Build core muscle in just 30 minutes with this six-move kettlebell workout

Develop full-body strength and boost your metabolism with this short weights workout

Man performing kettlebell swings
(Image credit: Getty Images)

No matter how much you plan, you won't always have time for an extended daily workout. If you're tight on time or like efficient training, you'll want to use this six-move resistance training routine to build muscle and boost your metabolism in only 30 minutes.

You won't need much equipment, just one of the best kettlebells. These off-center weights help develop strength but also improve your stability and build core muscle. Coupled with these six multi-muscle exercises, you can pack an effective routine in just a short amount of time.

That's the aim of personal trainer Rhiannon Bailey's kettlebell workout. She explained, "Don't have a lot of time to workout & just want a quick 20-30 min sweat? This is for you. All you need is [one] kettlebell & a timer and you're good to go!"

It's an intense workout, with 40 seconds of exercise, followed by a brief 20-second rest between moves. This works your muscles hard but also raises your heart rate, which helps achieve muscle-building and fat-burning results from the short session.

To get the most from your training and avoid injury, especially when working with weights, it's essential to focus on your form. Fortunately, Bailey demonstrates all the moves so you can practice your technique before getting started.

Watch Rhiannon Bailey's kettlebell workout

It's an exercise style known as high-intensity resistance training (HIRT), which aims to sustain this intensity level throughout the routine, working in quick bursts with only short breaks between. If this sounds similar to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), that's because it is, but with a different focus.

HIIT routines are usually based around cardio exercise, with moves designed to raise your heart rate and boost your fitness. Meanwhile, HIRT workouts are generally designed around strength-building exercises. Bailey's HIRT routine blends the two techniques to help you hit your fitness goals even if you're short on time.

There are plenty of compound exercises that use multiple muscles at the same time, like squat overhead presses and burpee overs, alongside single-arm thrusters, push-up variations, and Russian twists. And, whether you're new to weights workouts or an experienced lifter, it's worth looking over how to do kettlebell swings.

Swings are well-known for their efficiency, working several areas of your body, developing your core, and raising your heart rate. Sustaining an elevated heart rate burns energy during the session but also helps boost your metabolism for all-day fat-burning results.

This is why kettlebell swings are one of the best exercises for weight loss, alongside other workout classics like burpees, step-ups, and slam balls. But if dropping pounds is your goal, it's also worth spending some time on the best exercise machines to lose weight alongside Bailey's strength-focused workouts.

James Frew
Fitness Editor

James is a London-based journalist and Fitness Editor at Fit&Well. He has over five years experience in fitness tech, including time spent as the Buyer’s Guide Editor and Staff Writer at technology publication MakeUseOf. In 2014 he was diagnosed with a chronic health condition, which spurred his interest in health, fitness, and lifestyle management.

In the years since, he has become a devoted meditator, experimented with workout styles and exercises, and used various gadgets to monitor his health. In recent times, James has been absorbed by the intersection between mental health, fitness, sustainability, and environmentalism. When not concerning himself with health and technology, James can be found excitedly checking out each week’s New Music Friday releases.