20-Minute Kettlebell Workout for Your Upper Body

Thrusters

To begin, hold the kettlebell with two hands at chest height (thumbs through the handle, palms around the ball of the weight). Let the weight settle onto your chest to support the load, then sit back and down into a squat. Use your legs to explode out of the squatted position. As you reach the top of the squat begin to press the weight overhead.

Looking for more of a challenge? Try using two kettlebells—one in each hand—to perform single-arm thrusters. The basics of the move are the same, squat and press. However, the grip is different. Your hand goes through the handle allowing the ball of the weight to rest on the top of your wrist. With the two kettlebells, you're able to squat and press both arms at the same time, or alternate between arms.

More: 4 Kettlebell Exercises for Beginners

Bent Row

With a kettlebell in each hand, hinge at the waist to allow the bells to hang outside of your knees, palms face down. With a slight bend in the knees, back straight and torso parallel to the floor, pull the weights from the hang position toward your chest. Exhale as you lift the kettlebells toward you, rowing your elbows to the ceiling. As the weights near your sternum, squeeze your back muscles together and pause for a two-count before lowering the weight to the start position.

Like the thruster, you can perform this move with both arms together, or alternate your right and left side. The alternating version targets the core and obliques, which requires you to stabilize your torso as the weight shifts from side to side.

Putting It All Together

Do these exercises in a circuit manner for 20 minutes to create a strong upper-body workout. Complete 15 reps of each exercise, rest for 45 seconds, and then repeat the sequence as many times as you can before 20 minutes is up. Although you want to perform each move quickly, make sure you don't compromise form.

As always, speak to your physician before starting any new fitness routine.

More30-Day Lower-Body Challenge

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About the Author

Joe Vennare

Joe Vennare, one of the nation's top trainers, is a freelance writer and a fitness entrepreneur who created Hybrid Athlete, Kettlebell Cardio? and Race Day Domination.
Joe Vennare, one of the nation's top trainers, is a freelance writer and a fitness entrepreneur who created Hybrid Athlete, Kettlebell Cardio? and Race Day Domination.

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