Interval Training With Kettlebells

Interval training with kettlebells is a great way to combine cardio and muscle building so you can achieve optimal results in less time than most typical strength training workout plans. The explosive nature of the kettlebell by itself,  already provides some level of high intensity interval training.

But, when they are incorporated into a structured, intentional HIIT regime, the results you can achieve with the kettlebells in a fast paced and shorter workout are even more dramatic. 

You will work every muscle in your body, you will burn an unbelievable amount of calories, and you will improve your heart health. All while building muscle mass and achieving a lean, sculpted appearance in significantly less "gym" time.

While kettlebells have been around since the 18th century, they have recently gained popularity among North American athletes because they add a unique aspect to fitness routines.

Benefits of High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

Interval Training has been receiving a lot of attention lately. This type of exercise is gaining popularity for much the same reason as kettlebell workouts - they burn more fat in less time. 

interval training with kettlebells

Recent research has shown that HIIT is better than conventional cardio training, especially if your goal is to lose weight or build muscle. Basically, HIIT exercises are designed to spike your heart rate for a short period of time, followed by a rest period to bring your heart rate back down.

“Rest” does not have to be a complete stop, but simply a period of time that allows your body to recover. For example, a jogger might mix bursts of sprinting into their regular run, or a weight lifter might alternate sets of resistance exercises with short sets of high-intensity cardio.

Interval Training with Kettlebells Warm-Up

Try and do all of these stretching exercises 5 times.

Neck Mobility:

  • Push your chin down to your chest and then lift it up as high as you can. 
  • Turn your chin toward your right shoulder and then rotate it upward over to your left shoulder.

Arm Swings: 

  • Step forward with your knees slightly bent and swing both of your arms up over your head and reach back, swing them back down and repeat.
  • Swing your arms out to your sides and then swing them back in crossing each other, alternating them each time they cross.

Shoulder Rotation:

  • With your arms straight out on either side and your palms facing out, start doing small circle rotations first forward and then backward for 20 seconds each way. Repeat the exercise with larger rotations.

Half Squat:

  • After running in place for one minute, stand with good posture and your hands out in front of you for balance. Bend at your knees until your upper legs are close to being parallel to the floor, slowly push back up to your starting position.

Lateral Lunge:

  • Bend your right knee and squat through your right hip, keeping your left leg straight. Hold the stretch for 5 counts then return to starting position. Repeat on other side.

Interval Training with Kettlebells Workout

Our interval training with kettlebells workout (listed below) will give you a full-body routine you can complete in less than 30 minutes. Your goal is to get your heart pumping by completing as many reps as possible in 30 seconds, followed by 15 seconds of rest...Have fun!!!

Clean and Press:

Exercise Instructions: 

  • This is a two stage exercise. Begin with your feet hip-width apart. Hold a kettlebell in your right hand and perform a one-arm swing to lift the kettlebell up to your shoulder level, the bell will be cradled between your forearm and bicep (rack position). 
  • Bend your knees into a squat position, then explode upward, driving the weight above your head until  your right arm is straight. Your feet will remain on the floor. 
  • Return to rack position and repeat for specified reps or time. Switch arms.

kettlebell press position #1
kettlebell press position #2Kim Demonstrating the Kettlebell Press


  • For added challenge, rather than repeating reps from rack position, bring your arm down to starting position and add the swing to each movement.

Strength Training Exercises for Women

Kettlebell Swing:

The kettlebell swing is one of the most popular kettlebell exercises available. The swing works everything from your legs, glutes, and your back. Using a high level of repetitions will give your heart and lungs an intense cardio workout.

Exercise Instructions:

  • Stand with your feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Hold a kettlebell in front of your body, arms hanging straight down. Keep your chest up, back straight,  knees slightly bent, and hips back. 
  • Swing the bell between your legs then push your hips forward as you lift the weight up until you  arm is parallel to the floor and straight out in front of you. Let the bell swing back between your legs and repeat.
  • It is important that you let your hips control this movement and do not lean too far back at the top to avoid injuring your back.

kettlebell swing position #1
kettlebell swing position #2Kim Demonstrating the Kettlebell Swing

High Pulls:

Exercise Instructions:

  • Begin in the same stance as if you were  performing a kettlebell swing. Hold a bell in your right hand and swing the weight up until your arm is parallel to the floor and straight out in front of you.
  • When your arm reaches this position, pull the weight toward you body until your elbow is bent to about a 90 degree angle. Keep your wrist straight and firm. Push your arm back out until it is once again parallel to the floor, then lower it back down to starting position. 
  • Repeat for specified number of reps or time and then switch hands.

Kettlebell Push-up:

Exercise Instructions:

  • Begin in a push-up position. Place each hand on a kettlebell with palms facing each other. 
  • Lower your body down into a traditional push-up, then return to starting position.

kettlebell push-up

Jump Squat:

Exercise Instructions:

  • Stand with feet hip-width apart and toes pointing forward. 
  • Hold a kettlebell in each hand, arms hanging straight down and palms facing your body. Bend your knees and keep your back straight. 
  • Explode upward into a jump, landing softly with knees bent. Repeat for specified number of reps or time. 

Kettlebell Rows:

Exercise Instructions:

  • Stand with feet about hip-width apart. Place a kettlebell in front of each foot. Bend your knees slightly and make sure to keep your back straight throughout the entire movement. 
  • Bend over and grab a kettlebell in each hand, palms facing each other. From this position, pull the weights toward your ribcage, keeping your elbows close to your body. 
  • Lower the weights and repeat for specified number of reps or time.

High Windmills:

Exercise Instructions:

  • Stand with feet a little wider than shoulder width apart. Begin in an overhead press position with your right arm straight above your head. 
  • Turn your feet toward the left, both toes facing in the same direction, and rear hip out. Lower your left hand to your left toe, keeping both arms straight. 
  • Return to starting position and repeat for specified number of reps or time. Switch arms.

Interval Training With Kettlebells 
20 Minute Sample Workout

Kettlebell Swings –  30 seconds, 15 seconds rest

Kettlebell Pushups – 30 seconds, 15 seconds  rest

Kettlebell High pulls (right)-  30 seconds, 15 seconds rest

Kettlebell High Pulls (left) – 30 seconds, 15 seconds rest

Kettlebell Jump Squats – 30 seconds, 15 seconds rest

Clean and Press (right)– 30 seconds, 15 seconds rest

Clean and Press (left) – 30 seconds, 15 seconds rest

Kettlebell Rows – 30 seconds, 15 seconds rest

High Windmills (right) – 5 reps, 15 seconds rest

High Windmills (left)  - 5 reps, 15 seconds rest


Repeat above list 2 or 3 times 

Cool Down: Finish your workout with 1 minute of walking followed by proper stretching.

The interval training with kettlebells workout should take between 20-25 minutes to complete, depending on how much time you give to cool down stretching and how many times you choose to repeat the list of exercises.

Other pages that might interest you:

I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or ideas you would like to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum

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