20-minutes, a kettlebell, and a workout to build muscle all over — including your core

This kettlebell-based workout will help increase your overall calorie burn and work multiple muscles at once

Man working out with a kettlebell
(Image credit: Getty)

Losing weight and growing muscle doesn't have to be two separate fitness projects. You can save yourself some time and still get the results you want with High-Intensity Resistance Training (HIRT). Start today with this 20-minute full-body kettlebell workout.

This session can be completed at home or at the gym, just make sure you have access to one of the best kettlebells. You might be wondering if it matters whether you use a kettlebell or a dumbbell for this routine. They are both certainly good for challenging your muscles and developing strength but using a kettlebell in this workout can assist in providing a more demanding cardio session as well. This is because the kettlebell requires extra movement and control during exercise.

Once you have mastered your first kettlebell workout for beginners you are well on your way to tackling this Joe Wicks, or The Body Coach (opens in new tab) as you may know him, 20-minute full-body kettlebell routine. Wicks recommends choosing a weight size that will challenge you but one you can manage to lift for the full duration of the session.

There are 10 exercises to work through, each of which you will perform for 40 seconds followed by 20 seconds of rest and you will perform two rounds of the routine back to back. You may feel like sacking it in as your heart rate rises and you feel things getting sweaty but Wicks says, "If you're struggling at any point and you want to miss one out, that's fine, have an extra minute rest, recover, then jump back in and pick up your kettlebell when you can".

Watch the BodyCoach's 20-Minute Full-Body Kettlebell Routine

Wicks not only demonstrates each exercise, working through the full workout with you, but he also talks through the form required to perform each exercise safely and effectively. For example, during the first exercise, the Romanian deadlift, he says to avoid arching the back, feel the hinge in the hips, have a soft bend in the knee, and drive through, 'really thinking about your posterior'.

The posterior chain is an umbrella term for the muscles running down the back of your body and is essential for explosive power and exercise performance. Another kettlebell exercise included in Wicks' session that is great for training your posterior chain is the kettlebell swing.

The kettlebell swing is an excellent movement for training your upper body, lower body, and your core muscle group. This exercise needs you to engage your core in order for you to be able to maintain a neutral spine as you work through the movement.

But what is the core muscle? It's a lot more than a place to build abs. The core is the group of muscles that help support your stomach, spine, pelvis, back, and butt and massively helps to improve your balance, how much load your body can carry, and assists in keeping a strong posture.

If you would like to continue working on your core after this Body Coach workout but at a lower intensity, you should try this core yoga for building stronger abs. Grab one of the best yoga mats to support your back and joints as you move through the session.

Jessica Downey
Staff Writer

Jessica is Staff Writer at Fit&Well. Her career in journalism began in local news and she holds a Masters in journalism. Jessica has previously written for Runners World, penning news and features on fitness, sportswear and nutrition. 


When she isn't writing up news and features for Fit&Well covering topics ranging from muscle building, to yoga, to female health and so on, she will be outdoors somewhere, testing out the latest fitness equipment and accessories to help others find top products for their own fitness journeys. Her testing pairs up nicely with her love for running. She recently branched out to running 10Ks and is trying to improve her time before moving on to larger races. Jessica also enjoys building on her strength in the gym and is a believer in health and wellness beginning in the kitchen. She shares all of this on her running Instagram account @jessrunshere which she uses for accountability and for connecting with like-minded fitness lovers.