If you are new to kettlebell training or only have limited experience with any form of strength training then this is the article to help you.

Below I’ve listed 7 simple kettlebell exercises for beginners that you should learn before any others and in this order.

Just mastering these 7 exercises will ensure the rest of your kettlebell training slots beautifully into place, without injury or feeling overwhelmed.

Below I’ve also included one of my favourite kettlebell workouts for complete beginners that you can use to practice these exercises.

In fact, I’ve got a whole bunch of these you can download here.

Confused about what size weight to use?


OK, let’s get started…

1. Kettlebell Single Arm Deadlift

Probably the most important kettlebell exercise for beginners is the single arm deadlift.

For this kettlebell exercise the weight is picked up off the floor using the hip hinge movement pattern. The back is kept beautifully flat as the legs, and buttocks do all the heavy lifting.

The kettlebell single arm deadlift is a full body exercise that uses most muscles in the body but more importantly coaches the hip hinge movement used later for the kettlebell swing.

Keeping your weight on the back half of your feet and not wearing shoes with raised heels will help dramatically with the movement and muscle activation.


Watch a video of the kettlebell single arm deadlift below:

2. Kettlebell Slingshot

Our first beginners kettlebell exercise on the list is the kettlebell slingshot. The slingshot is a basic kettlebell exercise that involves passing the kettlebell around the body from one hand to the other.

The slingshot is a great starter exercise because it helps you to acclimatise to the kettlebell weight as well as working the shoulders, core, and grip.


Keep the head and hips nice and still as you pass the kettlebell around the body


Later on in your training you will use the kettlebell slingshot as an exercise to catch your breath between other exercises or as a warm up before your main workout.

Practice: 10 repetitions one way and then change direction and 10 repetitions the other way. Work up to 20 reps in each direction.

Watch a video of the kettlebell slingshot below:

3. Kettlebell Goblet Squat

Finally we move onto the all-important beginners kettlebell exercise, the goblet squat which involves squatting nice and deep while holding a kettlebell at chest height.

The squat is very important movement pattern for daily life and uses most muscles in the body, in particular your buttocks and legs.

It is important during the squat that you go down deep enough so that your thighs are parallel with the floor. If your squat is too shallow then you will not activate your buttocks and will over develop the thighs.

If you find deep squats demanding then you should practice without the kettlebell first.


A good squat without a kettlebell is worth a lot more than a badly performed squat holding one.


TOP TIP: You can hold onto a counter top, table, pole, TRX, or resistance band attached in front of you to help strengthen the movement pattern before adding a kettlebell.

Just like the deadlift above, keeping your weight on the back half of your feet and keeping your chest up will help dramatically.

Related: 7 kettlebell squats you need to know


Watch a video of the kettlebell goblet squat below:

4. Kettlebell Halo

The kettlebell halo is the kettlebell exercise for beginners you should know. The exercise involves taking the kettlebell around the head closely following the perimeter of the neck.

The kettlebell, during this exercise, should be kept nice and close to the neck and taken around the head in a nice rhythmical motion.

The kettlebell halo works deep into the shoulders and the whole of the upper body.

Again, like the slingshot exercise, the halo will be used later in your training both as a warm up exercise but also as an active recovery exercise in between other exercises.


Related: 7 kettlebell holding positions you need to know


Practice: start with 5 in one direction and then change and 5 in the other direction. Work up to 10 alternating repetitions in each direction.


Watch a video of the kettlebell halo below:

5. Kettlebell Tricep Extension AKA Bye Bye Bingo Wings

Now we move onto a controversial beginners move – the Tricep Extension AKA Bye Bye Bingo Wings.

The triceps — the forgotten halves of the upper arms. You might hear “welcome to the gun show” after a bicep pump, but rarely do you hear a clever quip about the triceps. Nevertheless, they’re important muscles for controlling the elbows, building upper body strength and to lean out your arms.

Building you superhero arms- move over Mighty Thor.

Tricep Extensions do require a certain range of motion which does make them a controversial beginners move but I personally like teaching them at the beginning because they can help work an area women want to change but also build on important upper body strength with a targeted move other kettlebell training programs miss.

These Tricep Extensions can be done seated or standing. We have a move called Kneeling Triceps.

I prefer standing for no other reason than that it feels more comfortable but kneeling really works your strength strength and stability.

Again, with these be sure the elbows are pulled in and pointing to the ceiling. That’s the key aspect to focus on with this movement.

To achieve this tricep extension, raise a kettlebell overhead with elbows pointing forward, bent at 90 degrees. From this position extend at the elbow until just before full extension. Lower slowly and under control. Do not allow the elbows to flare out to the sides when performing this movement.

If you find a deep bend too challenging or your neck and shoulders are very tight, you can reduce the depth of the bend and start light. Alternatively, swap the movement to a halo instead until you have a better range of motion.


Strong triceps are good for your upper back and neck plus you begin to  build your superhero arms and add more curves to your upper body.


Watch a video of the tricep extension below:

6. Kettlebell Clean, Push, Press

Putting two of the big exercises together you achieve a movement that takes the kettlebell from the floor to the top of the press. Very challenging, full body exercise.

Adding the ‘Push’ to the press, it will help get the kettlebell out of the most difficult pressing position by using a push press. The push press is an excellent way to work on a heavy weight or continue to press when the shoulders get tired.

If you struggle with the overhead press then you can make it slightly easier by adding a push into the movement to take the kettlebell out of the sticking point.

Muscles used: Hamstrings, Gluteus Maximus, Erector Spinae, Quadriceps Femoris, Gastrocnemius, Trapezius, Abdominals, Serratus Anterior, Deltoid, Triceps, Supraspinatus, Subscapularis, Infraspinatus.

Watch a video of the tricep extension below:

7. Double Handed Kettlebell Swing

The Kettlebell Swing is the most important kettlebell exercise of all but also the one that most people struggle to master.

Kettlebell swings are based on the deadlift movement pattern and hit almost every muscle in the body especially those of the posterior chain resulting in a stronger back and hips.

If you only had time to do one kettlebell exercise then kb swings would be a fine choice.


Over the last decade or so, kettlebell exercise has enjoyed a successful reintroduction into the fitness industry. This has been based around exercises that are ​predominantly ballistic, are technically relatively simple, and tend to involve the whole body​; exercise, the swing, provides an excellent example of this.” (Lake and Lauder 2012).


The kettlebell swing is one of the most important kettlebell exercisesand uses almost every muscle in the body.

The kettlebell swing is a progression on from the kettlebell single handed deadlift exercise.

If your goals are fat loss, developing full body strength and also improving your cardio without moving your feet, then the kettlebell swing is a must.

There are 3 fundamental kettlebell swing variations:

  1. Two Handed Kettlebell Swing
  2. One handed Kettlebell Swing
  3. Alternating Kettlebell Swing

These kettlebell swing variations should be mastered in the above order as they do get progressively more challenging.

As a general guide, once you can swing the kettlebell for 60 seconds with two hands you can then progress on to the one handed swing.

Learn more: Ultimate Guide to the Kettlebell Swing


Try this Kettlebell Workout for Complete Beginners

Now we have listed the 7 best kettlebell exercises for beginners lets put them together into a 10 minute workout.


Here is a beginner workout listed below each lasting only 10 minutes (including your warm up and cool down).

At first just follow along with each workout for the 4 minutes.

Once you have mastered the workout rest for 30 – 60 seconds and repeat it for a total of 3 times.

Once you can perform workout 1 for a total of 3 circuits then move on to workout 2 and so.

Do not progress onto the next workout until you can perform 3 circuits.


Woman should start with an 8kg (15lbs) or 8kg and 6kg size kettlebell.


Perform a workout 3 – 5 times per week.

Beginner Kettlebell Workout 2

  • Goblet Squat × 15 reps
  • Single Arm Deadlift X 15 reps
  • Single Arm Deadlift X 15 reps
  • Slingshot Clockwise × 15 reps Anticlockwise x 15 reps


ο Repeat 2 – 4 times


Lisa Barwise

Author Lisa Barwise

Hi, I'm Lisa. I consider myself a Wellness Alchemist, the catalyst in the transformation of Strong Women around the world. Strong of mind, body and character.

More posts by Lisa Barwise

Leave a Reply