8 Best Kettlebell Leg Exercises (Video)


Build a strong lower body at home with the 8 BEST kettlebell leg exercises! From squats to swings, this kettlebell workout builds strength in the big, power-generating muscles in your lower body. Quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and core – this kettlebell workout for women hits it all.

 

Quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves and core: we’ll hit it all with the best kettlebell leg exercises.

The kettlebell is one of my favorite pieces of equipment in my home gym — especially for leg day.

If you’re used to dumbbell workouts, kettlebell exercises offer a great way to mix up your home workouts and challenge your muscles in a different way.

Build strength, power and endurance in a low impact way with these 8 kettlebell leg exercises.

No kettlebell? No worries, you can do this entire workout with a single dumbbell (follow Rachel on the left in the workout video).

two women performing a staggered kettlebell deadlift in a kettlebell leg workout for women

Build lower body strength and challenge your cardiovascular endurance with this 30-minute kettlebell leg workout.

These are the 8 best lower body kettlebell exercises in a 30-minute workout at home.

Add this kettlebell routine to your weekly workout plan 1-2 times a week to build muscle, increase mobility, and improve endurance.

Workout Equipment:

Medium to Heavy Kettlebell or Singe Dumbbell. We’re using 15-30 lbs.

Workout Instructions:

Follow along with the guided 30-Minute Kettlebell Leg Workout on YouTube, led by certified personal trainer Lindsey Bomgren. 

Your Workout Looks Like This:

  • 8 Kettlebell Leg Exercises
  • Timed Intervals (40 seconds of work per exercise, followed by 20 seconds of rest)
  • Repeat All 8 Kettlebell Leg Exercises x2 Sets
  • Finish With A 4-Minute AMRAP Burnout
two women performing kettlebell swings in a leg workout at home

Workout Outline

  1. Kettlebell Squats (Kettlebell Pick Up and Set Down)
  2. Hand Switch Squat Pulse and Kettlebell Clean
  3. Kettlebell Deadlift and Clean and Calf Raise
  4. Kettlebell Deadlift and Clean Catch and Front Squat Thruster
  5. Kettlebell Swings
  6. Hand Switch Front/Back Kettlebell Lunge, R/L
  7. Staggered Deadlift and Power Knee Drive, R/L
  8. Lateral Squat and Sumo Squat

4-Minute AMRAP Finisher:
(5) Kettlebell Pick Up Squats
(10) Kettlebell Deadlift and Clean Catch and Front Squat Thruster
(15) Kettlebell Swings

8 Kettlebell Leg Exercises

Kettlebell Pick Up Squats

Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, hips, quads, lower back and core muscles.

two women performing kettlebell pick up squats by squatting to pick up a kettlebell from the ground

How To Do Kettlebell Pick Up Squats

  1. Start in a standing position, feet hip-width apart or slightly wider, core engaged. Place a kettlebell on the ground between your feet.
  2. Sit your hips down and back into a loaded squat position as you reach your right hand down to pick up the kettlebell.
  3. Drive through your heels to stand tall, pulling the kettlebell between your legs up towards your hips. Then perform another squat to return the kettlebell back to the mat.
  4. Then, repeat the squatting motion, this time picking up the kettlebell with your left hand.

Hand Switch Squat Pulse and Kettlebell Clean

Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, quads, hip flexors, hip adductors (inner thighs), lower back and core muscles.

two women performing a kettlebell squat to kettlebell clean in a kettlebell leg workout

How To Do A Hand Switch Squat Pulse and Kettlebell Clean

  1. Start in a standing position, feet hip-width apart or slightly wider, core engaged. Hold the horn of the kettlebell in your right hand.
  2. With chest up, lower down into a squat, pushing your hips back and down until your hips align with your knees (making a 90-degree angle with your hips and knees). Knees push out towards your outer three toes.
  3. Pulse for a two-count, transferring the kettlebell handle to your left hand on the second pulse.
  4. Then exhale as you drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes to stand tall and bringing your right heel in to tap your left heel.
  5. As you stand, clean the kettlebell up to your left shoulder. Think about driving the weight up with your hips.
  6. Then, step out with your right foot and sit into a low squat and pulse for a two-count, this time transferring the kettlebell to your right hand on the second pulse.
  7. Clean the kettlebell up to your right shoulder as you stand tall, bringing your left foot in to tap your right.

Kettlebell Deadlift and Clean and Calf Raise

Targets: The posterior chain or backside of the body. Specifically targeting the hamstrings, glutes, hips, calves, lower back and core.

two women performing a kettlebell deadlift and clean with a calf raise

How To Do A Kettlebell Deadlift and Clean and Calf Raise

  1. Start standing feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold the horn of the kettlebell with both hands between your legs.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your hips back as you lower the kettlebell down along the front of your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs (hamstrings). Focus on keeping your back in neutral alignment with your neck and shoulders throughout the entire movement (straight line from head to tailbone). Keep a slight bend in your knees to avoid ‘locking out’ the joint.
  3. Then, drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes as you drive your hips forward to return to standing.
  4. As you stand tall, clean the kettlebell up to a front racked position, sliding your hands down the horn as you catch it at your chest.
  5. Then, perform a calf raise; lifting your heels off the ground.
  6. Lower your heels back to the mat to return to the starting position with feet flat on the ground.

Kettlebell Deadlift and Clean and Front Squat Thruster

Targets: Legs, glutes, hamstrings, quads, hips, lower back, chest, shoulders and core muscles.

two women performing a kettlebell deadlift and clean and overhead press or front squat thrusters in a kettlebell leg workout for women

How To Do A Kettlebell Deadlift and Clean and Front Squat Thruster

  1. Start standing feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Hold the horn of the kettlebell with both hands between your legs.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips, pushing your hips back as you lower the kettlebell down along the front of your body. You should feel a stretch in the back of your legs (hamstrings). Focus on keeping your back in neutral alignment with your neck and shoulders throughout the entire movement (straight line from head to tailbone). Keep a slight bend in your knees to avoid ‘locking out’ the joint.
  3. Then, drive through your heels, squeezing your glutes as you drive your hips forward to return to standing. As you stand tall, clean the kettlebell up to a front racked position, sliding your hands down the horn as you catch it at chest height. Keep your elbows in tight to your torso.
  4. Hold the kettlebell in the front rack position as you sit your hips back into a low kettlebell goblet squat, aiming to get your thighs parallel to the ground.
  5. Press through your heels to stand tall, pushing the kettlebell overhead as you stand.

Kettlebell Swings

Targets: Glutes, hamstrings, hips, core, and all the stabilizing muscles in your back and shoulders.

The kettlebell swing is a full body exercise with an emphasis on the hamstrings, glutes and back. A dynamic exercise that will increase lower body strength and raise your heart rate.

Two women performing kettlebell swings. One woman is using a kettlebell and one women is using a dumbbell for dumbbell swings (best kettlebell leg exercises)

How To Do Kettlebell Swings

  1. Start standing with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart.
  2. Hinge forward at the hips to reach for the kettlebell in front of you. Place your hands on the horns of the bell, palms facing your body.
  3. Then with a slight bend in your knees and weight in your heels, ‘hike’ the kettlebell back between your legs to start the swing movement.
  4. Drive through your heels to stand tall, pushing your hips forward as you squeeze your glutes to swing the kettlebell up to shoulder height. Aim for shoulder height, with arms extended out away from the body. Think long, loose arms (your arms are just a vehicle for moving the bell, your hips and glutes generate the power to move the bell).
  5. As the kettlebell begins to descend, think of catching the weight with your hip hinge, loading the glutes and hamstrings.

Hand Switch Front/Back Kettlebell Lunge

Targets: Glutes, quads, hamstrings, calves, inner thighs (hip adductors) and outer thighs (hip abductors).

two women performing kettlebell lunges

How To Do A Hand Switch Front/Back Kettlebell Lunge

  1. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent. Hold a kettlebell in your right hand at your right side.
  2. Step your left leg forward to perform a front lunge. Dropping your back right knee towards the mat, aiming for 90-degree bends in both knees. Then, drive off your front, left foot to return to standing.
  3. Transfer the kettlebell to your left hand, then step your left foot back and lower your back left knee down towards the mat into a reverse lunge.
  4. Then drive through your front, right foot to stand tall as you step your left foot forward to meet your right foot; returning to the starting position.
  5. Repeat this forward and reverse lunge pattern. Switch sides for the second set.

Staggered Deadlift and Power Knee Drive

Targets: Hamstrings, glutes, hip flexors, lower back and core muscles.

two women performing a kettlebbell staggered deadlift and knee drive

How To Do A Staggered Deadlift and Power Knee Drive

  1. Start in a standing position, feet hip-width apart or slightly wider, core engaged. Stagger your stance, so your left foot is slightly behind your right foot. Place the kettlebell in front of your left foot.
  2. Hinge at the hips as you reach down to pick up the kettlebell, pressing through your front right heel to stand tall, pulling the kettlebell up along your thigh.
  3. Perform another deadlift, pushing the hips back as you lower the kettlebell to the ground and release the handle.
  4. Then, drive your back left knee up towards your chest, performing a power knee drive.
  5. Return your left foot to the mat behind your kettlebell and repeat, hinging at the hips to pick up the kettlebell.

Lateral Squat and Sumo Squat

Targets: Mainly the guteus medius, or outer glute that controls hip movement and side-to-side movements. Also involved are the quads and inner thighs (or adductors).

two women performing a lateral lunge to sumo squat with a kettlebell

How To Do A Lateral Squat and Sumo Squat

  1. Start with your feet wider than your hips in a wide squat stance. Knees and toes point forward (or toes just slightly turned out away from your body). Hold the kettlebell horn with both hands between your legs.
  2. Perform a lateral squat on the right by shifting your weight into your right heel as you push your hips back, bending your right knee while leaving your left leg straight. Think of performing a single leg squat with your right leg while your left leg remains straight.
  3. Drive through your right foot to reverse the movement, pushing you back up to center.
  4. Then, bend your knees to lower down into a sumo squat, pushing your knees out towards your pinky toes as you drop your hips parallel to your knees.
  5. Pull your thighs together as you stand tall, returning to standing.
  6. Then, perform a lateral squat on the left, shifting your weight into your left heel and bending your left knee while leaving your right leg straight.
  7. Drive off your left foot to return to center, and perform another sumo squat.
  8. Repeat, alternating each lateral squat with a sumo squat.

Kettlebell Leg Exercises FAQs

Can You Build Strong Legs With Kettlebells?

Yes! The kettlebell is one of the most versatile pieces of gym equipment and lends itself well to compound leg exercises that engage multiple leg muscles at once. Kettlebells also have an offset center of gravity compared to a dumbbell or barbell. This means that your muscles have to do the work of moving the weight AND stabilizing it, which increases the intensity. They’re a versatile tool for building muscle and burning fat.

What Are The Best Kettlebell Leg Exercises?

The best kettlebell leg exercises are compound exercises that engage several muscle groups at once. These include hip hinges/deadlifts, kettlebell squats, lunges, cleans and kettlebell swings. The most effective leg workouts include a combination of these exercises.

What Are The Benefits Of Kettlebell Training?

Kettlebell workouts provide full body strength, cardio conditioning, balance, stability, flexibility and mobility all in one workout. They offer a great way to get a high-intensity workout in a low impact way.

Pin This 30-Minute Kettlebell Leg Workout for Women

30-Minute Kettlebell Legs and Glutes Workout for Women pin for pinterest

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