Short On Time For Exercise? Try This Kettlebell Circuit!

With the holiday season in full swing, it can be hard to make time to exercise.  With busy work, family and personal schedules, exercise falls low on our list of priorities.  DON'T LET THIS BE AN EXCUSE!  Short bouts of high intensity exercise can be just as if not more effective at maintaining health and fitness levels.  This type of exercise programming is perfect fit to busy lifestyles and allows you to train smarter and harder.

Kettlebells offer unique benefits compared to dumbbells or other traditional tools used during resistance training.  Because the center of gravity is lower than the grip, it forces the user to adapt throughout the range of motion for a given exercise which translates well for sport specific movements.  This also causes increased output from the supporting muscles to help maintain stability through the lift. The design also allows an easier transition from one exercise to the next, which makes it perfect for circuit training. To summarize, kettlebells are effective at a wide variety of exercises and can provide a big bang for your buck when programming a workout.


Watch our demonstration video for a simple circuit you can try to work out the upper body:

Single leg squat -  works the gluteals, quadriceps and calves; focus on slow and controlled reps aiming for as much depth as comfortable while maintaning balance

Single leg Romanian dead lift (RDL) - Works the muscles of the posterior chain including gluteals and hamstrings; focus on slow and controlled reps while maintaining a neutral spine. Don't let your shoulders or back round forward.

Bent over row – works the back muscles including latissimus dorsi, lower trapezius, posterior delt and biceps; focus on pinching the elbow close to the body

Bicep curls – works biceps, brachialis and brachioradialis; focus on keeping the humerus fixed and do not let the elbow move forward at the top of the curl.

Military press – works the deltoids, triceps and upper trapezius

Overhead triceps extension – focus on keeping the elbow elevated and in-line with the body


Select a weight that is comfortable enough to complete the circuit.  After finishing the round, rest for 60-90 seconds.  For beginner to intermediate lifters, aim 10 repetitions per exercise and try to complete 2-4 circuits.  To train for strength lift heavier weight for 6-8 repetitions.  For endurance goals lift lighter weight for 15-20 repetitions. Make sure to perform equal reps/ sets for right and left sides of the body.

For more information on circuits and exercises to improve your fitness and health, call us to schedule an appointment with one of our exercise physiologists on staff.  Let us help you exercise harder and smarter!


-Alex Edwards

Exercise Physiologist