One kettlebell, five moves, and 15 minutes are all you need to build strength and muscle all over

Burn calories, boost your metabolism, and build functional muscle with this quick circuit workout

A man performing a kettlebell swing at home
(Image credit: Getty / Gorodenkoff)

It's easy to accidentally overcomplicate your workouts, with challenging techniques or long sessions packed full of exercises. But sometimes, simplicity is key, especially when you're tight on time. 

That's this 15-minute workout, which uses just a single kettlebell to spike your heart rate and develop strength across your entire body, is such a great option to build functional muscle in a pinch.  

It was developed by Andrew Bustos, one half of husband-and-wife coaching team Bustos Training. All you have to do is complete a five-move circuit for five rounds to pack a muscle-building sessions into just 15 minutes. 

Start with 15 squats, then work your way through 15 kettlebell swings, 15 bent-over rows on each arm, 10 burpees, and 10 alternating clean and presses. Repeat this sequence four more times and you're finished. 

If you're new to any of these movements, the Bustos' demonstrate each exercises so you can perfect your form before you start. You can also practice them with a light kettlebell or without any weights to nail down your technique before taking on the full workout. 

Watch Bustos Training's full-body kettlebell workout

Bustos uses a 50lb kettlebell for his workout, but if you're a beginner, he recommends opting for a weight between 10lbs and 20lbs. The key is to pick a kettlebell that challenges your muscles, but isn't so heavy that it forces you to take lots of breaks during each move or compromise on your form. 

It's also worth being conservative when you choose your kettlebell, as your body is sure to tire as you progress through this comprehensive workout. We say comprehensive as there are few muscles not in action during this 15-minute session, which uses five compound exercises to hit multiple muscles at once.

For example, the clean and press alone activates the biceps and triceps in your arms and the glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, and calves in your legs, as well as muscles across your chest, back and shoulders.

This will grow and strengthen muscles across your whole body, boosting your metabolism. The circuit format also raises your heart rate, elevating calorie burn and improving your cardio fitness as well—not bad for 15 minutes of work.

Harry Bullmore
Fitness Writer

Harry Bullmore is a Fitness Writer for Fit&Well and its sister site Coach, covering accessible home workouts, strength training session, and yoga routines. He joined the team from Hearst, where he reviewed products for Men's Health, Women's Health, and Runner's World. He is passionate about the physical and mental benefits of exercise, and splits his time between weightlifting, CrossFit, and gymnastics, which he does to build strength, boost his wellbeing, and have fun.

Harry is a NCTJ-qualified journalist, and has written for Vice, Learning Disability Today, and The Argus, where he was a crime, politics, and sports reporter for several UK regional and national newspapers.