Work Up to Heavier Lifting With This Full-Body Kettlebell-Only Workout

Tracy Leboe
Tracy Leboe

Ready to challenge your upper body, lower body, and core with one fat-blasting, strength-building workout? Superstar athlete Paige Alms is a professional big wave surfer sponsored by beach footwear brand Sanuk, and just this year, she claimed the first ever 2017 World Surf League Big Wave Tour Women's Title. She shared the full-body workout that helped her get in powerfully strong shape (to take on seriously intimidating waves!) with POPSUGAR, and it's only six moves!

All you'll need for this circuit is some space to move and a 16- to 18-pound kettlebell. You'll repeat these six moves two to four times, depending on how much time you have (and your endurance and skill level).

Note: aside from the kettlebell swing, these moves are bodyweight only. Paige adds a kettlebell to some of them for an added challenge, so you can customize these moves accordingly.

Lunges 4-Ways

Lunges 4-Ways

Paige loves this move for "strengthening quads, hamstrings, glutes, calves, and challenging balance," which are all paramount for surfing!

  • Begin by standing on one foot.
  • Lunge forward, then return to your one-leg balance.
  • Lunge to the side (side lunge), and return to one-leg balance.
  • Lunge backward (reverse lunge), return to one-leg balance.
  • Curtsy lunge, return to one-leg balance.
  • Repeat four times on the right leg and four times on the left leg.
  • For an added challenge, Paige adds a kettlebell to this exercise (you'd hold a kettlebell with the same hand as your stationary leg while you lunge with the opposite leg).
Wall Starfish Plank

Wall Starfish Plank

This challenging bodyweight move is great for strengthening the "obliques, gluteus medius, and deltoids," said Paige.

  • With your hand and the side of your foot on the floor, go into a side plank, lifting your hips, top arm, and top leg toward the sky. Remember to control your core and keep those hips lifted.
  • Hold for 15 seconds on one side, then switch sides.
  • Repeat up to four times on each side.
Lateral Jumps

Lateral Jumps

A lateral jump works the “lower body fast-twitch muscles and oblique stabilizers,” while getting your heart rate up for a little cardio.

  • Begin in deep squat position, with your feet hip distance apart.
  • Jump up and to the side, explosively propelling yourself upward and laterally. You can use a yoga mat or floor markings to guide you.
  • Land in a deep squat, keeping your knees soft and bent.
  • Repeat 10 times slowly, aiming to build up to 20 fast lateral jumps.
Spiderman Pushups

Spiderman Pushups

Get ready to work your "pecs, triceps, deltoids, and core," all in one move with a challenging push-up variation that Paige loves to add to her exercise routines.

  • Start in a plank position (top of a pushup), with your hands under your shoulders, and your body in one straight line. If you can't do a pushup this way, just lower your knees to the floor.
  • As you bend your elbows out to the side and lower your torso toward the floor, bend your left knee and touch it to your left elbow.
  • As you straighten your arms, return to plank position with your left foot next to your right. Alternate sides as you repeat the move, touching your right knee to your right elbow.
  • This counts as one repetition. Complete six repetitions.
Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Swings

You'll "strengthen your hamstrings, glutes, and core with kettlebell swings" said Paige. Take on this challenging move with a lighter to medium weight before working up to a heavier kettlebell.

  • Stand with your feet wider than hips-width apart, toes slightly pointing out. Squat down, and hold a kettlebell with both hands between your legs. Make sure your back is flat and your abs are engaged.
  • As you inhale, press into your feet and explode up, straightening your legs and swinging the kettlebell in front so your hands are in line with your shoulders.
  • Exhale, and with control, come back to the starting position, allowing the kettlebell to swing back between your legs.
  • Repeat 20 times.

You can substitute a dumbbell for the kettlebell if needed — here's how.

Power Step-Ups

Power Step-Ups

With this move, Paige says you'll work the "quads, glutes, hamstrings, and calves," to keep working on a stable and strong lower body.

  • Begin with your right foot on a high step or bench.
  • Explosively bring your left knee up into the air, reaching with your opposite arm toward the sky. Keep your core tight.
  • Control your landing, keeping your foot, knee, hip, and shoulders in alignment.
  • Repeat 10 times on the left side and 10 times on the right side to complete a set.
  • For an added challenge, Paige adds a kettlebell to this exercise.