This simple 10-minute workout for beginners requires 1 kettlebell of light or medium weight. The exercises are very basic and easy enough to perform without any prior experience. This cardio workout also includes a popular bodyweight exercise to allow for active recovery. The pacing is just right to work up a sweat while allowing time to learn some fundamental kettlebell exercises.
The choice of using free weights like kettlebells for exercising might seem strange to someone just starting to workout. After all, just using bodyweight exercises is free and the risk for injury is low. So what’s the problem? You’ll need an extreme amount of patience and dedication to see results. Furthermore, you’re pretty much limited to achieving weight loss and minor body toning.
One of the best benefits of working out with kettlebells is the ability to build cardio endurance and strength in the same workout. The additional load of the weight means certain muscle groups must work harder to perform a similar counterpart bodyweight movement. As such, you’ll hit your fitness goals faster and more efficiently by using a kettlebell.
Preparing For This Workout
Obviously, if you don’t own a kettlebell you can’t do this workout. If you already own one, great. You may skip ahead to the next section where the exercises and format are described. For everyone else, don’t worry as there are plenty of affordable and quick options for getting a kettlebell.
One solution is to purchase a kettlebell through Amazon that has same or 1-day shipping. This will give you a short amount of time to go over the exercises and get straight to work soon after. I suggest that men start with a 25 lb. kettlebell and women a 10 or 15 lb. kettlebell. That might not sound like much but it gets tiring quickly in the span of 10 minutes!
If you’re used to lifting heavy objects you could always try getting a kettlebell that’s 10 pounds heavier than my suggestion. There’s also kettlebell sets available that make it easy to progress once you’ve grown accustomed to a certain weight. A good test might be to mimic these exercises with no weight in your arms and see how you feel.
The Exercises In This 10-Minute Workout For Beginners
There are 3 kettlebell exercises and 1 bodyweight exercise. You’ll alternate between using your kettlebell and just your body after each round. Rest is included and depends on how quickly you perform each exercise.
The Kettlebell Exercises:
- Squat Deadlift
- Hip-Hinge Swing
- 2-Hand Push Press
The Bodyweight Exercise:
- Jumping Jack
The jumping jack is perhaps the most common and popular bodyweight exercise of all time. I guarantee that just about everyone has done them at one point in their life. Even us older folks who endured high school gym class a long time ago. It’s a great exercise to keep the heart rate elevated while giving your muscles a little break from the kettlebell exercises.
I chose those 3 exercises not only because they are easy for newcomers, but each works a different part of the body. This includes the lower, core, and upper areas for a progressive full-body workout. While the hip-hinge swing is the most challenging, once you understand where the power generation comes from it’s not all that complicated.
Workout Format and Structure
The style of this beginner workout is what as known as circuit training. Basically, you’ll be performing a number of repetitions of the kettlebell exercises in one minute and jumping jacks the next. Since this is a 10-minute workout for beginners, there is plenty of time for rest during each minute.
- 1st Minute:
- Kettlebell Squat Deadlifts x 5
- Hip-Hinge Swings x 5
- 2-Hand Push Presses x 5
- Rest for remainder of the minute
- 2nd Minute:
- 25 Jumping Jacks
- Rest for remainder of the minute
- Repeat steps 1 & 2 four more times
There are a few ways you can keep track of time and rounds during this workout. Several fitness apps are available for smartphones that allow for programming and cuing for circuit training. Another option is simply using a wall or digital clock and begin exercising as the minute or hand changes.
You’ll likely have around 20 seconds of each minute to rest and catch your breath. While this might be too much time for workout veterans, beginners will need those precious seconds to continue to the next round. For some perspective, you’ll do 75 reps of kettlebell exercises and 125 jumping jacks in the span of 10 minutes.
When working with weights, having proper form is crucial for endurance. This is especially true with kettlebells and their off-center gravity. Make sure you read and watch the videos for each of the kettlebell exercises below to get the most out of this workout.
The Kettlebell Exercises Explained
I recommend practicing each of these kettlebell exercises before jumping into the workout. It’s not a bad idea to film yourself as well and compare your technique to that of these trainers. Take your time during each move as the goal is not to go fast but rather correctly executing the exercises.
The squat deadlift is a very straightforward exercise where you’re simply lifting the kettebell from the ground. Notice how the squat is just deep enough to where the arms remain straight. Lowering yourself further will cause the elbows to bend which is unnecessary.
The hip-hinge kettlebell swing is commonly referred to as a Russian swing. This is because the peak of the swing is at chest level. Pay attention to the knees as they do not dip like in a squat swing.
Many people assume that the kettlebell is lifted with the arms, however, this is incorrect. The explosive action of the hip hinge generates the necessary force to swing the kettlebell. The arms act as an extension of sorts and help guide the kettlebell along its path. Remaining with your hips in a fixed position while doing a swing motion with the arms is called a front raise.
2-Hand Push Press
The final exercise of this workout, the 2-hand push press, uses momentum to thrust the kettlebell overhead. A short dip (not a squat) precedes the thrusting motion giving your arms some relief in the process. As mentioned in the video, the push press is one fluid movement and not broken up into multiple parts.
Final Thoughts On This 10-Minute Workout For Beginners
Not only is this a great introductory workout for kettlebell training, but it’s also one you can scale with a heavier weight. If this becomes a frequent workout then it’s quite possible you could continuously perform jumping jacks for those entire minutes. Perhaps even add some extra reps for the kettlebell exercises as well.