The Kettlebell and Dumbbell Ladder Workout

Try this workout from STACK Expert Scott Abramouski using only a kettlebell and a set of dumbbells to build strength and increase muscular endurance.

When it comes to training, complicated does not always mean better results. You can perform an extreme exercise on a multi-thousand-dollar piece of equipment, but it will not be effective if you fail to challenge your body.

To make sense of the madness, I recommend ditching all but the most basic types of equipment.

A prime example of this philosophy is the kettlebell and dumbbell complex below. With only two pieces of equipment, you can build full-body strength and muscular endurance. You don't even have to move your feet, but trust me—you will be on the floor when you finish.


Select a kettlebell that you can squat at least 10 reps with and a pair of dumbbells with which you can perform 10 rows. Position the kettlebell between your feet and the dumbbells parallel to each other a few feet in front so that you can assume a push-up position without moving.

Complete the following exercises in ladder fashion, keeping your feet stationary throughout the entire complex.

  • High-Pull the kettlebell to a goblet position.
  • Perform 10 Goblet Squats.
  • Place the kettlebell on the ground.
  • Crawl out to the dumbbells and assume a push-up position. The kettlebell should be between your legs.
  • Complete 10 Push-Up-to-Rows.
  • Crawl back to the starting position.

Continue in a ladder fashion, decreasing the number of reps by one each time through. On the second set, perform nine reps of each exercise, and continue until you reach one rep. Rest for 60 seconds between sets.

Adjust the workout to fit your needs. You can lift heavier weights to make it strength-focused, or lighter weight to complete the complex as quickly as possible. Watch the above video to see a set of the complex.

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