This high intensity unilateral upper body kettlebell workout is the perfect way to work your upper body and get your sweat on! Grab a kettlebell and timer, and let’s get started!



Today’s post was originally published on August 21, 2015!! I updated the graphics and some of the content to make it even better! Enjoy!

One of my Badass Fit Society ladies asked me this question the other day:

For the single arm or alternating exercises, can they be done together? Is there a huge benefit of doing them separately?

My answer was: Technically, yes. BUT, there are so many benefits to doing the exercise as programmed – separately.  they CAN be done together BUT there are also MANY benefits to doing them separately.

Benefits of Unilateral Exercises (single side exercises)

  • Unilateral moves challenge your core + improve balance. Stand up. On both feet, you are pretty stable, right? Now, stand on 1 foot. Balance is challenged a bit, right? Feel that core working a bit? Same principles carry over into unilateral training.
  • Unilateral moves help isolate and correct muscle imbalances. This corrective exercise specialist is ALL about correcting muscle imbalances. I’m working with a client that is coming out of rehab for an ACL tear. The hamstrings, knee and glutes of the affected leg are weaker than the other, meaning, focusing on unilateral exercises will help build the imbalance.
  • Unilateral moves challenge your brain. Takes a little more concentration to do a step-up to reverse lunge or a single leg bicep curl, right? Work your body, work your brain.


You will need:

  • an interval timer (I like Gymboss)
  • kettlebell (moderate weight)


Set timer for :40s work / :20s rest / 6 rounds for RIGHT SIDE and same set up for LEFT SIDE. Rest up to 1 minute between sides. Complete 1 – 2 sets per side.



  • HIGH PULL: The bell should be in front of you. Hinge at the hips and clasp the bell horn with both hands. Using hips and glutes, hike the bell back and up, in between your legs. Keep the bell up in your lady/man part area. Snap the hips and glutes to float the bell up, bring arm to shoulder height, elbow back engaging your posterior delt. Keep core braced tight, along with glutes, to get the bell up.
  • WINDMILL: Feet hip width apart, press bell up with packed shoulder. Turn feet 45 degrees away from bell. If bell is on the right, put all weight on right leg and stick hip out (sassy hip, thanks to Karen Smith). Bend front leg and reach down, while looking at bell. Come back up.
  • PUSH PRESS: Clean + rack kettlebell. Ground through heels, bend knees and squeeze glutes as you press the bell overhead. Bring back to racked position.
  • SNATCH: Set up for the swing, keep powering through the hip, punch your hand through, and push the weight overhead. Pack the shoulder at the top, everything nice and tight.
  • PUSH-UP: Come onto knees. Bend your elbows and with WIDE fingers touch your thumbs to your shoulders. Press straight out. Then tip forward to place your hands on the ground. Suction cup your hands to the mat. Screw your arms into the ground, so your elbow pits are forward. Extend one leg behind you, coming onto the ball of your foot.Extend the other leg, coming onto the ball of your feet. Tuck pelvis, squeeze glutes and press heels back. Inhale as you lower your body to the ground, chest first, elbows moving back at a 45 degree angle. CHEST DOES NOT NEED TO TOUCH THE GROUND. Lower until elbows are at 90 degrees. Exhale as you push your body away from the ground and come back into plank position.

Related: Kettlebell Tabata Workout

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