You don’t need an extra-long gym session to get a great workout. In fact, quick bodyweight routines can be super effective at boosting your metabolism for the rest of the day. So for those days you want to lift or use kettlebells, you can get the job done with just a few key moves.
For the moves below, we suggest picking at least two different weights: a heavier one for the first half and a lighter weight for the core moves at the end. (Side note: If you want to skip the kettlebells entirely, this routine can also be done as a bodyweight workout.)
How it works: Do each of the 4 moves below in order for 10 to 12 reps, unless otherwise noted. At the end of each circuit, rest for 60 to 90 seconds. Do the entire circuit 4 times.
1. Sumo Deadlift With High Pull
Stand with feet wider than hip width, toes turned out, and hold kettlebell by handle with both hands, arms extended. Perform a deadlift by sending hips back and bending knees slightly to lower bell to ground. Return to stand, push hips forward, squeeze glutes, and pull kettlebell to chin. Think about zipping up a jacket as you do the high pull. Get more details on how to do a deadlift here.
Make it easier: Skip the high pull and focus on perfecting your deadlift form.
2. Single Arm Thruster
Stand with feet hip width and hold a kettlebell in right hand, arm bent, resting bell over shoulder. Hold left arm out for balance. Squat by sending hips back and bending knees, maintaining a tight core and neutral spine. As you stand, squeeze glutes and push kettlebell straight up, extending arm so bell is overhead. Lower and repeat, making the entire movement as fluid as possible. Do 5 or 6 reps then switch sides.
Make it easier: Master this move without any weight. Then progress to a goblet squat, holding weight with both hands at chest.
3. Kettlebell Swing
Start with feet hip width and the kettlebell on the ground between feet. Send hips back and slightly bend knees to pick up kettlebell with both hands. Swing the bell forward to chest height by standing up straight, pushing hips forward, and squeezing glutes. Allow the bell to fall between legs as hips hinge back, and then repeat. Check out how to nail the perfect kettlebell swing here.
4. Goblet Reverse Lunge
Stand with feet hip width and hold kettlebell by horns at chest height. Do a reverse lunge by stepping back with right foot and bending both knees to 90 degrees. Squeeze left glutes and push off right foot to return to starting position. Repeat on the other side to complete 1 rep.
How it works: The final two moves you’ll “ladder” for time. Set a timer for 4 to 5 minutes and do 2 reps of each exercise below. Next, do 4 reps of each exercise. Then 6 reps, then 8 reps, and so on until time runs out. Rest as little as possible.
Stand with feet slightly wider than hip width and hold kettlebell overhead with right arm straight, so bell rests against forearm. Engage core then bend to the left at the hip and touch fingertips to toes or ground. Return to starting position by engaging core to pull you upright, keeping right arm stationary throughout movement. Do all reps on left before switching sides (do not alternate sides).
6. Single Leg V-Up
Lie faceup holding kettlebell by the bell overhead with both hands. Do a sit-up, bringing bell forward and simultaneously lifting right leg to meet bell as you crunch up. Lower to start position and repeat on the other side to complete 1 rep.
Make it easier: See our alternative move option below.
Crunch With Legs Raised
As an alternative to the above move, try this one. Lie faceup on the ground and lift straight legs up so they form a 90-degree angle with torso. Hold kettlebell with both hands and extend arms straight up over chest. Crunch up, raising shoulders and upper back off ground, lifting the bell toward feet. Slowly lower and repeat, with arms extended throughout.
Special thanks to our model, G.O. Green, certified trainer at Brick New York. Green wears his own gear, including Stance socks. You can follow Brick New York on Facebook and Instagram, and G.O. on Instagram, where you might catch him practicing a favorite move: handstand push-ups.