Everyone Can Build Strength and Endurance With This 15-Minute Seated Kettlebell Workout

Seated workouts are great for anyone with limited mobility, a lower-body injury or just starting their strength-training journey.
Image Credit: Cavan Images/Cavan/GettyImages

There are tons of fitness equipment options out there — so many that it can be overwhelming to choose between them all. But if you're looking for one piece of gear that'll come in handy for pretty much any workout you'll ever want to do, the kettlebell is an excellent choice.

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Kettlebells are great for building strength in your posterior chain (the backside of your body), aiding in better posture and helping you move more efficiently in day-to-day activities. And, kettlebell exercises build strength and endurance in your legs, glutes, core, back, biceps, shoulders and forearms.

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This piece of equipment is also versatile enough where you can do exercises with them seated — a perfect option for anyone just getting started with strength training (or getting back into it after a long break), older adults, those with a lower-body injury and those with limited mobility.

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The seated kettlebell workout below focuses on improving posture and building upper-body and core strength, specifically targeting your biceps triceps shoulders, back and abs.

So, give this six-move seated kettlebell workout a try to fire up those muscles. Do each exercise for three sets of 10 to 15 reps, resting 30 seconds between each set. The whole workout should take about 15 minutes. Use a weight that feels challenging but you're still able to perform the exercises with good form.

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You can do these kettlebell exercises at home if you have the space and equipment or you can head to the gym to get them done.

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1. Seated Kettlebell Halo

JW Player placeholder image
Sets 3
Reps 10
Activity Kettlebell Workout
Region Core and Upper Body
  1. Start in a seated position on a chair or bench.
  2. With your shoulders relaxed and positioned over your hips, hold the kettlebell in front of you, grasping the horns.
  3. Initiate the movement by circling to the right. Carry the kettlebell around the right side of your head and let the kettlebell drop down behind your neck.
  4. Finish the circle by bringing the kettlebell around the left side of your head back to the starting position.
  5. After you complete one full rotation, reverse direction.
  6. Repeat.

Tip

Keep the kettlebell tight to your body and your elbows tight to your ribs as you begin the motion. Your wrists should be stacked over your elbows in a straight line so that if you had to, you could support the bell with one arm. Focus on your breath and keep core engaged throughout.

2. Seated Single-Arm Kettlebell Shoulder Press

JW Player placeholder image
Sets 3
Reps 10
Activity Kettlebell Workout
Region Core and Upper Body
  1. Start in a seated position on a chair or bench, holding a kettlebell in one hand.
  2. Draw your ribs down, engage through your core and relax your shoulders away from your ears.
  3. Tuck the elbow of the arm holding the kettlebell close to your side so your forearm is vertical and the weight is in front of your chest.
  4. Your wrist should be aligned with your forearm and facing the midline of your body. This is called the rack position, and every rep begins from here.
  5. You can extend your opposite arm (the one not holding the kettlebell) out to your side or keep it close to your chest for balance.
  6. Exhale as you press the kettlebell overhead and lock your elbow out at the top. Reverse the motion to lower the kettlebell back down.
  7. Repeat for the allotted amount of reps, then switch sides.

Tip

Breathe is important here, so actively exhale as the kettlebell presses overhead. Sit up tall and don’t lean away from the weight.

3. Seated Kettlebell Biceps Curl

JW Player placeholder image
Sets 3
Reps 10
Activity Kettlebell Workout
Region Core and Upper Body
  1. Start in a seated position on a chair or bench, holding a kettlebell in one hand.
  2. Draw your ribs down, engage through your core and relax your shoulders away from your ears.
  3. Tuck the elbow of the arm holding the kettlebell close to your side and turn your palm away from you.
  4. Curl the kettlebell up toward your shoulder with control and without swinging the weight.
  5. Reverse the motion and lower the kettlebell back down.
  6. Repeat for the allotted amount of reps, then switch sides.

4. Seated Kettlebell Triceps Extension

JW Player placeholder image
Sets 3
Reps 10
Activity Kettlebell Workout
Region Core and Upper Body
  1. Start in a seated position on a chair or bench.
  2. Flip the kettlebell so you’re holding the bell and the weight is resting in your hands.
  3. Raise the kettlebell up and overhead.
  4. Keeping your elbows tight to your ears, lower the kettlebell to the base of your neck and press back up to starting position.
  5. Repeat.

Tip

Your elbows should point forward instead of out to the sides to avoid using your shoulders to press the weight up and over.

5. Seated Kettlebell Upright Row

JW Player placeholder image
Sets 3
Reps 10
Activity Kettlebell Workout
Region Core and Upper Body
  1. Start in a seated position on a chair or bench.
  2. Grab the horns of the kettlebell with palms facing in toward your chest.
  3. Leading with your elbows, drive the kettlebell upward until it comes up to your chin. Be sure to keep your shoulders back.
  4. Pause at the top of the movement, then lower back down to starting position.
  5. Repeat.

Tip

Make sure your shoulders stay away from your ears and keep your elbows up and back. You should feel the muscles in your shoulders and upper back activate with every rep.

6. Seated Kettlebell Oblique Twist

JW Player placeholder image
Sets 3
Reps 10
Activity Kettlebell Workout
Region Core
  1. Start in a seated position on a chair or bench.
  2. Grab a kettlebell by the horns and hold it in front of your chest.
  3. Lift your knees up toward your chest, keeping your ankles glued together.
  4. Lean back on a 45-degree angle.
  5. Twist your torso to one side with control, making sure your lower body remains still.
  6. Alternate twisting to the right and then to the left, balancing on your butt and only letting your upper body move.
  7. Repeat.

Tip

This move can be done with your heels on the ground, and it can also be done as a body-weight exercise.

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