5 Must-Do Kettlebell Leg Exercises for Strength & Muscle
Can you build really strength using nothing but a kettlebell or two? Yup. What you need to concentrate on is proper form, continuous weight progression, and these 5 kettlebell leg exercises for strength and muscle.
The great thing about kettlebells is that they automatically incorporate your core into almost every movement. By “automatically” I mean that no matter how you position them on your body, they will still require core engagement, unlike machines. In addition, the following kettlebell exercises also require upper body and grip strength in most instances.
Which Kettlebell Leg Exercises Work Which Leg Muscles?
While kettlebell leg exercises can hit a lot more than just your legs, they’re especially good for the major muscle groups in your legs including your hamstrings, glutes, quads, calves, and shins. Each exercise works multiple large muscle groups.
Must-Do Kettlebell Leg Exercises
Kettlebell Front Squat
The Kettlebell Front Squat engages your quads, calves, glutes, and shins while also engaging your core and deltoids. In the one arm variation shown above, you’ll need to recruit additional muscles in your obliques to avoid leaning to one side. The great thing about Kettlebell Front Squats is that it allows you to hold two kettlebells, enabling you to do heavy, low-rep sets.
Kettlebell Goblet Squat
The Kettlebell Goblet Squat is a slightly easier variation of the front squat that allows you to focus on depth rather than bracing your core to stay vertical as in the Kettlebell Front Squat. It also encourages good form; as you pull the kettlebell into your chest you’ll automatically keep your chest up and shoulders back to hold the weight.
Kettlebell Turkish Get Up
The Kettlebell Turkish Get Up combines a variety of other standard leg exercises into one dynamic movement. As you can see in the picture, you’ll initially perform a lying hip raise followed by a leg pull through followed by a lunge; all of which needs to be reversed to get back to the ground and finish each rep. If you don’t have the shoulder flexibility and strength to hold the kettlebell overhead, simply keep it in the rack position.
Kettlebell 2-Arm Swing
While most of these exercises encourage steady, controlled form emphasizing strength, the Kettlebell Swing does not. The Kettlebell Swing is an explosive, powerful exercise that engages the hips, hamstrings, and glutes. While there are some squat variations that further engage the quads, the standard Kettlebell Swing is heavily weighted towards posterior chain development.
The Kettlebell Deadlift is very useful if you haven’t been properly trained on the Kettlebell Swing, or if you’re too tired to perform the Kettlebell Swing correctly. You still get to engage your hips, glutes, and hamstrings without the timing and power necessary for the Swing. The one armed variation shown above require more core bracing to perform, adding an additional strength element into the movement.
Kettlebell Leg Destroyer Workout
The Kettlebell Leg Destroyer Workout incorporates the kettlebell leg exercises above into a challenging routine.
|EXERCISE||Sets & Reps|
1A: Kettlebell Front Squat
|10 sets of 10 reps each arm|
2A: Kettlebell Swing
|10 sets of 10 reps each arm|
3A: Kettlebell 1-Arm Deadlift
3B: Kettlebell Goblet Squat
10 sets of 10 reps each exercise
4A: Kettlebell Turkish Get Up
|5 sets of 10 reps each side|
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