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I discovered this challenging kettlebell workout several days ago. I’ve tried searching desperately to give the author proper credit but can’t seem to find the link anymore. It incorporates the popular Russian Kettlebell Swing along with the traditional push-up. What you’ll be doing is performing sets of each and alternating between them. It’s a simple but almost punishing workout depending on how far you want to take it.

Since I’m a big proponent of doing kettlebell exercises in 20-minute or longer sessions, I’ve added my own twist. It’s a fun addition to the two main component exercises and will keep the blood flowing and heart rate elevated. Don’t worry, it is intended to complement the first portion of the workout and not ramp up the intensity!

Kettlebell Russian Swing and Push-Up Workout Details

Okay, now that you know the two core exercises of this workout, it’s time to go over the reps and sets. I would suggest sticking with the kettlebell weight that you are most comfortable with. You don’t want to use one that is too light or too heavy. Sort of like Goldilocks, pick one that is just right. Somewhere in the middle. I’ve broken up this workout into beginner and advanced categories. The difference is the number of sets to be performed.

Beginner

  1. 20 Russian Kettlebell Swings – 5 second transitional rest to…
  2. 10 Push-ups – 5 second transitional rest for sip of water
  3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 in order 6 times

Advanced

  1. 20 Russian Kettlebell Swings – 5 second transitional rest to…
  2. 10 Push-ups – 5 second transitional rest for sip of water
  3. Repeat steps 1 & 2 in order 10 times

The only difference between the beginner and advanced skill levels is the number of sets. When switching from swings to push-ups, I like to put the kettlebell handle down on the floor. Then, I’ll place my chin between the handle while lowering for push-ups. It’s a good way to ensure you’re doing a complete push-up!

Depending on which level you choose and how quickly you perform the kettlebell exercises, the workout should last 10-15 minutes. You’ll be short a full 20-minute session. This is where my twist comes in at the end.

Keeping track with the Kettlebell Stack 52 Exercise Cards

This next part requires you have the Kettlebell Stack 52 Exercise Card Deck which you can read about here. You’ll use these cards to keep track of each set for the main portion of this workout. However, once you’ve done the swings and push-ups completely, you’ll go back and perform each exercise on those cards. Here is the breakdown:

Setup & Configuration

  1. Complete 1 set of 20 swings and 10 push-ups
  2. During the transitional rest, take 1 card from the pile and place to one side of the pile face down
  3. Repeat step 2 after each set in alternating fashion. This will help keep track of each swing/push-up combo set
  4. Beginner skill level will have 3 cards on left, deck in center, 3 cards on right
  5. Advanced skill level will have 5 cards on left, deck in center, 5 cards on right

When you’ve completed all of the sets for the swings and push-ups, the cards should look similar to this:

kettlebell stack 52 advanced setup
Advanced Skill Level Setup

This is when you will turn over a card, perform the exercise and suggested reps, and then select another card from the other side. Do this until all cards have been flipped over. The total workout time should last anywhere from 20-25 minutes. You can see how the cards are arranged while the last part of this kettlebell workout is in progress.

kettlebell stack 52 advanced setup in progress
Advanced Skill Level in Progress

Wrapping Up This High-Intensity Kettlebell Workout

I would recommend starting off with just the swings and push-ups for the first time doing this workout. You should certainly start to feel it after a couple of sets of each. Broken down it doesn’t appear to be that difficult. However, when you tally up all the numbers, it’s pretty incredible.

Beginners will have completed a total of 120 kettlebell swings and 60 push-ups. Advanced users, 200 swings and 100 push-ups! Couple that with the 6 or 10 Stack 52 exercises and you have an amazing workout. Typically, I like to do 2 sets per Stack 52 card. Just in case a card pops up that focuses on arms or legs. Also, because I like the challenge. Regardless, it is more or less a bonus session to help you further achieve your personal goals.

Ryan Faucher

I'm a web designer and kettlebell enthusiast on a quest to lose fat, build muscles and live a healthier lifestyle. I truly believe that exercising with kettlebells in conjunction with dieting is the most effective and efficient way to reach this goal. If you have the will and motivation, there is no reason you can't do the same.
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