Kettlebell Squats and Swings HIIT Workout (Fat Burning Full Body Circuit)


Kettlebell swings are HIIT all by themselves. Put together kettlebell squats and swings are amazing for full body HIIT workout (high intensity interval training) circuits because they do double duty as fat burning weight loss exercise and as strength building exercise.

The kettlebell is not a fad workout tool. Kettlebells are powerful tools to have in your strength and fat loss arsenal for burning belly fat. Plus kettlebells will help you get abs since the whole core is engaged to the max.

Creating HIIT workouts with kettlebell squats and swings will target every muscle in your body and burn calories like crazy! In fact, this kettlebell HIIT workout can help you burn up to 200 calories just during exercise with MUCH more burn post workout thanks to EPOC.

Kettlebells can be used every day in your workout routines but save super intense HIIT workouts for every other day at most in order to allow your body time to recover.

In this post, I’ll show you a variety of fantastic kettlebell squats to use and a quick kettlebell HIIT workout circuit you can try. You can do as many rounds as you want and shorten or lengthen rest periods as needed. 

This is a 10 minute kettlebell workout or a 15 minute HIIT circuit, or longer, if you wish!

For another awesome workout, check out this Shoulders and Legs Pyramid Workout. Or if you’d like something longer, try this 30 Day Fitness Challenge for your full body!

Check out this guide for choosing the best small home gym equipment!

How Do Kettlebell Squats and Swings Burn Fat

kettlebell workout sweat

Kettlebell squats and swings are excellent fat burners because they activate so many muscles in the body at once.

When many muscles are activated, your heart rate increases, pumping oxygen rich blood to the muscles in need.

If you perform kettlebell squats and swings together, while taking short rest breaks in between, your body will rely on the anaerobic system.

Anaeorbic exercise has been shown to burn more fat than regular, steady aerobic exercise. 

It can also help you build muscle, improve your cardiovascular functioning, increase endurance, and aid in bone strength just like strength training does.

(due to specific hormones that are activated by this energy system).

What’s more, anaerobic activity can actually release endorphins that help to boost your mood

It can even help you get better sleep at night (read more about sleep and exercise here).

The benefits are too awesome to ignore.

Check out this infographic below from the Ultimate Guide to Choosing a New Workout Routine.

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kettlebell squats swings hiit workout


Using Kettlebell Squats and Swings for HIIT
(High Intensity Interval Training)

HIIT workouts utilize the anaerobic energy system by containing portions of exercise that are of high intensity in intervals with portions that are lower intensity or rest in between. 

This makes it possible to perform bursts of anaerobic exercise over a longer period of time. 

Your heart rate will stay elevated in between, burning massive amounts of calories during and after the workout.

Post workout, your body will attempt to return to “normal” (homeostasis). 

This activity burns a lot of calories for several hours after you are finished your HIIT workout circuit. 

The name for this effect is called EPOC: excess post-exercise oxygen consumption.

EPOC is your friend! Use it wisely.

(Related article: Why You Don’t Need 10,000 Steps a Day)

How To Do a Kettlebell Swing

How to Keep Proper Form for Kettlebell Swings:

1. Keep spine neutral. Your neck should be neutral or only slightly extended at top of swing.

2. Plant your feet. Heels, toes, and the balls of the feet firmly on the ground with your knees over toes.

3. Keep your shoulders down and back, stable and unmoving.

4. While swinging back, the kettlebell handle should pass above your knees

5. Keep your elbows locked and arms straight at the bottom of the swing to prevent using arm muscles

6. Your body should be in a straight line at the top of the swing with hips and knees fully extended and your spine neutral

7. Think of the kettlebell as an extension of your straight arms (bending elbows a little is ok) at the end of the swing.

8. Breathe out as you swing up

9. Contract your glutes and abs at the top of the swing

10. Your kettlebell will become weightless for a half second at the top of the swing

What Muscles Do Kettlebell Swings Benefit?

Muscles worked during the kettlebell swing are in the hips, glutes, hamstrings, lats (back), abs (deep inner and outer), shoulders, pectorals (chest) and grip strength. 

The kettlebell swing really is an excellent full body exercise in itself and combined with kettlebell squats, will target and greatly benefit all of your muscles.

If you are hoping to use kettlebell swings for glutes, you are in luck.

These kettlebell exercises especially target the glutes and abs due to the bracing and contracting nature of these motions! 🍑🍑

See Core Strength Exercises That Actually Work for info, exercises, and a glutes and abs (core) circuit!

Check out this graphic from KettleLand

kettlebell swing muscles worked

How Heavy Should a Kettlebell Be?

Choose a kettlebell that is fairly light but heavy enough to be challenging. This will be very individual for everyone.

Err on the side of going too light since this workout is intense with little rest and you will tire quickly!

What is the Best Weight For Kettlebell Swings?

Choose a weight that you can easily perform 10 swings in a row but you are left with elevated heart rate and a bit breathless. 

Don’t use a weight that strains your back or doesn’t allow you to swing in one fluid motion.

What is a Good Kettlebell Weight for Beginners

Start with a 10lb kettlebell and see how you feel. If you’re stronger, use 20lb.

If you feel the need, switch between a heavier and lighter kettlebell during the workout or use a lighter one for swings and a heavier one for squats.

Kettlebell HIIT Squat Variations

There are many kettlebell squat variations to try. Some of these are combination movements with a squat and added upper body movement in one. 

These kettlebell squat exercises are powerful full body fat burning exercises. (Sumo squats with kettlebells are amazing for growing your booty!)

  • Kettlebell Sumo Squat
  • Kettlebell Squat to Press (squat thrust)
  • Kettlebell Front Squat
  • Kettlebell Squat Clean
  • Kettlebell Squat to Upright Row
  • Kettlebell Split Squat
  • Kettlebell Goblet Squat
Below are the variations I will use in the kettlebell HIIT workout circuit to follow.
kettlebell squats sumo start
Kettlebell Sumo Squat Top Position
kettlebell squats sumo end
Kettlebell Sumo Squat Bottom Position
kettlebell squat clean bottom
Kettlebell Squat Clean Bottom Position
Kettlebell Squat Clean Top Position
Kettlebell Squat Clean Top Position
kettlebell squat clean bottom
Squat to Upright Row Bottom Position
kettlebell squat to upright row top position
Kettlebell Squat to Upright Row Top Position
Kettlebell Split Squat Top Position
Kettlebell Split Squat Top Position
Kettlebell Split Squat Bottom Position
Kettlebell Split Squat Bottom Position
Kettlebell Squat to Press Bottom Position
Kettlebell Squat to Press Bottom Position
Kettlebell Squat to Press Top Position
Kettlebell Squat to Press Top Position
Kettlebell Goblet Squat Top Position
Kettlebell Goblet Squat Top Position
Kettlebell Goblet Squat Bottom Position
Kettlebell Goblet Squat Top Position
kettlebell swing bottom position
Kettlebell Swing Bottom Position
Kettlebell Swing Top Position
Kettlebell Swing Top Position

Kettlebell Squats and Swings HIIT Workout Circuit

This kettlebell squats and swings HIIT workout circuit is designed to burn fat and massive calories.

You can tailor it to your fitness level easily by adding strategic breaks.

The kettlebell HIIT workout should be performed in this order:

  1. Kettlebell Sumo Squats x 10
  2. Kettlebell Swings x 10
  3. Kettlebell Squat Clean x 10
  4. Kettlebell Swings x 10
  5. Kettlebell Squat to Upright Row x 10
  6. Kettlebell Swings x 10
  7. Kettlebell Split Squat x 10
  8. Kettlebell Swings x 10
  9. Kettlebell Squat to Press (squat thrust) x 5 per side
  10. Kettlebell Swings x 10
  11. Kettlebell Goblet Squat x 10

If you perform this quick HIIT circuit once through, without resting until the end, it will take just about 5 minutes.

This is a very intense 5 minutes, so I recommend doing it this way only if you you are used to high intensity workouts and working in the anaerobic energy system.

Otherwise, I recommend taking rest breaks for 30-60 seconds after every kettlebell swings set.

When you are performing your work segments, make sure you give it your all but use proper form. 

Slow down or take breaks if your form is slipping.

NEVER sacrifice form for speed.

Work your way through the exercises and then take a break for 2-3 minutes and repeat the circuit. 

I recommend two to three rounds for a workout taking 20-30 minutes, depending on break times.

⚡Get a one page sheet with workout pics and instructions to your email below ⚡

kettlebell squats and swings workout sheet
Get This Kettlebell HIIT Workout Cheatsheet

How to Track Your Kettlebell HIIT Workout (or any workouts!)

If you are looking for a way to track your workouts, plan your goals and keep a record of how far you’ve come, I’ve created planners and trackers for that.

They are easy to use but I include instructions to make the most of them. You can track any goals you like for monthly, weekly and daily time periods.

There is also a workout planner template and a workout tracker calendar!

If you need help with finding motivation to workout, check out this post Fitness Motivation and Willpower Fail: How to Build Discipline and Finally Conquer Your Goals.

After your sweat sesh, protect your skin from breakouts with this DIY Face Mask.


workout and goal trackers
workout goals tracker and planner

I hope you enjoy this workout and put it to good use!

Of course feel free to play around with the sets, reps, exercises and ordering.

If you do this workout or have any questions, I’d love to hear from you!

More workouts to try!

Core Workout Circuit

Shoulder Supersets Workout

30 Day Full Body Workout Challenge

Shoulders and Legs Pyramid Workout

25 Minute Full Body HIIT

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