Kettlebell front squat: learn how to do it right

kettlebell appoggiato a terra e mani dell'atleta che lo afferrano sulla maniglia

Today we are going to talk about one of the exercises to do with the kettlebell: the front squat.

We are going to see its benefits, how to do it correctly and some variations. We will also give you some tips for progression and compare this exercise with the traditional squat and the Bulgarian squat, analyzing the differences.

If you’re ready, let’s get started.


The name already says how this exercise is carried out: you do a squat using one or two kettlebells as a weight.

The kettlebell front squat is a great exercise to include in your functional training, this is because the squat is a natural movement that we do every day when, for example, we get up from a chair or get into the car.

Learning how to do this exercise in the correct way will therefore make your usual activities easier, pain-free and with less risk of injury.

The muscles mainly involved in this movement are the quadriceps, biceps, and glutes. However, it is good to remember that the squat is a complete exercise, so many other muscles will also be activated in the execution of the movement.

The benefits

Whether your goal is to lose weight or gain muscle, the kettlebell front squat is for you.

It is also a great exercise to keep the body healthy and increase the core since it requires considerable effort.

Thanks to the kettlebell, you not only train your strength, but also your resistance to it and explosive strength. This is due to the rapidity of movement and the effort you require from your body.

Attention, speed of movement does not mean that you do not have to pay attention to the shape of course. The front squat kettlebell must be performed in the correct way to avoid injuries and work at your best.

An advantage that many people forget is balance. In fact, in order to be able to perform a squat correctly, it is necessary to balance your weight well and this will lead you to improve your balance.

If you then perform the single kettlebell front squat, which we will explain later, the need for stability will be even greater In fact, when holding a single weight, you tend to bend in its direction and therefore you will have to concentrate even more on maintaining a correct posture

Keep in mind that many activities, both in sports and in everyday life, require the stabilization of an irregular load (such as carrying objects or throwing a ball) the kettlebell front squat performed using a single kettlebell will also help you improve in all these situations

The benefits we have listed do not only apply to the front squat but are also valid for other exercises that you can perform with the kettlebell, if you want to learn more read this article

athlete performing front squat with kettlebell


If this is your first time approaching this movement, we recommend doing squats without weights first. This is necessary to learn the exercise well, understand the correct posture and avoid injuries. As soon as you can perform a perfect squat, then you can move on to using the kettlebell

How to do the kettlebell front squat correctly

First of all, you should know that there are two versions of the kettlebell front squat: the one performed with a single kettlebell (single kettlebell front squat) or with two (double kettlebell front squat).

To perform the single kettlebell front squat, place the kettlebell in front of you within easy reach. Then stand upright with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes slightly facing outwards.

At this point take the kettlebell with one hand and hold it close to the top of your chest with the bottom of the weight towards the side, remember to keep your wrist straight.

It is important to keep the shoulder relaxed, low and away from the ear. Do not widen the elbow laterally and do not let the kettlebell move forward, because not only would you tire the shoulder quickly but you would risk causing an injury

Then take the normal squat position, so knees slightly bent and back straight. Pay special attention to this point to avoid overloading your spine too much.

This is the starting position.

Now inhale and start the movement by bending your knees and going to squat down. Maintain good posture as you descend until your thighs are parallel to the floor.

Perform the movement in a slow and controlled way, keeping your gaze fixed in front of you.

Wait a few seconds and then push with your feet on the ground and activate your buttocks at the same time to bring yourself back to the starting position.

And so on until you do all the repetitions.

To better understand the exercise, we recommend that you follow this video.–Q

If your shoulder starts to fatigue during the exercise, you can use the opposite hand to support the kettlebell.

As we have seen before, the advantage of the single kettlebell front squat is the uneven weight, which leads you to pay more attention to stability. In addition, the core must continuously work to maintain balance

On the other hand the double kettlebell front squat allows you to overload the movement and balance the load using two kettlebells.

The movement is the same as before, with the only difference that instead of one weight you will have two.

If it’s more convenient for you, you can also put your fingers together and make the kettlebell handles touch.


There are many variations of this exercise, today we will see the kettlebell goblet squat and sumo squat.

In the kettlebell goblet squat, the weight is held with both hands at chest height and this leads to greater effort on the part of the abdominal muscles that will be engaged for the duration of the exercise.

The kettlebell goblet squat focuses on the quads, glutes, and calves and is often used to perfect the squat technique.

You can decide to position your feet differently to focus on various muscles and thus vary the stimuli.

Then there is the kettlebell sumo squat in which you maintain a wide position with the tips of your toes facing outwards. This allows you to work more with the abductors and adductors of the hip.

The kettlebell can be held between the legs or in the same position as the goblet, as you prefer.

You can also decide to perform the exercise on raised platforms to have more depth in the squat, but it is not necessary.

personal trainer helping athlete to perform kettlebell sumo squat exercise

Comparison with other exercises

Now that we have seen how to perform the kettlebell front squat and some of its variations, it is natural to compare this exercise with other movements. Let’s see the difference with the traditional squat and the Bulgarian squat.

Kettlebell front squat vs traditional squat

The traditional squat can be considered the basic form of the front squat kettlebell. As we said, you must first learn how to perform a squat without weights with the right movement and posture and then move on to using the kettlebell.

By using the weight, you stimulate the muscles more, thus creating a more intense exercise that allows you to increase muscle strength compared to a simple traditional squat.

Once you have fully mastered the traditional squat, you can switch to using the kettlebell if you see that without weights you will no longer make progress.

You can also decide to increase the repetitions but only up to a certain point, after which the weight becomes necessary if you want to progress.

In adding weight, it is obviously necessary to work more on balance and distribution of body weight to avoid imbalance This is an additional difficulty encountered when deciding to switch from traditional squat to kettlebell front squat

Kettlebell front squat vs bulgarian squat

In the bulgarian squat, one foot will be resting on a rise that can be a bench or a medium-sized box that does not exceed the level of the knees, it must be more or less at the same height.

Bench Position back behind you and after calculating the distances well, rest the neck of one leg on the bench leaving the other foot on the ground Then bend your knee and start descending, reaching the pelvis lower than the knee of the working leg

Now that we have seen what the movement of the Bulgarian squat is like, we can understand how there are significant differences compared to the kettlebell front squat.

First of all, the movement of the bulgarian squat is more similar to a lunge, while in the kettlebell front squat it is that of the traditional squat.

In addition, in the first case we work with one leg at a time, while in the second we use both legs.

You can’t call one exercise better than the other, it depends on the movement you want to perform and which muscles you prefer to focus on.

Regarding the quadriceps both exercises are excellent. You have to keep in mind that if you use weights for the Bulgarian squat, they will be lighter than the kettlebell considering that in the bulgarian squat you use one leg while in the other exercise both

As for the hamstrings and glutes, although they are activated in both exercises, in bulgarian squats they work a little more, this is because the movement is deeper.


Now that you have seen how to perform a good front squat kettlebell (both with one and two kettlebells), understood its benefits and variations, we just have to thank you for reading to the end and wish you a good workout !



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