Five moves, a set of kettlebells, and a workout to increase strength and muscle all over

Here's an effective muscle-building workout to try that requires minimal setup, and only uses five exercises

Woman training with a kettlebell outside
(Image credit: Getty)

If walking into the gym, finding a space to exercise, and setting up equipment scares you then it will help you to find a simple, minimal equipment workout to use at your dispense. Better yet, this five-move kettlebell workout shared by Kayla Itsines can be completed in one spot at the gym or from home.

If you are intending to use this session for your next home workout, just ensure you have two of the best kettlebells to hand. Kettlebell weights are excellent for improving strength and power and are great for engaging sometimes neglected areas of your body like your hips (an essential area to keep mobile as you age).

This workout created by personal trainer, Kayla Itsines who is also co-founder of the Sweat app, is ideal for anyone who wants to build muscle across their body without spending hours training. There are five exercises in this session and by the end, you should have targeted most major muscle groups including your arms, shoulders, glutes, core, hamstrings, and back.

Itsines has assigned either 10 or 12 reps to each move and encourages you to try the whole routine three times over. You can of course complete this at your own pace and should factor in breaks as rest periods do help to boost muscle growth. Keeping one of the best water bottles for the gym by your side as you workout will help to remind you to take those rests in between sets.


Another great thing about this workout is that kettlebell training is a great way to combine aerobic and anaerobic exercise together. So if you're trying to stay lean and build muscle at the same time, these five moves will offer a great baseline workout for you to return to.

You can use Itsines' videos of her performing each move to ensure you know how to perform each exercise correctly. The list of exercises are written below as well if you remember exercises better by name.

  • Upward Row (12 reps)
  • Kettlebell Swing (12 reps)
  • Bent Over Row (10 reps per side)
  • Walking Lunges (10 reps per side)
  • Deadlift (12 reps)

To provide your body with all the essential ingredients for building muscle you should balance out your strength training with a supportive diet. Aka, make sure you are eating substantial amounts of protein since the answer to the question, does protein build muscle is, in fact, yes. You can either up your protein intake through certain protein-rich foods like meat, fish, nuts, legumes, and pulses. Or try incorporating one of the best protein powders for women into a daily smoothie.

Jessica Downey

Jessica is an experienced fitness writer with a passion for running. 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.