Firm Body – Kettlebell Workout

by Marianne  - September 7, 2010

Hi everyone,

I did this workout a couple of days ago and I really enjoyed it. I am more of a resistance person than cardio, but I did find my heart rate was elevated during this workout. If you like more cardio, feel free just to add a cardio exercise in the middle to break it up.

I set my Gymboss Interval Timer for 21 cycles of 20 seconds recovery and 40 seconds effort. The workout has 7 exercises and 3 rounds. It goes like this:

  1. Two – Handed KB Swings (39,40,35)
  2. KB Reverse “Passing” Lunges (right) (18,15,15)
  3. KB Reverse “Passing” Lunges (left) (17,15,14)
  4. Dive Bombers (body weight) (13,12,9)
  5. Single-arm KB Rows (right) (18,18,15)
  6. Single-arm KB Rows (left) (17,16,16)
  7. KB Vertical Swings (15,14,12)

This workout is good for toning and sculpting and, depending on how much effort you put in, it can also burn fat too.

As I said in the video, if you don’t have heavier KBs to challenge yourself during these resistance workouts, then set the reps for each exercise and perform the following modifications; do the reverse lunges at a faster temp, doing 25 – 30 reps, which will also elevate the heart rate. For the rows, I would perform them at a slower tempo to increase the difficulty, but keep the reps at about 15 (or as many as you can do). Vertical swings are meant to be more explosive, utilising the legs for power, so here I would recommend increasing the reps to 25-30. I am suggesting these modifications for those who feel they could handle a heavier weight, but don’t have one.Β  If you are not used to these exercises, then stick with the original layout and do what you can.

As always, feel free to leave me a comment on what you thought of this workout, or indeed any others too πŸ™‚

I’ll be back soon with a new KB challenge.



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  1. Got a KB for christmas but this is my first workout with it. Had a good read around the website and struggled to get off to actually do the workout; so much inspiration! Numbers not too shabby but def room for improvement

  2. This was my first ever kettlebell workout! We just got a set, and I’m so excited to start using more of your kb workouts. I think I’m really going to enjoy them, especially the swings. Thank you so much!

  3. I love this workout! It’s my 2nd kettlebell workout and I’m in love. I can’t wait to try out all of your workouts. Just getting started. Need to lose weight and gain strength! Thanks!

  4. wooopss I did the lunges a bit different.
    Well its only my second kettlebell workout … room for improvement. I used a 12 kg.
    I had do adjust the dive bombers (killers!!!). I can do a regular one going down (although I notice my right arm being stonger tries to take over πŸ™‚ ), but on the way back I have to do them on my knees.
    I was surprised how relatively easy the vertical swings were.

    I added some ab work, doing side bends with the kettlebell in 1 hand.
    Thanks for the workout! Next time I will prepare the excercises better πŸ˜€

  5. Hi
    I’ve just discovered the idea of kettlebell workout.
    After few weeks running [walk/run] I realised I need something more to loose weight and I am just about to buy fitness ball and some dumbbells but now I’ve started to think that perhaps this complete kettlebell workout can be great alternative.
    So the question is:
    Can I do this kind of workout INSTEAD of doing weights to loose my weight? I completly don’t know where to start and your workout looks like a good solution
    I wasn’t doing any excercises before.
    I am 31 years old [161cm, 63kg]
    I am busy mum of 3,5years little girl πŸ™‚ so I don’t have time to spend hours on the gym really so workouts at my garden or at home with kettlebell sounds perfect!!!
    If this is good idea for me, what weight of kettlebell shall I start with? I know it depands from my body but I really don’t have any idea πŸ™
    Would be great if ou can help me
    please πŸ™‚

    1. Hey Anna. Thanks for your questions.

      The great thing about Kettlebell Workouts, and even Interval Training like this, is that it is a great way to get more bang for your buck – build strength and burn fat! So you don’t need to do additional weight training, if you don’t have the time etc. You will, however, need to try and keep progressing the Kettlebell weight you use, so to allow yourself to always improve.

      HERE is an article I wrote on how to choose your first Kettlebell, which will help answer your other questions.

      Hope this helps πŸ™‚

      1. thank you so much Marianne!! I will read that right now, I am also watching movies on you tube with instructions how to do this excercises properly [and sorry that my English is not perfect πŸ˜‰ ]

  6. Just discovered you! Love everything about you – your gentleness and strength at the same time, your voice, your body, your form, the excitement you manage to create – THANK YOU! Today was my 2nd workout with you and I loved it! Thank you very much!!

  7. Great workout. I just completed my second kettle bell workout. I am new to your site and love it already. However, with this workout I only completed 2 rounds. But I’m pooped! My body is shaking. I only have one KB of 8 kg’s. So I am limited sort of. Anyway I really like this workout. My heart rate went way up and I was out of breath going into the second round. Thanks Marianne.

      1. Thanks Marianne. I actually decided to do it again. I am addicted! I then did some ab work from one of your YouTube sessions. Love it! I have not been this excited about working out before. This is truly awesome! I love the idea of doing rounds of exercises. This is new to me. I’ll keep you posted on my progress.

  8. Tried this today, checked out your tutorials on the exercises I hadnΒ΄t done before and loved it. CanΒ΄t do all of the exercises with good form but hey, thatΒ΄s just potential for improvement. Loved the vertical swing, canΒ΄t seem to curve my back like you do in dive bombers… IΒ΄ll keep working! Thanks for everything youΒ΄re doing here, love it!!

  9. Wow, I have been doing the Beginners Kettlebell Blast for a few months and had worked up from 10 to 18 reps per round with a 12kg KB. Just tried this work out and it is a killer! Half the time, twice the sweat. Will be sore tomorrow – any tips for warm down? Thanks M

    1. Hey Mark, that’s great that you are progressing and trying different workouts. There is a cool down routine in the workout drop-down menu. It’s basic, but it does the job πŸ™‚

  10. Hi Marianne, I’m looking into starting working out with kettle bells and I want to make sure I get off to a good start. I am wondering what weight I should start out with and what I could look forward to working up to? I am small, just under 5′ and just under 100 lbs, but I have never been particularly active (it’s catching up to me now) and I want to get into shape and become stronger.

    1. Hi Lindsay, thanks for posting and welcome to my site πŸ™‚ For your size and fitness level I would recommend 6kg – 8kg. Although these will seem heavy, you will benefit better from them in the long run as they will last you longer. Any lighter and you will not need them after a few weeks. Besides, for most of the swings and leg exercises the 8kg will be challenging enough for a while. You could feel the 6kg and see what you think. Remember that as a beginner you will make the fastest progress especially if you are training consistantly.

      I hope this helps.

      Good luck in finding a Kettlebell πŸ˜€


  11. Marianne, I really love your workouts!! I tried this one today and foolishly thought it looked easy so I planned to add on a body weight drill afterwards. I finished the 3 rounds and started in on the body weight but couldn’t finish it! This punished me a bit. In a good way! I did start to incorporate a heavier kettle bell today, too, which might have added to my fatigue. Thanks for providing interesting, challenging and effective workouts. I’m a fan!

    1. Hi Sarah, I had to go and remind myself of this workout – yes it’s a good one, nice resistance in it. Glad you found it challenging, I sure did. Also it’s good that you are progressing up the weights, doesn’t hurt to push yourself more every once in a while. πŸ™‚ Keep it up!

      Thanks again

  12. hello

    Found ur site threw gumtree,hav my own kettle bells
    but havnt use dem in a while cuz was goin 2 de gym
    ,but wen i saw u usin dem,i had 2 do a work out wit
    dem an feel great 4 it,…..thanks

  13. Thanks Marianne! I will ! Your workouts are inspiring and I really appreciated the more “creative”moves like the reversed passing KB lunges (my butt was on fire..hihi)and the vertical swings. Never had done those before..will keep pushing myself πŸ˜‰

  14. Hi Marianne, just finished the above workout. Really, really enjoyed it!
    Looking at your results, I still have lots of room for improvement. I was sometimes really struggling wth the right technique also..Any way, I only used a 8 kg KB (its the only one I have and I personally find it heavy enough). I did:
    will do some rope skipping now (I guess max 30 min)
    Thank you 4 your workout videos!!

    1. I think your numbers are good Danielle. If you are still challenged by the 8kg, then stick with it. I just know that some exercises such as the rows and swings can be done with the heavier bells sooner than other exercises.

      Keep up the great work πŸ˜€

  15. Hi Marianne, it really looks like a nice workout. Will do it tomorrow in the morning. I did 7 days of working out in a row and today I took a rest. I expect myself to be in good shape tomorrow πŸ™‚
    Looking at the exercices, I will need it!
    By the way, you look like you lost some weight..I am dreaming or is the IF paying off?

    1. Danielle, thanks I hope you enjoy it, I loved this workout!

      As for losing weight, I don’t know, I actually feel heavier, but my clothes feel loser, so who knows. I avoid the scales because I can’t help but be upset if it says I’ve gained (even if I know it’s muscle) LOL. Maybe it’s because I put tan on the night before, it always helps πŸ˜‰ But thank you – you’ve made my day πŸ˜€


  16. Hi Marianne,
    Can’t wait to try this. Today was my cardio day, by the time I saw this my workout was done. I’ll do this in the morning. Great workout. I just know I’ll like it, there’s kettlebells in it!!!!
    Have a great day.
    Thanks ,Minnie V.
    in NYS πŸ™‚

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