Kettlebell leg exercises to build strong lower body

Kettlebell leg exercises are an excellent opportunity to build strong legs.

Kettlebells are an excellent tool for training lower body strength, power, and balance. When it comes to leg day, it’s hard to beat the basics of deadlifts, squats and lunges.

kettlebell leg exercises will help build muscle and strength

The kettlebell can be adapted to build a strong upper body, core and legs. And when done with proper form and technique, kettlebells are as safe and effective as dumbbells.

While it seems natural that you’d build strength in your lower body, you’ll also improve your balance and core strength.

Here are kettlebell leg exercises to get you started building strong legs and improving your endurance.

Squats

woman preparing to squat with kettlebell
woman doing squats and kettlebell leg exercises

The kettlebell squat is a terrific exercise for your posterior chain, glutes and legs. There are several different ways of a doing a squat from with and without weights to the position of your hands

The squat can be done with the proper form and then holding the kettlebell in one of several positions. You can hold one to your chest, overhead, or by the handle at your lower back. You can rack two, one on either shoulder and allow them to rest on the outside of each straight wrist with the weight supported against your arm.

Goblet squat

woman doing goblet kettlebell leg exercise in the gym
  • Stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hold the kettlebell close to your body in front of your chest with both hands.
  • Tighten your core muscles and squat down. Keep your back straight and head up.
  • Now in the squat position, push off your heels to drive back up to the starting position.

Sumo squats

  • Stand with your feet wider than shoulder-distance apart. Turn your toes outwards. 
  • With both hands, hold the kettlebell in front of your legs.
  • Bend your knees and lower your body until your upper legs are almost parallel to the ground.
  • Use your heels to push up, extend your legs, and return to the starting position.

Single leg deadlift

  • Stand with the kettlebell hanging in one hand (right hand or left hand).
  • Now standing on the same leg you are holding the kettlebell, lower it toward the ground and push the other leg straight behind you.
  • Bend your upper body forwards until it’s almost parallel with the ground. 
  • Pause and bring forward the extended leg and return to the upright position.

Good mornings

  • Stand upright with your feet at shoulder-distance.
  • Hold a lighter weight kettlebell behind your neck with both hands. Keep your back tight, shoulder blades squeezed together and your knees slightly bent.
  • Begin by bending at the hips, pushing them back as you bend to be almost parallel with the floor.
  • Keep your weight back on your heels as you are pushing backwards.
  • Your back should be kept nice and flat from your glutes all the way up to the shoulders.

Glute bridge

  • Lie flat on your back with your knees bent upwards and a single kettlebell resting on your lower stomach and hips.
  • Tensing your glute muscles and holding the kettlebell to ensure it doesn’t fall, raise your hips up as high as you can towards the ceiling.
  • Hold for three seconds, tightening your muscles, return to the floor and repeat.

Reverse Lunge

woman doing reverse lunges with kettlebell
  • Hold a kettlebell in each hand with your feet shoulder width apart. 
  • Take a big step backwards with your right foot and bend your knee until your right thigh is parallel to the floor. Allow your back heel to lift, but don’t let the knee touch the floor.
  • Step back to the starting position, then repeat on the opposite leg.

Kettlebell step up

  • Hold two kettlebells, one for each hand on the side of your body. Keep your back straight.
  • Standing in front of a box or step, step up with either foot.
  • Drive the motion by stepping up with either leg onto the box or step.
  • Step back down into your starting position and repeat on the other foot.

Kettlebell Swing

woman doing kettlebell swing
  • Keep a slight bend in your knee, but there shouldn’t be any squat movement. This is a hip hinge pattern. As the kettlebell comes between your legs. You are using a hip hinge and bringing your back down without arching your back.
  • Squeeze your glutes when you reach a standing position and the kettlebell is up at shoulder level with your arms extended.
  • Keep your abs tight as the kettlebell comes down.

Kettlebell leg exercises and workout

ExerciseSetsReps
Kettlebell Goblet Squat310-12
Single leg deadlift310-12
Reverse Lunges3-412-15 per leg
Sumo Squats38
Kettlebell swings3-410
Kettlebell Step-Up312 per leg

Benefits of using kettlebell

There are many benefits to working out with kettlebells. They can improve your overall fitness program and can be used to focus on sports-specific activities.

The kettlebell is often a full-body workout. Although there are exercises that will focus on specific areas of the body, such as the arms or legs, for the most part, most of the exercises will involve the entire body.

You can reduce the risk of back injuries, improve your posture and improve your overall health.

The kettlebell leg workout is the perfect way to engage major muscles in your legs including your glutes, hamstrings and quads, as well as improve overall strength and flexibility.

Related workouts:

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