10 Minute Kettlebell Density Workout

10 Minute Kettlebell Density Workout

Yesterday, I got an email from an EFI reader that thought I had a second family in Toronto with 5 kids. Sorry, that is not my family. That is Chris Lopez’s family. Today I got a workout for you from Chris.


~ Rick


We are going to talk about Kettlebell workouts and how efficient you can be with just using 2 Foundational Kettlebell Exercises.

Benefits of the 2 Foundational Kettlebell Exercises

What I am going to show you today, in my opinion, is the perfect workout or the perfect training session maybe because it covers every possible movement.

And you see in the movements that I am doing in the exercises that I am doing for the workout how we pretty much cover everything.

This workout has:

  • shoulder stability
  • lots of core stability
  • single-leg movement
  • bilateral leg power movement
  • hip hinging
  • knee hinging
  • squat pattern involved

So there’s a lot involved and benefits in these two exercises.

We are going to perform this workout in a density fashion. What we are going to do is we will do one get the upper side and then we are going to perform 10 powerful hard stall kettlebell swings.

What you are going to do for this workout is you are going to set your timer for 10 minutes and that’s all that you are going to do. You are going to alternate sides for the get-up and then you are going to do your kettlebell swings. You will do 10 kettlebell swings and you will continue that for the remainder of the 10 minutes until the 10 minutes is up. You record your results, you rest when you need to, and then you continue with that trying to improve your results as your weeks go by and you perform this workout.

#1a – Get Up

Quickly, let’s go to the GetUp and I will show you how exactly to do it, the get-up that I love for shoulders stability. I think I may have shown this to you before when you and I were at a conference together.

So let’s go through the GetUp.


Kettlebell is on the ground and I am going to get down to a fetal position. And Rick you are aware that I am on a concrete dirty floor and I am getting on the ground for you, so I love you man (Thank you, Chris). I am going to take this kettlebell, we are going to grab it in a fetal position and this is a 24kg kettlebell. From this position here, I am going to floor press it up and by floor pressing it up I stabilize or I automatically fire my back and my lat and those are two very important stabilizers when you are holding something above your head.

From here, I am going to brace my abs nice and tight. I am going to keep my arm vertical and I am going to go up onto my elbow. And from here we are going to go up onto our hands and notice how I am staying nice and tall, I always want to keep that bell nice and vertical. Then from here, we used to do a high bridge where we lift our buttock nice and high, but we don’t do that anymore for StrongFirst.

What we are going to do is just go right into a sweep, so we are going to lift, create space, and then pull back. And if you notice where I am right now I’ve got a straight line from my hand to my left knee and my left ankle and that’s the type of alignment that you want to maintain. From here, I am squeezing my shoulder blades, I am still in that vertical position, and then I am going to stand up. I just swivel my knee out, I am on a half lunge or a lunge position, and I am going to stand up – and there’s your get up.

#1b – Get Down

Now we’ve got to do the Get Down.


I am going to step back and to be able to align my spine, I am going to windshield wiper my left leg, get that straight line as I pull my hand down so I am in perfect alignment and that means that I am angling or flexing through my hip and not through my spine. I am going to sweep my leg through, chest up, shoulders back to the elbow, and then to the back. I will bring my two hands over, bring them down to support, and put the bell on the ground.

And that’s the GetUp, one of the best exercises that you can do with the kettlebell. After that, you are going to do that on the left side so I just did that with my right.

#2 – Powerful Kettlebell Swings

Immediately after that, we are going to do 10 Powerful Kettlebell Swings. With the hardstyle kettlebell swings, we have to remember that it’s a hip-hinging exercise, not a squatting exercise.

It resembles more of the deadlift than it does the squat. And what you want to think about when you are doing that is getting your butt back, you are almost on a vertical shin angle so your shins are not going to cross over your toes when you are swinging, and then you are going to get nice and deep maintaining your good arch in your back.

The one that we talk about when we are swinging the kettlebell is projecting the energy towards the horizon. And when projecting energy towards the horizon you will notice that the bell will give us feedback and you will either flip up or out towards the horizon.

If you notice that the bell is drooping down, giving you feedback, again that means that you might have a squat swing because you are coming from down low to this position here as opposed to that hinge position where it’s back. So that’s the one main thing that you want to remember.

Kettlebell Swings

So when I am setting up for my kettlebell swing, I am about maybe a foot or foot and a half away from it and I am going to brace my abs, hinge my hips, draw my shoulders down and back, look forward and I am going to like pass it through my knees and extend.

From a relative standpoint that’s pretty light, that’s a 24kg kettlebell for me. You notice that I am a little bit out of breath because I can get out of that exercise as much as I want from it.

So at the peak of the movement, I am squeezing my glutes, I’m bracing my abs, I am power breathing, my quads are nice and tight so I am a statue at this position. If you try to push me the likelihood is that I wouldn’t move because I am so rooted into the ground, that’s called your root position. That’s where you get a lot of your energy and your brace is just from that root position.

After that I am actively firing my lats, throwing the kettlebell down so I am using my lats to get that kettlebell through, that creates almost like a slingshot effect on my hamstrings, and then it gives me a little bit of power to be able to pop the ball up and float it for the next rep, that’s why we only do 10 reps.

Summary of the 10 Minute Density Workout

That’s your density kettlebell workout, you are going to start with the getup and you are going to do one on each side.

And then immediately after that, you are going to do 10 swings. Then you rest for however long you need to because you want to focus on practicing and perfecting your form while you are doing this, and then you continue with get upright, get up left, and then 10 swings for the remainder of that 10 minute density period. That’s a great workout, I gave it out to my wife yesterday actually and she loves it.

If you would like to check out a kettlebell program that I put together targeting abs, you can check out Kettlebell Evolution Advanced Fat Loss Program:


Chris Lopez is a Strength Coach and StrongFirst Girya Level 2 Instructor (SFGII). He is the author of the TT Kettlebell Evolution Advanced Fat Loss Program and Editor of www.KettlebellWorkouts.com. Chris lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with his wife and their 5 children.

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