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

If you’re like me, you want a simple training session template that can be used at any time to build and develop the core kettlebell skills.

It’s a session that will give you results, keep you feeling fresh, and not destroy you.

Enter 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 6 kettlebell fundamentals.

The 6 kettlebell fundamentals are:

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

These 6 exercises are considered the foundation of kettlebell training and offer an exhaustive list of benefits with the proper technique.

The goal is to deepen your skills and improve performance so that you get stronger, leaner, and more conditioned.

I call this one “the skill session.”

If you do this workout as it’s outlined and consciously think about refining your kettlebell skills, you’ll greatly benefit and 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 done.

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 (which will be important to read).

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

The workout is as follows.


1-Goblet squats (2 sets of 10)

2-Get-ups (2 reps per side, alternating)

3-Two-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.

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

Because you are going to think about 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 previous 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.

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…


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

Think about your squat mechanics (knee position, foot position) and your posture (stay tall and upright).

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

Rest about 30 to 60 seconds between sets.

Inhale going down. Exhale coming up.


Go slow and do not rush this movement, deliberately slow things down at each step in the get-up.

“Own” your movement.

“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 solid and comfortable in your technique.

The 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 then 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 get set in front of the bell before the swing), or your breathing, or your hip hinge, or your explosiveness.

Pick one thing and work to improve it.

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

Believe me, this is a really effective way to work on your swing technique.


Perform only 2 sets of 5. No more.

On the 1st set I use my “average” kettlebell size and on 2nd set I use a bell size up. It could be my 5 RM.

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 (motion to press in)
  • Power breathing (using your breath to increase strength)
  • Lockout at the top (elbow fully extended)

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.

That’s why there’s 10 reps per set in this session.

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
  • 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 first goal is improving your skill
  • 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 of us to continue to develop the fundamentals – that’s where this session is essential
  • Simply focus on “getting better”

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

Do me a favor…let me know how this goes for you.

I’d be interested to know if this helps you improve your own strength skills.

Scott Iardella, MPT, CSCS writes about strength training methods to optimize health and performance. If you enjoyed this article, be sure to join the community below and get more valuable training insights and information – for FREE.
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