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Have Kettlebell, Will Travel: 5 Crossfit Workouts You Can Do With Just a Kettlebell

Have Kettlebell, Will Travel: 5 Crossfit Workouts You Can Do With Just a Kettlebell

If I was stuck on a deserted island with only one piece of workout equipment, I'd pick a kettlebell.

I'll never forget my first time working out with a kettlebell.

I had a decent amount of training experience under my belt, mostly with dumbbells, barbells, and bodyweight exercises, and considered myself fully capable of handling this cast-iron cannonball with a handle.

I was wrong.

The weight of the kettlebell was not centered around my grip like a dumbbell and I had to use muscles I never knew existed to stabilize myself and prevent the kettlebell from flying out of control.

I did swings, presses, and rows in a metabolic conditioning circuit that left me completely gassed after only twenty minutes.

I was hooked.

What's so great about kettlebells?


The kettlebell doesn't seem too different than a dumbbell at first glance. 

They're both tools for building bilateral strength and offer superior range of motion than barbells. That's about where the similarities end.

Kettlebells have an advantage over dumbbells because they consistently challenge your grip and stability. 

Another advantage kettlebells have over dumbbells is that you don't need a wide range of weights to have an effective workout.

You'll build complete, well-rounded fitness with a kettlebell.

University of Wisconsin-Lacrosse subjects who performed full-body kettlebell workouts saw a 70% increase in core strength and a 13.8% boost in aerobic capacity.

Get stronger, faster, and more powerful with a kettlebell.

How to Travel With a Kettlebell

If you're traveling by airplane, you're not bringing a kettlebell with you. So let's hope the hotel gym has at least one. If you travel a lot by car, then there's nothing stopping you from buying one and tossing it in your trunk. 

A good weight to start with is 35 pounds and you can order one to be shipped to your home for around $50 from Onnit or Rogue Fitness.


There's also another option.

The Kettle Gryp is a dumbbell adapter that is designed to fit onto dumbbells and turn them into kettlebells. It's small, light, and easily fits in a carry-on. You can travel with it and put it to good use anywhere you find dumbbells - which is the case for most hotel gyms.

Want more travel workouts? Get your copy of Fit For Travel now!

5 Kettlebell Crossfit Workouts

Now that you're fully aware of just how awesome kettlebells are, let's check out five workouts you can do while traveling with just one kettlebell. Two are beginner workouts, two are intermediate, and one is advanced. Use an appropriate weight and scale the workouts to your ability.

Workout #1 (Beginner)

"Freddie Krueger"

21-15-9 Repetitions For Time:

Workout #2 (Beginner)

5 Rounds For Time:

Workout #3 (Intermediate)

"Kettlebell Circus"

12-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible):

Workout #4 (Intermediate)

For Time:

50-40-30-20-10 Repetitions:

Workout #5 (Advanced)


Arnie is a hero WOD, a workout named for a fallen military serviceman, police officer, or firefighter.


Los Angeles County Fire Fighter Specialist Arnaldo "Arnie" Quinones, 34, was killed in the line of duty on Sunday, August 30, 2009 during the Station Fire. His emergency response vehicle went over the side of the road and fell 800 feet into a steep canyon during fire suppression activities protecting Camp 16 outside the City of Palmdale, CA. 

He is survived by his wife Lori and daughter Sophia Grace, born three weeks after his death.

Here's the workout.

For Time:

Bottom Line

Kettlebells are a great tool for helping you build full body strength and improve your conditioning. Incorporate them into your training to build your core and grip strength while improving your aerobic capacity. A single kettlebell is the perfect travel companion for anyone traveling by car.

Cover Photo Credit: Crossfit.com

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