Strength training doesn’t need to take hours—or even half an hour. As this lower-body kettlebell circuit shows, you can get in a great strength-building workout in just over 20 minutes. The key? Choosing compound exercises that help you do a whole lot of work in not so much time.
In this video, the third installment of Sweat With SELF’s new Kettlebells series, you’ll complete a comprehensive, lower-body workout that targets the big muscles in your lower half, such as your glutes, hamstrings, and quads. Lee Jimenez, a certified kettlebell level 1 instructor and ACE-certified personal trainer, and ACE-certified personal trainer Tiffany Ragozzino will take you through the routine, which—after a solid warm-up—contains three rounds of four lower-body, compound kettlebell exercises.
Your warm-up contains bodyweight versions of movements you’ll be doing later in the routine with your kettlebells, including bodyweight squats, lunges, and good mornings. Then you’ll get into the heart of your lower-body workout: a circuit of squats, deadlifts, reverse lunges, and kettlebell swings. This exercise selection is great for a circuit, since even though there’s little rest between moves, your lower body won’t be too gassed. That’s because the exercises alternate between moves focused on your quads, or the muscle in the front of your upper legs (like squats and reverse lunges), and those that really target your hamstrings, or the muscles in the back of your legs (like deadlifts and kettlebell swings.) Of course your glutes, or your butt muscles, will be working hard in all of them!
Although the same exercises will repeat in all three rounds, Jimnez and Ragozzino introduce different challenges to keep things feeling fresh, such as adding pulses, slowing things down, or focusing on grip strength. Throughout the routine, try to focus on keeping your form on point, and if you feel it begin to falter, that’s a sign to either slow down or drop down in weight.
Before you get started with this lower-body kettlebell circuit, it can be helpful to take a quick kettlebell primer to familiarize yourself with things like how to hold a kettlebell, which grips to use, and how to choose the right weight for your exercises. We have you covered there with this Sweat With SELF introduction to kettlebells video!