Up and Down Kettlebell Flow for Strength and Cardio
Some of my favorite kettlebell flows aren’t all that dazzling to watch but offer an effective workout none-the-less. The first flow I ever covered by Onnit’s Eric Leija is one I perform weekly and still thoroughly enjoy. Why? It checks off all the boxes that I look for in a flow which are simplicity, pacing, and alternating sides for symmetry and recuperation.
The fact is, I’m not that graceful in pulling off some of the more ranged types of kettlebell moves like the windmill. With some more practice and patience, I eventually expect to perform finesse moves like that. However, for my current goals, efficiency takes precedence above all. Kettlebell exercises like swings, rows, deadlifts, cleans, and squats get the job done just fine. Since they are so basic, many combinations are possible which provide a challenging yet satisfying workout.
A recent example of such a workout I discovered was created by Instagram user @supertechninja (Joshua McWilliams). The 5 kettlebell exercises he incorporates into this flow are for the most part very beginner-friendly. Other than the snatch (which I’m still learning to perfect), men and women that are new to kettlebells should have no problems following along. Although just because it is simple, don’t expect an easy workout!
Breaking Down This Up and Down Kettlebell Flow
In the post description, Joshua lists the moves performed in order. I actually think he short changes himself a couple of moves which I’ll point out later. What I appreciate most about his flow is that there is plenty of lowing and rising of the body. Thankfully, it’s not so much as to where you feel you’re doing several squats in a row. In fact, I think the timing is perfect to allow you a brief moment of recovery while still engaging the leg and core muscles. Take a look below!
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🔥 Kettlebell Flowing 🔥⠀ ⠀ Crush is this flow on your next full body day. ⠀ ⠀ Finally starting to get more comfortable with cleans and snatches⠀ ⠀ Shoot for 60 seconds on 30 seconds off⠀ ⠀ Movements:⠀ Front Swing⠀ Front Squat⠀ Clean⠀ Racked Squat⠀ Snatch⠀ ⠀ Enjoy. This one will get the heart racing⠀ ⠀ #kettlebellworkout #kettlebellswings #kettlebell #kettlebelltraining #kettlebellflow #functionaltraining #legday #kettlebellsnatch #movementculture #explosivetraining #strengthtraining
As you can see, the flow starts off with some two-handed exercises before finishing with a few one-handed moves. The pacing is brisk but steady and switching arms gives that recovery time I mentioned earlier. In my experience, formats like this will get the sweat pouring and heart racing. It’s not so difficult that you’ll be huffing and puffing and is a workout that can be sustained over 10, 20, or even 30 minutes if you desire. Joshua recommends that you try to get as many sets in 60 seconds followed by 30 seconds of rest. I think that’s reasonable and makes it a very scaleable workout if you want to go for 10 or 20 rounds at that duration.
Kettlebell Moves Listed in Order
The description states that the following moves are performed: Front Swing, Front Squat, Clean, Racked Squat, Snatch. Watching the video, I feel like a couple of moves were omitted unintentionally and others could use some elaboration. I’m not a trainer nor an expert but this is what I see:
- Hike Swing
- Goblet Squat
- Dead Clean
- Racked Squat
- Lower to Rack
- Rack to Floor
So all of the exercises from the clean on are with one arm. After the set and the initial 2-handed moves, the arms are switched. Simple enough, right? I added the 2nd move (deadlift) because that should absolutely count. I also think that the clean midway through should be classified as dead (touching the floor) because there is a clear effort to do so. It’s a little more extra work than a hang clean.
As far as the ending, credit should also be given to lowering to rack instead of just going straight to the floor. It’s important because that provides an extra second or two of rest before starting the flow all over again. Timing the video, Joshua is able to do 4 sets (2 per side) in 56 seconds which ends up rounding out the full minute as close possible.
Final Thoughts on This Kettlebell Flow
By my calculations, with 30 seconds of rest in between, you should be able to perform 10 rounds of 40 total sets in 15 minutes. It’s one of those workouts that’s quick, efficient, and serves as a great way to build both cardio and strength. As you progress with kettlebell training, increasing the weight of your kettlebell shouldn’t pose too much of a problem. Out of all the exercises, the snatch is the one that is likely to be the most difficult at a heavier weight. As I’m finding out, that just means you may need to work on the technique more and resist muscling through it!
If you liked this workout be sure to follow @supertechninja. He regularly posts kettlebell videos for inspiration and motivation. It’s nice to see a few before and after transformation photos that prove how far hard work and exercising can improve your physique and health. Keep up the good work, Joshua!