17 Best Kettlebell Exercises for Boxing – With video explanations

An integral aspect of a fighter’s strength training lies in weighted exercises, notably with kettlebells. This dynamic approach, influenced by hand positioning, not only develops key muscle groups but also enhances grip strength crucial for potent punches. Kettlebell training, known for its dynamic center of gravity, ensures progressive strength gains and muscular endurance, emphasizing gradual weight increments. Optimal fitness kettlebells, ranging from 17 to 26 lbs, provide a balanced starting point. Although substitutes like dumbbells exist, caution is advised. Kettlebell exercises uniquely contribute to arm strength, grip enhancement, and refinement of the center of gravity, enriching overall fighter conditioning.

Figure 8

Figure 8 is a fun exercise that is good for developing torso and hip strength. Just as it sounds, the kettlebell moves around your legs in a figure-eight pattern. Start with your feet shoulder-width apart. Using moderate weight, start with a reverse lunge between your knees.

Instead of bringing the kettlebell forward, bring your hips to one side and pass the kettlebell behind that knee. When your free hand grips the kettlebell, lower the kettlebell around the outside of your leg. Then swing it back between your knees.

When the kettlebell passes between the knees, bend to the opposite side and pass the kettlebell behind that knee. Continue to move the kettlebell in a figure 8 pattern until you finish the set. While doing this exercise, look down at an angle of about 45 degrees and keep your back straight. Also, squat slightly during the entire movement. This exercise should be performed for a fairly large number of repetitions – usually 20 or more.

Steering Wheel In Squat

An exercise used to strengthen the entire shoulder girdle. Not only the arms but also the shoulders are involved, which strengthens the upper shoulder girdle of the athlete. In addition, squatting involves the endurance work of the legs. To understand the technique of this exercise you can draw an analogy with the steering wheel of a car. It is important to keep a firm grip and try to keep your balance without falling over on your side.

Overhead Towel Swing

This is a great exercise for the trunk muscles. It is similar to swinging a hammer in track and field. Start with a moderate weight and make sure you have enough room. Thread a thick towel or rope through the handle of the kettlebell. Grasp the towel so that the kettlebell is about 2-3 feet from your hands.

Place your feet slightly wider than your shoulders and hold tightly to the towel. Create a neutral line of sight by choosing something directly in front of you on which to focus. This will help you to keep your balance. Start swinging the kettlebell slowly from side to side, like a pendulum.

When the kettlebell has gained enough momentum, rotate both hands over your head and around it. Gradually gain speed without losing control. Pull the kettlebell around your body in a circular motion, using the muscles in your upper body. When you have completed the number of reps in one direction, slow down the movement of the kettlebell.


This exercise helps to develop the upper back muscles and triceps. Also, it develops chest muscles. Start positioning yourself lying on the floor holding the kettlebell with straight arms onto your chest. When you take the kettlebell, grip it on its sides so your thumbs are wrapped around the handle and it looking down.

Also, you need to press the kettlebell straight up. After that lower the kettlebell over your head to the floor while keeping your arms straight. Breathe in deeply when you lower the kettlebell and breathe out forcefully as you pull it back over your head.

Side Bend

This exercise is great for developing strength, flexibility, and balance in the midsection of the body. Swing the kettlebell over your head and take a wide stance. Spread the foot of your free arm so that it is perpendicular to the foot of the arm with the kettlebell. Lower your free hand to the inside of your free hip and turn your palm upward.

Look up at the kettlebell and then very slowly begin to bend to your free arm side. Bend your free side knee as well and begin to lean slightly forward. You need to bring your free hand eventually to the inside of your foot. When you have stretched out as far as you can, straighten up and return to the starting position.

Perform just a few reps and then move to the other side. This exercise requires a lot of concentration and should be done very slowly. Do this exercise in the range of 3 to 5 reps per set.


The deadlift is an exercise that involves the large muscles of the hips, thighs, and lower back. Take the kettlebell in your hands so that your toes will be in line with the handle. Your feet should be slightly wider than your shoulders and pointing outward. Bend your knees slightly and then straighten your hips looking straight ahead.

This allows you to keep your back in the right position. As you lower your hips, keep your lower back muscles in tension. This will help you stabilize your back and keep yourself safe during the exercise. Grab a kettlebell off the floor and stand with it in a completely straight position. Repeat this drill and keep to grip the handle strongly until the end of the set. Keep your back straight all the time during the exercise.

One-Hand Swing

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Next, lower your hips so that your hands are level with your knees. When you grip the handle with one hand, the kettlebell must be between your legs, leaning a little bit to the side. Then throw the weight back over your knees to gain the impulse.

When the kettlebell begins to move up and your forearms begin to touch your hips, pull your knees and hips apart with an effort and pull it upward. Then lift the weight forward and up with your hips. Help lightly with your shoulder until the kettlebell reaches eye level.

When the kettlebell reaches eye level, allow gravity to push it back down between your knees. Remember to keep the kettlebell centered throughout the entire movement. Repeat the movement with the other hand.

Bell Holding One-Hand Swing

An exercise also aimed at strengthening the hand, with an accent on the fingers. The idea is that the palm is slipped into the whole of the kettlebell handle and tries to palm it around the kettlebell bell. In this way, you can swing with one hand as well as swing around yourself (side-to-side swings). Because of the wide finger placement, the load is spread equally between all the ligaments and tendons of the arm.

Double Snatch

The double snatch is performed with two kettlebells. Stand as in a deadlift start position. Keeping your head up and shoulders back, make a big lunge backward. Forcefully push off the floor and move with your whole body. When the kettlebells are almost at the eye level position, push down on the handles so that the kettlebell twists in your direction.

At the same time stretch your arms above your head. When this exercise is done correctly, there is very little load on the forearms. At this point, lower the kettlebells to your shoulders and then bend your elbows to point the kettlebells downward. This step will prevent you from throwing the kettlebells off balance. Swing the kettlebell between your knees and then back up again for the next rep.


This exercise involves most of the major body muscle groups, including the hips, lower back, upper back, and shoulders. It combines the pulling motion of the arms with an explosive extension of the knees and hips. This combination of movements is very important for performing basic moves in many sports.

The start position of this exercise is the same as the starting position of the deadlift. Bring your toes together with the handle, feet shoulder-width apart and pointing slightly outward. As you raise and straighten your knees and hips, continue the movement, bringing your arms up to your chin.

Keep your elbows turned out and a little higher than your wrists so you don’t injure your wrists. To lower the kettlebell, allow your arms to extend fully toward the floor before you begin to bend your knees and hips. Don’t forget that the legs should do most of the work as well.

Double Press

Lift kettlebells to the outside of your shoulders. Bend your knees slightly to stabilize your lower back. Lift the kettlebells above your head with your arms fully extended and gaze straight ahead. Hold the position for a moment. Then lower the kettlebells to the level of your shoulders.

Also, your elbows should be pressed against your sides. If you want to work with heavier kettlebells you can add a leg push but it will be a bit different exercise.

Cross Clean

This exercise is an alternative to pushing the barbell out in front of you while standing, which some fighters usually do. The exercise is very good for strengthening the hands and fingers, which is the strength of the striking surface of the arm. Also, it increases the punching power.

You can perform this exercise with or without a slight body rotation. As you return the kettlebell to the starting position, use the created momentum. Also, alternate the exercise for both hands.

Double Row

The double row is another simple but very effective exercise with kettlebells for boxers. It also involves the stabilizing torso muscles, which support the upper body. Stand in a fully upright position with both kettlebells. Bend at the waist and knees so that your upper body is almost parallel to the ground.

Tense your abs and spine so that your torso will be stable. Looking straight ahead, bring your arms up to your ribs and pause for a moment at this point. Slowly lower the kettlebells until your arms are in a fully extended position just below your knees.

Punch Swing

The exercise is also aimed at strengthening the arms and improving balance. This exercise is more complex and requires some training and experience with kettlebells. The first part is raising the kettlebell perpendicular to the floor. Hold the kettlebell on your left shoulder with the bell facing the ceiling and your forearm perpendicular to the floor.

The second part is a strong push of the kettlebell forward and with the help of the impulse swing it back. Note that the arm in the second part, at the moment when the kettlebell flies down, should not be relaxed. You should try to hold the kettlebell by its handle and not let it injure your arm.


The sidewinder is a great exercise for punching sports such as boxing. You can use this variation to vary your routine workout. Grab a weight so that it hangs between your legs. Squat down and straighten your back a little. Flexing your knees and hips, bend to one side away from the kettlebell.

At this point, pull the kettlebell with your upper arm, bending your elbow further. As you lower the kettlebell, align your torso again. Explode out of the lower position and repeat the same on the other side. Continue alternating sides until you finish the set.

Floor Press

This exercise is similar to the bench press. The only difference is that we do it with one hand instead of two at a time. In addition, after we push the kettlebell out at the end we also try to push it out a little with the shoulder. Make sure you’re on a soft surface.

Start pushing one kettlebell out until it is fully extended. Rest your free hand on the floor, and while you’re pressing the kettlebell, try to push it up a little more with your shoulder. Slowly lower your back, shoulders, and head. Then bend your elbow until it slightly touches the floor. Repeat the same for the other arm. Continue alternating sides until the complex is complete.

Wrist Turns

Turn the kettlebell from left to right and back. It is important that the wrist is straight and the forearm does not pull away from the surface. The exercise develops the muscles of the forearm, which will help in clinching and punching. It is important to note that the exercise is complex and can be very difficult to perform at the beginning. If you can’t do the exercise with the minimum weight, you can try replacing the kettlebell with a hammer.

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I hope this article was helpful. Good luck in boxing.

Last update on 2024-05-17 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Gregori Povolotski

I have been practicing martial arts since 2007. For as long as I can remember, I have always had a huge passion for combat sports, especially Muay Thai and boxing. Helping people on their martial arts journey is what drives me to keep training and learn new things. Read More About Me

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