kettlebell legs workout

Kettlebell Legs Workout Building Functional Performance

Completing this kettlebell legs workout provides many benefits such as mobility, increased stability and strength.  

Also, training with kettlebells strengthens the joints in an amazing way, due to the increased engagement required from them to have a proper form and posture when performing these exercises.

The American Council on Exercise (ACE) completed a scientific study which provided evidence of powerful results from kettlebell training, including;

  • The average person can burn 400 calories in just 20 minutes with a kettlebell
  • Improved aerobic capacity by almost 14% training just twice a week for eight weeks
  • Increased abdominal strength by up to 70% training just twice a week for eight weeks

Why not conduct your own personal study by measuring your current one rep max, and measure it again after you've completed an eight week kettlebell legs workout training program.  

Prove for yourself just how much your performance has improved by incorporating kettlebell functional training.

Originally starting out as a type of underground Russian training equipment, kettlebells have become very popular thanks to the different range and type of exercises that can be done with them such as resistance, functional training, HIIT, and among others.

They are also can be easily used at home, which is especially useful during the lock downs we have experienced since 2020 and the pandemic we'd all love to forget.

Kettlebell home workouts keep you in shape even in lockdowns

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You only require a space of just about two square meters. Therefore, you do not have any excuses to avoid a good workout,  get strong lean legs and obtain all the benefits such as:

  • Endurance performance, speed, and power
  • Strength especially when you are ageing
  • Decreased risk of lower body injuries
  • Better health due to lower risk of metabolic diseases
  • Lean body and better look.

So, lets get on with the exercises you'll be doing in this legs workout;

Kettlebell legs workout: Squats

Squats with kettlebells will be performed with the kettlebell held against your chest and your body, and keeping your back straight as possible. Then you will lower into a deep squat, keeping your knees out all the time and eyes straight ahead with tension through your core, shoulders and glutes.

You can perform this exercise for between 12 and 15 repetitions by 4 sets having rest between each set.

This exercise has different variations like, Kettlebell Pistol Squat and Kettlebell Overhead Squat. Those are more advanced exercises to perform after you've mastered the basic squat.

The group of muscles targeted with squats are mainly the quadriceps, glutes, calves, although some muscles of  upper body are engaged too but not at the same intensity. Those upper body muscles are in the core, back and arms.

kettlebell legs workout - squats

Kettlebell legs workout: Kettlebells swing

As the name indicates this move involves a swinging motion of a kettlebell.

Hence you will take the advantage of the momentum through the legs and core caused by the swinging motion, performing the movement whilst holding the kettlebell with both hands, the arms extended and moving the kettlebell between the legs and back up to shoulder level.

All the strength in this move comes from the legs and glutes. The kettlebells swing will reach the height of the shoulder or even slightly above shoulder height.

You can do between 12 or 15 repetitions by 3 or 4 sets. Also can be done by timing such as 30 sec, 40 sec or more with 15 sec resting time between each set, depending on how you'd like to program your training.

The muscles involved with this movement are mainly the lower body, especially hamstrings, glutes, hips, and quadriceps, also some the upper body muscles such as the arms, shoulders and core.

Kettlebell legs workout: Lunges

Kettlebell lunges are preformed holding a kettlebell on each side with your hands, then lunge forward with a large stride on your first leg, keeping your upper body straight and allow the other leg to go down to almost touch the floor with the knee, then push back to the initial position and repeat with the other leg.

It is important to keep a 90 degree angle with your body when you are lunging forward, and keeping the knee out, don't let it collapse inward.

Do between 3 or 4 sets of 12 repetitions per each leg.

The muscles involved in this exercise are mainly the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes and arms, and the benefits are the strength developed in the quadriceps and hamstrings, even the stabilization of the core.

There are different variations for kettlebell lunges such as kettlebell side lunges, reverse kettlebell lunges, kettlebell pass-through, overhead kettlebell lunge, and globe kettlebell lunge.  

You can try some of these more advanced movements once you are really comfortable that you've mastered the basic kettlebell lunge. 

Kettlebell legs workout: Deadlift

Deadlift is known as a compound exercise where a lot of muscles of the body are involved performing it. This exercise is great for working the whole body, although some muscles work harder than others.

The main muscles involved in deadlifts are the hamstrings, quadriceps, glutes, calves, core, and lower back.

You can do it with one kettlebell that goes between your feet or two kettlebells on each side of your feet.

Start with your feet apart about shoulder width, or even a little bit closer like the position you have when you are going to perform a jump.

Grab the kettlebells and slightly bend your knees with the kettlebells almost touching to the shins, keeping your back straight, pull your shoulders back and keep your arms straight then extend your hips out to stand straight up.

Deadlift can be performed between 3 or 4 sets with 12 or 15 reps or until you notice that your good form is starting to fail.

Remember, lift your hips and the core at the same time, it is a combined movement.

Stiff leg kettlebell deadlift is another variation, along with split deadlift, and sumo kettlebell deadlift.

Kettlebell legs workout: Kettlebell clean and press

This is a compound exercise where two different exercises are brought together.

The first movement is kettlebell clean followed by kettlebell press.

It is important to have proper form for each exercise individually before performing both at the same time.

For the kettlebell clean hold, the kettlebell with one hand against your chest, then pass it between your legs downwards across your body. Swing the kettlebell between your legs towards the back of your body and immediately using the momentum swing back to the front and bend your weight bearing arm and bring the kettlebell back to your chest.

Kettlebell clean is like kettlebell swing the only difference between both is bringing the kettlebell to your chest in one motion for the clean.

Kettlebell press is holding a kettlebell in each hand, breath in to gain momentum to lift the weight till your shoulder height keeping them close to your chest.

Once they are close to your chest, move your arms around the weight, you should finish the exercise with the weight stretched out on the outside of your hand, and finally bring them back to the staring position.

After you have perfect form for the exercises described above now is the time to perform kettlebell clean and press.

Swing the kettlebell between your legs towards the back of your body and immediately with the momentum swing the kettlebell forward and bend your weight bearing arm and bring the kettlebell back to your chest height, then bring the kettlebell between your biceps and your forearm; here, you are moving your arms around the weight. From this position, you will press the kettlebells up till your arms are full extended and then drop the kettlebell in a swinging motion to start the next rep of the exercise again.

As mentioned before this is a compound exercise which engages many muscles from the upper body and lower body working at the same time.

The main muscles involved performing this exercise are the quadriceps, hamstrings, traps, deltoids, abs, and glutes.

You can perform between 3 or 4 four sets with 15 reps each set  and 15 seconds rest or more as needed.

Kettlebell legs workout: get ups

This exercise involves many muscles in the body. Therefore, it is considered a compound exercise.

To perform it, the staring position is lying on the floor on your back holding a kettlebell with one hand completely extended and perpendicular to the ground. Then standing up, while you hold the kettlebell high, for which, you will start bending your knee and supporting your weight with the foot on the same side you are holding the kettlebell.

With the opposite hand, you will support yourself on the ground to raise your upper body. When you are there, with the help of your supporting hand you will place yourself on your knee, to stand up keeping the kettlebell overhead.

Once you are standing up with the kettlebell overhead with the opposite arm that support you on the first movement, you are going to reverse the movement to lie back down again.

Holding the kettlebell overhead, you are placing yourself on your knee with the leg where you are holding the kettlebell, the leg opposite side to the one that supports it.

With the support of the hand that does not hold the kettlebell, bend the other leg, sit down, place the forearm, and lie down to the staring position.

Repeat the exercise how many times you feel comfortable with a good posture.

Remember, it is important to perform this exercise in a slow steady motion to keep a good technique and posture, with tension through your core.

Among the main parts of the body that are targeted by this exercise are those located in the core, lumbar and rectus abdominis, and shoulder, quadriceps, and glutes.

Kettlebell training plan

Start warming up your whole body by jogging on the spot for two minutes, followed by body weight squats for one minute, body weight lunges for two minutes, and star jumps for one minute.

You may also choose to complete some mobility drills before starting on the kettlebell legs workout. 

Now, your body is warm enough to perform the following alternatives kettlebell legs training plan.

Alternative Exercise Plan A

Sets x Reps


4 x 12-15 Reps

Kettlebell swings

4 x 12-15 Reps


4 x 12-15 Reps for each leg

Alternative Exercise Plan B

Sets x Reps


4 x 12-15 Reps

Get ups

4 x 12-15 Reps

Clean and press

4 x 12-15 Reps

Wrapping up

Stronger legs will increase the responsiveness of the body to any activity, as legs dictate the powerful push in most exercises.

Getting stronger legs will be reflected in the results for better strength and endurance performance.

Also, the lower body contains some of the biggest muscles in the body, so focusing on leg workouts gives you maximum "bang for your buck"

These workouts while focused on training the legs is good for the upper body too, that is involved in most of the training movements in kettlebell workouts.

As a result, the benefits will be reflected in the whole body thanks to the kettlebell legs workouts.

Don't forget that the results you achieve from any physical training need to be fueled by proper nutrition.  If you're serious about results then check out the following posts as well;

Kettlebell Legs Workout
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Kettlebell Legs Workout
Try this kettlebell legs workout to increase abdominal strength, aerobic capacity and athletic functional movement.
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Sara Crave
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Ana Maria

As a certified strength coach and nutritionist, with a passion for living life and continual improvement, Ana Maria believes that every woman should bring out her inner goddess. A healthy active lifestyle, commitment to training and good nutrition are the keys. As the creator of Sara Crave, Ana Maria shares her passions for fitness, fun and fashion with you.

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