top of page

Adjustable Kettlebell Exercises for Home Gym Bodybuilding | Personal Trainer Tokyo Titan

I've now had a few months to work with my new adjustable kettlebell. In this article, I'm going to share some exercises that I think are fantastic for doing with a kettlebell to add into your workout routine as a bodybuilder. These are not exercises for Olympic lifters. These are not exercises for weightlifters. These are exercises to help you build physique that are specifically based on the kettlebell. It's not an alternative. These are ones you need to add with the kettlebell.

Kettlebell Woodchops

This is an exercise that works the core, specifically the obliques on the side of your torso. What's great about this exercise is that while it is a core exercise, you can do fine adjustments to the weights to get the ideal resistance for you.

  1. Grab your kettlebell.

  2. Make sure there's lots of room around you.

  3. Using your torso, swing it up across your body and back down.

  4. While doing this, engage your core muscles.

  5. When you finish on one side do the other side.

Kettlebell Windmills

This is a great exercise for your shoulders. And while it's more of a functional exercise to help improve shoulder mobility, shoulder mobility is often a weakness many bodybuilders have, so this will help improve that, while also just being a great shoulder exercise.

  1. Use a very light weight on this exercise.

  2. Hold the kettlebell in front of your hand.

  3. Bend over to the side, going down as low as you can on the other side and come back up.

  4. When you finish on one side do the other side.

This is great for the shoulders and also your obliques as well. Having to hold the kettlebell up in the same position really takes a lot of control of your core. Really stretches those shoulder muscles as well.

Kettlebell Front Hold Bulgarian Split Squat

That's quite a long name. Let's break it down and see what it means.

  1. Hold the kettlebell in front, kind of like a Front Squat mixed with a Goblet Squat

  2. With both hands on the kettlebell, put one leg behind you on the bench.

  3. Make sure you've got enough gap there to put the load on the quads.

  4. Squat down, then come back up. When you finish on one side, do the other side.

Now I know what you're thinking. “Isn't that just a variant of the normal Bulgarian Squat?” Yes and no. It does do the same actions. But remember, with the Bulgarian Squat, you're going to have the weight to your side. Having this up in front of you with the kettlebell, it puts more load on the quads, much like a Front Squat. It also allows you to use less weight so you can do more effective training with lighter weight. I strongly recommend adding this exercise with a kettlebell into your workout routine. This is my favorite variant of the Bulgarian split squat.

Kettlebell Swing

For me personally, I've been doing bodybuilding for over six years, so this weight at 18.5 kilograms is a little bit too light for me. I need to do 20 plus reps for it to be effective, which is okay for building muscle every now and again. You do want to change up the rep range. But doing it too often in such a high rep range is better for building stamina, not muscle.

So for me personally, it's not really an option for my workouts. But if you're a female lifter, or if you're a male lifter who is less experienced, maybe you're just starting out or you've only been doing it for about six months, then doing this exercise for the next two years is a viable way for building muscle in the lower rep ranges.

  1. Make sure you've got enough space.

  2. Hold the kettlebell tight with two hands.

  3. Get into a hinge position.

  4. Using your glutes and your hamstrings, swing the kettlebell up in front of you and back down.

  5. Try to lift it up the kettlebell to horizontal just using your leg muscles.

This is a great exercise for the glutes, the hamstrings, and even a bit of the quads.

Kettlebell Shoulder Swings

The kettlebell is fantastic for shoulder exercises. It's great for swing exercises. This is pretty much the stereotypical kettlebell exercise.

  1. As with all shoulder exercises, especially with kettlebells, use a light weight.

  2. Hold the kettlebell in one hand.

  3. Swing the kettlebell up, much like a Side Raise.

  4. When you finish on one side, do the other side.

Kettlebell Plank

Yes, while this is a bodyweight exercise, it's also the most effective variant of the plank that I've ever done. I'd love to share it with you.

  1. Get into a plank position on top of the kettlebell handle.

  2. Hold this position for about 30 seconds.

This plank requires so much more balance and engages the core much more than any other plank variation I’ve ever done. For me, about 30 seconds is plenty. That's very short for a plank. That's just how effective this variation is.

And there you have it, some excellent kettlebell exercises to add to your workout routine if you're a bodybuilder.

Maximize Your Home Gym Gains with Tokyo Titan!

I am Tokyo Titan, an internationally certified bodybuilding specialist trainer and nutritionist. I guide each of my clients on their fitness journey through personalized training and dieting customized to each of their needs and goals to achieve maximum effect. Lessons are taught online, at my private gym in Ota Ward in Tokyo, or at a convenient location within Tokyo. Feel free to inquire for more information and take the first steps towards achieving your goals.


bottom of page