HIIT kettlebell workout for weightloss

Using a single kettlebell combines cardio and strength training to burn calories and tone muscles – and you don’t even need to hit the gym. You can use a simple kettlebell workout for weight loss and improve your physical fitness.

Don’t worry if you haven’t used kettlebells before. They can be a little intimidating, but you can master the technique with a little practice.

woman doing reverse lunges with kettlebell

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Kettlebells are a great way to add variety to your strength training routine. They provide a different resistance challenge since the center of gravity is at the bottom.

Use kettlebell for functional exercise

Functional exercises are those that make everyday movements and motions easier.

A woman who lugs around a heavy purse every day is already getting practice. Carrying a purse is very similar to a Farmer’s carry or suitcase carry.

The base of weight is on the bottom, with a handle on the top. Improving functional strength could help your purse feel not as heavy.

When a weight is on one side of your body, you have to compensate for the extra weight on the loaded side. This means firing your muscles with more intensity and fighting the urge to collapse like a house of cards. You also need to keep from rotating as the weight pulls you to one side or the other. One goal is to keep your hips and shoulders square. 

Kettlebell for workout

Vinyl Coated Kettlebell Weights start at 5 lbs and go as high as 50 lbs. Perfect for any home gym or workout.

Benefits of using kettlebells

There are so many benefits of using a kettlebell, here are three kettlebell benefits:

  • Kettlebell exercises combine strength and cardio that target every muscle group and help you to improve your flexibility and endurance. 
  • These workouts involve multiple reps of each exercise, contracting muscles then relaxing them, which is calorie intensive – meaning it can be great for weight loss! 
  • It’s hard to miss the unusual shape of a kettlebell, but it’s this shape that makes it so versatile and useful for so many exercises, while being much more gentle on shoulders and wrists.

Kettlebell workout for weightloss

The kettlebell is a versatile piece of equipment that allows you to get a little creative while still doing many of the same exercises you can do with dumbbells or a barbell.

woman doing kettlebell row exercise

Kettlebell training allows you to work everything – upper body and lower body exercises – and allows for bursts of cardio during a high-intensity interval training (HIIT) session

A kettlebell is shaped perfectly for a variety of different exercises and adds to your functional strength because its weight shifts during your workout.

Kettlebell training involves compound exercises that move you through multiple planes of motion. 

High-Intensity Interval Training kettlebell workout

This kettlebell workout is a full body workout that can help you reach your fitness goals. With three sets, you’ll strengthen the arms, legs and core muscles in just a few simple exercises. The key to this workout is completing each exercise with proper form, taking your time and not focusing on speed.

Kettlebell lunge

  • Hold a kettlebell in each hand with your feet shoulder-width apart. 
  • Take a step backward with your right foot and bend your knee until your right thigh is parallel to the floor into a lunge position. Allow your back heel to lift, but don’t let the knee touch the floor.
  • Step back to the starting position, then switch sides and repeat with the left leg.
woman doing kettlebell deadlift

Kettlebell 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.


  • Hold a kettlebell in each hand with your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • Lower into a squat position while holding your core tight and then return to an upright standing position.

Bent over row

  • Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and slightly bend at the hips so that your torso is at a 45-degree angle to the floor.
  • Holding one kettlebell in each hand draw your elbows up.
  • Pause at the top of the movement for 2 seconds before lowering the kettlebell slowly back down.
woman doing kettlebell swing

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.

Push ups

  • With the kettlebells on the ground, place each hand on a kettlebell handle.
  • With your body in a straight line, lower your body into a pushup position. You can do pushups on your toes or your knees.
woman doing goblet kettlebell leg exercise in the gym

Kettlebell goblet squat

  • Stand just a little bit wider than hip-width apart and keep the kettlebell at chest height with both hands.
  • Turn your toes out just a bit and bend at the knees into a squat, making sure to keep the kettlebell at chest height and then stand back up

Russian twists

  • Start by placing a mat on the ground and sitting with your knees bent.
  • Grab the kettlebell by the handle and hold it with both hands in front of your chest.
  • Next, pick your feet up off the floor, keeping your core tight and engaged. Hold your lower legs up parallel to the mat.
  • Keep your core very tight as you turn your torso slightly to the left and then return it back to center while holding the kettlebell. Rotate to the right side and then return to the starting position.

What size kettlebell should I use?

According to KettlebellsUSA, for ballistic lifts you can use a heavier kettlebell than with slow, grinding movements like get-ups and windmills that must be carefully controlled throughout the entire range of movement and require a lighter weight. Therefore, you need at least two different sizes of kettlebells when learning and training with kettlebells.

How many calories can a kettlebell workout burn?

An American Council of Exercise study found that the average person can burn 400 calories in 20 minutes.

Additional HIIT workouts

You can do HIIT workouts at home or in the gym. Some workouts do not require any equipment at all. Try one of these FIVE workouts.

  1. 10 minute HIIT workout for beginners. You can do this workout at a local park.
  2. Quick 15 minute plyometric workout. This workout does not require any equipment.
  3. Lower body HIIT workout. You do not need any equipment but can add a kettlebell for resistance or a jump rope to add intensity.
  4. Battle rope HIIT workout. Finish up shoulder day with this HIIT or do this when you are short on time.
  5. HIIT rowing machine workout. We usually overlook the rower in the gym. Give this one a try.

Wrap up

Kettlebell exercises can be used and adapted regardless of your fitness level. It is a great tool that allows you to do your favorite exercise similarly to using dumbbells or a barbell.

An added bonus: they allow for resistance training in a small space without having to go to the gym.

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