At-Home Kettlebell Workout Program for Mountain Athletes

Kettlebell workouts are perfect for building the type of strength that mountain athletes need. They might feel awkward at first if you're used to barbells and dumbbells, but you'll quickly get over that minor hurdle once you feel the benefits. Namely, using kettlebells strengthens all of the same muscles as dumbbells and barbells, but also improves balance, core strength, and grip strength. 

At first glance, you might think that training with just one kettlebell is too simplistic to generate results, but anyone who's completed the MTNTOUGH KB20 program can vouch for its effectiveness. You might be surprised by how inventive you can be with just kettlebells.

In this article, we're going to make it our mission to convince you why kettlebells should be part of your routine. We'll touch on the major benefits of kettlebell training and give you a glimpse at what makes the KB20 program the ideal kettlebell program for mountain athletes. Let's begin with the advantages of kettlebells.

What Are the Benefits of Using Kettlebells?

While the benefits of kettlebells might seem like something you can achieve with any piece of gym equipment, as we dive into each in more detail, you'll see how they uniquely add value to your fitness routine. Benefits include:

  1. Stronger, more powerful legs for running, jumping, and lifting
  2. Improved balance and core stability to protect your spine
  3. Increased upper body strength and a stronger grip
  4. Improved cardiovascular conditioning and endurance
  5. They’re more convenient than other equipment

Let's peel the onion back on each of these benefits.

1.  Stronger, More Powerful Legs 

With kettlebells, you can do many of your favorite dumbbell or barbell exercises. There are other exercises you can do with kettlebells, including swings and cleans, that you can’t do with other types of equipment. These exercises build strength and power in the hips and legs, helping you power up and down any incline you'll face on the mountains.

2. Improved Balance and Core Stability

Many of the movements you do in the wilderness are unlike traditional gym exercises. In the gym, awkward movements are rare - everything is orderly and precise. Kettlebells however build core strength that translates well to the outdoors because many of the movements offset the weight from your center of gravity, forcing your core to stabilize your body and prevent injury.

3. Increased Upper Body Strength and Grip

Your upper body is important in the backcountry, helping you carry heavy things. Plus, if you’re hunting, a strong upper body will help you aim and control your shot. Kettlebells mimic the weights you’ll see in real life, like a pack or bucket of water, because the handle is away from the weight. You’ll get better at lifting and carrying heavy things by using kettlebells.

4. Improved Overall Conditioning

Cardiovascular conditioning comes in many forms. You can excel in short-burst circuit training, distance running or endurance training, and everything in-between. In the outdoors, you need to train all of those qualities to make sure you’re prepared for anything. You guessed it - kettlebells can be used for all types of conditioning workouts.

5.  Convenience

Consistency is your greatest asset if you want to stay in shape. Training for hunting requires year-round dedication, so you need equipment that can go with you anywhere. Kettlebells are convenient, and you can do many exercises with just one. Even if the weight you have isn’t perfect, kettlebell movements are easy to modify to meet the challenge you need for a good workout.

 

KB20: At-Home Kettlebell Workouts

Kettlebells look like something you'd find a strongman at an 1800s circus lifting - and that's not far off from in terms of age. The primitive shape is nothing more than a steel ball with a handle. Simple can be effective, and the basic weight is proof.

Kettlebells are excellent for building strength in your legs and upper body, but there are some hidden benefits you might not expect. When compared to running and circuit training, kettlebell workouts are almost as effective at building your aerobic conditioning. On top of that, they increase core strength.

With all the compelling benefits and functional applications for mountain athletes, we had to create a program that incorporated kettlebell training - that's where the MTNTOUGH KB20 Program comes in.

Requiring only one kettlebell and a pull-up bar, KB20 will prepare you for any wilderness expedition. It builds all the qualities you need, including mental toughness, so that you can have full confidence in your body on your next adventure.

What is KB20 Kettlebell Workout Program?

KB20 is a 4-week kettlebell training program for at-home workouts with minimal equipment. With 5 workouts per week, the program builds strength and endurance through a wide variety of movements. Detailed video guides each viewer through the proper technique for all exercises.

The program uses safe, functional movements; many of which you've never seen before. Every exercise in the program is explained during rest periods, so there's not a moment wasted. Then, as you’re doing the exercises, coaches will remind you of cues to correct your form.

All of this is available to you in the comfort of your own home or wherever you can get to a kettlebell and pull-up bar.

Who is the Program Designed for?

Mountain athletes, hunters, wilderness explorers, or those simply looking for a challenge should use this program. Even though the movements are specifically geared towards people who do extreme outdoor activities, anyone can do it. All who complete KB20 will build mental and physical strength along the way. 

KB20 is the first "coached" program at MTNTOUGH. This means you simply grab your kettlebell, hit play, and follow along. After testing this format, we found that our athletes were far less distracted throughout the workout than if they didn’t have coaching. Every person who tested it, including our top mountain athletes, was soaked with sweat by the end. We found that athletes were so focused on competing with the on-screen participants that they got a phenomenal workout without realizing how hard they were working.

That said, anyone can do the workouts, from the fittest in the world to complete beginners, and from spry teenagers to seasoned veterans. The way KB20 is designed enables you to go at your own pace because it's based on timed exercises. Seeing the athletes on the screen will motivate you to work as hard as you can to keep up with their pace.

Are Kettlebell Workouts Good for Beginners?

Kettlebell workouts are great for beginners because they're accessible and easy to follow. If you don’t have access to a variety of equipment, one kettlebell is more than enough to get you started on an exercise program. With KB20, beginners have access to coaches that will teach them proper technique.

If you’re just getting into mountain fitness, or have only recently started to take fitness seriously, kettlebell workouts are a good place to start. The movements shouldn’t feel too unfamiliar to you, and the benefits will directly translate to your outdoor activities.

Another benefit of kettlebell training for beginners is the efficiency of the workouts. You don’t need to spend hours in the gym doing different workouts to build strength, endurance, balance, and coordination. You can improve all of them at once. Efficiency is part of what sets KB20 apart from other workouts, but other things make it unique.

What Makes KB20 Different from Other Kettlebell Programs?

Most kettlebell programs aren’t designed with mountain athletes in mind. KB20 addresses all of the areas that you need to improve to be confident on the trail. The workouts are taught by MTNTOUGH coaches, who are experts in shaping the minds and bodies of rugged adventurers.

It’s important to have coaches that understand you. They know what your body needs to be successful, and they can speak to you in a language you understand. Following along with workouts that are designed for football players or basketball players will most likely be unhelpful when you're adapting to high altitude or crossing deadfall.

As an unconventional athlete, you need to be able to do your workouts in unconventional places. Another benefit of KB20 is that you can make it fit your lifestyle. The more convenient the workouts are for you the more likely you’ll be able to do them year-round, continuously sharpening your body. 

What Do You Need to Get Started?

All you need is one kettlebell and a pull-up bar for KB20. The minimal amount of equipment required is one of the benefits of the program. You can work out almost anywhere and save money on equipment. You also have the option to use multiple kettlebells of varying weights if it’s convenient. 

You’ll find that there are many exercises you can do with just one kettlebell. As long as you have room to move during your workout, there are several bodyweight exercises you can do too. It’s hard to work your back muscles with bodyweight workouts, which is why the pull-up bar is the final piece of the puzzle.

All you need for KB20 is floor space, one kettlebell, and a pull-up bar. The workouts last for an hour a day, five days a week, for four weeks. Ready to get started? 

Getting Started with KB20 Kettlebell Workout Program

To give you a taste of the KB20 program, an outline of the week one, day one workout is below. It gives you an idea of the format of the workouts, the types of exercises used, and their overall intensity.

Perhaps more importantly, you can view a full video of the workout here and use the written guide below for further tips on form and muscles activated in each exercise. The video will give you an idea of how the MTNTOUGH coaches guide you through each exercise.

KB20 Week 1: Day 1 Warmup - 2 Rounds

To prepare for the workout, you shouldn’t sit around and stretch. Part of the value of warming up comes from moving your body. The dynamic warm-ups used in KB20 are proven to prepare your body better for workouts than static stretching. Not only will they reduce your risk of energy, but they’ll also boost your performance in the workout.

Here’s a full list of the exercises you’ll see in the warm-up:

  1. Overhead (OH) squat
  2. Standing Pigeon
  3. Ham Rock to Reach
  4. Butt Kicks
  5. High Knees
  6. Speed Skaters

OH Squat: 5 Reps

Squats warm your body, in particular your legs and hips, which is important because you’ll be using your legs in this workout. Adding the overhead reach to regular squats improves the range of motion in your shoulder and turns this into a full-body dynamic movement.

  • Step 1: Start standing with your feet slightly wider than your hips and arms by your sides
  • Step 2: Sit back into a squat and, at the same time, reach up with your arms
  • Step 3: Descend as low as you can into the squat, lifting your arms so that your elbows are straight and your biceps are near your ears
  • Step 4: Once you reach the bottom of the movement, stand back up and lower your arms

Muscles Used: The OH squat warms up the quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings in the legs. It also uses the deltoid, which is your shoulder muscle. In addition to the shoulder joint, you’ll use the upper trapezius to shrug your shoulders as you reach overhead.

Standing Pigeon: 5 Reps Per Side

This is a hip stretch, which is perfect for those who sit too much at work. It’s important to note that you shouldn’t rush this exercise. Instead, pause at the top of the movement on each rep to get a good stretch.

  • Step 1: Start standing with your feet together
  • Step 2: Lift one leg, turning your foot up towards the opposite leg
  • Step 3: Grab your foot with one hand and the knee of the same leg with the other hand
  • Step 4: Pull both your foot and knee up at the same time, turning the shin of your leg so that it’s almost parallel to the ground
  • Step 5: Pause at the top for 3 seconds
  • Step 6: Put your leg back down and switch sides

Muscles Used: In this movement, you’re focusing on stretching the glutes. Specifically the gluteus maximus, medius, and minimus. All three of them are prone to tightness.

Hamstring Rockers with Reach: 3 Reps Per Side

This is a multi-step stretch that will loosen your arms, back, legs, and hips. 

  • Step 1: Start in a low lunge position with one foot forwards and one foot back
  • Step 2: Keep your back knee slightly above the ground
  • Step 3: Place one hand on either side of the front foot
  • Step 4: Straighten your front leg and press your hips into the air, trying to keep both hands on the ground
  • Step 5: Drop back down into the lunge
  • Step 6: Stay in the lunge position with your legs, but raise your arms up towards the sky and lift your torso straight up
  • Step 7: Put your hands back on the ground to complete one rep

Muscles Used: In the rock-back portion of the movement, you’ll get a nice stretch in the hamstring of the front leg and the hip flexor of the rear leg. In the low lunge position, you’ll stretch both hips. When you lift and reach overhead, you’ll stretch the posterior deltoid and latissimus dorsi, as well as the hip flexor of the back leg.

Butt Kicks: 20 Reps

This is a fast-moving stretch that will get your legs ready for the workout ahead and raise your body temperature.

  • Step 1: Start standing
  • Step 2: Kick your butt, alternating feet each rep, as though you’re jogging in place

Muscles Used: You’ll mainly stretch your quadriceps and hip flexors in this warm-up exercise. Your calf muscles will also get a little workout.

High Knees: 20 Reps

Similar to the butt kicks, this is more of a warm-up exercise than a stretch. It’ll get your body amped up for the workout ahead.

  • Step 1: Start standing
  • Step 2: Jog in place, lifting your knees in front of your body as high as you can
  • Step 3: Alternate legs for each rep
  • Step 4: Drive the opposite arm of the leg that lifts forward and up into the air

Muscles Used: This movement warms up your lower body, specifically the glutes, hamstrings, calves, and hip flexors. Your shoulders will also get a warm-up as you pump your arms.

Speed Skaters: 10 Reps on Each Side

This lateral movement mimics speed skating. It’s useful for warming up the powerful glute muscles, which you’ll use in the workout.

  • Step 1: Start standing
  • Step 2: Push off of your right foot, jumping to the left
  • Step 3: Land on the right foot, absorbing the impact by bending your knee
  • Step 4: Jump off of your left foot, landing on your right foot

Muscles Used: By pushing from side to side you’ll warm up the gluteus maximus and gluteus medius muscles, which are both important for exercises like kettlebell swings that use the hips.

Block 1 - 3 Rounds

Before we get into the meat of the workout, we wanted to hit you with a few technical tips to make sure you use proper and get the most out of your workout:

  • Lunges: All lunges should aim for a full range of motion (the back of your knee touches the floor).
  • Swings: During swings, focus on hinging at the hips, maintaining a vertical shin angle, and avoiding squatting.
  • Rows: Keep a flat, neutral spine during bent-over rows, making sure you don’t round your shoulders.
  • Twists: The kettlebell should not bounce off the floor during Russian twists.  

Block 1 is performed in 30-second intervals. You’ll perform each exercise for 30 seconds before switching sides or exercises. Do as many reps as you can before you switch exercises. At the end of each round, you have 30 seconds to rest before you repeat. In total, you’ll do 3 rounds of this. Let's begin.

Alternating Forward Lunge w/Overhead Hold: 30s per side

In this movement, you’ll hold your arm in position overhead while moving your legs. Each arm gets a turn to be completely exhausted, so you’ll do a minute of lunges total and 30 seconds of isometric hold on each arm.

  • Step 1: Grab a kettlebell and flip the bell around so that it’s resting on the back of your forearm
  • Step 2: Press the kettlebell into the air so that your arm is straight overhead and your bicep is almost touching your ear
  • Step 3: Take a lunge step forward with either leg, dropping your back knee down as you descend
  • Step 4: Press off the front leg from the bottom of your lunge to return to the start position, then switch legs
  • Step 5: At the end of 30 seconds, switch arms and continue with the lunges

Muscles Used: This is a full-body exercise - how's that for efficiency? The lunges use the quadriceps and glutes primarily, with a heavy emphasis on the quadriceps. Your core must work to balance your torso with the weight pulling you down on one side. That means the oblique muscles and quadratus lumborum are activated.

Your shoulder muscles and triceps are used to hold the weight in the air, and the upper trapezius is used to prevent sagging of the shoulder.

Kettlebell Swings: 30 seconds

This is a mix between hip strength and cardiovascular training. Pay attention to your form on this one, because the exercise moves quickly. Prevent rounding of the spine to keep your lower back injury-free.

  • Step 1: Hold your kettlebell with both hands on the handle
  • Step 2: Hike the kettlebell back into your groin, leaning forwards with your torso as you do so
  • Step 3: Make sure that your spine stays flat as you swing the bell back
  • Step 4: Snap your hips forwards and stand upright to swing the kettlebell up
  • Step 5: When the kettlebell swings higher than shoulder height, brace your core and pull it back down
  • Step 6: Guide the bell into your groin, pushing your hips back and bending the knees slightly, to complete one rep

Muscles Used: Kettlebell swings place a heavy emphasis on the glutes muscles to power the hips. Your hamstrings also help the glutes, and the quadriceps make a smaller contribution.

The lower back muscles are used to stabilize your spine as you swing, preventing rounding of the lower back. Your forearms work to hold the bell, and your trapezius muscles, as well as the rhomboids, keep your upper back from slouching.

Reverse Deficit Front-Racked Lunge: 30 Seconds

This lunge variation is different from the first one in the circuit because you’re stepping back and starting from a deficit. The deficit increases your range of motion, improving strength and flexibility in your legs and hips. Reverse lunges target different muscles compared to a forward lunge.

  • Step 1: Grip the kettlebell on the sides of the handle with both hands
  • Step 2: Hold the bell in front of your chest throughout the movement
  • Step 3: Stand on an elevated surface
  • Step 4: Step back with one leg, dropping your back knee down into a lunge
  • Step 5: Step back up with your back foot, then switch legs and repeat

Muscles Used: Unlike a forward lunge, which uses the quadriceps mostly, this variation targets the hamstrings and glutes much more. Your quadriceps will still work, but not as much.

Your biceps and front deltoids will work to hold the weight in place. On top of that, your lower back muscles will stabilize your torso and prevent the weight from pulling you forward.

Bent-Over Row: 30 Seconds

This exercise uses your core muscles almost as much as it uses your back. Unlike rows from a bench or chest-supported position, you need to use all the muscles in your legs and core to stabilize yourself as you pull the weight up. 

  • Step 1: Stand with your feet hip-width apart and place your kettlebell on the outside of one of your feet
  • Step 2: Push your hips back, bend your knees, and flatten your spine as though you’re about to deadlift
  • Step 3: Grab the weight with one hand
  • Step 4: Pull the weight up, keeping it to the side of your body, until your elbow passes your torso
  • Step 5:  Don’t let your torso rotate as you pull, only your arm should move
  • Step 6: Lower the weight back to the ground
  • Step 7: Switch sides after 30 seconds

Muscles Used: You’ll use the back muscles to pull the weight up, including the latissimus dorsi, teres major, rhomboids, and trapezius. The back of your shoulder, called the rear deltoid, is also used. 

The obliques, the muscles on the sides of your abdomen, are used to prevent your torso from rotating. Your lower back muscles have to stabilize your spine, and also prevent it from rotating. 

On top of all that, your quadriceps, glutes, and hamstrings have to stabilize your lower body and help you maintain the bent-over position.

Russian Twist: 30 Seconds

While most of the exercises in this workout require some core strength, this movement is entirely focused on your abdominals. It’s the perfect way to end the first block, giving your legs a little break and using the weight of the bell to strengthen your abs.

  • Step 1: Sit on the ground, holding the sides of the kettlebell with each hand
  • Step 2: Lift both feet in the air with your knees bent
  • Step 3: Twist your shoulders to one side, keeping the kettlebell close to your chest
  • Step 4: Twist to the other side, keeping your feet in the air

Muscles Used: The Russian twist directly targets the external obliques, internal obliques, and rectus abdominis, the three main abdominal muscles. You’ll also use your hip flexors to keep your torso and legs in the air at the same time. Plus, your shoulders and biceps will hold the weight in the air.

90-Second AMRAP

After completing 3 rounds of block 1 and taking a 30-second rest, it’s time to do a quick circuit. There are two exercises, both of which have a target number of reps. You’ll complete that target for as many rounds as possible in 90 seconds.

Plank Pike Jacks: 5 Reps

This core exercise is excellent for people who want to build their abdominals and shoulders, all while getting a cardio workout.

  • Step 1: Start in a push-up position with your hands shoulder-width apart and feet together
  • Step 2: Jump your feet apart
  • Step 3: Jump your feet back together
  • Step 4: Jump your feet forwards, keeping your knees straight, and lift your hips into the air
  • Step 5: Jump your feet back to return to the start position

Muscles Used: You’ll use the abdominal muscles, including the obliques and rectus abdominis, to keep your hips from dropping. The hip flexors and quadriceps will help you jump your legs to different positions. The deltoid and tricep muscles will help you stabilize your upper body throughout the movement.

Broad Jump to Backpedal: 5 Reps

This is an explosive power exercise that forces you to use your legs and hips. Since this is an AMRAP, don’t wait after each jump to admire the amount of distance you’ve covered. Rather, recover to the start position and begin again until it’s time to switch back to the plank pike jacks.

  • Step 1: Start standing
  • Step 2: Swing your arms and hips back, then jump forwards as far as you can
  • Step 3: Land with your knees bend and hips back
  • Step 4: Recover and quickly take 5 steps back to the start position

Muscles Used: This exercise uses the glutes and hamstrings to produce power from the hips to help you jump forwards. The quadriceps assist in the jump portion, but the bulk of the work they do is to help you land. The calf muscles are also major contributors to the jump.

Block 2 - 4 Rounds

Nice work on the first block. Here are a few more technical tips to keep your form intact in the second block:

  • RDL: During RDLs, maintain a strict hip hinge, flat back, tight armpits, and soft knees.
  • Goblet Squats: Your heels should remain off the floor for the entire set of toe goblet squats. If you’re losing balance, elevate your heels on a 1-2 inch ledge for stabilization.
  • Pull-Up: Your chin should get above the bar for each pullup rep.

Similar to the first block, this block will be performed in 30-second intervals. You’ll do 4 rounds with a 30-second rest at the end of each.

Push-Ups: 30 Seconds

Be strict with your form on this one, don’t let it break down even as the reps get tough. Quality reps are important because you don’t want to reinforce bad habits or risk getting injured.

  • Step 1: Get into a push-up position with hands shoulder-width apart and feet together
  • Step 2: Make sure your body is in a straight line from the shoulders to ankles
  • Step 3: Descend into a push-up, lowering your body until your chest is just above the ground
  • Step 4: Press back up until your elbows are straight to complete one rep
  • Step 5: Don’t let your hips sag during the push-ups, keep your abs tight

Muscles Used: Push-ups are primarily an upper-body exercise. They use the chest muscles, front deltoids, and triceps. However, you also use the abdominals to keep the core tight, and the quadriceps to keep your legs locked out. When done properly, they’re almost a full-body movement.

KB Goblet Squat: 30 Seconds

This squat variation is different from a back squat because you hold the weight in front of your body. It allows you to sit back into the movement, keeping your torso upright and emphasizing the proper squat technique.

  • Step 1: Hold the kettlebell in front of your chest with each hand gripping one side of the handle
  • Step 2: Keep your elbows tight against your sides and set your feet slightly wider than shoulder-width apart
  • Step 3: Squat down as low as you can
  • Step 4: Stand back up to complete one rep

Muscles Used: The goblet squat targets the quadriceps and glutes. It also uses the biceps and front deltoid to hold the weight in front of your chest. The lower back muscles work to keep your torso upright and maintain proper posture.

KB Romanian Deadlift: 30 Seconds

Romanian deadlifts (RDLs) are a variation of the deadlift that shortens the range of motion to put more emphasis on the hamstrings. Traditional deadlifts return the weight to the ground on each rep, but in an RDL you keep it off of the ground.

  • Step 1: Hold the kettlebell in front of you with both hands
  • Step 2: With your feet hip-width apart, push your hips back
  • Step 3: Keep your spine flat and prevent tilting your head up or down too far
  • Step 4: Go down until you feel a stretch in the hamstrings
  • Step 5: Stand back up to return to the start position

Muscles Used: The RDL focuses on the hamstrings and glutes. It also uses the lower back muscles to stabilize the spine. Your upper back muscles, including the latissimus dorsi, trapezius, and rhomboids also work to keep your shoulders from rounding forwards.

KB Toe Goblet Squats: 30 Seconds

This may seem similar to the goblet squat, but it should feel significantly different. In a goblet squat, you sit your hips back to get your glutes and hamstrings involved. In the toe goblet squat, you’ll do the opposite, focusing everything on the quadriceps.

  • Step 1: Hold the weight in front of your chest, holding either side of the handle with one hand
  • Step 2: Lift your heels off of the ground for the remainder of the set
  • Step 3: Squat down as low as you can
  • Step 4: Stand back up, keeping your heels off of the ground

Muscles Used: This exercise targets the quadriceps and glutes to some degree. The calf muscles will also work to keep your heels off of the ground. To hold the weight, your biceps, and front deltoids will work. The lower back muscles are also engaged in this movement, keeping your torso upright.

Pull-Ups: 1 Minute

After working your legs hard, it’s time to give them a break and focus on the upper body. If you’re a beginner, do one rep at a time. The goal is simply to do as many reps in a minute as you can so break it down into small chunks. 

  • Step 1: Jump up and grab a pull-up bar with your palms facing away from you
  • Step 2: Pull yourself up, keeping your legs straight, until your chin goes over the bar
  • Step 3: Lower yourself down with control

Muscles Used: The pull-up uses the back muscles, including the latissimus dorsi, teres major, rhomboids, and middle trapezius. It also uses the triceps and biceps.

90-Second AMRAP

This is the same as the first AMRAP, in which you’ll do the exact same exercises back-to-back as many times as you can in 90 seconds.

Cooldown

Cooling down gives you time to lower your heart rate and blood pressure, cool down, stretch a little, and relax before you leave the gym. Here are the cooldown exercises from this workout: 

Overhead Lunge Hold: 30 seconds per side

The first cooldown exercise stretches your legs and arms at the same time, helping you wind down from the workout.

  • Step 1: Start with one foot forward and your back knee on the ground
  • Step 2: Raise your arms overhead, maintaining an upright posture
  • Step 3: Squeeze the glute of the leg that’s down and push your hips forward slightly
  • Step 4: Hold for 30 seconds

Muscles Used: The hip flexor of the bottom leg will stretch, particularly when you squeeze your glute. The back of your shoulders and latissimus dorsi will also stretch when you reach overhead.

Golf Stretch: 1 minute

This is called the golf stretch because it helps your spine gently practice rotation, something all golfers need to do.

  • Step 1: Lie on your back with both legs in the air and knees bent to 90 degrees
  • Step 2: Place your arms on the ground, reaching directly out to the sides, with both palms turned towards the ceiling
  • Step 3: Drop your legs to the right until they touch the ground, keeping both shoulders flat on the ground
  • Step 4: Lift your legs and drop to the other side

Muscles Used: Your hip flexors will hold your legs in position and your obliques will lift your legs from side to side. The chest muscles will stretch, as well as the lower back muscles, as you drop your legs.

Pigeon Pose: 30 seconds per side

This yoga pose stretches your hips, which is important after you’ve used them in so many exercises.

  • Step 1: Lie on the ground on your stomach, propping yourself up with your hands
  • Step 2: Tuck one leg underneath you so that your shin is almost perpendicular to your body and your knee is on the ground
  • Step 3: Keeping the back leg straight, sink onto your forearms or reach your arms straight out in front

Muscles Used: The hip muscles, including the glutes, will stretch in the leg that’s tucked under your body. If you reach your arms forwards, you’ll stretch the latissimus dorsi as well. The hip flexors of the back leg will get a stretch as well.

Child’s Pose: 30 seconds

This is the ultimate relaxation position, perfect for winding down after a workout. You might even be tempted to take a quick nap!

  • Step 1: Start from a kneeling position with your butt on your heels
  • Step 2: Lean forwards with your torso over your legs, reaching your hands forwards
  • Step 3: Reaching your arms straight out in front of you, sink your chest towards the ground

Muscles Used: With this simple stretch you’ll lengthen the quadriceps, lower back muscles, and latissimus dorsi. All of which need to be stretched after all of the exercises you’ve done.

Starting Weight Suggestions

Kettlebell Weights Table
Female Male
Beginner 4kg 12kg
Intermediate 8kg 16kg
Expert 12kg 20kg

What Is the Ideal Kettlebell Weight for a Beginner?

The weight beginners should start is different for men and women. For women, 4 kilograms, or roughly 8 pounds, is recommended. Men should start with 12 kilograms, roughly 25 pounds. The starting weight is meant to help you get your bearings, but you can increase it as you learn the movements.

Starting with too much weight is bad for many reasons. If any of the exercises are new to you, it can be harder to learn the proper technique. If the weight is too heavy, you’re more susceptible to injury. Plus, you have to do a high number of reps for each exercise, so using heavy weights can interfere with the intent of the program.

You’ll know you’re ready to increase weight when you feel that the exercises are no longer challenging. If you have multiple kettlebells, you can use different weights depending on how challenging the exercise is. However, this workout can be done with a single kettlebell.

Keep It Simple

There’s no need to pay for an expensive gym membership to access a bunch of equipment you’ll never need. As a mountain athlete, you don’t need fancy equipment, you need a workout that prepares your body for the unique challenges that lie ahead.

With this workout, you no longer have an excuse to avoid training throughout the year. If you train consistently year-round you’ll never need to worry about getting in shape, you’ll always be ready. Training year-round keeps your mind and body sharp.

You need a program that’s designed by people who understand the demands that hunting and backcountry adventures place on your body. That’s why KB20 is the perfect program for you. It’s designed and coached by people who understand what you need. See for yourself with a 14-day free trial.

Kettlebells are an incredible piece of equipment. They strengthen areas of your body that traditional weight-lifting exercises don’t, like your core and grip strength. Plus, they get you in shape aerobically so that your endurance isn’t an issue. They’re also convenient, so you can take your workouts anywhere.