TWO BEST Kettlebell Exercises for Legs and Core

February 12, 2016 by VAHVA Fitness

Two best kettlebell exercises for the entire lower body. These two exercises work wonders for developing core strength as well.

When it comes to kettlebell exercises for legs, nothing beats these two: 1. kettlebell swings and 2. goblet squats. 

Both exercises promote functional, mobile and strong lower body development. Two primary lower body functions are covered: kettlebell swing is a very effective hip hinge exercise and goblet squat is a fantastic knee dominant exercise. 

goblet squat best kettlebell exercise

Goblet squat.

With the goblet squat, you are holding a kettlebell next to your chest.

The kettlebell works as a great counterbalance which allows you to stay upright easier than you normally would with other squat exercises.

The core muscles are worked to a great degree and your arms need to work hard to keep the weight up as well. 

However, the best benefit is for the lower body: your quads and hips will strengthen very nicely. Moreover, the exercise will teach you how to stay upright.

Goblet Squat Form Cues:

  • Sit down, not behind.
  • Keep your chest up and the body upright.
  • Allow your knees to move outwards opening up your hips. 

If you really want to work on the mobility and core strength at the same time: pause at the bottom. This will make your abs burn like nothing else while your lower body mobility is also improving. 

Kettlebell Swings 

kettlebell swing for legs

Kettlebell swings are the best exercise you can do with a kettlebell. In many ways it can be considered the best hip hinge exercise ever invented and can be equivalent or even better to the traditional deadlifts. 

The kettlebell swing will strengthen the posterior chain muscles: hamstrings, glutes and the lower back. Erector spinae muscles (the lines around your spine) are also worked.

John Grimek, a bodybuilder in 50s considered the swing the best erector spinae exercise out there. So, if you want deep valleys around your spine and overall thickness in that area, don't miss this exercise. 

A great thing about swings is that it also heavily favors the correct hip hinge form. You really need to learn the correct way to hinge your hips for this exercise and that's perfect for fitness and overall health.

Kettlebell Swing Form Cues:

  • Keep your back straight. 
  • Bend your hips behind and then fully extend them to swing, feel the lower back and glutes. 
  • Create the momentum with your hips, not with your arms. 

These exercises compile into a great leg workout on their own. You don't have to go super heavy with these two.

Kettlebell Workout Routine for Legs

A1 Kettlebell Swing: 5 x 5-15 reps.

A2 Goblet Squat: 5 x 5-15 reps.

Do these exercises as a superset: after you finish doing swings, follow them by doing goblet squats. 

Take 1 to 3 minutes of rest between sets.

Train hard, stay safe.


samuli jyrkinen

About the author 

Samuli Jyrkinen

Samuli is the ninja behind the scenes (photography, videography, websites, program platforms and more). He has been training religiously for over a decade and has a firm grasp of physical and mental fitness. You will find our story here.

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