Exercise of the Week: Kettlebell Strength Circuit

Every Wednesday, STACK features an Exercise of the Week to help you improve your overall sports performance—including strength, speed, conditioning and flexibility. This week we highlight a powerful kettlebell circuit to help develop your lower-body strength.

Who's Doing It

  • AJ Hawk, Green Bay Packers linebacker

Muscular Benefits

  • Increases lower body strength, specifically in the glutes, hamstrings, quads, hip and leg muscles
  • Improves hip stability and flexibility

Sports Performance Benefits

  • Developing  hip strength helps you explode off the line, jump up for a ball or tackle an opponent with more force
  • Creates balanced strength on both legs so you can change direction or move powerfully, using both legs equally
  • Hip mobility allows you to move through a full range of motion without restriction—important for improved running technique

Kettlebell Strength Circuit Description

Circuit the following exercises three times, resting 60 seconds between circuits.

  • Kettlebell Bulgarian Squat
    • Assume split stance with toe of rear foot on bench behind you
    • Hold kettlebell in hand opposite front leg
    • Lower hips until front thigh is parallel to ground
    • Drive up to start position and repeat for specified reps
    • Repeat set on opposite leg
    • Sets/Reps: 3x10 each leg
  • Kettlebell Single-Leg RDL
    • Balance on one leg holding kettlebells at sides
    • With balancing leg slightly bent and back flat, bend forward at waist until kettlebells are just above floor
    • Return to start; repeat for specified reps
    • Perform set on opposite side
    • Sets/Reps: 3x10 each leg
  • Kettlebell Partial Swing
    • Assume athletic quarter-squat stance holding kettlebell between legs
    • Keeping arms straight, drive through heels and explode upward with hips to bring kettlebell to chin level in front
    • Return to start position with control and repeat rhythmically
    • Sets/Reps: 3x6

Coaching Points

  • Bulgarian Squat
    • Keep front knee behind and in line with toes
    • Keep weight on heel
  • Single-Leg RDL
    • Keep back flat and stable and knee in line with toes
    • Reach kettlebell to outside of balancing foot
    • Bring back leg to hip level at bottom of movement
  • Kettlebell Partial Swing
    • Keep heels on ground and use proper squat mechanics
    • Drive upward through heels and fully extend hips
    • Finish with kettlebell at chin

Do you have an exercise that you want to see featured as an Exercise of the Week? Tweet us at @STACKMedia to let us know.


Andy Haley Andy Haley - Andy Haley is the Performance Director at STACK. A certified strength and conditioning specialist (CSCS), he received his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from Miami University...
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