Combining Calisthenics and Kettlebells Benefits

  • By: gymtrix
  • Date: January 7, 2023
  • Time to read: 6 min.

Kettlebells are an effective way to supplement any fitness routine, as they provide a great workout with a versatile weight.

Combining calisthenics and kettlebells can be very beneficial, as often times the bodyweight exercises in calisthenics do not adequately challenge certain groups of muscles.

Kettlebells can add resistance to those exercises and target areas that may otherwise be neglected.

Furthermore, they can be used to add intensity and increase demands on bodyweight movements in order to maximize strength gains. Therefore, adding kettlebells to your existing calisthenics routine can help you achieve phenomenal results.

Targeting the back and shoulders can be a challenge when using bodyweight exercises; while pull ups and push ups are commonly used, they may not be enough to effectively engage these major muscle groups.

The difficulty level of bodyweight options such as inverted rows and handstand push ups is too much for most people, making them less ideal choices. Fortunately, kettlebells can provide an effective solution.

They offer an easy way to train the back and shoulders that is still accessible for many individuals regardless of their fitness level.

This makes them perfect for anyone looking to target the two hardest major muscle groups with minimal equipment.

Combining Calisthenics and Kettlebells Benefits

Calisthenics Back Exercises With A Kettlebell

When unmonitored, incorrectly balanced exercises, particularly back-related exercise ratios in comparison to chest and lat exercise, can often result in a forward-facing posture for calisthenics athletes.

It is essential that muscles become tighter when worked, which means that muscle fibers decrease dramatically, influencing our stance and position.

Stretching the chest and lats is required to bring the body back into a neutral postural state, but further strengthening of the upper back muscles is required if this effect is to be completely addressed.

Enforcing proper strength rationing between opposing muscle groups, along with proper stretching form and repetition, can contribute to optimal posture and performance.

Kettlebell exercises are excellent for targeting the middle and lower traps, as well as the rhomboids.

The bent over row is a classic kettlebell exercise that can be performed with one or both arms simultaneously. To perform this exercise correctly, keep your back parallel to the ground or at a slight angle while pulling the kettlebell vertically up.

This exercise is especially effective because it targets muscles that are difficult to target with bodyweight exercises alone.

Using kettlebell exercises can help you get the most out of your workout routine and build strength in areas that are frequently overlooked.

Supplementing bodyweight training with kettlebell shoulder exercises

Shoulder exercises using bodyweight can be challenging due to the sheer amount of weight on them.

Many traditional shoulder exercises involve pressing or pulling the body in a way that requires an individual to lift their entire body upside down and hold it in place.

This is especially difficult for most people to do without assistance, making these kinds of exercises not ideal for at-home exercise routines for those who don’t have access to professional equipment or support.

Fortunately, there are alternatives that rely solely on gravity which, though equally effective, can be easier for individuals to do on their own.

Kettlebells are a great strength-training tool that provide more diverse exercises than traditional weights.

With kettlebells, you can engage each head of the deltoid muscle independently, which allows for greater individualized focus and precision.

For example, to work the anterior head of the deltoid muscle, kettlebells allow users to do a slightly modified form of a bicep curl, dubbed the “common front raise,” as opposed to traditional weight plate curls.

To engage the medial head of the deltoid muscle with kettlebells, users can do flies instead of rowing or pulldowns with barbells.

Lastly, working the posterior head of the deltoid muscle is possible with kettlebell skies rather than seated rear arm cable rows or bent-over barbell rows. Kettlebells thus offer more highly customisable exercises for toning this vast and complex body area.

Why You Should Opt For Calisthenics With Kettlebells Training


Combining calisthenics with kettlebells is undeniably tasking, yet also yields productive results.

A prime example of this combination is the kettlebell Turkish get-up – by lifting the kettlebell with one hand, your body must remain in a stagnant position while engaging numerous muscles under immense strain.

This progression strengthens your musculature and enables an improved sense of balance through regular squats executed while manipulating the weight. The amalgamation of these exercises provides invaluable effects for your physical health and well-being.


Calisthenics combined with kettlebell training has become increasingly popular among athletes, with even professional sports teams turning to this routine for high-level strength and conditioning.

This is a testament to the efficacy of this type of exercise, which is further evidenced by the United States Army’s recommendation of kettlebell training for its top-tier soldiers in the Special Forces.

Increasingly larger numbers of athletes attempting more ambitious physical feats are finding that calisthenics combined with kettlebells make it possible to reach such goals.

Low injury risk

When combined, calisthenics and kettlebells are highly efficient in creating a full-body workout without the excessive stress caused by traditional weightlifting.

This leads to significantly less risk of injury compared to other forms of fitness training, mostly due to the emphasis on natural body movement despite the added resistance.

Not only do calisthenics work multiple muscle groups at once, but they also increase functionality and flexibility while helping to build strength.

Additionally, by avoiding friction-related injuries that can occur with more static exercises, users can focus on training with assuredness rather than worry about potentially causing harm.

kettlebell benefits


Combining calisthenics and kettlebells into one comprehensive workout plan is an effective approach to engaging all the energy systems in the body.

On top of helping you build strength, it also ensures that areas such as cardiovascular fitness and muscular endurance are catered to accordingly.

The aerobic, anaerobic glycosis and phosphagen systems can all be targeted with this killer combo, providing you with a full-body workout that is both challenging and energizing.

Best of all, you only need minimal equipment and space to make it happen perfect for any environment.


Different techniques are required when deadlifting, performing an armbar, or floor pressing. This means you need to modify your body in order to best execute each specific exercise.

To achieve this flexibility and adaptability, it’s essential that you engage in a combination of routines which vary from minute to minute.

For example, swing the kettlebell like a clock one minute, raise it in a static position the next, and then put it downfaced for the following one.

Through this approach of alternating between tasks, your body will be able to adjust to new movements with ease and make transitioning from one workout technique to another incredibly easy.


Calisthenics with a kettlebell is an effective method for achieving fitness goals in less than 60 minutes.

This type of exercise offers benefits that enhance strength, developing muscles used for compound movements and building overall strength and power.

Working out with a kettlebell can also improve cardiovascular function and create more balance in motion.

By incorporating this type of resistance training, you’re able to reap the rewards of a traditional calisthenic routine with the added benefits of weight-bearing movement.

Safe for young people

The calisthenics-kettlebell combo is an excellent choice for young people looking to increase strength training without putting the body at risk of injury.

The combination provides the opportunity to get similar results to those achieved by heavier barbells, while avoiding added strain on key muscle groups.

With proper form and a systematic approach to interval weight training, young people can build lean muscle with this combination that is safe and effective.

Final Thoughts

Calisthenics combined with kettlebells is a great way to exercise like our ancestors did.

The advantages of such a workout are broad it increases strength and enhances body balance, and helps with muscle development.

It’s also an accessible option, as it requires minimal equipment, allowing you to do it almost anywhere.

Working out the caveman way allows you to benefit from a form of exercise developed by those who relied on their physical prowess for survival.

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