The Ultimate Kettlebell Leg Workout
for Better Sports Performance
Are you looking for a great workout with kettlebells? Kettlebell leg workout are awesome for leg strength. Too many people rely on dumbbells and barbells alone because they tend to be heavier, but if you want a more functional workout, kettlebells make a great addition to any gym routine or home gym.
We’re here to tell you our favorite kettlebell leg workout to build explosive strength and help you become a stronger athlete. You can perform these exercises in the same workout or split them up over a couple days.
This kettlebell leg workout is not only great for building lower body size and strength, they also contribute to upper body and core strength and can improve your overall sports performance. If you want sport-specific training, this is a great way to go.
Keep reading for our favorite lower body kettlebell exercise routine.
First: What Is Sports Performance Training?
If you’re looking to improve your athletic performance, you should be working on your entire body. That said, you can focus on sports performance training with or without a personal trainer when you’re looking to strengthen specific areas that are relevant to your sport of choice.
For example, some athletes require strong and powerful legs in order to achieve difficult jumps, as well, they may also need incredible core strength to maintain their balance.
This kind of training is important for athletes. While it shouldn’t replace traditional training and conditioning, it should be a part of their weekly routine in order to improve and rise up in their athletic career.
Your specific sports performance training will depend on the sport that you’re aiming for. Some require more strength, while others require more agility.
A Note On This Routine
Kettlebell leg exercises are a great addition to any sports performance training program. Here’s our routine. Break it down, do it all at once, or pick and choose your favorite exercises or supersets to make it work for your needs.
Because you may be working with less weight than you would with a barbell, we like using higher reps and more functional movements, as well as supersets. They’ll keep your heart rate high.
Remember, you want to work for your fitness level. You want to be struggling by the last few reps while still maintaining good form. If this means doing fewer repetitions or lowering your weight, that’s okay. This is a guideline.
Superset one is going to be broken down into two basic functional exercises that fit well into any leg day. They’re paired together due to how they work with different parts of the legs.
You’ll want to give yourself about 30 seconds of rest between these exercises, but not a full rest period as you would with heavier lifting. You’ll complete this superset 2 times through.
Start with 10 kettlebell squats.
A kettlebell squat is more similar to a goblet squat than a traditional squat. Hold your kettlebell at chest-level with both hands. Hold your feet shoulder-width (or slightly wider) apart.
Sticking your bottom out behind you, sink down between your feet until your bottom is close to the floor. Only go down as far as you can without your heels lifting from the floor (you should be able to lift your toes and stay stable).
Press up through your heels and engage your glutes, squeezing when you get to the top. Repeat 10 times through.
Next, 10 deadlifts.
Use either one or two kettlebells here. If you’re using one, hold it in both hands. If two, hold one in each hand. With feet shoulder-width apart and a slight bend in your knees, bend forward, keeping a flat back, until your kettlebell(s) reach the floor. Engage your glutes to pull yourself back up. Repeat 10 times through.
Start with a reverse lunge. You’ll do 8 repetitions on each side, alternating for every repetition. If you’re used to standard lunges, this can be an awkward movement, so choose your weight appropriately.
Hold the kettlebell at your chest and step far behind yourself with one leg. Drop your body down between your legs and push back up for one repetition. Repeat on the other leg and go back and forth until you’ve hit 16 total reps. Your front knee shouldn’t go beyond your front ankle.
The second exercise is a wide-legged deadlift. Complete 10 of these.
This is similar enough to the standard deadlift, but you’ll keep your feet wider, a few inches beyond shoulder-width apart. Turn your toes out.
Just like the normal deadlift, either hold one kettlebell with both arms or each one with a single arm. Bend forward with a flat back until your kettlebell hits the floor and come back up by engaging your glutes.
Superset three is comprised of single-leg deadlifts and squat steps. You’ll notice that we’re incorporating a lot of squat and deadlift variations, but that’s because they work the entire body.
For the single-leg deadlifts, you’ll again be doing 8 repetitions per side. Instead of switching back and forth every repetition, do 8 reps and switch sides in between to do the other 8 reps.
Hold a single kettlebell in one hand. Keep the opposite leg straight on the ground while the other one is lifted. When you bend forward to do your deadlift, that back leg should reach behind you. Try to keep it straight so your back doesn’t round.
This exercise is tough on balance. For an easier version, you can keep your back toes on the ground and slide them instead of lifting your leg. For a harder version, do this exercise with your eyes closed. It’s a greater core challenge to try to keep your balance this way.
For squat steps, hold your kettlebell at chest-level like you were doing a standard squat. Sink into your squat position and hold it.
In this position, step forward with each leg and then back to your starting position without coming up from your squat. Repeat this process 10 times before leaving the squat.
This is the last superset before your burnout round. Make it count.
Start with curtsy lunges. You’ll be doing 8 per side, switching between each rep. This is an underutilized exercise and it will hit different muscles than standard squats and lunges. You should feel this on the sides of your legs and glutes.
Hold your kettlebell at chest-level as if you were doing a squat. Send one leg back and behind yourself and sink down as if you were doing a wide curtsy. Come back up and switch sides.
For the next exercise, 8 kettlebell clean and presses per side (again, switching every rep). Start with the kettlebell on the floor, handle-up.
Bend into a squat with one arm extended in front of you and the other reaching down to grab the kettlebell. Press up and pull the kettlebell arm up to your shoulder.
Use your glutes and sink into a shallow squat. Press up and bring the kettlebell up above you. Do this sequence in reverse to complete the rep.
If you’re not already wiped out, the burnout will fix that. Do each exercise for 45 seconds with a 15-second break in between. Don’t be afraid to take breaks if you need them.
Start with kettlebell swings. Put the kettlebell on the floor with the handle up. Sinking into a shallow squat, grab it in both hands. Pick it up off the ground and send it between your legs so it goes behind you and quickly come back up, engaging your core and sending the weight in front of you.
Try not to round your back or squat too low. This should bring your heart rate up, similar to cardio.
Next, thrusts. Don’t neglect this glute-specific move if you want a well-rounded routine.
If you have a bench (or something similar), sit with your shoulders up on it and your bottom on the ground, and your feet as close to it as possible. If you don’t have a bench, do this from the floor.
Put your kettlebell over your hip area, right in the center. Thrust up and sink back down without touching back onto the ground.
The final burnout move will wipe you out. You may have to drop your weight or modify your movement, but that’s okay. It’s time for weighted squat jumps.
Hold the kettlebell at chest-level and sink into a squat. Jump up as high as you can while still being able to land with soft feet back into a squat. Repeat until the timer is up.
If this is too hard, alternate squat jumps with standard squats for a bit of relief.
This Kettlebell Leg Workout Will Toughen You Up
A good kettlebell leg workout doesn’t only target the legs. This workout will target legs, glutes, and your core to make sure that you get a well-rounded routine that can improve your overall sports performance.
Get strong with kettlebells at home or in the gym.
Are you looking to improve your sports performance? Workouts are important, but adding the right supplements to your healthy diet is part of any good fitness plan. Visit our store for everything you need to take your workout to the next level.