kettlebell-411605_640I’ve just started dabbling with kettlebell butt exercises, and I have to say, I’m loving it! There are a huge number of kettlebell exercises out there, but in this post I’d like to highlight the particular ones you can do that will target your glutes. I found a great video of 4 exercises for the glutes on youtube, and we’ll be looking in more detail at these today.

KB Butt Exercise #1: Kettlebell Swings – The ‘Squat’ of Kettlebell Exercises

How: Stand with feet wide apart, toes slightly pointed outward, squat down and grasp the kettlebell with both hands with arms straight. Keeping the arms straight, swing the kettlebell by thrusting up and forward out of the squat using your glutes to drive the movement. Your arms will swing out in front to shoulder height due to the momentum of the kettlebell. Let the weight drop back to between your legs just under your groin area as you squat back down. Repeat the swings for 50 reps.

Kettlebell swings are amazing for targeting the glutes, as well as being a great cardio work out. I’ve called these the squat of kettlebell exercises because just as squats are famous as an exercise for building you an awesome butt, kettlebell swings are your go-to booty-boosting move when it comes to the kettlebell exercise arena.

To get the most out of these, you’ll need to use a sharp, sudden thrusting motion to perform the swing up, driving the swing by using your glutes to ‘pop’ up. Contract the glutes sharply to get the popping motion. Then be sure to sit backwards to keep the glutes engaged, rather than just bending the knees out in front as you go down.

KB Butt Exercise #2: Figure 8 Squats

How: Feet apart, perform a squat and with one hand holding the kettlebell, bring the kettlebell  over and underneath one leg, passing it to your other hand as you squat down. The kettlebell will track a figure 8 path when it loops around each of your legs. Perform 50 reps.

The kettlebell lends itself to this exercise really well, due to the handle on the kettlebell which will allow you to pass the weight easily from one hand to the other. Be sure to keep good form by focusing on contracting your glutes and core all the way through the move. You’ll get a good core workout too due to the twisting required for this move. Make sure to sit back into the squat, and as usual, try not to let your knees go out over your toes on the way down.

KB Exercise #3: Goblet Squats

How:  Hold the kettlebell in close to your chest with elbows bent. Feet a little wider than shoulder width, toes slightly pointed outward, squat right down until your butt is touching your calves. Stand up, driving through the heels and engaging the glutes. Try 50 of these or until you get a good burn.

These deep squats are great for the glutes. Push up strongly through the heels and focus on using the glute muscles to drive the movement when rising out of the squat in order to get the most glute engagement.

KB Exercise #4: Single Leg Deadlift

How: Stand on one leg, slightly bent, hips square. Holding the kettlebell down in front of you with arms straight, hinge at the hips and lower your torso to the horizontal, at the same time lifting your non-standing leg out straight behind you. Rise up to a standing position again by squeezing the glutes to drive the movement, this is one rep. To keep the numbers easy to remember, let’s say 50 reps of these on each side!

Deadlifts are great for working the hamstrings, glute and back muscles. Keep your back in a neutral position and engage the core to protect your back. Again, focus on using the glutes to perform the movement, otherwise other muscles can have the tendency to take over.

Watch How to Perform the 4 Moves Here

There’s nothing like seeing it all in action so that you actually have some clue as to what I’ve been raving about so far! Check it out in this video.

What if I don’t have Kettlebells?

If you’re new to kettlebells, and don’t have one on hand, you’ll want to maybe try these out with a kettlebell at the gym first to see if you like them. Picking the right kettlebell starting weight can be tricky also, so it’s a good idea to see if you can do a trial or otherwise borrow a kettlebell from a friend to get a feel for this exercise first.

Kettlebells can be expensive so if you intend on buying one, you’ll want to invest in one that’s right one for you. Empower have a nice 3-in-1 kettlebell kit that is great for beginners.

You can actually do these exercises with a dumbbell as well (these are a bit more common so you might have better luck getting your hands on a couple of these to give you a taste of these moves). The following adaptions may be use to perform the 4 exercises shown in the video and explained previously.

Kettlebell Swings, adapted for Dumbbells

Use a single hand to hold one dumbbell in place of the kettlebell, and place your other hand out of the way behind your back. You’ll find you can still get the same swinging motion by doing these.

Don’t forget to switch sides with the hand holding the weight and train both sides evenly!

Figure 8 Squat with Dumbbell

For this one, you can pass a single dumbbell in the figure 8, but when you pass it, have one hand below the other so you can ‘drop’ the handle of the dumbbell into the other hand. The plus of this is it that it will force you squat deeper in order to get your hand underneath.

Goblet Squat with Dumbell

Hold a single dumbbell vertically and grasp the top plate on either side with both hands.

Single Leg Deadlift with Dumbell

Hold two dumbbells in front of you, one in each hand.

 

That’s all for today folks! If you know of any kettlebell butt exercises that I’ve missed, please let me know by leaving me a comment below! I’d also be interested to know if you’ve tried the kettlebell swing, and if so, what do you think of it as a butt exercise?

Kettlebell Butt Exercises – Killer Moves for a Tighter Butt
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11 thoughts on “Kettlebell Butt Exercises – Killer Moves for a Tighter Butt

  • November 2, 2014 at 4:39 pm
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    I have never had a better glute and quad workout than I have gotten using Kettlebells. Although if done in a bootcamp style format (and I personally feel can be hard on the body), the fact that every exercise leads to pretty much a full body workout is my preferred style of exercise.

    I realize not all gyms have Kettlebells (many do these days though). Do you feel that there is an advantage to using Kettlebells over dumbells Jolie?

    Reply
    • November 3, 2014 at 11:15 am
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      Hi Kyle, thanks for your comment.

      Actually Vince pointed out earlier that kettlebells have a different weight distribution than dumbbells, and I think this is definitely an advantage -if your body is not used to this then you’ll automatically be recruiting other muscles into the equation in order to get the necessary stabilization. Subtle differences like this can otherwise change the overall impact of any given workout.

      In the (aptly named) kettlebell swing, the weight distribution of the kettlebell lends itself particularly well to the exercise. The weight is held further away from the body which requires more glute action to swing the kettlebell up, so in my opinion this is one of the exercises where kettlebells offer a distinct advantage over dumbbells.

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      • November 3, 2014 at 7:30 pm
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        Also the gripping of kettlebells can offer more variety in a safer manner, such as the figure 8s and goblet squat.
        A variation of the goblet squat I like is to grab the handles like you would the S.L.Deadlift, squat down to pick it up, then explode up in the squat and change hand positions so you catch the kettlebell on the bottom of the bell and squat down as you do so. Then come back up, drop the kettlebell and catch the handles.
        I wouldn’t do that with too much weight at first and until you are used to goblet squats without the catching. You couldn’t do this safely with dumbbells!

        Reply
        • November 4, 2014 at 10:37 am
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          Appreciate the variation suggestion Vince! Sounds like this one would bring the arms into the equation too, plus you’d need to be a bit more explosive in coming out of the squat in order to boost the weight up. Methinks this would do great things for one’s glutes… thank you for sharing!

          Reply
  • November 2, 2014 at 6:35 pm
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    I did not know so many routines could be performed with kettlebell. The steps for each one of the butt exercises are clearly described. The video helps a lot to better follow each step. Great job!
    Hilda

    Reply
    • November 3, 2014 at 10:18 am
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      Hi Hilda, thanks for your feedback, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to kettlebell exercises! If you’re interested, there are a number of kettlebell exercise programs out there for those who would like to do a workout purely based around kettlebells. ‘Kettleworx’ is just one that comes to mind.

      Reply
  • November 2, 2014 at 7:57 pm
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    Hi Jolie. Getting older and gravity can really kill a butt! :) As much as I eat healthy and work out, I haven’t found the right exercise for a better butt…. until I came across your site! I have seen kettlebells at my gym, but never gave them a try. You have inspired me to try it out, what do I have to lose? :) Thanks so much for your great website, very helpful!

    Reply
    • November 3, 2014 at 10:15 am
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      Hey Michelle, I was always skeptical when it came to kettlebells but after doing the kettlebell swings I’m converted! You’ve inspired me to list this move as this week’s feature in ‘Best Butt Exercises’! The post is here: There’s a great instructional video there plus extra tips on keeping correct form.

      Reply
  • November 2, 2014 at 10:22 pm
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    Hey Jolie,

    All good exercises for the butt and to do with kettlebells.

    I have been using kettlebells for a while and they are definitely of great benefit. I do have to say that is a new variation to me the figure 8 squats.

    I like these exercises here as while they do emphasize your butt (I work mine too, no reason guys can’t work on theirs as well!) but they are also good for the posterior chain. I believe compound movements like these are much better than just isolation movements for the vast majority of the time.

    They’re also quite a different tool to dumbbells as it has a different way of distributing weight.

    Great info, I will have to try out #2 some time

    Vince

    Reply
    • November 3, 2014 at 10:11 am
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      Too many guys neglect the butt and I am of the opinion that this makes a lot of women secretly sad, we love to look at and hold a good butt too lol!

      I’ve only just started with the kettlebells, I actually never thought about the fact that they are different to dumbbells with the weight distribution, but you raise a valid point.

      All the more reason to include training with both types of weights into a routine, as it will keep your body guessing and make those workouts more effective :)
      Thanks for stopping by!

      Reply
      • November 3, 2014 at 7:34 pm
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        Don’t want to brag, but I think you are right 😉
        Kettlebells are a great and fun addition I think!

        Reply

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