pt spot logo

Callisthenics vs Kettlebells: What’s the Best Fit for Your Fitness Routine? 

Table of Contents

Kettlebells and callisthenics are two popular forms of exercise that can be classified as “fitness fundamentals.” Both practices engage the entire body, but which is the most beneficial to overall fitness? 

So you want to build muscle and increase your bodyweight strength but aren’t sure which option is best for you and which will give you the best results; the truth is that both Calisthenics and Kettlebells are fantastic training tools to incorporate and can greatly benefit a workout. 

There are some important distinctions between kettlebells and callisthenics. For example, kettlebells use a weight that is swung like a pendulum, whereas callisthenics perform exercises like jumping jacks and pushups using your own body weight. 

There are a few exercises that are undeniably king when it comes to conditioning. Calisthenics, which includes bodyweight exercises like pushups and squats, is one of these elite ranks. However, just because a movement is simple does not preclude it from being effective. This is where kettlebells come into play. 

Calisthenics and kettlebells can both be added to your workout routines and are excellent options for Strength and weight training, providing you with the results you seek when used correctly. 

Kettlebells vs. Calisthenics 

How do kettlebell training and callisthenics training compare? Kettlebells provide a great workout with a versatile weight, whereas callisthenics achieves phenomenal Strength through a series of bodyweight exercises. 

The question should probably not be which is better, but how can you incorporate both to improve your training? 

Callisthenics workout emphasises bodyweight exercises to increase Strength. Regardless of how well-rounded it is, some parts of the body are difficult to work on using only callisthenics. As a result, kettlebells can be an excellent training tool for working these more difficult-to-train muscles. 

The back and shoulders are the two most difficult major muscle groups to work using bodyweight exercises. Pull-ups, pushups, and variations on these exercises are common upper-body bodyweight exercises.  

Pushups work the chest and triceps, while pull-ups work the biceps and lats – and while pushups may engage the shoulders and pull-ups may engage the back, these muscle groups are not adequately targeted in these exercises.  

In fact, there are some great bodyweight exercises that can target the back and shoulders, such as inverted rows and handstand pushups, but these are too difficult for most people. Kettlebells, on the other hand, are a quick and easy way to strengthen the back and shoulders.  

Before deciding how to incorporate these options into your daily workout routine, it’s important to understand what they do and how they each benefit from strength training. 

Calisthenics is a type of strength training that uses a variety of distinct movements to work out some of your body’s larger muscle groups, giving you lean muscles and aiding in weight loss. These movements can be performed solely with body weight or in conjunction with other types of equipment for enhanced results. 

Kettlebells are large, heavy, ball-shaped weights with a handle on top that are used in various workout routines to build muscle mass and get fit and lean. 

Because callisthenics is a type of exercise and kettlebells are fitness tools, they can be combined to create a more successful workout routine and do not need to compete in the fitness world. 

Calisthenics or kettlebells: which is better? When used together, the answer is… Both. 

How Do Calisthenics and Kettlebells Work Together? 

Calisthenics is typically accomplished through rhythmic forms of movement, such as pushing, pulling, swinging, jumping, and bending, with body weight acting as resistance. 
When you add kettlebells to the mix, you will get an intense workout that will boost your results, whether you are looking to lose weight or build lean, sculpted muscles. 
There are a few ways to incorporate kettlebells into your callisthenics workouts that will make you sweat but will be worthwhile. 
If you’re trying to strengthen your back and shoulders, it may be difficult to start with your own body weight. This is where kettlebells come in handy. 

Instead of forcing a pushup or chin-up to add muscle to your biceps, triceps, and deltoids, try some of these exercises with the help of a kettle ball. 

  • Curls with a kettle ball 
  • Curls for preachers on their knees 
  • Curls at the elbows 
  • Cop curls with one arm 
  • Hang Cleansers 

Do you want to do a full-body workout with a kettlebell and callisthenics? Try out some of these amazing moves. 

  • Swinging kettlebells 
  • Goblet squats with a kettlebell 
  • Lunges with kettlebells 
  • Russian twists with kettlebells 

Calisthenics and Kettlebells: A Powerful Combination  

Calisthenics should be a full-time occupation. To be sure, it takes a lot of effort. It’s even better when combined with kettlebells. Do you know what kettlebells are? No longer will you be perplexed. Do you see those big, round balls with handles that are three times the size of a shot put and are very popular among gymgoers? They’re called kettlebells. Combining callisthenics and kettlebells is an excellent way to ‘bulk up’ those lean muscles while also burning fat and staying agile. To be honest, this is also the most effective way to become a personal trainer because kettlebells are almost always in stock at the gym.  

A kettlebell is a portable gym that can be used both at home and in the gym. 

Kettlebell training originated in Ancient Greece, but it was popularised by Russians. Do you recall the five components of fitness? Muscular endurance, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness, muscular Strength, and body composition are all important. Calisthenics and kettlebells address these five factors. Isn’t it mind-boggling? That is correct. 

Until recently, the combination was relatively unknown. People were not interested in learning how to use a kettlebell properly, and callisthenics were viewed as warm-up exercises. 

Kettlebell Back Exercises For Calisthenics 

Unbalanced ratios of back exercises to chest and lats exercises can result in forwards facing posture in callisthenics athletes if not corrected. When muscles are worked, they become tighter, and the muscle fibres begin to shorten. This has an unavoidable effect on posture. 

We begin to develop rounded shoulders and possibly kyphosis when we work the chest. When we do pull-ups, we engage our lats, which insert anteriorly onto our upper arms. Tightening the lats will also result in a forward-leaning posture. To get back into a neutral posture, we need to stretch our chest and lats while also strengthening our upper back muscles. 

All variations of the bent-over row are excellent kettlebell exercises for this. This exercise, which can be performed with one or both arms at the same time, involves keeping the back parallel to the ground or at a small angle and pulling the kettlebell vertically up. This exercise is ideal for targeting the middle and lower traps, as well as the rhomboids, all of which are difficult to target with bodyweight exercises. 

Kettlebell Shoulder Exercises to Supplement Bodyweight Training 

Bodyweight exercises are particularly difficult to target the shoulders. This is due to the fact that shoulder exercises require lifting the body upside down – and whether you’re lifting the entire body or doing an assisted variant of pike pushups or handstand pushups, there’s a lot of weight going through the shoulders. Furthermore, the vertical push, similar to the shoulder press, is the only bodyweight shoulder exercise accessible to most people. 

Kettlebells, on the other hand, allows us to not only use a much smaller and more targeted weight but also to perform a much wider range of exercises. The deltoids are distinguished by three heads: the anterior head, the medial head, and the posterior head. Kettlebells can target each of these three heads separately. 

Front raises, an exercise similar to bicep curls but with the arms locked straight and lifted to chest height, can be used to target the anterior head. Flies can be used to target the medial head. And the posterior head can be worked through kettlebell skies, which involve lifting the kettlebells behind you while keeping your arms straight and your back parallel to the ground. 

Why Should You Choose Kettlebell Calisthenics?  


Combining callisthenics and kettlebells can be difficult. However, the combination is also effective. Lifting the kettlebell with your hand is a lot of work, starting with the Turkish kettlebell get-up. Before you can switch hands, you must first remain in the same position for some time. You will undoubtedly strengthen your muscles as a result of this. 

Consider other approaches. Every time you attempt to squat while holding the kettlebell, you are strengthening your hips. You can strike a balance at the same time. 

Low risk of injury 

We can’t help but notice that callisthenics combined with kettlebells do not result in as many injuries on humans as other forms of fitness do. You don’t have to be concerned about falling off a machine or being knocked off another. The training regimen allows for full-body movement. It means that any concerns about body friction caused by some parts clamping together are eliminated. 


Before you can claim that a workout plan is effective, it must include all energy systems. That is precisely what the callisthenics-kettlebells combination provides. 

Aerobic, anaerobic glycolysis and phosphagen systems are among the energy systems. Each workout session, the killer combo accesses and influences these systems. 


You must use different body tactics when deadlifting, armbar, or doing the floor press. You’re swinging the kettlebell like a clock one minute. The next thing you know, you’re raising it in a fixed position. You’re downfaced yet again.  

The combination makes each body part flexible enough to adapt to different workout techniques.  


When you go to the gym to participate in regular fitness programmes, you most likely spend hours there (say 2-3). All you need is one hour of solid training to do callisthenics with a kettlebell. Within an hour, you can make a difference in every aspect of fitness training. 

Safe for young people  

Because it is safe for young people, this killer combo is highly recommended. They can achieve the same training effect as a heavier barbell. Except that the callisthenics-kettlebell combination is less dangerous.  

Are Kettlebells Considered Calisthenic? 

Kettlebells are not considered callisthenics in and of themselves. Calisthenics is a term that refers to training with little to no equipment, relying solely on one’s own body weight to achieve results. 

Kettlebell weights can be used in a variety of ways and are beneficial for a wide range of strength training sessions, not just callisthenics. 

Having said that, incorporating a kettlebell into your callisthenics workouts will boost your performance and results. 

Are Kettlebell Swings Calisthenics?  

Kettlebell swings, when done correctly, are fantastic for callisthenic workout routines. Calisthenics focuses on improving aerobic fitness and muscle mass. Through steady and strategic movements, it is also used to increase flexibility, endurance, and power.  

Kettlebell swings are excellent full-body workout exercises that will increase your upper body’s range of motion while also strengthening your legs, back, core, arms, and glutes.  

Other benefits of callisthenics kettlebell swings include: 

  • Improves the cardiovascular system 
  • Simple to accomplish Increases mental fortitude and willpower 
  • Balance and flexibility are improved. 
  • Increases endurance 
  • It works almost every muscle in the body and is a low-impact workout. 
  • Aids or alleviates back pain 

Some of the Benefits of Kettlebell Workouts 

Kettlebell exercises have a plethora of incredible advantages. Kettlebells have been shown to improve overall Strength, core power, balance, flexibility, and coordination, as well as melt fat and sculpt healthy and lean muscles. 

It is more difficult to control a kettlebell because its centre of gravity is offset, usually 6 to 8 inches away from your grip on the handle. As a result, the best kettlebell exercises will necessitate precise and controlled form and body mechanics. 

Here are a few more advantages of kettlebell workouts: 

Combined Strength and cardio 

Kettlebells necessitate ballistic exercises that combine Strength, cardio, and flexibility training for a total body workout. They’ll add weight while you’re doing squats, twists, or swings, which will help you build Strength while also increasing your cardio. They also increase the range of motion and burn fat. 

Enhances Functional Strength 

Kettlebell exercises target multiple muscle groups, which aid in daily tasks and life. The Russian twist with a kettlebell, for example, improves both back and core strength, which benefits posture as well as your ability to balance and lift heavy items. 

Compact and Portable 

Kettlebells are small and portable, and you only need one or two to train your entire body. Because of their size and shape, they are simple to store and transport to and from the gym. 

Fun and Versatile Workouts 

Kettlebell exercises include a variety of movements that target every muscle group for a total-body workout. Many exercises can be combined in a variety of ways to keep your daily workout routine interesting. 

The Benefits of Calisthenics for Your Body 

Callisthenics exercises have a number of health benefits as a sport. Here are the short and long-term effects of Calisthenics on your body. Don’t expect it to be easy, but it is possible if you have faculty over some or all of your limbs. 

Enhances Biomechanics (Posture, Balance, Flexibility) 

Calisthenics, as a movement-based sport, can help you improve your posture, balance, and flexibility. Exercises are intended to stretch muscles, improve flexibility, and prevent locked-up or shortened muscles, which are common in weightlifters. Balance is another important aspect that Calisthenics can help with. Many exercises progress in difficulty until you have to balance yourself, such as handstands or gymnastic rings. 

Your posture will improve as your body, Strength, and balance improve. Your muscles will naturally relax, and you will walk more upright. Your muscles also have to do less work to keep you upright or walking. This prevents slumping and the associated muscle, joints, and backaches. 

Enhances Mental Health 

A healthy body nurtures a healthy mind. This is one of the lesser-known advantages of Calisthenics. Physical health is inextricably linked to mental health. You will feel more confident in your abilities if you take care of your body and exercise on a regular basis. Endorphins, your body’s reward for a good experience, will be released during and after your workout. But it’s not just about the short term. A healthy body simply has fewer minor issues, aches, and pains that distract you and remind you of how unhealthy you are. Having no problems affect you, rather than experiencing fleeting joy is true long-term happiness.  

Improves Physical Aesthetics 

There is a healthy desire to look at and possess a healthy body between the two extremes of the cult of body positivity and objectifying human beings because of their good looks. It’s human nature to gravitate towards people who appear to be in good health. It suggests that they could be good partners and friends. Physical aesthetics will always be a major factor, whether you have it one way, the other way, or like it both ways. The first thing people notice about you is your appearance. Calisthenics is the most effective way to achieve the healthy body you (subconsciously) desire. It sculpts the body by combining agility and Strength. 

Start Your Fitness Journey Today 

After reading about all of the benefits of Calisthenics and Kettlebells, we’re sure that you’re eager to get started. After all, there’s a reason you took a few minutes out of your day to read this article. If you’re still not convinced, your issue is most likely psychological rather than physical. Something between your ears is impeding your progress, and no amount of empirical evidence of Calisthenics’ benefits will change that. You can transform yourself! You must first decide to begin doing Calisthenics and then Kettlebells. Sometimes that means deliberately ignoring that little voice telling us not to. 


more insights

logo full white

With our network of trusted Personal Trainers, you can easily find one near you. A dedicated fitness platform facilitating the trainers and fitness seekers.

Stay Up To Date

Connect Socially

© All rights reserved. Created with PTSPOT