Kettlebell Warm Up 101: The Worlds Easiest and Most Efficient Warm Up

We’ve all been there. You know the place I’m talking about.

You have a scheduled training session but time is scarce and the warmup is the LAST thing you have time to do and the FIRST thing you want to cut. Because let’s face it, it’s all about the main lift, right?

Unfortunately, it may save you 5 minutes in the beginning, but what happens when you step under the bar?

Go right into higher intensity sets and injury rears its ugly head. Not only are you hurt, but you’re also set back in your training to be the best athlete you can be. It sucks. Trust me.

Luckily, we’ve come up with a barebones, easy and efficient 5 minute kettlebell warmup.

This kettlebell warm up follows an easy transition and hits every major joint and muscle that requires the TLC a good warmup should provide. This way you still get the main workout in on a time sensitive budget while avoiding a potentially disastrous consequence of skipping the warmup.

Take a peak:


The Worlds Easiest and Most Efficient Kettlebell Warm up

As far as picking an appropriate sized kettlebell, pick the weight based off the exercise you have the most trouble with. For example, my Turkish Get-up is my weakest exercise; therefore I chose a weight which I can accomplish 3 reps of the Turkish Get-Up easily, as this is still just a warmup and the exercises shouldn’t be taxing.

Here are the exercises in a little more detail:


1) Turkish Get-Up

Purpose: The Turkish Get-Up is a great exercise for building shoulder and core stability, coordination, and hip extension.

How to: This one is a little complex and is better taught in steps. Writing also isn’t going to do it justice so take a peek at this video by Chris Lopez who does an awesome job of explaining how to perform the get-up.


2) Tall Kneeling Kettlebell Halo

Purpose: This exercise warms up the shoulder joints and works on core stability. It works especially well if you have any overhead pressing planned for the workout.

How to: Get into the tall kneeling position and press the hips forward. Hold the kettlebell just in front of your face in the bottoms-up position (bell facing the ceiling). Keeping your head in a straight line, move the kettlebell slowly around your head. The shoulders and arms should be the only body parts moving.


3) Goblet Squat

Purpose: Warms up the hips and lower body along with helping groove the squatting pattern so you are ready to step under the bar and crush some PRs.

How to: Hold the kettlebell by the handles and keep it pulled tight to the chest. Feet should be about shoulder width apart with a slight outward toe flare. Sit back, keep the chest up and squat.


4) Kettlebell Swing

Purpose: Warms up the hips and the posterior chain (backside of the body). It also acts as a power exercise to get your nervous system excited to lift some weights.

How to: Kettlebell can start between your legs if you are a beginner or on the floor if you are a bit more advanced. Knees are slightly bent but don’t move much after that. The chest should be up and back flat. Reach back with the kettlebell traveling between the legs then swing forward using the hips. You want to stand up nice and tall on the lockout and avoid hyperextending or leaning back with the spine. At the top, think about being straight from head to heel and pressing your hips into the kettlebell keeping your weight on your heels. Once the bell is shoulder height, swing it back down to your groin then repeat.


5) Single Arm Overhead Press

Purpose: Warms up the shoulder joint and upper back. Also adds some unilateral core stability into the warmup.

How to: Standing tall, hold the kettlebell in a racked position. Think about punching your hand into the ceiling while staying straight. Your arm should end up in line with your ear at the top and the weight should be above your base of support; lower back down into the racked position and repeat.

Here it is all together with the sets and reps:

1)      Turkish Get-up x3/side

2)      Tall Kneeling Kettlebell Halo x5/direction

3)      Goblet Squat x10

4)      Kettlebell Swing x10

5)      Single Arm Overhead Press x5/side

*Repeat once or twice more if first time through doesn’t get you warm enough.

Now there are no excuses for missing a warmup again. Now go get your lift on young Viking.


Photo Sources: kettlebell warm up

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