15 Best Kettlebell Functional Exercises and WOD with PDF

You do can do as many eighty exercises using the kettlebells to power up your fitness. However, if you’re looking for selective exercises that work throughout the body and enhance your functional fitness, I can help you.

In this article, I’ve shared the 15 best kettlebell functional exercises and five best WODs that can develop your power, muscle mass, endurance, strength, and mobility.

Whether you’re an athlete, bodybuilder, or fitness enthusiast, you can integrate these workouts into your training program to level up your fitness.

15 Best Kettlebell Functional Exercises to Level up Your Fitness

  1. Thruster
  2. Kettlebell Swing
  3. Goblet Squat
  4. Sumo Deadlift High Pull
  5. Clean and Press
  6. Snatch
  7. Push Press
  8. Sit-up
  9. Push-up
  10. Walking Lunges
  11. Turkish Get-Up
  12. Overhead Squat
  13. Deadlift
  14. Pistol Squat
  15. Wrist Turn

1. Kettlebell Thruster

About Exercise

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Muscles Worked: Shoulders, Core, Arms, and Legs
  • Force Type: Push
  • Purpose: Develop power and endurance.

Exercise Benefits

  • Engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously.
  • Increase shoulder mobility and leg strength.
  • Torches significant calories and improves muscle definition.

How-to Instructions

  1. Holding a kettlebell in your right hand, stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes pointing slightly out.
  2. Hold the bell at chest height with your elbow tucked in and close to your side.
  3. Lower into a squat until your thigh is parallel to the floor.
  4. As you return to the standing position, thrust the kettlebell overhead until your arm is straight.
  5. Keep your core and glutes engaged and your chest up and shoulders slightly down when you press the bell.

2. Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell Swings

About Exercise

  • Level: Beginner
  • Muscles Worked: Shoulders, Core, Glutes, and Legs
  • Force Type: Swings
  • Purpose: Increase speed, endurance, and strength.

Exercise Benefits

How-to Instructions

  1. Holding a kettlebell with your hands, stand upright in the shoulder-width stance and arms straight between your legs.
  2. Keeping your back straight, bend at your hips and let the kettlebell pass through your thighs.
  3. Using your hamstrings and buttocks, drive through your heels and swing the kettlebell in front of you until your hips come forward.
  4. Keep your head straight and neck aligned with your back during the entire movement.

3. Kettlebell Goblet Squat

Functional kettlebell exercises

About Exercise

  • Level: Beginner
  • Muscles Worked: Quads and Glutes
  • Force Type: Push
  • Purpose: Build muscle and strength in the lower body.

Exercise Benefits

  • Goblet squat bolsters quad muscles and builds strong anterior thighs.
  • It also helps improve athletic performance where the legs are primarily involved.

How-to Instructions

  1. Grab a kettlebell and stand upright with your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart and feet pointing 5-10 degrees out. Hold the KB in front of your chest with your elbows bent.
  2. Keeping your back straight and chest up, lower into a squat until your thighs are parallel to the floor.
  3. Driving through your heels, return to the standing position.

4. Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift High Pull

About Exercise

  • Level: Advanced
  • Muscles Worked: Legs, Shoulder, Upper Back, and Glutes.
  • Force Type: Pull
  • Purpose: Improve pulling ability and develop an aesthetic torso.

Exercise Benefits

  • It is a great exercise to build up explosive power, strength, and endurance.
  • It strengthens and develops posterior chain muscles and helps improve your functional fitness.

How-to Instructions

  1. Holding a kettlebell with your hands, stand in a sumo stance.
  2. Keeping your back straight and chest up, bend at your hips until the kettlebell touches the floor. Your hands will be straight between your legs.
  3. Keep your head high and look forward. That’s the starting position.
  4. Driving through your heels, pull the weight till it reaches your neck.

5. Kettlebell Clean and Press

About Exercise

  • Level: Advanced
  • Muscles Worked: Legs, Shoulders, Arms, and Abs
  • Force Type: Pull
  • Purpose: Increase speed, strength, and endurance.

Exercise Benefits

  • The kettlebell clean and press is a great exercise to improve your grip strength, shoulder stability, and core strength.
  • It will also help you become more explosive and improve your cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance.

How-to Instructions

  1. Holding one kettlebell in each hand, stand upright with your feet about shoulder-width apart.
  2. Bend at your hips until your torso is parallel to the floor, and from there, clean the bell over your shoulders.
  3. Now, press the weight overhead until your arms are straight.

6. Kettlebell Snatch

About Exercise

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Muscles Worked: Shoulders, Core, Arms, and Legs
  • Force Type: Pull
  • Purpose: Enhance power, endurance, and mobility.

Exercise Benefits

  • It builds up power, muscular endurance, and VO2 max, as well as shed many calories in a quick time.
  • It also strengthens and tones the posterior chain and upper body muscles.

How-to Instructions

  1. Place a kettlebell on the floor close to your feet and stand straight in a shoulder-width stance.
  2. Keeping your back straight, lean forward and grab the kettlebell with your right hand.
  3. The kettlebell swings back between your legs as you extend your knees and begin to stand.
  4. Now thrust your hips forward, snatch/pull the kettlebell, and finish it overhead until your arms are straight.
  5. Your wrist should be straight when the kettlebell rises to the top.
  6. Keep your core and glutes tight throughout the movement.

7. Kettlebell Push Press

About Exercise

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Muscles Worked: Shoulders, Core, and Arms
  • Force Type: Push
  • Purpose: Build muscle, power and endurance.

Exercise Benefits

  • The kettlebell push press builds strength, muscle mass, and endurance.
  • Builds upper body and core strength.
  • Elevates cardiovascular health.
  • Mimics real-life lifting scenarios, improving daily activities.
  • Combines strength and cardio benefits in one exercise.

How-to Instructions

  1. Grab one kettlebell in each hand and stand straight with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hold the kettlebells at your chest level with your elbows bent and tucked at your side.
  3. Lower into a partial squat as it helps generate movement to press the weight overhead efficiently.
  4. Thrusting your hips forward, push the weight up until your arms are straight overhead.
  5. Now, return to a partial squat and repeat for the desired repetitions.

8. Kettlebell Sit-up

About Exercise

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Muscles Worked: Core
  • Force Type: Body Curl
  • Purpose: Reinforce Abdominal Muscles.

Exercise Benefits

The kettlebell sit-up is an excellent core exercise that helps forge abs and obliques and improves the appearance of your six-pack abs. A solid core provides stability to your lower back and helps you perform various kettlebell exercises effectively.

How-to Instructions

  1. Grab a kettlebell with your hands and lie on your back with your knees bent.
  2. Hold the kettlebell over your chest by bending your elbows.
  3. Curl your body up until you feel the contraction in your abdominal muscles.
  4. Lower your torso on the floor and repeat for the desired number of times.

9. Kettlebell Push-up

Kettlebell Pushup

About Exercise

  • Level: Beginner
  • Muscles Worked: Chest, Triceps, and Abs
  • Force Type: Push
  • Purpose: Build strength, muscle, and endurance.

Exercise Benefits

  • It targets the chest, shoulders, and triceps and builds a muscular torso.
  • Combines upper body workout and core training in one exercise.
  • Improve your pressing movements that are required during push press and thruster.

How-to Instructions

  1. Grip a kettlebell in each hand and get into a high plank position with your arms straight below your shoulders and legs straight behind you. Maintain flat black as well. That’s the start.
  2. Lower your chest as close to the floor as possible, then extend your elbows to return to the starting position.

10. Kettlebell Walking Lunges

Functional Workouts with Kettlebells

About Exercise

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Muscles Worked: Legs, Glutes, and Abs
  • Force Type: Push
  • Purpose: Develop strength and power in the lower body.

Exercise Benefits

Kettlebell lunges are a great exercise to work the lower body. They help build strength, power, and endurance in your legs and core and boost your performance where lower body strength is required.

How-to Instructions

  1. To begin this exercise, stand with your feet hip-width apart and hold a kettlebell in each hand.
  2. Keep your arms straight at your sides and maintain an upright posture by keeping your chest up and back straight. That’s the start.
  3. Take one large step forward with your right foot and bend your knees to lower into a lunge position until your rear knee touches the floor.
  4. Extend your knees to complete your first repetition.

11. Turkish Get-Up

About Exercise

  • Level: Advanced
  • Muscles Worked: Shoulders, Obliques, Arms, Back and Legs
  • Force Type: Multi-movements
  • Purpose: Improve strength and balance.

Exercise Benefits

  • The Turkish get-up is an excellent kettlebell exercise for developing core strength, shoulder stability, and flexibility.
  • It also helps improve your overall posture and mobility, as well as helps you gain a better understanding of how the body works.

How-to Instructions

  1. Holding a kettlebell in your right hand, lie on the floor and keep your right arm straight directly over your shoulder while the other arm relaxed on the floor.
  2. Keep your left leg straight and your right one bent.
  3. Keeping your eyes on the kettlebell, begin with lifting your torso off the floor until you get yourself up into a seated position.
  4. Extend your knees and stand upright.
  5. Return to the lying position by reversing the movements in order.

12. Overhead Squat

kettlebell crossfit workouts

About Exercise

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Muscles Worked: Shoulders, Legs, and Core
  • Force Type: Push
  • Purpose: Enhance strength, endurance, and mobility

Exercise Benefits

  • The overhead squat is a compound movement that works the entire body and helps build strength, power, and stability in your hips, legs, core, and back.
  • It also enhances muscle-mind coordination and overall fitness.

How-to Instructions

  1. Grab a kettlebell in your right hand and stand in the shoulder-width stance.
  2. Hold the kettlebell overhead with a straight arm and maintain an upright posture.
  3. Keeping your arm straight overhead, perform as many squats as needed.

13. Kettlebell Deadlift

About Exercise

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Muscles Worked: Legs, Back, and Shoulder
  • Force Type: Pull
  • Purpose: Develop posterior chain health.

Exercise Benefits

  • The KB Deadlift helps strengthen various muscles throughout the body and improves your posture and flexibility.
  • It is also an excellent exercise for improving strength, stamina, coordination, and balance.

How-to Instructions

  1. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, holding one kettlebell in each hand.
  2. Pushing your hips back, slightly bend your knees, and lower the kettlebells until they are close to the floor.
  3. Pushing through heels, extend your knees as you return to the standing position.
  4. Keep your spine in a neutral position, core tight, and kettlebells close to your body throughout the movement.

14. Kettlebell Pistol Squat

About Exercise

  • Level: Advanced
  • Muscles Worked: Legs and Core
  • Force Type: Push
  • Purpose: Improve balance, flexibility, and strength.

Exercise Benefits

  • The pistol squat enhances your ability to control bodily movement, muscle coordination, and flexibility. Having better mobility helps you perform various exercises effectively.
  • Build strength in quads, hamstrings, and glutes and engage core muscles throughout the movement.
  • Enhances flexibility and mobility in hips and knees.

How-to Instructions

  1. Grab a kettlebell in your right hand and hold it close to your shoulder by bending your elbow.
  2. Lift your left foot off the floor and lower into a squat while taking your leg straight before you.
  3. Driving through your right foot, extend your knee until you return to the standing position.

15. Wrist Turnover

About Exercise

  • Level: Intermediate
  • Muscles Worked: Forearms
  • Force Type: Twisting
  • Purpose: Bolster forearms and improve wrist mobility.

Exercise Benefits

  • Bolster forearm muscles and build defined arms.
  • Increases wrist flexibility and mobility.

How-to Instructions

  1.  Place a kettlebell on the flat bench or box and sit beside it on your knee.
  2. Grab the bell’s handle with an underhand grip (right hand).
  3. Turn the bell to the left side until your palm is facing down.
  4. Reverse the movement to return to the start.
  5. Do as many reps as possible on each side.

The 5 Best Kettlebell Workouts of The Day (WODs)

1. The Fundamental Five

Do as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) in 30 minutes with 2 minutes of rest between each round.

ExerciseReps
Kettlebell Thruster15
Overhead Squat10
Kettlebell Push-up10
Kettlebell Swing15
15 Kettlebell Sit-up10

2. The Super EMOM

Perform the suggested reps of each exercise within one minute (EMOM) for 30 minutes.

  • Minute 1 – 10 Kettlebell Swing
  • Minute 2 – 10 Goblet Squat
  • Minute 3 – 10 Kettlebell Clean and Press
  • Minute 4 – 10 Kettlebell Sit-up
  • Minute 5 – 10 Kettlebell Push-up
  • Minute 6 – 10 Turkish Get-up
  • Minute 7 – 10 Kettlebell Deadlift
  • Minute 8 – 10 One-Armed Overhead Squat
  • Minute 9 – 10 KB Sumo Deadlift High Pull
  • Minute 10 – 10 Overhead Squat
  • Repeat till 30 minutes

3. The Hexad

It includes performing six exercises, six reps each, for six rounds in six minutes.

ExerciseReps
Goblet Squat6
Swing6
Pistol Squat3/side
Push Press6
Sit-up6
Push-up6

4. The Noble Nine

ExerciseReps
Kettlebell Goblet Squat9
Kettlebell Swing9
Kettlebell Pistol Squat9
Kettlebell Clean and Press9
Kettlebell Walking Lunges9
Kettlebell Sit-up9
Kettlebell Push-up9
Turkish Get-Up9
Kettlebell Deadlift9

5. Kettle-Bata

  • Type: Tabata
  • Duration: 30 minutes
  • Rest period after each completed circuit – 2 minutes
  • How to perform exercises: Do eight rounds of high-intensity intervals, alternating 20 seconds of work with 10 seconds of rest.

Exercises

  • Kettlebell Swing
  • Clean and Press
  • Snatch
  • Sit-up
  • Push-up
  • Thruster
  • Goblet Squat

Download The Kettlebell Exercises and WODs PDF

References

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Author
Murshid Akram
I'm an online personal trainer, fitness blogger, and fitness enthusiast. I love researching and writing about exercise and nutrition. I share science-based, practical, and logical information that can help you achieve your desired fitness goal.
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