If you’re in need of a short, spicy workout that’ll get your muscles working and burn lots of calories in the process, then this HIIT-style kettlebell flow is for you. The humble kettlebell may look pretty minimalist – a ball of iron with a handle – but they’re one of the best pieces of equipment you can own, combining the benefits of strength training and cardio into one.
This workout has been put together Holly Braithwaite, co-founder of fitness app POW8R and, although it may be short, it’ll leave your metabolism fired up so you continue burning calories even once you've finished training. "Rather than long, tedious workouts, focus on smaller, high-intensity routines that keep you engaged," says Holly. "This eight-minute kettlebell routine fits perfectly into your day and delivers noticeable results.” Don't worry if you don't own a kettlebell, a single dumbbell will work just as well.
For this workout you’ll have four different exercises to work through where you’ll do each one for 40 seconds of work followed by a 20 second rest. Try and stick to your 20 seconds rest once you've completed one round of this workout, as it'll help keep your heart rate high and burn more calories. Ready? Here’s your workout:
1. Kettlebell swings
Start with your kettlebell on the floor in between your legs, with your feet a little wider than hip-width apart. Lower into a half squat and pick up the kettlebell with both hands, keeping your back straight and core engaged. Lift the kettlebell off the floor, swing it forward a bit to gather some momentum, then swing it back between your legs. From here, thrust your hips forward, squeeze your glutes and swing the kettlebell to chest height, then back down between your legs. That's one rep.
2. Kettlebell deadlift
Start with your kettlebell on the floor in between your ankles, with your feet hip-width apart and toes slightly turned out. Bend your knees slightly, hinge at the hips, keep your back straight and grab the kettlebell with both hands (imagine you're trying to rip the handle in two and squeeze your armpits down). From here, stand up straight, then reverse the movement back down to floor, hinging the hips and slightly bending the knees.
3. Goblet squats
Hold your kettlebell in both hands against your chest and position yourself into a squat stance (feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, toes slightly pointed out). From here, bend your knees and sink down into a squat, keeping your spine neutral and your knees going over your toes. Push through heels and glutes to stand back up straight.
4. Russian twists
Sit on the floor with your knees bent and feet flat, holding your kettlebell in both hands at chest height. From here, lean back slightly and raise your feet so that they're hovering above the floor (if you can't do this just keep them flat on the floor). Twist your torso from left to right, moving the kettlebell across your body as your do this.
Enjoyed this kettlebell workout? Why not give this other 4-move routine a go; it takes 15 minutes and is excellent for developing full-body strength. Otherwise, if you're a little pressed for time, give this four-move bodyweight workout from CrossFit Athlete, Aimee Cringle, a go - it's insane for burning lots of calories and bolstering your strength too.