This easy 8-minute Kettlebell circuit workout builds great legs

WHEN YOU WANT a sweat-inducing, muscle-building workout, there’s no need to overcomplicate things with a long list of exercises and mountains of equipment. You can be quick and efficient without too many items, especially if you’re short on time. In this case, you’ll only need one kettlebell, two exercises, and eight minutes, as long as you’re willing to put in the effort to train hard.

This session by coach Jah Washington for new Men’s health MVP Premium Kettlehell: Vol. Workout Plan 2 on All Out Studio uses those simple components to give your lower body an energized challenge (that will also give your core some work) that you can complete in under 10 minutes.

The structure is simple. There are two four-minute rounds, each of which is broken up into one-minute fractions. You will perform two exercises continuously for 40 seconds, then rest for 20 seconds. During the first split, you’ll do one rep of each back-to-back move for the period. After the rest, you’ll move on to doing two reps of each exercise back-to-back. For each subsequent split, you’ll add one rep, so you finish the fourth split by doing four reps of each back-to-back move. After the first round, you’ll go back to the single-rep exercise split and start the set again.

Don’t rush into such repetitions, warns Washington. While intensity is the name of the game with this quick workout, form should remain your most important focus.

The 8-minute kettlebell swing to squat circuit

You will do two exercises: kettlebell swings and kettlebell goblet squats.

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Men’s health

 

This exercise is a great way to build power by using the entire posterior chain. You will also have underrated grip work, as you will need to hold the handle of the bell firmly the entire time.

How to do it:

  • Start with the kettlebell on the floor right in front of you. Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, then push your butt back and hinge at the waist to reach down and grip the handle of the bell with both hands. Squeeze your shoulder blades and abs to create tension.
  • Return the weight between your legs (Washington says “to the crotch”), then stand up forcefully, squeezing your glutes.
  • Keep your arms straight and loose, allowing the strength from your hips to lift the weight. Don’t allow the weight to go above eye level, but don’t swing at a target.
  • Reverse the movement to allow the weight to fall between your legs and into the next rep.
mh squat jah

 

 

Men’s health

 

This super accessible squat variation puts the load in the front of your body, challenging your core to keep the weight from pushing you forward and putting you in poor posture.

How to do it:

  • Transition from the bottom swing position with the weight between the legs by lifting the weight up to the chest.
  • Hold the weight in front of your chest, squeezing your shoulders and abs to create tension and offset the load.
  • Push your glutes back and bend your knees to squat, continuing to maintain tension in your back to avoid tilting your torso forward with the weight.
  • Descend as deep as your individual mobility allows, then press your feet into the floor to stand up.

You can find more kettlebell workouts from Washington through his new workout program, Kettlehell Vol. 2, available only at All Out Studio for Men’s health MVP Premium Members.

Headshot of Brett Williams, NASM

 

Brett Williams, fitness editor at Men’s Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech journalist who divides his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. You can find his work elsewhere on Mashable, Thrillist, and other outlets.

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