9 Kettlebell Leg Exercises

For strength and stability.


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While you might already use kettlebells (KB) for your arms or core, they’re a great tool to target the larger muscles of your legs. Trainer Emily Skye recommends them to build strength, power, and balance and stability. Here, 9 kettlebell leg exercises to try.


Sumo Squat

Skye suggests this for your quads, hamstrings, and calves.

- Feet wide, toes pointed out.

- Bend hips and knees to squat.

- Grab kettlebell with both hands.

- Extend hips to stand.

- Bend again, release kettlebell to ground.

- Do as many reps as you can in 1 minute.


Box Step-Off

Coach Karina Inkster says this exercise hits the lower body.

- Hold kettlebells.

- Both feet on box.

- Step right foot out to side, plant on ground.

- Drop into squat, quad parallel to floor.

- Press into right foot, step back on box.

- Do 3 sets, 10x each side.

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Curtsy Lunge

Inkster also suggests this lunge to work the quads.

- Stand, hold KB at chest with both hands.

- Step one foot back behind you to “curtsy.”

- Keep both hips straight.

- Push through front leg to return to start.

- Do 3 sets, 10x per side.

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Goblet Squats

Trainer Soji James says this squat variation engages the quads and hamstrings.

- Hold KB at chest.

- Feet shoulder-width apart.

- Squat until thighs are parallel with ground.

- Keep weight in heels.

- Push into feet to stand.

- Do 10 reps at medium pace, 4x.

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Goblet Lateral Lunge

Fhitting Room trainer Carlos Davila says lunges improve stability.

- Hold KB at chest. Elbows to ribcage.

- Take wide step right.

- Left leg straight, bend right knee.

- Chest up, push hips back.

- Push off right foot to stand.

- Do 10 to 20 reps per side.


Single Leg Deadlift

Trainer Jake Dickson likes a deadlift to hit the hamstrings.

- Hold KB at one side.

- Lift opposite leg up. Extend it behind you.

- Slightly bend knee, hinge at hip

- Lower KB to ground.

- Return to stand.

- Do 8 reps per side.


Single Arm Overhead Lunge

Trainer Ryan Ernsbarger suggests this move for quads and hammies.

- Hold KB in hand with arm extended overhead.

- Take step forward.

- Bend both knees into 90-degree angles.

- Torso upright, push through mid-foot to stand.

- Do 15 each side.

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Racked Squat

This move works the glutes, hip flexors, and quads, says trainer Rachel MacPherson.

- Hold two KBs in racked position, or keep one arm free for balance.

- Engage core.

- Bend knees to squat, thighs parallel to floor.

- Use quads to stand.

- Do 10 to 12 reps, 3x.

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Train Fitness director Oscar Henderson recommends a classic kettlebell swing to work leg muscles.

- Stand, feet wider than shoulders.

- Lean forward with straight back.

- Grab KB.

- Drive hips forward to swing KB to shoulder height, arms straight.

- Do 8 reps, 3 sets.