The 20-minute fat-burning kettlebell workout

If you’re tight on time, or looking for a quick workout you can do anywhere with minimal stuff, all you need is one bell.

For those tired of waiting for free weights, machines, or are seeking a fresh and intense way to work out, we’ve asked Mike Stehle of Training Room Online, for his prescription. All you need is one kettlebell and 20 minutes.

The Protocol

Set a timer for 20 minutes. Perform as many rounds as you can of the following movements using one kettlebell.

Advanced Athlete Complex

  • 10 reps Kettlebell Deadlift
  • 10 repsPushup
  • 10 repsKettlebell High Pull
  • 10 repsPushup
  • 10 reps Two-hand Kettlebell Swing
  • 10 reps Pushup
  • 10 reps Goblet Squat
  • 10 reps Pushup

Intermediate Athlete Complex

  • 6-10 reps Kettlebell Deadlift
  • 10 reps Pushup
  • 6-10 reps Kettlebell High Pull
  • 8 reps Pushup
  • 6-10 reps Two-hand Kettlebell Swing
  • 6 reps Pushup
  • 6-10 reps Goblet Squat
  • 4 reps Pushup

Beginner Athlete Complex

  • 5 reps Kettlebell Deadlift
  • 5 reps Pushup
  • 5 reps Kettlebell High Pull
  • 5 reps Pushup
  • 5 reps Two-hand Kettlebell Swing
  • 5 reps Pushup
  • 5 reps Goblet Squat
  • 5 reps Pushup

Exercise 1

Kettlebell Deadlift Progression The starting position should have the bell between your feet in your athletic stance. Keep the spine neutral and eyes focused slightly down as you fold at the hips and grab the handles of the bell. Your heels should be positioned firmly flat on the ground and shoulder blades pulled back. Be sure not to allow the shoulders to roll forward. Stand up with the bell until the knees are locked out and your glutes are tight. To lower the bell with good technique, start the movement downward with the hips and maintain the arch in your lower back. Throughout the entire movement, keep your head and neck neutral.

Exercise 2

Traditional Pushup Place your arms shoulder-width apart, back straight, and feet together.

Exercise 3

Kettlebell High Pull Start with the kettlebell in front of you. Explosively, pull the bell up the side of the body while leading with the elbow. You can use the dead start or swing technique. Once reaching the top, approximately just below the chin, slowly lower the bell down. Don’t pause or hold the bell at the top, the movement should be fluid. Allowing your hips to support much of the motion, if the bell flops and sways it means too much of the upper body is involved.

Exercise 4

Traditional Pushup Place your arms shoulder-width apart, back straight, and feet together.

Exercise 5

Two-hand Kettlebell Swing Once again, stand with the bell out in front of you. Hike the bell back like a football between your legs while maintaining the lower-back arch and also hinging at the hips. The swing is more like a hip hike rather than a squat so it places more of an emphasis on the glutes and hamstrings. When swinging, the bell should just clear your crotch and not come too close to the ground. Coming out of the deep hike is followed by an explosive hip snap with your knees locking out at the top of the motion. Be sure to keep the neck of bell in a neutral position during the swing and your heels should always stay glued to the floor. Your shoulders should remain squared and your arms relaxed while swinging—let your hips do the driving. The highest point of the swing should have the bell at hip or chest height, no higher. Control the swing on the descent.

Exercise 6

Traditional Pushup Place your arms shoulder-width apart, back straight, and feet together.

Exercise 7

Kettlebell Goblet Squat From the deadlift position with the bell in between your feet, pull the bell up and hold it at the sides of the handles or under the ball. Squeeze your elbows in, sit back on your heels and squat down to a range of motion that enables your spine to remain neutral or flat. Ideally, the desirable range should be approximately 90 degrees. When you’re coming out of the squat and standing up, keep your weight back on your heels and tighten your glutes and quads at the top.

Exercise 8

Traditional Pushup Place your arms shoulder-width apart, back straight, and feet together.

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