28 Jul A Powerful And Effective Kettlebell Workout: “The Skill Session”

I wanted a simple training session template that could be used at any time to build and develop the core kettlebell skills.

So, I recently designed this simple single kettlebell workout that incorporates the 6 kettlebell fundamentals.

This is a great training session for beginners through advanced, providing you already know how to safely perform the kettlebell fundamentals.

Just in case you’re fairly new to kettlebells, the 6 kettlebell fundamentals are:

  • Goblet squat
  • Turkish get-up
  • Kettlebell swing (Russian style)
  • Strict press
  • Clean
  • Snatch

These 6 exercises are considered the foundation of kettlebell training and offer a long list of benefits with the right training progressions, programming, and techniques.

The workout I’ve got for you today consists of just the 6 core exercises and the goal is to deepen your skills for better performance so that you achieve better results.

I call this “the skill session.”

If you do this workout as it’s outlined and consciously think about refining your kettlebell skills, you’ll benefit greatly and really feel like this session gives you more than it takes from you.

The goal is NOT to feel “trashed” or exhausted, but you should feel like you have actually improved when you’re finished.

This is the critical mindset to have for this workout.

First, I’ll give you the workout, then I’ll give you some tips and techniques to focus on with this training session.

This session is about 30 minutes long and the sequence is intentional.

The workout is as follows.

The “The Skill Session” Workout:

  1. Goblet squats (2 sets of 10)
  2. Turkish get ups (2 reps per side, alternating)
  3. 2 hand kettlebell swings (5 sets of 10)
  4. Strict press (2 sets of 5)
  5. Cleans (2 sets of 10)
  6. Snatches (3 sets of 10)

Perform each exercise in entirety (reps and sets) before moving on to the next exercise. (Ex, 2 sets of 10 of the goblet squats, then move on to the get-ups doing 2 reps per side, etc.)

Once you complete all exercises, in order, you are done the session.

Why is this any different from a “typical” kettlebell workout?

Because you are going to think about and analyze your technique each and every set and try to improve at least one thing each set as you progress through the session.

You will consciously try to make the next set just a little bit better than the last set.

It’s the mindset of this workout and the way you attack it that makes it different from other workouts.

When I did this training session and really focused on the mental aspect of getting better each set and it made a huge difference.

Each exercise you should really think about how you are performing and what can be better on the next set.

Think about ONE THING to focus on and make each rep or set BETTER than the last.

Don’t worry about “having a good workout” – that will happen automatically.

Instead, focus on getting better.

Extra Tips For The Session…

Goblet Squat.

Perform just 2 sets of 10 and work on your mobility, breathing, and pulling yourself down into the squat.

Think about your squat mechanics and your posture.

Keep the weight at your most common kettlebell size, nothing more.

Rest about 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

Turkish Get Up.

Go slow and do not rush this movement, deliberately slow things down at each step.

“Own” your movement and “own” each step along the way.

Start with your most common kettlebell size and progress to a higher load for rep 2, providing you transition slowly through the movement and feel you are rock solid in your technique.

Your only rest will be if you change bell sizes for the second rep.


Use the heaviest kettlebell you can safely perform for 10 reps.

10 reps are ideal with a heavy kettlebell and remember why we are doing this training session – to improve our skill.

Perform 10 solid reps and place the bell down.

Rest approximately 30 to 60 seconds.

On the next set, pick one thing you want to work on and focus on that.

For example, maybe it’s your set-up (the way you address the bell), or your breathingyour hip hinge, or your explosiveness.

Each set you will consciously try to make it BETTER than the previous set.

This is a really effective way to work on your swing technique.


Perform only 2 sets of 5 here.

On the 1st set I used my “average” kettlebell size and on 2nd set I used my true 5 RM bell size.

If you don’t know your true 5 RM bell size – this is a great program to find it with your second set.

Take little longer rest, with 1 to 2 minutes between the 2 sets.

Here are a few things to focus on:

  • full body tension
  • finding your press groove
  • power breathing
  • the lockout at the top

Don’t overthink this and work on too much at once, just pick just one thing and focus on that.


The clean can be tricky for some people.

I’ve found that sometimes it takes a few reps just to build the pattern and efficiency with the movement and that’s why there’s 10 reps per set here.

Rest 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

A few things to focus on with cleans are the explosive hip drive, the vertical pull of the bell up your body, keeping your arm fixed to the side, and the “soft” finish of the kettlebell in the rack position (there should be no “banging” or “flopping” of the kettlebell on the forearm).


You will finish the session with 3 strong sets of 10 of kettlebell snatches.

Use the kettlebell size that you are most comfortable with performing multiple snatches.

Focus on similar things as previously mentioned such as breathing, explosive hip drive, and the vertical pull of the kettlebell up your body (the path of the kettlebell).

Also, focus on the “taming of the arc” or the adjustment of your hand so that the kettlebell finishes safely at the top without any “banging” on the forearm.

Focus on your “set up,” your hip hinge, and your full body power and explosiveness during the snatch.

Keep the rest here at 30 to 60 seconds between sets.


  • Perform “the skill session” workout as outlined (save and print the PDF below)
  • Approach it differently than a typical “workout” by thinking about improving as you work your way through.
  • Choose the “most appropriate” size kettlebell for the task, but understand the goal is improving your technique.
  • How often you use this depends on where you are with your kettlebell skills, but no matter where you are, it’s necessary for each us to continue to develop the fundamentals.
  • Focus on “getting better.”

pdficonTo get a FREE PDF of this workout, click here to save and download.

Scott Iardella, MPT, CSCS writes about strength training methods to optimize health and performance. If you enjoyed this article, join the community of passionate fitness enthusiasts below to get a ton of cool, free stuff!  
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