Kettlebell Video – Teaching The Swing

The Swing is a movement that can almost always be refined.  I’ve said this many times before, but mastery of the other basic balistic kettlebell moves (like the Clean and Snatch) all starts with the Swing.  In this video with Senior RKC David Whitley and RKC Matt McBryde, you’ll learn:

  • Background and history of the kettlebell
  • Why ‘cushy’ shoes are a no-no for your kettlebell training
  • How to learn the ‘hip hinge’ and the proper swing movement pattern from the KB deadlift

And much more!  Check it out for yourself:

Kettlebell Routines

kettlebell routines
The best kettlebell routines from

Variety in your kettlebell training program, contrary to popular belief, can be both good and bad.

If you keep doing the same workout for a long period of time, your body adapts and you stop making progress.  It also gets super boring :).

On the other hand, change things up too much and it’s difficult to measure progress.

Sticking with your program just long enough and changing things up when your gains start to stall is the ticket to steady progress.  And that being said, here are a few kettlebell routines to give you ideas for your workouts and to help you keep things interesting.  Most of these have written descriptions and video – enjoy!

Kettlebell Routines from

A Beginner Kettlebell Workout

Combines two basic kettlebell exercises – the Swing and the Get Up – into a medium intensity, beginner level workout. Start here after you feel confident with your Swing and Get Up technique.

Kettlebell and Body Weight 300 Workout

Combines the Swing and Goblet Squat with some basic body weight exercises for a short kettlebell circuit.

A ‘Big Five’ Kettlebell Circuit Workout

This one takes all five basic kettlebell exercises – the Swing, the Get Up, the Goblet Squat, the Clean and Press, and the Snatch – and combines them into a giant circuit.

‘Extreme Cardio’ Kettlebell Workout

How to use kettlebells for cardio! Includes two sample workouts.

Two Ultra-Abbreviated KB Circuits

If you’re short on time, here’s two kettlebell workouts you can do in 15 minutes or less.

Kettlebell Basics Combo Series

A video series by yours truly that features four ‘kettlebell combo’ videos so far. Take combo #1 for example – the one arm Swing to one arm Squat to Overhead Press to one arm Snatch. All combos also have a basic workout you can do with them.

Kettlebell Basics Combo #1

Kettlebell Basics Combo #2

Kettlebell Basics Combo #3

Kettlebell Basics Combo #4

New Workouts (updated 11/19/2010):

Kettlebells For Building Muscle – Chest, Shoulders and Tris

Kettlebells For Building Muscle – Legs, Back and Bis

Looking to use kettlebells to build muscle?  Here’s a complete workout plan for you.

Kettlebells For Fat Loss Part 1

Kettlebells For Fat Loss Part 2

Looking to use kettlebells to lose fat?  Here’s another complete workout plan for you.

Snatch, Swing and Clean Workout

Fast KB circuit that incorporates three of the basics –

Kettlebell Boot Camp Workout

Sample workout from my kettlebell boot camp class – combines kettlebells and body weight moves

Kettlebell Fat Blast

Yet another kettlebell workout for fat loss!

Kettlebell Tabata Workout

Kettlebells + the Tabata protocol = serious fat loss 🙂

Even More New Workouts (updated 6/1/11):

Thanksgiving Kettlebell and Body Weight Smoker

‘Fast and furious’ kettlebell and body weight workout (this one’s actually a preview from the KB Basics Swing Manual)

Kettlebells For Cardio Without Machines

Shows you how to get a great cardio workout without boring treadmills or exercise bikes

10 Minute Burpee + Kettlebell Swing Workout

Another quick KB and bodyweight blast

10 Minute Swing + Snatch Cardio Workout

Cool sequence that cycles between kettlebells of different sizes

Kettlebell Workout With The Gymboss Interval Timer

KB workout using the Gymboss interval timer – a tool I personally couldn’t train without

A ‘Crunchless’ Kettlebell Workout For Abs

Think you need to do crunches to train your abs? Think again … give this workout a try

Kettlebell Bodyweight Circuit Workout

Simple circuit using kettlebells and your own bodyweight

Kettlebell Squat Clean + HIIT Cardio Combo

Intense cardio – and a sample of the KB Basics Premium Workouts program

Kettlebell Turkish Get Up/Clean + Press/ Snatch Combo Workout

Very cool training sequence … one of my personal favorite combinations

15 Minute Kettlebell Combo Workout

Another quick kettlebell workout you can knock out in 15 minutes or less

And Even More … (updated 1/12/12):

Kettlebell Workout For Combat Athletes

Being that combat athletes come from a broad group, this kettlebell circuit workout can be adapted to your training program; it is done for time instead of reps and requires the use of a kettlebell in each exercise

Beginner Kettlebell Workout

If you are just beginning to train with kettlebells, this circuit is designed for you, incorporating simple, yet effective kettlebell exercises to get you started

Kettlebell Body Weight Strength Workout

The inclusion of strength training in workouts is incredibly crucial and this workout targets that need with the use of a single kettlebell

Double Kettlebell Circuit Workout

This is a strength based workout incorporating conditioning and two kettlebells

Kettlebell and Body Weight Stability Ball Circuit Workout

To branch out, this workout has ten exercises utilizing body weight, a stability ball, and kettlebells; this combination is great for losing fat and gaining lean muscle

Kettlebell Workout For Firefighters

This kettlebell workout is highly functional and designed specifically for the needs of firefighters

Halloween Kettlebell Workout

Halloween has passed, but that doesn’t mean candy isn’t still available throughout the year, try this bodyweight/kettlebell workout to burn some of those calories!

Kettlebell Strength Workout

This workout incorporates heavy training with kettlebells to improve your strength and fitness level

10 Minute Home Kettlebell Workout Video

Unable to get out of the house?  This kettlebell workout takes little time, but is still incredibly effective

Kettlebell Workout For Seniors

This article goes into detail about the requirements and benefits of seniors and kettlebell training, in addition to providing a specific workout

Black Friday Kettlebell Workout

Although Black Friday may have passed, this workout is still a tough one with a mix of body weight and kettlebell exercises

Kettlebell Workout For Women

Women require different training needs than men and this routine targets that issue with a combination of lunges, get ups, rows, swings, snatches, and cleans

Now, these kettlebell routines are just a start – we’ve got many more to come, so stay tuned!!  Comments and questions are always welcome.

P.S. If you liked these kettlebell workouts, why not subscribe to the newsletter? You’ll get email updates of new posts, a free video and e-manual just for joining, and more. Just drop your name and email into the box to the upper right of the page to sign up now.

Kettlebell Basics Combo #4

For the forth installment of the Kettlebell Basics Combo series … The Super Full Body Attack!!

This one is really just a single exercise, but I’m calling it a combo because it’s a bunch of kettlebell moves all mixed together … it’s truly a smoker. I challenge you to find a muscle group in your body that this exercise doesn’t work.

Here’s the video:

Start this one in a standing position with the kettlebells about six inches in front of you. The first trick is to make sure the KB handles are placed in such a way that your palms can face each other when you jump back to your Push Up.

Jump your feet back to a Push Up position – like a Burpee. Do a Push Up. Now, jump the feet forward in one motion and make sure your feet land outside of the kettlebell handles.

Clean the ‘bells up, do a Front Squat, and move straight from the Front Squat to an Overhead Press. Rack the KB’s, return them to the ground and you’ve done one rep.

For a quick, incredibly tough full body blast, do 50 of these for time. You must pay very close attention to your form with this combo. Especially as the rep count starts to climb, your form can easily break down.

If you’re just starting out, you can of course scale the workout down and do maybe half the amount of reps. You could also do more if 50 is too easy.

(BTW, I got the idea for this one from the ‘original’ full body attack – I’ve just added a Push Up and Front Squat to make it tougher.)

Here’s a video of the original for reference:

That’s it for kettlebell basics combo #4! Enjoy and keep training hard.

Still strugling to learn the basics of kettlebell training? Your first move is to read through the archives and check out the videos on this blog – there’s a ton of great info here. Make sure to subscribe to our newsletter, and you’ll get a free Beginner’s Guide to Kettlebell Training – you can do that by simply inputing your name and email into the form at the upper right of the page. For a more complete and in-depth guide that teaches you basic kettlebell exercises and workouts, check out my Quick Start Guide. And last but not least, visit the recommended resources page of this blog to order kettlebells and all the other stuff you need to make your kettlebell training a great experience!

Kettlebell Exercises

Start here to learn the basic kettlebell exercises

Are you having problems mastering the basic kettlebell exercises?

Is your lower back aching after a KB training session?

Do you just feel like you’re not getting all you can out of your kettlebell training?

Good news: You’ve landed in the right place.  This post is intended as a ‘jumping – off point’ for kettlebell beginners, as well as a reference resource for more advanced trainees.  You’ll find detailed descriptions of each ‘basic’ kettlebell exercise (swing, Turkish get up, goblet squat, clean, press, and snatch), additional coaching points and technique tips for each, and much more.

Questions, comments, etc. are more than welcome – please leave them in the comments section at the bottom of the post and I’ll do my best to get back to you ASAP.  Thanks, and enjoy!

– Forest Vance, RKC

Kettlebell Exercises

1. The Kettlebell Swing

The Kettlebell Swing forms the foundation of kettlebell training exercises. It hits almost all of your major muscle groups, with a special emphasis on the glutes, hamstrings, back extensors, and lats.

The Kettlebell Swing

2. The Turkish Get Up

Your next foundational kettlebell training exercise – it hits all of the muscle groups that the Swing doesn’t. The Get-Up is considered a ‘grind’ (slow and controlled), in contrast with the Swing, which is considered a ‘ballistic’ (fast and explosive).

The Turkish Get Up

3. The Squat

An exercise essential to the mastery of the basics of hardstyle kettlebell training. The kettlebell squat is different from, say, a traditional back squat; read the full article to find out more:

The Kettlebell Squat

4. The Kettlebell Clean

How to fix 3 common mistakes made with the kettlebell clean:

How To Fix Your Kettlebell Clean

5. The Snatch

7 tips to improve the kettlebell snatch:

Tips To Improve Your Snatch

6. The Kettlebell Row

Article on different variations of this basic kettlebell exercise, including the renegade row:

Kettlebell Row Variations

7. Kettlebell Exercises For Abs

The best kettlebell exercises to hit that stubborn midsection:

Kettlebell Exercises For Abs

8. Double Kettlebell Exercises

This article covers the basics of double kettlebell training:

Double Kettlebell Exercises

9. Unique Kettlebell Exercise Videos

A few KB drills you may not have heard of:

Unique Kettlebell Exercise Videos

10. The Kettlebell Thruster

A great KB Squat and Press combo:

The Kettlebell Thruster

New kettlebell exercises, technique tips, etc. (updated 9/7/11):

11. Kettlebell Swing Styles – A Quick Overview

Here on, I focus on the HardStyle swing – this post gives an overview of other kettlebell swing ‘styles’ out there

Kettlebell Swing Styles – A Quick Overview

12. Troubleshooting the Turkish Get Up

Some common TGU mistakes – and how to fix them

Troubleshooting the Turkish Get Up

13. Perfecting Your Swings: Kettlebell Training Basics

Tips on how to perfect the kettlebell swing

Perfecting Your Swings: Kettlebell Training Basics

14. Kettlebell Video – Teaching The Swing

More KB swing tips – with video

Kettlebell Video – Teaching The Swing

15. 3 Tips To Improve Your Kettlebell Swing

Even more kettlebell swing technique tips

3 Tips To Improve Your Kettlebell Swing

16. 3 Tips To Improve The Turkish Get Up

Even more Turkish get up technique tips

3 Tips To Improve The Turkish Get Up

17. Unique Kettlebell Exercise Videos

Some cool and fun kettlebell exercise videos to check out

Unique Kettlebell Exercise Videos

18. Kettlebell Snatch Technique Tip

Great tip to help you improve your kettlebell snatch technique

Kettlebell Snatch Technique Tip

19. Lower Back Pain During The Swing

Causes and fixes for lower back pain during the kettlebell swing

Lower Back Pain During The Swing – Causes and Fixes

20. Kettlebell Swing Mistakes and Fixes

Three part video series on mastering the kettlebell swing:

Kettlebell Swing Mistakes And Fixes – Part 1

Kettlebell Swing Mistakes And Fixes – Part 2

Kettlebell Swing Mistakes And Fixes – Part 3

21. Mastering the Kettlebell Snatch

Three part video series on mastering the kettlebell snatch:

Mastering the Kettlebell Snatch (part 1)

Mastering the Kettlebell Snatch (part 2)

Mastering the Kettlebell Snatch (part 3)

22. The Turkish Get Up (broken down into steps)

A good tutorial on the Turkish get up

The Turkish Get Up (broken down into steps)

23. The Best Kettlebell Exercises For Beginners

Just getting started with kettlebell training?  Here’s a great starting point

The Best Kettlebell Exercises For Beginners

More instruction and training tips (updated 1/12/12):

23. The #1 Kettlebell Strength Skill

The skill discussed in this article helps to instantly make you stronger and prevent injury, in addition to being transferable to other exercises.

The #1 Kettlebell Strength Skill

24. The Kettlebell Overhead Lunge

This video helps teach you how to perform a kettlebell overhead lunge, which is similar to the Turkish Get Up.

The Kettlebell Overhead Lunge

25. Kettlebell Training Tips For Beginners

This is a video meant to aid beginners, those perfecting their form, or coping with an injury that explains two easy modifications to kettlebell workouts.

Kettlebell Training TIps For Beginners

26. Boosting Your Pressing Power (re-visited)

If you are looking to increase your rep count or weight, your press/re-clean technique could be the key to unlocking extra pressing power.

Boosting Your Pressing Power Revisited

Also, if you liked this post, why not sign up for our newsletter? You’ll get tips and tricks just like these delivered straight to your email inbox – plus a couple of free bonuses just for signing up! Just enter your name and email into the box to the upper right of the page.

The Dumbell Complex

Time to time, you might find yourself away from your kettlebells – maybe on the road for work or vacation – and still in need of the fast and efficient conditioning-style workout you get with your KB’s. The Dumbbell Complex is a great alternative.

Istvan Javorek is the strength coach who has recently popularized the dumbbell complex concept – here’s a video of the Javorek Complex #1:

Quick summary of the complex in the video if you missed it:

Dumbbell Upright Row X 6
Dumbbell High Pull Snatch X 6
Dumbbell Squat Push Press X 6
Dumbbell Bent Over Row X 6
Dumbbell High Pull Snatch X 6

Perform In A Non-Stop, Continuous Order As Listed Above.

Five Exercise X 6 Reps = 30 Reps/Set

This complex can be done once or twice for a warm-up or three to five times for a complete workout.

Enjoy and have a great weekend!

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Kettlebell Basics Combo #3

It’s time for Kettlebell Basics Combo #3!  Here are links to the first two videos in the series in case you missed them:

Kettlebell Basics Combo #1

Kettlebell Basics Combo #2

Kettlebell Basics Combo #3 incorporates four basic kettlebell drills into a giant circuit: Clean and Presses, Snatches, Goblet Squats, and Hand to Hand Swings.

To complete the circuit, you’ll perform 2 Clean and Presses on each side, 4 Snatches on each side, 12 Goblet Squats, and 16 Hand to Hand Swings.  Repeat this circuit 5 times for an amazing, efficient, full-body-blasting workout!

Don’t forget: You can get free access to the Kettlebell Rx video and a free copy of the Beginner’s Guide to Kettlebell Training by signing up for our newsletter!  Just drop your name and email into the box at the upper right of the page.

5 Reasons Why You Should Train Barefoot

Do you realize the impact the footwear you choose when training with kettlebells has on your strength, balance, and cordination? Kettlebell training – and most other training, in fact – is best done with no shoes at all.

According to this article in New York Magazine:

How We’re Wrecking Our Feet With Every Step We Take

Prior to the invention of shoes, people had healthier feet. The modern Zulu population, which often goes barefoot, had the healthiest feet in a study sited in the above article. Europeans, the habitual shoe wearers, had the most foot problems.

So here are five reasons why you should think about losing your shoes for your next kettlebell training session:

1. ‘Feel’ the floor

Going barefoot allows you to build a nice strong base from the ground up for performing kettlebell drills. Also, cross trainers or running shoes may have elevation in the sole as to pitch your feet forward and impair mobility.

2. Strengthen the foot muscles

You get this only with barefoot (and some very unique footwear that I’ll mention in a bit) training. Plus you can use your toes to grip things better.

3. Improves balance

This is almost immediate.  Just try it and report back.

4. No tension loss

If you follow Pavel’s teachings, you know that tension is strength. So cushy shoes are out.

5. Proper gait

Wearing shoes makes natural gait impossible. And chronic shoe wearing can result in lower and upper back pain.

So now let me address the common objections I get to this:

“I train in a gym and I can’t take my shoes off”

“I train at the local park and don’t want to cut my feet/step in dog poo/etc.

“I don’t want to drop a kettlebell on my foot”

Stop being a sissy 🙂

But if these are serious problems for you,Vibram Five Fingers are a cool alternative footwear that are well worth a look. Wearing a pair of Vibrams is, from a biomechanical standpoint, like going barefoot, but gives you some protection against the elements.


Check out this article on Tim Ferriss’s Four Hour Blog for more about problems with wearing shoes and the Vibram Five Fingers:

Vibram Five Finger Shoes: The Barefoot Alternative

I don’t personally own a pair of Vibrams (I just train barefoot), but I know a lot of kettlebell people who love them. It comes down to preference and convenience in the end.

What kind of footwear do you sport in your kettlebell training?

Kettlebell Basics Combo #2

Here’s the second installment of the Kettlebell Basics Combo series – if you missed the first one, you can check it out here.

For the second kettlebell combo, we have just two exercises – the Snatch and the Turkish Get Up.  You’ll do 5 Snatches on the right side, go immediately into a ‘top-down’ Get Up (see the video for a demo of this one – it’s simply a Get Up that starts and ends in a standing position and with the kettlebell locked out overhead), do a half swing to switch hands, and repeat the same sequence on the left side.  Repeat this five times on the right and five times on the left for a fast, efficient full-body workout.  Here’s a video of Kettlebell Basics Combo #2:

Enjoy!  While I’ve got ya here, I’d also like to point you towards a brand new page on this blog – Recommended Resources.  It’s a list of all the ‘tools of the trade’ you need to learn how to use kettlebells safely and effectively.  I put it together as a resource for you to refer back to on a regular basis, and it’s something I plan on updating frequently as I test more kettlebell-related products and services and learn more myself.  Check it out by clicking the link below: Recommended Resources

Kettlebell Showdown: Top Brands Compared

I know I’ve talked exclusively about Dragon Door kettlebells on this blog – and that’s truly because I think they’re the best. I’m not personally biased one way or the other just because I’m an RKC – I just want the best ‘bells. And it’s funny, as kettlebell brand seems to be a kind of sensitive topic for people in the kettlebell community.  So I thought I would put together a list of major brands of kettlebells with a few of the good and bad things about each.  This list is by no means exhaustive – feel free to leave your opinion on the best kettlebell brand in the comments section. If there are any brands that you like and use that I’ve left out, feel free to point that out as well.

1st Tier Brands:  Ader + Dragon Door

It seems that the kettlebell brands most widely used are Dragon Door and Ader – this is just from personal observation and other discussions I’ve seen about this topic.

Dragon Door:

  • Generally agreed upon that the ‘bell is more comfortable
  • DD ‘bells have a nice, flat bottom that’s great for stuff like renegade rows
  • Nicely built and well balanced ‘bell
  • For a more detailed review of the Dragon Door ‘bells, click here

Save up to 30% on Dragon Door's classic Kettelbells


  • Harder to grip, which could be a good or bad thing depending on how you look at it
  • Generally well reviewed bell and slightly cheaper price than Dragon Door

2nd Tier Brands: Powermax + Apollo

These ‘bells aren’t as good quality and aren’t as well made – they’re also considerably cheaper.  Reviews aren’t as good across the board.  But, the lower price makes them attractive to some – and if you’re just planning on doing some occasional swings with them – maybe using them for CrossFit workouts or something – they’re probably just fine in all honesty.


This is a new kettlebell breed. The purists like myself would never consider something like this, but for some, it may be a good option.  Positives are that one can have only one kettlebell and adjust the weight as you get stronger, switch exercises, etc.

So there you have a review of the different kettlebell brands! Which one is your favorite?

While you’re here, make sure to sign up for the newsletter and claim your free bonuses today if you haven’t done so yet … and have a great weekend!