What’s up Full Affect Fitness crew! My name is Kohl Johnson and as always, I will be providing you with another quality article! Today, I will be giving you a full kettlebell circuit routine!
What are we looking for in a circuit routine done with kettlebells? Well, this is typically a high-intensity form of exercise. When you combine that with the added resistance component of the kettlebells, you get conditioning style training. I think of conditioning as developing your aerobic capability while having a strength/muscle growth aspect as well.
So… what the heck is the circuit?! That’s up next!
Exercise #1 – Kettlebell Swing:
The kettlebell swing is an explosive, hip-hinge based movement that focuses on engaging the posterior chain for hip extension to produce the power component of this movement. It serves as a great first exercise to engage a lot of muscle groups and get the blood flowing.
Because of its fast-paced nature and compound aspect, it is both demanding on the cardiovascular system and develops explosiveness from the resistance of the kettlebell through hip extension.
Performing it first only makes sense as we are freshest at the start. This allows our muscle fibres to focus on producing maximal force to move the weight with speed so we can take advantage of the benefits of this exercise. Usually, we perform our heavy, strength-based exercises to start, but seeing as there won’t be any true maximal loads within this circuit, it makes sense to perform the kettlebell swing first!
Exercise #2 – Kettlebell Squat and Push Press:
We don’t have an infinite amount of time, this exercise combines two in one. We perform the squat to focus on the quads since that is lacking during the kettlebell swing. I used the push-press to start transitioning into the upper body portion of the circuit.
Additionally, the push-press compared to the standard strict press helps us use a heavier load to make the squats more effective while still loading our shoulders adequately. I would suggest squatting, then pausing, then push-pressing to ensure each exercise is getting the attention it needs to be fully beneficial in its application.
Performing this exercise as a thruster (pressing the kettlebells as you come out of the squat) will take focus away from the quads during the squat and make the press portion of the exercise easier than it should be.
Exercise #3 – Push Up and Renegade Row:
These exercises focus specifically on the upper body. I chose a push-up and renegade row to make use of our time and train both a push and a pull movement pattern to engage as much upper body muscle mass as possible.
The push-ups will be performed on the handles of the kettlebells. After each rep, you will perform a renegade row, one on each side. You then return to the push-up and repeat that process.
This exercise will be difficult on your cardiovascular system with the constant movement and need for stabilization, while the resistance and muscle group combination will be great from a strength/hypertrophy side of things.
The renegade row will also engage your core to a high degree, perfect for transitioning into the core focussed part of this session.
Exercise #4 – Single Arm Suitcase Carry:
This next exercise is focussed on building the stability of our core. We are focussing on stability rather than muscle growth since we are limited on time and it best allows for a conditioning benefit while developing strength. Focussing on abdominal muscle growth would be too narrowed of a use of time for this style of circuit.
This exercise develops lateral core stability by preventing our spine from shifting left to right, primarily through stabilization coming from the obliques. The walking under load portion will challenge our cardiovascular system.
Now we understand what exercises will be in this circuit and why we are using them… but how will the circuit actually be set up? Well… I will tell you!
Kettlebell Swing – 12 Reps – Select a weight that allows you to maintain speed, even on the 12th rep
Squat and Push Press Combo – 12 Reps (each exercise) – Select a weight that brings you close to failure
Exercise Number 3:
Push Up and Renegade Row Combo – 12 Reps (each exercise) – Select a weight that brings you close to failure
Exercise Number 4:
Single Arm Suitcase Carry – 10 Metre Length (per arm) – Select a weight that will challenge your endurance as well as your core, but not too heavy that it prevents you from maintaining a neutral spine position for the entire duration, for all of the rounds.
*Perform the entire circuit for between 3 and 5 rounds, depending on your experience level and time restraints.*
Well everyone, that is your circuit! No more information required! Let me know what you think and please be sure to let me know how it went through the comment section of this post! I really want to see how it works for everyone!
Got any questions? Leave them in the comment section for me to promptly reply to! Thanks for reading and enjoy the workout!
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Until Next Time,
Please refer to my liability disclaimer to ensure you know who is responsible for use of this information after reading.