Rock Your Body Kettlebell Style

by Marianne  - July 14, 2010

Hi everyone,

The weather here is awful as always, so today’s workout had to come inside again (boo, I like outdoors).  This is a full body workout that kicks butt, or at least it kicked mine!

It has everything in it; cardio, resistance, core, flexibility, legs, shoulders, back, isolation and compound exercises. This means if you push yourself throughout, you can burn loads of calories while feeling great at the end.

A couple of different combination exercises were included for a change and a challenge today, so hope you enjoy those. Combinations engage more muscle groups therefore increasing metabolic demand as well as stability and, in this case, flexibility.

I started using my Gymboss Interval Timer to time each round to gauge how long to make the workout.  However during filming in my favorite room in the gym, we got ambushed by the kids’ summer scheme so we had to find somewhere else mid workout. We found a squash court, but then timing the workout became pointless, but it didn’t matter. As much as I love competition, I would not recommend racing through this workout, purely because many of the exercises call for more precision and technique, and to rush will risk injury. I also kept the reps quite low for the more technical exercises to allow for quality over quantity 🙂

The Workout

Now, the exercises are as follows:

  1. KB Alternating Swings x 30 reps
  2. Forward Lunge into KB Shoulder Press x 6 reps (each side)
  3. KB Renegade Rows x 12 reps (total)
  4. KB Single Snatches x 15 reps (each side)
  5. KB Windmill x 6 reps (each side)
  6. KB Thruster into Overhead Squats x 4 – 6 reps (each side)

I just used my 12kg KBs today, as I couldn’t carry the 16’s with me, besides I only would’ve used it for the swings and maybe the snatches.  I tried to keep my rests between exercises short (20 – 30 seconds).  With body weight workouts, the rest period can be a lot shorter, but I think muscles need slightly longer when extra resistance is applied, otherwise you will face failure a lot sooner, and the workout will suffer.

I completed two full rounds and then I decided to do a little more work on core, and flexibility at the end. I did 2 rounds of just renegade rows and Thruster-overhead squat combos.  And that was it.  You could perform a third round, or even add a Tabata in at the end, but I just left it there. It was frustrating because I was so fired up to do this workout, then I spend ages warming up for the overhead squats, got disturbed and had to move to a squash court. Boy I wish it had been a dry day :/

Feel free to leave me a comment about the workout, especially if you tried it.

I intend on being back soon with a new body weight workout.



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  1. Ok so I rocked this workout today…..this is my first KB workout and it kicked my ass. I did wear my heart rate monitor and I burned 500 calories. Marianne you rock!!!! I feel like a 10 pound weakling!!! I am not sure how my form is but I will keep trying. Only question I have is how many days a week do you do a KB workout? After my workout I jumped on a treadclimber for 50 minutes and did 2400 foot elevation gain and 4576 steps, and a quick ab workout.

    Marianne I would love to chat with you about these workouts…I have a few questions….let me know if that would be possible through email or Facebook or something

    Thanks for the workouts and keep inspiring like you do… got me into KB!!!

    1. Hey Mike,

      If your goal is fat loss then you can do a KB workout 5 days a week, provided you feel recovered enough. For this goal I would also recommend high intensity interval cardio rather than steady-paced. This way you will a) burn more fat for energy and b) save yourself a lot of time. If you put enough effort in, you need only do a 20 – 30 min High Intensity Workout. I would also suggest some other form of strength training, in order to build some lean muscle mass, which will aid fat loss.

      If you still wish to contact me regarding more detailed questions, please do so at 🙂


  2. Did this with my 20kg earlier, added a set of 15 chest presses each side on both rounds.

    It was a total killer , but I loved it 🙂

    I think this is one of my favourite workouts, it’s a good full body workout and you can easily add more exercises in to make it longer, or add a tabata at the end, or just do it as it is if you not got much time.


  3. I wonder if this work for man because iam male and also I saw one of those Kettlebell at the local store and I laught thinking that this is a joke but now that I see this video Iam thinking different and so iam planning to buy 2 kettlebell so I can lose some weight 🙂

    greetings from Kansas!

    1. There’s no reason why men can’t used Kettlebells too, they are very good for strength, flexibility and fat loss, so they are worth trying.

      Cheers for comment

  4. Blimey this was a bit harder with my 16kg!

    Feels good to progress as I know 6 weeks ago when I got my first KB I would never have been able to use a 16kg for any of the workouts.

        1. You’re lucky then, you must be flexible – I aint 🙁 I still find it hard to maintain form for snatches, will have to start including them more again so I can practice.


  5. I thought that was pretty much what it was.

    I kinda made up a new exercise today (I’m sure it’s not original though) whilst daydreaming at work LOL.

    With the KB I have at the moment I was finding chest presses way too easy! Even with sets of 20 or so reps. I’d been pressing the KB to 5 degrees out from the vertical when I brought my arm straight at the top of the motion, to keep tension in the chest muscle so that it didn’t rest at all during the set. That was a bit better. But today I decided to add half a FLY in to see how that felt.

    So once I straighten my arm out at the 5 degree press position at the top, I then moved the KB outwards to just beyond the 45 degree angle slowly and then back in, then brought it down to the start of the press position as 1 rep.

    I only did 2 rounds with a set of 10 each time and I can feel the burn in my chest muscle now, felt really good!

    Thought I’d be really inventive and call it a CHEST PRESS/HALF FLY lol!


  6. I have picked,

    This one LOL,
    Kettlebell Leg Blaster, jul 12th
    Fierce Ab Attack, Jun 24th
    Hot Body Summer Workout, May 31st

    Oh how do you do a bodyweight renegade row?

    I’ll probably add the odd exercise in that I want to try but it gives me something to follow while I learn.


    1. Steve, bodyweight renegade row is : start in a plank (on the hands) engage the core and row one hand to the hip, hold for count of 2 – 5 seconds and return it to the floor, now repeat on other side. I may not work your back as much, but it will work your core for sure.


  7. Hey Marrianne,

    I did this workout today and I really enjoyed it! I had to adapt a bit as I only have one KB at the moment. I did single arm rows and then held the press-up position for 60 secs instead of renegade rows, and I added a set of chest presses at the end of each round to. I did lose form a bit on the shatches towards the end, so I need to work on that a bit.

    I got the chance to go through all the workouts on your site and I have picked out 4 that I am going to rotate for the next while. Than maybe use the SPARTATGANS (LOL) and the 300 workouts as tests every now and then.

    Feels so good to find something I enjoy, no more wasting time getting ready for and then waiting for equipment down the gym!


    1. Nice adaptation Steve. You could also do a 60 second body weight renegade row, it’s a challenge for your core 🙂 Out of interest, what 4 workouts have you chosen?

  8. Did this workout today for 3 rounds and it was a killer. Thanks for this. I only changed one thing, I made it a 30/30(30sec work/30sec rest).
    I tend to like those better because I like knowing how long I have to work and I tend to work a little harder, just my preference. I just wanted to say another great workout.

    p.s. you rock the sweaty look well.

    1. LOL Frank, thanks 😉 I would probably make this an interval workout too, maybe the next time. Given my concerns about my flexibility I didn’t want to rush this one the first time. Glad you enjoyed it though! 🙂

  9. Marianne:

    I’m no expert, but I figured out that if my skinny instructor can snatch a 32kg bell like it was 16kg he must know what he is doing when he spots my problems, right? I was a little aprehensive about trying the 24kg, but now we do this once a week, 3 snatches L & R for 4-5 rounds combined with a 6 station ab routine. We also do a ladder down 5-4-3-2-1 R&L snatch routine with the 20 kg and that kicks butt. I like how it starts out difficult then gets easier. Leaves you winded standing in a puddle. I’m told that is a good thing!

  10. Marianne:

    I love your site and I’m impressed with your discipline. I started kettlebells with some friends about 6-1/2 months ago and don’t regret it. We went from 12kg snatches up to 16kg over time. As we progress up in weight to 20kg and 24kg a tip I learned from my RKC instructor last week on the snatches is to close your grip on the handle at the top locked out (thinking about keeping everyhing on your body tight and don’t open your hand) It really helps your concentration on your form and the bell does not move around as much or flip hard onto your wrist. Also timing the swing on the way down by thinking about bending at the hips before you let the bell down gets better momentum for the reverse pull on the way back up.

    Looks great, I like the lunge press combo, I’ll have to try that!

  11. Hey Marianne

    So I did this workout this morning and WOW! The heat wave finally broke here so I got up and went for a run because it had been way too long. I just did a steady state and did not push too hard. I took a little break when I got back and got into this workout… It’s a doozy! I forgot to do the press with the Forward Lunge but with my knees I had to really concentrate on form so even when I remembered I could add it in (tried wasn’t pretty). Since I only have the one 12 kg kettlebell I did Marxist Rows. I had tried balancing on the 16 and the 12 but doing the same arm repeatedly was killer so I eased it up a bit. I will have to add the Renegade row with a lower weight next time. Great core work. The other thing was I was away from the computer so I messed up the thruster to Overhead squat. I ended up doing 2 squats per rep. So squat with the bell in rack then thruster and then overhead squat…no wonder my legs are jello! Teach me not to bring my computer! It took about 22 min total and then I did 30 min of yoga to try and stretch everything out. I will be doing this one again!!!

    1. Heather, wow 22 minutes was a good time. I’m not sure, but I think this took me just over 25 minutes, if I take out the moving rooms etc. Took my time with everything though, to make sure I didn’t hurt myself. Glad you enjoyed it. I nursing a cold/flu this weekend, but I hope I’ll be well enough to do a new workout soon 🙂 Weather’s bad here anyway 🙁 as usual lol

      Keep it up!

  12. Hey again

    Thanks for the response. I have been doing those sumo squats before the wall squats and they seem to really help. I can hear my knee grinding as it goes down so I think that it is torn cartilage. I was told that I have Patellafemoral syndrome (muscles cause the knee cap to track incorrectly) but every physio basically says do one legged squats and then more one legged squats. I have been doing alot of glute work as well but maybe not the right stuff. I’ll have to get Jason to watch my as I do squats and see if my knee is tracking in. I tore the MCL on my other knee and they did a scrape when they did the surgery so it is fine… very frustrating. Plus all the football and field hockey I played in school is coming back to haunt me as I am hyperflexive as well. So all my joints can go way past normal (great for party tricks….) Thanks for the adviceI will keep working on it!

    Jason does take a PPI (in my line of work that is a Pre-plant incorporate)… but he is still having issues. I keep trying to show him stretches and he looks at me funny because half the time i tend to look a little unnatural… At least he is trying!!!

    Thanks for listening

    1. Heather,

      I really hope your knee improves, sounds awful with the grinding … one thing I can’t stand is grinding joints, gives me shivers lol It probably is to do with sport back in school and your hyperflexibility.
      As for Jason, I really hope he will do stretches and exercise as much as he can – even past the pain. I had to make myself do it at the start, but although it was hell at the time, the rest of the day was much better.


  13. Hi Marianne

    So this is the next workout on my list of things to try. In your blog you were talking about taking a long time to get warmed up for the overhead squats and I was just wondering what you do to warm up for those? I have knee issues and find it really hard to get properly warmed up and then to be able to do the squats without knee pain. I was doing Pavel’s wall squats but they seemed to be getting worse instead of better and then I started doing a sumo squat stretch ( during my warm up and they seem to help. I would really like to progress and get my knees better and eventually be able to do pistols…Great workout out. Today was a rest day and I just tried some yoga to try and get some more flexibility. Thanks for asking about my hubby earlier. He is doing better with pain but now his stomach is not loving all those anti-inflammetories. I’ll let you know how this workout goes!
    Thanks for all your work!

    1. Hi Heather,

      The legacy from my AS means I have very tight muscles especially lumbar, thoracic spine, shoulders and neck and my hamstrings too (basically EVERYTHING lol). For the overhead squat I started with some basic shoulder rotations and my normal full body warm up. I then did those sumo squat to hamstring stretch (they’re very good), I did calf stretches, some hip and glute stretches, lower back and then, with great difficulty, I stretched out my anterior delts and pecs to allow my shoulder to stay back as I squat. Even after the warm up I had to take a pretty wide stance to be able to reduce my torso twisting etc – it’s just so difficult, but after doing a few, it got easier.

      With your knee, do you know where the pain is coming from? IE is it joint related, tendons, muscular? When you say the wall sit makes it worse, it could be a hip flexor issue. Hamstrings or hip flexors my be tightening to compensate for the other. Have you seen a physiotherapist about it? Knee pain sucks! But definitely try and get it better before doing pistols, because they are a nightmare on the knees. Also, when you squat, on the way back up, does either or both of your knees move in a little? Like cave inwards? If so this could indicate a weakness in the glute. Yoga will probably help loads 🙂

      Glad the anti-inflammatories are helping, but they are a nightmare on the stomach. Is he taking a Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) too?

      Easy on the squats and lunges in this workout, hope you enjoy it all the same 😀


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