This Simple Kettlebell Circuit Builds Total Body Strength

You can do a lot of cool, check-me-out tricks with kettlebells. But there’s a difference between showing off and actually building a strong body, and this kettlebell circuit is all about developing strength with solid, functional moves.

Trainers Eric Leija (a.k.a. Primal Swoledier) and Kelsey Heenan showed off this circuit that involves three dynamic, single-kettlebell moves that alternate body parts worked using a smart 3:2 work-to-rest ratio.

For the first move, Leija and Heenan perform a bent-over row, clean, and then goblet squat to overhead press. During each phase, they maintain total-body tension to help them maintain a solid, controlled cadence. Keep your core braced and lats squeezed to prevent your shoulders from rolling forward.

Speaking of shoulders: If you have any issues with yours, nix the overhead press and stick with the goblet squat. Also of note: Use an underhand grip during the kettlebell row to set your shoulders up in a comfortable, pain-free position.

For the second movement, a pushup with kettlebell drag, the name of the game is total-body tension. Focus on rowing your chest to the floor as opposed to dropping to the bottom of each rep. Set up with both your hands and feet wide to help you stay strong and balanced.

For the third move, an alternating kettlebell crown, move slowly, take your time, and keep your shoulders braced throughout. If you needed to skip the first move’s press, it would likely be a good idea to skip this one, too, since it gets your shoulders back into that overhead, loaded position.

Perform each move for 30 seconds, rest for 60, and then repeat for a total of 5 sets.


Want more workouts from Leija? Check out his Men’s Health Kettlehell program (now available on our All Out Studio app), which is designed to burn fat and build muscle with just one kettlebell.

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