Forget cardio – Burn fat in just 15 minutes with this full-body workout instead

This low-impact, 12-move, beginner kettlebell workout is all you need to build functional muscle at home

Woman exercising with weights in small living room at her home. She is mid adult, wearing sport tights and top and looks very healthy and muscular.
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Functional fitness is a term that's often associated with kettlebell workouts. It simply means using your muscles to improve their ability to carry out tasks instead of only increasing their size (i.e. bodybuilding). This 15-minute beginner kettlebell workout is an excellent example of a mix between the two principles, as it can help you build muscle while also improving mobility.

Reduced mobility can not only make you more susceptible to injuries, but it can also help you accumulate fat deposits in your body. One research claims (opens in new tab) that the "increase in the prevalence of obesity is more strongly related to lower levels of physical activity than higher energy intakes." Functional kettlebell workouts are the key to staying healthy and active well into your golden years.

This workout features 12 exercises, each performed for 60 seconds, followed by a 15-second rest. There are no sets or long breaks; after all, it's only a short, 15-minute session. That said, feel free to adjust the length of the exercise and even the whole workout to match your fitness level – have longer breaks or use a lighter kettlebell if needs be. The Bowflex SelectTech 840 Adjustable Kettlebell, one of the best kettlebells around, might be an excellent option for those unfamiliar with kettlebells. The moves featured in this session are:

  • Squat
  • Bent over row
  • Romanian/stiff-legged deadlift 
  • Wide squat (sometimes also called sumo squat)
  • Upright row
  • Curl, press and extend
  • Plank on kettlebell
  • Glute bridge
  • Chest press
  • Alt. staggered push-up
  • Dead bugs
  • Kettlebell pull-over

Fancy trying more kettlebell workouts? Here's a beginner kettlebell workout to get you started. Or how about the best kettlebell workout by kettlebell maestro Eric Leija? It's more of a kettlebell flow, really. Finally, this 2-move kettlebell workout from an ex-SPETNAZ trainer is a must for those seeking simplicity. If you just want to read up on kettlebell exercises, you can also do that.

Matt Kollat
Section Editor | Active

Matt looks after T3's Active vertical, which incorporates all things fitness, outdoors, wearables and transportation – anything that gets you moving and keeps you fit and healthy will go through his hands. His byline appears in several publications, including Techradar (opens in new tab) and Fit&Well (opens in new tab), and more. Matt also collaborated with other content creators (e.g. Garage Gym Reviews (opens in new tab)) and judged many awards, such as European Specialist Sports Nutrition Alliance's ESSNawards. When he isn't working out, running or cycling, you'll find him roaming the countryside and trying out new podcasting and content creation equipment.