novice to advanced and from recreational exerciser to competitive athlete.

One thing is certain.

For fat loss, it’s very hard to beat.

Scott Iardella, MPT, CSCS writes about strength training methods to optimize health and performance. Join the community of other passionate fitness enthusiasts or subscribe below to get a ton of cool, free stuff! Go to 72 Shares

I was recently asked about the best kettlebell exercise for fat loss and although I don’t like to single out any one particular exercise it got me thinking.

I started thinking about all the kettlebell exercises that would be good for fat loss and which would get the job done the quickest.

There is no doubt in my mind that the chosen kettlebell exercise would have to use as many muscles as possible.

The more muscles you use the more calories you burn.

Plus, using lots of muscles also means conditioning lots of muscles resulting in an increase in metabolic rate, or burning more fat when at rest.

So, rather than single out just one kettlebell exercise for fat loss I decided to list 7 starting from the easiest and progressing to the more technical.

1. Kettlebell Squat and Press or Thruster

The kettlebell squat and press or thruster is my first choice of kettlebell exercise for fat loss.

Almost every muscle in the body is activated during this kettlebell exercise, plus it is very cardiovascular so will raise the heart rate quickly.

The kettlebell squat is one of our fundamental movement patterns, one of the first few that we develop as toddlers.

We use the squat whenever we sit down, stand up, and even when getting into the car.

The kettlebell squat also acts as a pumping mechanism driving blood around the body and lubricating our joints with healthy nutrients.

It’s also excellent for opening up the lower back and preventing lower back pain.

The depth of the kettlebell squat is very important. The thighs must drop down to parallel with the floor in order to properly activate the buttock muscles.

The buttock muscles are huge fat burners.

Beginners can get huge benefits from just performing the kettlebell goblet squat but for those more comfortable with the exercise the press can be added to the top of the movement.


  1. Kettlebell Goblet Squat
  2. Kettlebell Two Handed Squat and Press
  3. Kettlebell Thruster (one handed)

Watch a video of the squat and press kettlebell exercise for fat loss below:

Related: How to Master the Kettlebell Thruster

2. Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing would have been my first choice as best kettlebell exercise for fat loss but it’s quite technical for complete beginners.

The kettlebell swing, like the squat and press, works most muscles in the body but has more of an emphasis on the back.

The hamstrings, buttocks, lower, mid and upper back all work hard during the kettlebell swing.

It has the advantage of not using such a deep knee bend as the squat so is good for those suffering from bad knees.

However, the lack of knee bend does mean less activation from the front of the legs.

The kettlebell swing is also very cardiovascular, swinging and absorbing the kettlebell weight in between the legs takes a lot of energy.

As with the squat and press the feet do not need to move so impact is very low and minimal space is required.

The top part of the swing is also very powerful at developing the abs when performed correctly as it simulates a standing dynamic plank position.


  1. Kettlebell Two Handed Swing
  2. Kettlebell One Handed Swing
  3. Kettlebell Alternating Swing

Watch a video of the swing kettlebell exercise for fat loss below:

Related: Ultimate Guide to the Kettlebell Swing

3. Kettlebell Clean and Press

The kettlebell clean and press is a slightly more technical kettlebell exercise for fat loss.

Just like the swing and thruster above it uses most of the muscles in the body.

The kettlebell clean and press is based off the deadlift movement pattern which simulates how you should pick anything heavy up from the floor.

The legs, hips, buttocks, core and back are heavily involved in the kettlebell clean movement.

Beginners should start with just the kettlebell clean and when mastered add the press to the movement.

Once flowing beautifully the weight used for the kettlebell clean should be increased substantially.

The deadlift pattern is our strongest movement so can handle much heavier loads.

Again the feet do not need to move so it’s an excellent kettlebell fat loss exercise for small spaces and for those trying to avoid impact.

When in full flow the clean and press is also very cardiovascular because the heart has to work hard to move the kettlebell from the floor to the top position and back down again.


  1. Kettlebell Clean
  2. Kettlebell Clean and Press
  3. Kettlebell Clean and Jerk

Watch a video of the clean and press kettlebell exercise for fat loss below:

Related: Stop Banging Your Wrists and Clean Like a Pro

4. Kettlebell Lunge and Press

The kettlebell lunge and press is one of my favourite kettlebell exercises for fat loss but does require good leg strength.

Everyone should master the kettlebell squat before attempting the kettlebell lunge or they may feel it in their knees due to a lack of strength.

If you want beautiful shaped buttocks and functional hips then the kettlebell lunge is for you.

You also get a huge amount of cardiovascular output from the kettlebell lunge which often surprises many people.

The kettlebell lunge has lots of cross over for sports and improves hip mobility for daily life.

The kettlebell lunge must be mastered first before attempting to add the overhead press to the movement.

As with the squat the depth of the movement is very important in order to fully activate the fat burning buttocks.

Ensure that the rear knee kisses or gets very close to the floor with every repetition.


  1. Kettlebell Reverse Lunge
  2. Kettlebell Forward Lunge
  3. Kettlebell Reverse Lunge and Press

Watch a video of the lunge and press kettlebell exercise for fat loss below:

Related: 16 Kettlebell Lunge Variations from Beginner to Pro

5. Kettlebell Clean, Squat and Press

You can class the clean, squat and press exercise as a kettlebell complex exercise for fat loss.

With this kettlebell exercise we combine two of the fat loss exercises from above into one big complex movement.

You know the full body benefits of the kettlebell clean and also of the squat and press so here you get two for one.

The kettlebell clean, squat and press is certainly not for beginners and seriously challenges your technique throughout the movement.

Again the feet are not moved during the whole exercise so only a small space is required along with minimal joint impact.

The movement should flow from one exercise to the next making it a pleasure to perform if not very challenging on the heart and lungs.

No exercise should be cut short due to the complexity of this exercise, ensure that you fully complete the clean, then the squat and finally the press.


  1. Kettlebell Squat and Press
  2. Kettlebell Clean and Press
  3. Kettlebell Clean, Squat and Press

Watch a video of the clean, squat and press kettlebell exercise for fat loss below:

Related: 4 Kettlebell Complex Workouts for Those Short On Time

6. Kettlebell High Pull

The kettlebell high pull is a much more technical and advanced kettlebell exercise for fat loss.

You must first be very comfortable with the kettlebell swing before attempting this exercise.

Like the kettlebell swing the kettlebell high pull exercise works practically every muscle in the body but with a particular emphasis on the back of the body.

I like the fact that the high pull works deep into the upper back area which is great for those who work a desk job or suffer from back posture.

The first thing you will notice about the high pull is how cardiovascular it is.

You will be breathing heavy fast!

It is important to keep a nice straight wrist, a good grip, and a high elbow in order to complete the movement correctly.

Start out with a light kettlebell before using the same weight you use for the one handed kettlebell swing.


  1. Kettlebell Two Handed Swing
  2. Kettlebell One Handed Swing
  3. Kettlebell High Pull

Watch a video of the high pull kettlebell exercise for fat loss below:

Related: 7 Advanced Kettlebell Exercises That Every Kettlebell Superstar Ought to Use

7. Kettlebell Snatch

The final kettlebell exercise for fat loss is the kettlebell snatch.

Again this is not for the beginner and you will need to have mastered the swing and high pull before attempting this kettlebell exercise.

The kettlebell snatch is quite possibly the best full body kettlebell exercise.

Not many muscles avoid being activated with the kettlebell snatch.

It’s a great kettlebell exercise for improving posture because just like the swing it works deep into the back of the body and the postural muscles.

The feet stay planted so not much space is required and the impact on the leg joints is very low.

It’s a super cardio exercise as the kettlebell is practically pulled from just above the floor to straight overhead.


  1. Kettlebell One Handed Swing
  2. Kettlebell High Pull
  3. Kettlebell Snatch

Watch a video of the snatch kettlebell exercise for fat loss below:

Related: Ultimate Guide to the Kettlebell Snatch

How to Use These Kettlebell Exercises for Fat Loss

Now I’ve listed my 7 best kettlebell exercises for fat loss you may be wondering how you can put all these together into a fat loss workout.

Here’s how I suggest you use these kettlebell exercises:

Step 1:

Start at the beginning and practice the exercise.

I’ve included progressions for each exercise, do not advance onto the next progression until you can complete 20 repetitions.

For example from the Squat and Press:

1. Kettlebell Goblet Squat

When you can perform 20 repetitions move on to the next progression.

2. Kettlebell Two Handed Squat and Press

When you can perform 20 repetitions move on to the next progression.

3. Kettlebell Thruster (one handed)

Step 2:

Put together the exercises into a fat loss circuit like this:

  1. Kettlebell Squat and Press x 30 seconds each side
  2. Kettlebell Clean x 30 seconds each side
  3. Kettlebell One Arm Swing x 30 seconds each side
  4. Kettlebell Lunge and Press x 30 seconds each side
  5. Rest 30 – 60 seconds and repeat 2-4 times

Depending on your skill level you can interchange the different kettlebell exercises.

Just be careful not to add too many overhead press exercises next to each other or your shoulders will fatigue too quickly.

Step 3:

Increase the time for each exercise.

So you have started with 30 seconds, look to increase them all to 45 seconds and finally 60 seconds.

Always keep an eye on your technique and keep practicing the movements.

How Often to Perform the Fat Loss Exercises

Try to stick to a routine of 3-5 times per week.

Listen to your body if you need more rest then take it.

Try to create an exercise habit, rather than pushing too hard each day just practice the exercises above.

Little and often will reap better rewards than a few hard sessions and then giving up.

What Size Kettlebell for Fat Loss

As a general rule I’ve found these to be the best starting weights for men and women:

Kettlebell weight for Men

Start with a 12kg (26lbs) or 16kg (35lbs)

Kettlebell weight for Women

Start with a 8kg (18lbs) or 12kg (26lbs)

Related: Complete Guide to Buying Kettlebells and 7 Types to Avoid

Conclusion to 7 Best Kettlebell Exercises for Fat Loss

A good fat loss exercise is a full body movement that uses hundreds of muscles while raising your heart rate at the same time.

All 7 of the kettlebell exercises listed above will generate some amazing results for fat loss.

It’s important to start at the beginning and work through the exercises as your skills improve.

I’ve also shown you how to use these kettlebell exercises by putting them together into fat loss workouts of your own.

Take it steady and practice 3-5 times per week.

The best fat loss workout is always the one that gets completed regularly so build an exercises habit.

Enjoy the exercises and more importantly the results.

Related: 9 Most Effective Fat Loss Nutrition Tips

Have you tried these kettlebell exercises for fat loss? Let me know more below:

A 15-Minute Kettlebell Workout For Weight Loss

Want to lose that stubborn last couple of kilos around your middle? Then reach for a kettlebell and start swinging. “With just one item of kit there are so many things you can do, including high-rep fat loss workouts and lower-rep strength sessions,” says kettlebell king Ashton Turner, co-founder of London’s Evolve353 gym. “They’re good for developing hip hinge power, which is useful for athletic power creation without the injury risk associated with the deadlift.”

This six-move workout has been designed to get you moving and looking like an athlete. You work in all three planes of motion, improving your movement, while also torching calories and shedding body fat. Oh, and it only takes 15 minutes so you can easily squeeze it into a lunchtime session.

Do the six kettlebell exercises in order, sticking to the reps detailed, without resting until you finish all the reps of the sixth and final move of the circuit. Rest for two minutes, then repeat the circuit. Do three circuits in total. As you progress you can add another circuit.

Reps 10 Rest 0sec

Hold the kettlebell in two hands and swing it back between your legs, hingeing at the hips with minimal knee bend. Powerfully move your hips forwards to straighten up and use the hip thrust power, not your arms, to raise the weight.

2 Clean

Reps 5 each side Rest 0sec

Swing the kettlebell between your legs and drive the hips forwards. Once the bell passes stomach height, draw your elbow back and slide your hand under and around the bell to catch it in the “rack” position, then lower the bell in an arc to repeat the move.

3 Press

Reps 5 each side Rest 0sec

Start in the rack position with the kettlebell at shoulder height and your elbow tucked in to your side for support. Press the weight directly overhead, using the most efficient path possible to reduce stress on your shoulder joint.

4 Snatch

Reps 5 each side Rest 0sec

Swing the bell between your legs, then drive forwards with your hips to swing it up in an arc. When the bell gets to just below chest height, being your elbow back and slide your hand under and around the kettlebell while using its momentum to end with it overhead.

5 Windmill

Reps 5 each side Rest 0sec

Start with the kettlebell above your head and your feet wider than shoulder-width apart. Your weight distribution should be biased towards the side that’s holding the bell. Keeping your eyes on the bell, lower your torso until your hand touches the floor.

6 Plank drag

Reps 10 each side Rest 2min

Get into a straight-arm plank position with your body in a straight line from head to heels and position a kettlebell to one side of your body. Reach under your torso to drag the bell across to the other side. Switch sides and repeat the move.

8 Fat-Burning Kettle Bell Moves

You want to get strong and fit, but you don’t have a lot of time to exercise. Enter kettlebells In just 20 minuses, these cannonball-shaped weights with a handle on top offer a workout that delivers more fat-fighting and body-toning benefits than doing 30 minutes on the treadmill and 30 minutes of traditional weight lifting, according to recent research from the American Council on Exercise. This revved-up toning session features dynamic, multimuscle moves. Unlike typical strength exercises in which you lift and lower weights slowly while keeping the rest of your body still, you swing the kettlebell rhythmically through full-body motions to get your heart rate up fast and target more muscles, especially in your core. The result is a speedy routine that triples your calorie burnup to 400 calories in 20 minutes.
What’s more, our kettlebell-inspired routine (you can do it with a dumbbell too), created by personal trainer and Prevention columnist Chris Freytag, is designed to produce maximum results with minimal risk of injury. And it delivered: When 2 dozen women road-tested it, they lost up to 11 pounds and 15 inches in just 3 weeks. Even better, they loved the workout! “I heard the word ‘fun’ used more than I ever had to describe a routine,” says Freytag. “Getting in a rhythm with the swings and doing little tosses makes it less boring than just hoisting weights and gives you a little bit of that cardio high.” In addition to three kettlebell workouts a week, our test panel did 20 minutes of cardio on alternate days, and half of the group also followed a healthy eating plan.
Whether you have 20 or more pounds to lose, are struggling with those last stubborn 5, or want to firm up, now you can ring up results in just 20 minutes a day!

Kettlebell: Anatomy of a Super Slimmer

Unlike a dumbbell, in which the weight is equally balanced when you hold it, a kettlebell is asymmetrical. With most grips, your hand is set away from the heaviest part of the kettle bell, so you work harder and activate more muscles.
Handle: Most common spot to hold, so you can swing the bell and pass it from hand to hand.
Horns: Alternate grip, especially if you’re holding the bell upside down.
Base: The heaviest part of the bell. Gripping it here provides more stability.


A kettlebell, or you can substitute a dumbbell. Our testers used an 8.8-pound (4 kg) kettlebell ($29.95 at and felt that it added to the fun and novelty of the routine. You’ll also need a watch or timer, as well as space to swing your arms freely on all sides, including overhead (about 4 square feet).
Do the Kettlebell Workout on nonconsecutive days. Do the Main Moves twice through for 16 minutes total. Then stretch for 2 minutes. Go to for ideas.
Do 20 minutes of cardio, such as brisk walking, lap swimming, jogging, dancing, or bike riding. You should exercise at an intensity at which you’re breathing hard but can still speak in short sentences. Do cardio on the same day as kettlebells for longer workouts or on alternate days for shorter workouts.
Watch portions and fill up on whole grains, vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and healthy fats to maximize results. Aim for 1,600 to 1,800 calories spread evenly throughout the day. For help, go to

If you want to minimize your time in the gym and maximize your calorie burn and results, grab a pair of kettlebells. Most exercises using the kettlebell are explosive, full-body movements, revving your heart rate and challenging multiple muscle groups at once. Need more proof? A study by the American Council on Exercise showed that an average user burned 400 calories in 20 minutes!

Perform this workout at a high intensity level to get the benefits of the EPOC (excess post-exercise oxygen consumption) or “afterburn” effect in which your body continues to burn calories post-workout in an effort to get more oxygen, boosting your metabolism long after you’ve left the gym.

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What You’ll Need:
You’ll need two kettlebells of equal weight for this workout. Pick a weight that is challenging but allows you to finish a set of reps as prescribed for your experience level while maintaining proper form.

The Workout:
Perform the exercises and repetitions on the following slides as a 20-minute AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible). If the exercise is a single-arm movement, perform the prescribed number of reps on each side.

Beginner: Complete 6-8 reps
Intermediate: Complete 8-10 reps
Advanced: Complete 10-12 reps

Alyssa Ages is a strength coach at CrossFit Metric and athlete with PowerNYC Training.

Kettlebell Swings

Begin with the kettlebell on the floor between your feet. Your feet should be planted shoulder-width apart. Bend at the knees and hips maintaining a flat back and grip the kettlebell with both hands. Swing the kettlebell backwards between your legs, then squeeze your glutes and thrust your hips forward forcefully to swing the bell up to eye level. The bell returns on the same path and your hips pop forward explosively to continue the set of unbroken reps. It’s important to note that the work for this exercise is driven by the movement in your legs and hips, not your arms.

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Single Arm Cleans

With feet hip-width apart, place a kettlebell between your feet. With a slight bend in the knees and hinge at the hips, grip the handle so your thumb is pointing behind you. Press through your heels and extend your knees and hips to initiate the pull from the floor. Shrug your shoulder and allow your elbow to bend out to the side as the bell rises up, keeping it close to your midline (as if you were zipping up a jacket). Rotate your arm under the kettlebell to complete the movement with the bell ending up at shoulder height, elbow pointed down, the bell resting on the backside of your wrist. Return bell to starting position and repeat all reps on this side before moving to the opposite side.

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Single-Arm Push Press

Clean one kettlebell from the floor to prepare for this movement. Once the bell is racked at your shoulder, take a slight bend in the knees and straighten up explosively, pressing the kettlebell overhead at the same time. Carefully return the bell to the racked position at your shoulder and repeat all reps on one side before moving on to the opposite side.

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Double-Arm Thrusters

Clean both kettlebells at once to begin this exercise in the racked position. Lower into a squat, maintaining a flat back and an upright chest. Drive your heels into the floor and as you explode up from the squat position, press both kettlebells overheard. Lower the bells to the racked position and initiate the squat again to repeat. Most of the work for this movement should be coming from your leg drive from the bottom of the squat, not your arms; this should be a fluid movement.

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Sumo Deadlift High Pull

Take a wide stance and place the bell between your feet. As with the swing exercise, bend at the knees and hinge slightly at the hips to grab the handle with both hands. Pull shoulders back and down. Press your feet into the floor and as you stand up with the bell, draw your elbows up, pulling the handle to chin height. Return to the starting position.

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Bottoms Up Walk

You’ll want to use two light kettlebells for this one. With feet hip-width apart, place two kettlebells on the ground just outside your feet with handles pointed forward. Bring both bells to an overhead position with the bottom (the weight) of the bell pointed upwards. You’re relying on grip strength and a tight body position to keep the bells from flopping over! Once you’re steady, take a walk out across the room and back.

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Try These 5 Effective Kettlebell Exercises For Weight Loss


  1. Kettlebell training can help you burn up to 400 calories in 20 minutes
  2. Deadlifts help you improve your posture
  3. The core exercises, not only tone the abdomen but also tone the arms

Are you looking for exercises to lose weight but not ready to spend too much time on it? Or are you just lost in where to begin? Kettlebell training can help you burn up to 400 calories in 20 minutes. Kettlebell is a weight that resembles a cannonball with a handle and is used to perform different kinds of exercises. They are one of the most effective exercises when it comes to burning fat and losing weight. It combines aerobic and strength training and encourages the dynamic movement of the body. Here we have compiled 5 kettlebell exercises for you to start losing your weight effectively.

1. Kettlebell Deadlift

  • Deadlifts help you improve your posture. To do a kettlebell deadlift correctly:
  • Stand in an upright position with feet close together.
  • Hold the kettlebell in your right hand, facing the floor, relaxed.
  • Lift your left leg up, keeping the back neutral. Lean your torso forward, while still raising your left leg up. The kettlebell should lower toward the floor.
  • With your back upright, return to the original position and assume the above steps with the alternate leg and arm. Three sets of 12 reps on each leg should suffice.

Also Read: Why Katrina Swears By Duck Walks: Health Benefits Of This Workout

2. Turkish Get-Up Kettlebell Exercise

  • Lie on your back with your left leg bent and your right leg straightened.
  • Keep the left palm firm on the ground a little farther to your side.
  • Hold the kettlebell on the right hand stretched to the ceiling. Press your left hand on the floor and lift your pelvis up.
  • Keeping your eyes on the kettlebell, come to a sitting position while still engaging your core.
  • Shift your left leg backwards and put your weight on the left knee.
  • Push your left palm off the ground, so your torso is upright while still looking at your right hand.
  • Bringing the left leg closer to the right, stand upright.
  • Reverse the sequence with alternating hands and legs.
  • Sets: 3. Reps: 6-8 on each side

Photo Credit: iStock

3. Kettlebell Squat

  • Stand in an upright position with feet a little wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Hold the kettlebell with both hands in front of your chest.
  • Keeping the chest lift, bend your knees assuming a squat position.
  • 20-25 reps are sufficient for this.

Photo Credit: iStock
Also Read: Follow A Diet That Suits Your Body Shape: Find Out Yours​

4. Kettlebell Windmill

  • Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart.
  • Shift your left toe outward and lift your right arm above your head. Lift your head to keep your eyes on the weight.
  • Shift your hips to the right; don’t let your pelvis swing behind.
  • Lower your torso toward the floor, keeping the body as flat as possible and into a triangle.
  • Bring your left arm to the left shoulder doing bicep curl, keeping your torso still.
  • In this hand positioning, come to a standing positioning, bringing your weight evenly on both feet.
  • Complete the rep by bringing your left hand overhead. Now return to the original position and start again.
  • Make sure to do 2 sets of 3-5 reps on each side.

5. Kettlebell Russian Twist

  • Sit on the mat, holding the kettlebell with both of your hands, in front of your chest.
  • Lift your feet off the mat and parallel to it.
  • Keeping your core engaged, rotate your torso to the left and then to the right. Continue alternating in these positions with 1-2 sets with 15-20 reps.

Also Read: Celebrities Move From Skinny To Curvy: 6 Exercises To Get The Same Curvy Body


A 20-Minute Fat-Burning Kettlebell Workout

If you want to fast-track your muscle-building goals, the classic kettlebell is the tool you need. This weight is super versatile, and you can easily incorporate it into your usual routine while sculpting more muscle.

Looking to melt fat as well? Go for a fast-paced circuit workout that uses a kettlebell—like the one in this video. It’s a custom routine that Frank Baptiste, fitness coach and founder of FranklyFitness, created for Health. It consists of two circuits that are repeated twice. Each circuit is only three minutes long, but don’t be fooled, you’re going to break a sweat.

WATCH THE VIDEO: Get Total-Body Toned With This Kettlebell Workout From Emily Skye

When picking a kettlebell for this workout, Frank recommends sticking with one that you can press over your head 10 times while maintaining proper form. That means the weight should be lighter than one you’d choose for, say, a squat workout, since you’ll be using it for a variety of quick movements.

The workout itself includes both bilateral and unilateral movements, as well as a combo of pushing and pulling motions to strengthen the upper body. There’s balance training here too—in other words, your entire body will be worked to the max. Grab a kettlebell and give this awesome, fat-burning workout a try!

No time to watch? Here’s a rundown of the moves:

Warmup: Dynamic Mobility (5-10 minutes)

-Clap jacks

-Regular jumping jacks

-Inchworm into a push-up

Circuit 1: Power and Strength

-Swing to a thruster (8 reps)

-Bent over row (15 reps)

-Swings (20 reps)

20 second break. Repeat first circuit.

Circuit 2: Balance and Stability

-Windmill (8 reps)

-Romanian deadlift with bent over row (8 reps)

20 second break. Repeat second circuit.

6 Fantastic Kettlebell Workouts for Burning Fat

Kettlebells were used in Russia in the 1800’s as a weight to measure grains and other goods. But then Russian vendors started swinging and lifting these kettlebells to show their strength and quickly recognized they were on to something.

Maybe the Russians realized they didn’t have to torture themselves with jogging in the cold? And now you don’t either.

Because the kettlebell swing combined with squats, carries and bodyweight exercises is a fantastic way to improve your conditioning, help increase your grip strength and are a great tool for burning unwanted fat (1). And that’s not the only benefit that comes along with swings.

Benefits of Kettlebell Swings

  1. Works your posterior chain muscles (back, abs, butt, hamstrings) in powerful joint friendly fashion.
  2. It allows you to develop better hip mobility, loosen your tight hips, and strengthen your entire backside.
  3. It will help strengthen your lower back because of the core stability benefits of the swing.

So, when you’re pushed for time or looking to spice up your cardio trainings, grab one kettlebell, a towel and get to work.

Author’s Note: Special thanks to Dan John who “supplied’ a majority of these trainings.

Fat Burning Kettlebell Workouts

The 500 swings and 30 squats (if you do 5 rounds) is not for the faint of heart, so be careful. This will test your grip strength and your conditioning. Which is a sure sign of a good time.

  • Swing 10 reps
  • One goblet squat
  • Swing 15 reps
  • Two goblet squats
  • Swing 25 reps
  • Three goblet squats
  • Swing 50 reps

Rest (as much as you need) and repeat for a total of 5 rounds.

Swings and Get-Ups

Spice things up by doing the swings with Turkish get-ups, which will really get your heart pumping because getting up and down from the ground is one of the hardest things we do.

For example:

  • Swing 10 reps
  • One TGU, weight in left hand
  • Swing 15 reps
  • One TGU, weight in right hand
  • Swing 25 reps
  • Two TGUs, one left and one right
  • Swing 50 reps

Rest (as much as you need) and repeat for a total of 5 rounds.

Every minute on the minute sets

Holding yourself accountable to do the work in a minute acts as a great finisher to a training. Or if you have no time to train, this is a great stand-alone training. Either way, it will improve your conditioning and mental toughness.

Swings/Push-up combos

  • 20 seconds of kettlebell swings
  • 6 push ups
  • Rest for the rest of the minute.

Do this for 10-20 minutes or until you collapse in a heap.

And if this isn’t a challenge for you, try this:

  • 20 swings, 10 push-ups, rest the remainder of the minute
  • 20 swings, 9 push-ups, rest
  • Make your way all the way down to 20 swings, 1 push-up

(200 swings 55 push-ups in 10 minutes if you want to do the math)

Author’s Note: Bodyweight squat variations will work well (instead of push-ups) too.

Countdown ladder sets

Countdown ladder sets with a single kettlebell and bodyweight are great way to finish your training or to add volume to a body part that needs working on. These are great stand-alone trainings when pushed for time also.

Dan John Humane Burpee (because real burpees suck)

  • 15 swings
  • 5 goblet squats
  • 5 push-ups


  • 15 swings
  • 4 goblet squats
  • 4 push-ups


  • 15 swings
  • 3 goblet squats
  • 3 push-ups


  • 15 swings
  • 2 goblet squats
  • 2 push-ups


  • 15 swings
  • 1 goblet squat
  • 1 push-up

Dan Johns “Hornees”

  • 10 swings
  • 5 goblet squats
  • Bottoms Up carry or Suitcase carry for 40 yards. Do both sides.

Author’s Note: Descend by one on the Goblet squats until you get down to 1.

Photo Jacob Lund /

Swing/Goblet squat combo

  • 10 swings
  • 10 Goblet squats
  • 9 swings
  • 9 Goblet squats

Continue this down to 1 of each and don’t let the kettlebell leave your hands for the entire set.

Wrapping up

Kettlebells will save your joints from the constant pounding of the treadmill and the rat in the cage mentality of the cardio machines. These single kettlebell trainings are a novel way to help improve your strength, conditioning and mental toughness.

Kettlebell FAQs

Are kettlebell swings safe?

Yes! Kettlebell swings are a great exercise that focuses on the posterior chain. When done correctly with proper hinge and swing mechanics, kettlebell swings are perfectly safe.

Are kettlebell swings good for beginners?

Beginners might take a little more time to learn proper swing mechanics, but once form is drilled down, kettlebell swings are fantastic training tools for beginners.

Can kettlebells really help me burn fat?

Yes. Similar to every exercise and workout, your adaptations will be based on the “how” and not the “what”.

Kettlebells when structured in workouts with variables like intensity, volume, and rest times are fantastic tools for elevating heart rate and accelerating fat loss.

Editor’s note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and in the video are the author’s and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.

Feature image from Jacob Lund /

Kettlebell and weight loss

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