I Incorporated This 5-Move Kettlebell Flow Routine into My Workouts – Here’s the Result

I’ve exercised consistently for the better part of two decades, so keeping my workouts interesting can be a challenge. I’ll often turn to YouTube for inspiration when my routine starts feeling stale, and on a recent search, I found this kettlebell flow workout.

Excited to try something new, I grabbed one of my favorite and best kettlebells and gave fitness trainer JTM_FIT’s kettlebell flow workout a go. A colleague introduced the concept of kettlebell flow years ago, and I was intrigued by its complex choreography of compound movements.

JTM_FIT breaks down the movements and even provides a few modifications, so I feel this workout is appropriate for most fitness levels. Here’s what happened when I added kettlebell flow to my workouts and spoke to a certified personal trainer about the benefits for my body.

Maggie Grubbs is a Brooklyn-based W.I.T.S-certified personal trainer and IKFF-certified kettlebell instructor with over 20 years of experience. She launched Kettle Fusion Dynamics to bring functional fitness to her community, combining kettlebell work with animal flow concepts and suspension training.

What is kettlebell flow?

Kettlebell flow is an exercise form that combines several traditional kettlebell exercises into one fluid movement. 

“Usually, a compound exercise like a squat to overhead press is separated into two distinct motions,” says Maggie Grubbs, certified personal trainer, kettlebell instructor, and owner of Kettle Fusion Dynamics. “Kettlebell flow is a choreographed sequence of several compound exercises that move cohesively from one into the next, forming a complex.” 

Like conventional kettlebell programs, kettlebell flow offers a range of health benefits. “You’ll get endurance, strength, flexibility, and mobility training in one workout,” Grubbs continues. “Plus, it doesn’t take a super heavy kettlebell or lots of different kettlebells to get the job done.”  

But if you’ve never picked up a kettlebell before, we recommend first mastering these kettlebell exercises for beginners. Learning how to hold a kettlebell properly could also help you understand different types of grips. 

How to do kettlebell flow

JTM_FIT’s kettlebell flow complex is split into three parts: a right-side single-arm clean with a reverse lunge and overhead press, a left-side single-arm clean with a reverse lunge and overhead press, and a squat clean to goblet curl. You’ll repeat the entire sequence five times, aiming for fatigue by the last set. 

All you’ll need for this workout is one kettlebell, and a mat if you’d like. I dusted off my 20 lb kettlebell, rolled out my mat, and pressed play on JTM_FIT’s kettlebell flow workout. 

Here’s what I thought of the complex.

It left me breathless

Since I’m an avid runner who weight trains consistently, I didn’t anticipate that this workout would test my endurance, but by the time I reached the final round, I was breathless and exhausted. 

Checking my Apple Watch confirmed what I already knew: my heart rate was sky-high, similar to rates I’d find while running or doing high-intensity interval training. The lack of a brief rest between repetitions made this workout especially taxing from a cardiovascular standpoint.

JTM_FIT suggests a moderately heavy kettlebell for this workout, but I’d recommend going lighter, at least for the first few rounds. You can always opt for something heavier as you get a hang of the sequence. 

It’s doable for most fitness levels

I wouldn’t categorize this kettlebell flow workout as easy, but JTM_FIT does a great job of making it relatively accessible for most active adults, spending the majority of the seven-minute video teaching each part of the multi-movement complex, giving valuable form pointers, and offering a few modifications for those new to kettlebell flow. 

The exercises are pretty basic, so unless you’ve never worked out before (or you’re dealing with a significant injury), you should find this workout hard but doable. If you’re a beginner, I’d suggest doing the first few rounds without holding a kettlebell so you can learn the movements of the flow properly.  

It kept me engaged

I’m a bit guilty of zoning out during my workouts. It’s easy to do, especially if you’ve been sticking with the same routine for an extended period, which is partly why I’ve even started meditating before exercise to make me more present. 

This kettlebell flow complex had many moving parts to keep in order, so going on auto-pilot wasn’t an option, and perfecting the choreography kept me engaged throughout the five rounds of work, putting my mind-body awareness to the test. 

Even the best workouts can get boring sometimes. A kettlebell flow complex like this one can definitely get you out of your exercise comfort zone. 

It’s a great introduction for the kettlebell-curious

As a personal trainer, I’ve encountered plenty of gym-goers who are interested in using kettlebells but don’t know where to begin. This quick and easy-to-follow yet challenging workout is a fantastic introduction to kettlebell flow and kettlebell workouts in general. 

I like that the complex doesn’t get too fancy with loads of advanced kettlebell moves and instead relies on reasonably standard exercises that most people already know how to do. Combining those standard exercises with an engaging and fun fluidity, this kettlebell flow workout can breathe new life into tired routines.