Short (but killer) Kettlebell HIIT Workout

Even though this is a short (approx 6 mins) workout, it is a great workout for you legs and shoulders. All you need is a kettlebell.

Before explaining the workout, I’d like to introduce you to a new exercise I discovered (and love): the Kettlebell Pendulum Swing. It’s similar to the traditional kettlebell swing, but your body remains low. Instead of using your core and legs to swing the kettlebell up, you use your legs and lats to stay low and float the kettlebell forward and back. It’s an awkward movement at first, so start with a lighter weight until you are comfortable and get a good rhythm down. However, having a heavier weight may help balance you (and keep you from falling over…lol) You will be feeling this especially in your quads by the end of the round. I will go into further detail below.

This is a quick workout – 2 rounds of intense effort. If you’d like a longer workout, feel free to do 3 or 4 rounds. Like any other HIIT workout, put in maximum effort for the time given, to get the greatest benefit/calorie burn.

30 seconds work/10 seconds rest – 2 sets:

Kettlebell Pendulum Swings
Kettlebell Swings
Figure 8 Squats
Weighted High Knees
Right Arm Kettlebell Snatch
Left Arm Kettlebell Snatch


Kettlebell Pendulum Swing – This exercise reinforces the loading of the butt and legs and the activation of the lats. Start in your swing stance, using a heavy kettlebell, grabbing it with 2-hands and swing the kettlebell explosively between your legs as you’re hinged forward at the hips (like a traditional KB swing). Swing the weight back in a floating motion (using your lats, not your arms to swing it forward), as you hinge forward at the hips and bending your knees. As the kettlebell swings to the front stay low and sit back and down (instead of standing up). Tighten your glutes,  keep your shoulders down (do not shrug) and your back straight in a down into the squat. Use your arms to swing the weight back between your legs as your weight shifts back forward. You should actually be slightly lower when the weight is up in front of you. Repeat staying low with a neutral spine, using a swaying motion. If you lose neutral spine, lower your weight. I couldn’t find a picture of this move, but here’s a YouTube video of a demonstration:

Kettlebell Swings – Hold weight with both hands in front of you, legs shoulder width or wider apart. With straight arms, squat slightly and bring the weight back between your legs, and push through your heels as you swing the weight forward and up to in front of your face. Squeeze the glutes and squat again as the weight comes down to back between your legs and repeat in a continuous motion. Be sure to keep your shoulders relaxed and use your legs and core to lift the weight.

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Figure 8 Squats – Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell in your right hand. Squat down as you pass the weight between your legs and back behind the left leg, into your left hand. Stand partially and squat again passing the weight back between and behind your right leg and into your right hand, then standing. Keep your back straight and chest lifted, and keep a continuous motion.


Weighted High Knees – Holding the kettlebell at your chest, jog in place lifting your knees high towards your chest. Keep your back straight and the weight close to your body. You can also do this without the weight.

Left/Right Arm Kettlebell Snatch – Hold a kettlebell in one hand, feet shoulder width apart and the weight resting on the ground in front of you and knees slightly bent. Pull the weight up to past your shoulder with your elbow high then press it overhead with palm facing out. Reverse the motion and return the weight back to the ground keeping your back straight and chest high, and repeat. Complete reps/time and repeat with the left arm.

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