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Top 5 Kettlebell Exercises

Kettlebells have grown a lot in popularity over the last 10 years. Reason being they give you a great workout and are a great change of pace. Also Crossfit has to get some credit for the increased popularity without a doubt. Not to mention all those mobility and functionality geeks that get a big ole’ boner from kettlebell exercises. There are lots of different reasons to love kettlebells and lots of exercises you can do with them, we have the top 5 listed here for you.

Here are the top 5 kettlebell exercises:

5)  Goblet Squat


Kettlebell exercises

Back squats may be the king of squats but goblet squats mean business as well.  This squat works the legs as well as much of the upper body to hold the kettlebell in place and stable. Goblet squats are good for mobility and also can be used as part of conditioning. It is also easier to squat down lower while doing the goblet squat than it is with the back squat. These are a very good exercise to add to your leg day routine or as a change of pace from back squats


4) Clean



Cleans are one of those exercises that just make you feel like a badass. These are a good whole body workout that will have you huffing and puffing like Snoop Dogg on a tour bus…or something like that. You can also add a press at the top if you like. These do take a bit of skill and practice to get the hang of but they are totally worth it. Here is a good instructional video for the kettlebell clean so you can get the form down.

3) Turkish Get up

Jackie Perez

Who doesn’t love Jackie Perez?

Turkish get ups are harder than they look. Take your average bodybuilder who thinks he is “the man” and have him do some Turkish Get Ups and they will humble him real quick. As with most kettlebell exercises these work the entire body but have extra emphasis on the abs and shoulders. Start out light with this exercise if you have never done them though as it can really ruin your day when 50 lbs+ comes crashing down on your head because you don’t know what the heck you are doing. This is a slow exercise that you need to have good form on for it to work.


2) Kettlebell Snatches


Kettlebell snatches are one hell of a workout. They can provide a full body exercise and cardio at the same time. Again they work the whole body with extra emphasis on the shoulder. The kettlebell snatch is like the cousin of the kettlebell swing, once you have mastered the swing you can then move on to the snatch. The kettlebell snatch requires skill, athleticism, strength, explosiveness and coordination. That is why it is so badass.  This one also requires a bit of technique that you likely won’t have right away so here is a video to help you out.


1) Kettlebell Swing (Russian Style)


kettlebell swing

It was a tough choice between the kettlebell swing and the snatch but the swing won out. It is an underrated exercise that most anyone can (and should) do. It works much of the body with an emphasis on the posterior chain (hamstrings, butt, back). Fitness experts like Bret Contreras and others have even questioned if heavy kettlebell swings might be more effective than Olympic lifting.

Let me also say that we are talking about the Russian style here and not the silly Crossfit style where the kettlebell goes straight up overhead. This is a somewhat simple exercise but still one that many people don’t do correctly so we have included a link to this video so you can be well on your way to swinging with the kettlebell gods.



Kettlebells are an awesome instrument to add to your exercise repertoire. There are many lifts you can do with them but we feel these are the 5 best ones. In fact if you only did the exercises above and did them well you would probably have a pretty awesome and athletic body. Be sure and add some or all of these to your workout routine and see what it does for you.

Ripley Doherty

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