Updated: May 19, 2020
A simple but widely effective workout, the Kettlebell Swing needs to be in your daily workout routine.
Kettlebells aren't as popular as they should be. If you look around your local gym, you'll see a ton of machines and free weights, but I bet the Kettlebells are tucked away somewhere in a back corner. Well, you should go find that hidden corner. Prepare to unlock the power of the kettlebell.
The Kettlebell Swing
The Kettlebell Swing is an incredible full-body movement that builds strength and cardio at the same time. The swing has the ability to quickly increase your heart rate while targeting and working several muscle groups including your hamstrings, glutes, core, and your shoulders. It will help you to gain strength all throughout your body, while greatly increasing fat loss at the same time.
The best part about this full-body workout? You don't have to spend hours doing it every day. 15-20 minutes of high-intensity swinging is more than enough or reap the benefits from the swing. Ideally, you want to find a weight that you can swing 20 times, but no more than 30. For men, this weight typically falls in the 35-53 pound range. For Women, this weight typically falls in the 20-44 pound range.
Kettlebells are expensive pieces of equipment, but provide a great investment into your health. If you can afford to have a Kettlebell at home, find a weight that is good for you with the Kettlebells in your local gym, and order one for your home gym. That way, when you don't have time to make it to the gym, you can still get a quick full-body workout in.
Performing A Kettlebell Swing
There are two main forms of Kettlebell swings. The one you see in the video above is known as the Russian Swing. The other known swing is the American Swing. The main difference is that in the Russian Swing, you bring the Kettlebell to chest height, while with the American Swing you propel the Kettlebell fully overhead until your arms are pointed straight above you. For the sake of this post, we'll focus on the Russian Swing.
-Stand shoulder-width apart with your Kettlebell on the floor in front of you, about a foot in front of your toes.
Bend down hinging from your waist - be sure to keep your back straight- and grip the handle of the Kettlebell. Your knees should be bent so that you are in about a quarter of a squat. Reference the video above if you need more explanation here.
Inhale and swing the kettlebell back in between your legs, almost like you are trying to pass it through to someone behind you. Like hiking a football.
Now exhale and drive your hips forward propelling the kettlebell out in front of your body and up to your chest. At this step, it is crucial to be using your hips to move the kettlebell up from your legs to your chest. Your arms are simply there to hold the Kettlebell, not to lift it up for you.
Let the kettlebell fall back down. Bend your knees about a quarter of a squat and the kettlebell drive back between your legs again. Now, repeat the motion of driving your hips forward to bring the kettlebell up to your chest once again.
Rinse and repeat! Your swinging now!
The Benefits You'll See
Cool, you know how to Kettlebell Swing now, but you want to know just what benefits you'll see right? Well, if you swing about 75 -100 times for 3 times a week with a weight that challenges you, here's what you can expect.
Increased Power. The more you swing, the easier it is going to get. Partly because you'll be used to the workout and muscle memory will kick it, but primarily because your hips, hamstring, and glutes will become stronger. The stronger you get, the more weight you can swing, and the more hip strength you'll acquire.
Fat Loss & Increased Core Strength. One of the best ways to lose fat is through heavy lifting. Combine a heavy kettlebell with the aerobic activity of the swing, and you're killing two birds with one stone. Challenge yourself with the weight of your Kettlebell and be diligent in performing swings 2 or 3 days a week, and you'll be seeing increased fat loss and core strength in no time. A good reference on Kettlebell Swings and Fat Loss is this story from Tim Ferris's Four Hour Body.
Better Endurance. Performing high reps of Kettlebell Swings, especially with a challenging weight, will not only increase your overall but strength, but also your Muscular endurance. Think about it, instead of doing a set of 10 on the Bench Press, then taking a minute break and repeating, and so forth, you're doing a high intensity, high interval workout of Kettlebell Swings - a workout that is using your entire body. By your 100th swing, you're going to be gasping for air (in a good way). You're not only working your muscles, your working your lungs and heart too.
I hope you enjoyed this post about the Power of Kettlebell Swings. It is a staple in my workout routine, and I hope I inspired you to make it part of yours. Let me know what you think of Kettlebell Swings in the comments below!
Fuel up for your Kettlebell Swings with delicious Protein Coffee