Top 4 Beginner Kettlebell Exercises

Kettlebells are an awesome training tool for strength, flexibility, and endurance. The amount of different exercises we can do with them is vast, but which exercises are best for beginners trying to learn the basics? Here is an outline of my top 4 kettlebell exercises for beginners:

1.) The Sumo Deadlift

A great exercise for the legs, hips, core, and back. It’s also key to learn this one before moving on to the swing.

With the kettlebell between your feet, start the movement by pulling the hips back. Imagine there is a wall behind you and you’re tapping it with your hips.

You should feel a nice stretch in the back of the legs at the bottom of the movement. Grab the KB with both hands and stand up with it. That’s one rep.

2.) The Swing

The beginning of this movement should be nearly identical to the Sumo Deadlift. Now, instead of simply picking the weight up, snap the hips (like you’re jumping) and let the kettlebell swing up to about chest level.

This is a totally lower body – driven movement. If you’re doing it right, you should feel the hams ‘load up’ at the bottom of the move, and the weight should float for second at the top.

Keep the arms relaxed and the shoulders down and back!

3.) The 1/2 Get Up

Start lying on the floor with the KB at shoulder level. Pull it into the body, roll over to your back, and press the weight in front of your chest, kind of like you’re doing a dumbell bench press.

‘Punch’ the weight up towards the ceiling while pivoting on the opposite elbow. The same leg as arm is up and should be bent at this point with the heel planted on the ground. Come up until the arm on the ground is straight, and then simply reverse the movement. That’s one rep.

The 1/2 Get Up is another great beginner kettlebell exercise. Next comes the Squat.

4.) The Squat

Holding the KB by the horns with both hands, perform a squat. Keep the chest up and shoulders down and back! And remember to sit back – and keep the knees behind the toes.

Learn these basic four beginner kettlebell exercises before you move on to more advanced ones. They can be done by themselves in sequence, for 2-3 sets of 12-15 reps each, for a great total body workout, or ‘vertically loaded’ – done one after another with minimal rest – for a killer circuit.

These are just a few basic kettlebell drills to get you going; if you’d like to learn in more detail about how to perform these exercises, get some sample workouts, check out some great kettlebell training videos, and a whole lot more, check out a free week of my “300” Kettlebell Training plan here:

-Forest and the Team at

Beginner / Modified Turkish Get Up Variations (video)

Turkish Get Ups rock!!

No other exercise simultaneously trains both stability and mobility, across so many joints, and in so many positions.

However, if you are working around an injury, are just learning the exercise, or just don’t quite yet have the strength to do the full version, it can be quite tricky.

Check out today’s video! show two beginner / entry – level variations of the movement – the “1/2 get up” and the “foot switch get up”.

And if you like this one, also be sure to check out my Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness program for men and women over 50 – we show you how to do different versions of all the different kettlebell moves, so that you can make faster progress and avoid injury at the same time:

=> Lifetime Kettlebell Fitness

-Forest Vance
Kettlebell Expert
Certified Corrective Exercise Specialist

Kettlebell Exercise for Abs: the “Full Body Attack”

Kettlebells are here to stay!

In addition to being an amazing tool for full-body workouts, KBs are perfect for working your abs, too.

Pretty much all of the main kettlebell moves, including:

  • Get Ups
  • Squats
  • Swings
  • Snatches
  • Cleans
  • Presses

ALL light up your core.

But if you want to try something new – that will shoot your heart rate through the roof, burn a ton of calories, and hit your abs HARD, all at the same time – try the Kettlebell Full Body Attack:

1 – You are going to need two kettlebells. Pick the heaviest KBs you can use safely and with good form. The reason being, when you are doing a renegade row or a push up or anything with your hands on the ‘bells, they can get a little bit unstable if your weight is really light. That’s because all of your weight is supported on the bottom of the ‘bell, which is really small.

2 – Get both hands on the ‘bells, hop your feet back. Row on the right. Make sure when you do that row you transfer your weight over and get in a nice plank and use the muscles in the back to do the row. Now do a row on the left. Then hop the feet forward.

3 – From here you have to adjust your hands a little bit and turn the handles in. It’s not going to be like a Russian swing to clean, it’s just going to be from a dead stop.

4 – Go from right here, snap the hips, weights up to the clean position. From here, adjust your feet a little bit, do a squat up to an overhead press. You can add in an optional push up if you want to make it more difficult. Repeat that for reps.

Check out the video with a full breakdown of how to do this exercise HERE.

Try adding the kettlebell total body attack into your workouts for better and faster results.

And if you want more kettlebells for abs, stay tuned – our 28-day Kettlebells for Abs Challenge 2.0 is opening for registration tomorrow, Tuesday, August 24th!

-Forest Vance
Kettlebell Expert
Over 40 Training Specialist

T-Rex swing

The kettlebell swing is staple of my workout programming because:

  • It’s a very efficient total body exercise
  • It works your cardio
  • It improves athleticism
  • It strengthens dozens of muscles quickly

…and much more!

However, there is some technique involved. With most clients, it’s an on-going process to refine and improve the form.

One of the most common mistakes I see when performing the kettlebell swing is what’s called the “T-Rex” swing – it’s where the arms in the finish resemble that of a T-Rex:

What we want in a proper swing is the arms 100% (or as close as we can get) straight, more like this:

To correct the T-Rex Swing, here are some tips:

  • Flex your triceps. This is probably the simplest cue to help you NOT bend your arms, and keep the proper position.
  • Sit back into your hip hinge completely. The T-Rex swing can come from not getting enough hip drive on the ‘bell in the first place. Get the KB back there, imagine like you’re hike-passing a football (but it’s a kettlebell). Remember to keep your chest tall and look straight ahead or slightly down the whole time.
  • Use an “active” back swing. Don’t just let the KB fall; be active about almost throwing it down and back.

To sum up, kettlebell swings are an AWESOME move, that should play a role in most people’s workout plan! However, it is a move that is tricky to master, and takes continuous practice and refinement. One of the most common mistakes we see in the exercise is called the “T-Rex” swing, and in today’s article, I covered three quick tips to fix it.

Train hard, talk soon!

-Forest Vance
Kettlebell Expert
Over 40 Training Specialist

PS – Little tips like these – especially when they are specific to you! – can make ALL the difference in your training results. In my “KB Fit Over 40” – online personal training program, I can give you specific feedback, individualized to you, that’s going to help you shortcut the learning curve. Details and apply at the link below:

-> KB Fit Over 40 – Last Call to Apply

(new video) Boost Your KB Pressing Strength with this Quick Trick

Are you stuck pressing the same kettlebell, and can’t seem to increase the weight?

I have a quick tip for you in today’s video that will help you get an extra rep or two on those hard sets, instantly… which might not seem like much, but done consistently, can add up to big time strength and muscle gains over time!

It’s often little tips and tricks like this that make all the difference, especially when you get to a certain point in your kettlebell training journey. That’s why if you’re not getting the results you want from all your hard work, it might not be your fault. You just don’t know exactly what you need to do.

I just had two spots open up in my “KB Fit Over 40” coaching program – so if you want me to not only 100% custom design a workout for you, but also to coach you and guide you and hold you accountable along the way, and give you tips and tricks like the one I shared today that are specific to YOU and YOUR exact situation, apply now at the link below before my client roster fills up again:

-> KB Fit Over 40 with Forest

To your success! –

-Forest Vance, Kettlebell Expert, Over 40 Training Specialist,

Watch the video here ->

Are high-rep kettlebell swings an exercise to avoid?

In today’s article and video, I will make the case for limiting your HardStyle kettlebell swings sets to 15 or 20 reps. Two of the main things that are trained in the kettlebell swing exercise are hip extension and the ability to absorb force. When we do more than 15 or 20 reps swings at a time without stopping, these two things get much harder to do, and we lose some of the effectiveness of the exercise.

Sprinting, jumping, other athletic activities – these all require explosive hip extension. Kettlebell swings are a great way to train this movement pattern. When we get over that 15 or 20 rep mark however, fatigue typically sets in, and most people cannot to get proper explosive hip extension.

Kettlebell swings also teach a person how to absorb force safely and efficiently. KB’s are great for things like contact sports for this exact reason. There are not a lot of other movements that can replicate this. When we get over that 15 or 20 rep mark however, fatigue typically sets in, and most people cannot use proper body mechanics.

To sum up, I believe that in most cases, a person should limit their HardStyle kettlebell swings sets to 15 or 20 reps. This is because most people get fatigued at the higher rep ranges, cannot maintain proper form, and the exercise becomes less effective.

– Forest Vance Master of Science, Human Movement

Kettlebell Expert

Over 40 Training Specialist

How To Avoid The “Kettlebell Sore Wrist Syndrome”

*”KB Fit Over 40″ Personalized Coaching with Forest is LIVE! Extremely limited space for this one, and it will fill quickly. Details and apply to work with me here:

-> “KB Fit over 40” Personalized Coaching with Forest

How To Avoid The “Kettlebell Sore Wrist Syndrome”

If you’ve just started using kettlebells, you have probably already experienced the sore wrist syndrome. It’s very common with people just learning to use kettlebells in their workouts, but it is completely avoidable. The key to avoiding sore wrists during and after your workouts is to take the time to learn proper technique from the start, and also to be disciplined about the intensity and vigor of your workouts while you’re still learning. Following these tips will help you avoid soreness in your wrists and forearms as you learn to use kettlebells.

Start slow and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts

It’s tempting to take your new equipment and dive right in at full speed. But anytime you’re learning to use something new, it’s important to slow way down and focus on proper technique and gradual increases. When you’re learning new exercises, focus on going slowly through the proper range of motion and get comfortable with exactly what the exercise is first. Don’t jump right in and do 100 reps of something you just learned. Focusing on a few slow reps of a new exercise will still help you build muscle and will help you avoid the pain and soreness from overuse.

Focus on perfecting the technique

Cleans, Snatches and Presses all exert a lot of force on your wrists, which is what leads to the pain, soreness and bruising. Whenever you’re working on learning one of these techniques, practice the motion slowly and carefully until you’re comfortable with it. Then gradually increase the speed.

Your hand and forearm should be moving to meet the ‘bell, not the other way around

When you’re doing a Snatch properly, the kettlebell should float in the air for a split second and then you bring your hand quickly to meet it. This lessens the impact that your wrist has to absorb.

Cleans work the same way, your focus is on bringing your hand to the kettlebell instead of letting it wrap around and fall down on your arm.

Relax your grip on the kettlebell a bit

You want to hold the ‘bell with a firm grip when you’re doing the Clean and the Snatch, but don’t squeeze it tightly. A firm grip lets you control the motion of the kettlebell, but also allows some flex in your wrist instead of trying to dead stop all the momentum. Relax and loosen up your grip slightly and focus on making sure you have control of the kettlebell as it moves.

Whenever you’re learning new exercises, a little pain and soreness is part of the price that we all pay. But focusing on proper form and technique will minimize this pain and let us maximize the time we spend doing the exercises properly. So take it slow and give yourself time to learn things properly and then train hard!

-Forest Vance
Kettlebell Expert
Over 40 Training Specialist

PS – “KB Fit Over 40” Personalized Coaching with Forest is LIVE! Extremely limited space for this one, and it will fill quickly. Details and apply to work with me here:

-> “KB Fit over 40” Personalized Coaching with Forest

[new vid] 10 Minute Kettlebell Workout for Fat Loss

If you want to:

— Get back to your fighting weight!

— Challenge yourself, but not break yourself in the process

— Avoid the expense and hassle of the gym

…then you need kettlebell workouts like the one I’m going to share with you today in your life!

Get your timer. Set it for 10 minutes, and do as many rounds as you can of the sequence below:

— 5 burpees

— 5 alternating kettlebell goblet lunges (per side)

— 10 push ups

— 10 two hand KB swings

— 20 jumping jacks

With workouts like this one, you’ll start burning extra fat, you’ll start challenging yourself more while at the same time taking it easier on your body, and maybe best of all you’ll have a convenient workout you can do any time, any place!

Check out our upcoming 28-day KB MRT Challenge for more workouts like this put into a complete program, plus coaching and support from me and my team: 28-day KB MRT Challenge (starts Monday, May 10th, 2021)

-Forest Vance @

(new video) KB Clean + Press Technique, Part 4

Got a new video for you to check out over on YouTube! This is the fourth part in the kettlebell clean and press series I’ve been working on over the last few weeks. You’ll learn a highly effective, 5-second drill that you can use to instantly boost your pressing power before your next workout:

I also wanted to make sure you got the note I sent yesterday on a new home-study course called “277 Home Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of”. This is a great resource specifically for fit pros and intermediate/advanced trainees:

-> “277 Exercises You’ve Never Heard Of” (for fit pros + intermediate/advanced trainees)

That’s it for today… hope both of these things help, and talk soon!-

-Forest Vance @