5 Reasons You Should Do Kettlebell Swings

Ellen Grant
• Friday, 20 November, 2020
• 17 min read

Power is a trait sought by every athlete, but people training for general health and fitness commonly neglect it. Even though you are not stepping on a field or court to compete you should still include some type of power training in your program.

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This is most commonly trained through jumping, throwing an object, or performing explosive weighted exercises (clean, jerk, etc.). These selections are great for athletes to improve their triple extension (hip, knee, and ankle) which usually translates directly to their sport, but that may not be a goal for non-athletes.

You use the hinge to swing the kettle bell forward, but you keep the heels on the floor unlike the previously mentioned exercises. If a client or athlete has suffered an ankle sprain or meniscus injury then adding jumping to their program may not be the best choice.

It is hard to use progressive overload with jumps and throws, but for swings you can increase weight to ensure improvement. It's easy to build a power training protocol when you have a wide variety of boxes, open space for throwing, or weights made for dropping, but not everyone has this selection at their disposal.

The cost of a single kettle bell is easier on the bank account than a set of ply boxes and Olympic style bars and weights. This limitation presents a challenge in learning complex movements and will keep them from getting any benefit from the power building exercise.

Since the swing closely resembles a dead lift you will get more practice in grooving the hip hinge with less physical and neurological fatigue. The swing is a hinge with a finish at a standing plank so these movements should be first practiced slowly before trying to attempt at full speed.

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The hamstrings, glutes, and anterior core muscles are the targets, so they must be fully activated when practicing kettle bell dead lifts and the high plank. I started emphasizing power at the beginning on my routines after reading Chad Wesley Smith's writings (Juggernaut Method) and it had a great carry-over to my functional strength training sessions.

This is a simple linear approach to power training that will result in a heavy swing after a few cycles. Another method to increase power with swings that I have had success with is performing sets of 5swings with a heavyweight in between my readiness, or warm up, exercises.

The standard protocol in power training is to use a 1:6 work to rest ratio, so keep the swing repetitions low with plenty of recovery. Shorter rest periods will prevent you from achieving maximum neurological output in each swing and will shift into an endurance/strength exercise instead.

My shared thoughts above are by no means an attempt to claim swings are the absolute best exercise for developing power and all other methods are inferior. About the Author : Ben Eisenmenger is a strength coach out of Peak Fitness and Sports Training in Northern Kentucky.

I know what you're thinking, “Why would I want to swing a cannonball with a handle when I can sit on my ass and do nothing?” Well, sitting on your ass is slowly killing you and causing back pain at the same time, that's why.

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As a society we spend way too much time on our ass and the kettle bell swing can reverse the damage. This “sleepy ass” syndrome causes soft, flabby ass cheeks and many other issues that result from the down stream effects of muscular imbalances and weaknesses in the lower body; that is, sore knees, immobility, etc.

To make matters worse, most people's leg workouts consist of quad-dominant exercises that lead to further imbalances in the lower body. All of this exacerbates the negative effects caused by sitting, creating the ultimate formula for chronic pain and injury.

Kettlebellswings engage nearly every muscle in the posterior chain; that is, the hamstrings, lower back, and most importantly the glutes. An exercise like the leg-extension is great for training the quad but it disengages the rest of the body.

Not only is this marketing nonsense, some studies suggest that steady state cardio may actually be bad for you long term, as it causes chronically high levels of cortisol. The kettle bell swing is a powerhouse when it relates to burning fat, building muscles, and improving your cardiovascular system.

Burn a bunch of calories Studies#1 The American Council on Exercise (ACE), researchers found that a kettle bell workout can burn up to 20 calories a minute (1). This means that a 20-minute kettle bell workout could burn up to 400 calories.

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The participants would use a 16 kg (35lbs) kettle bell to complete the workout. They were told to go at their own pace and take as much rest as they needed.

The subjects completed an average of 265 swings in the 12-minute workout. Using a metabolic cart, researchers found that the participants burned an average of 160 calories in the 12 minutes, an average of 22 swings per minute (2).

The heavier you are, the more calories you will burn (assuming all other variables are equal). Obviously, the heavier the kettle bell, the more calories you will burn (assuming all other variables are equal).

The subjects completed an average of 22 swings per minute. It is fair to say that not everyone will burn an average of 20 calories per minute, like in the Ace study.

But that doesn’t mean everyone will only burn 160 calories in 12-minutes, like in this study. There are too many variables that determine how many calories a person could burn for any given activity.

Age Weight Gender Activity level Your lean body mass (more LBM equals more calories burned) Your metabolic rate Full body workout The Kettle bell swing works your core, back, shoulders, hamstring, quads, glutes, forearms, and chest.

Move that shit as fast as you can (while keeping control) for 3 to 5 sets of 1 to 5 reps. The Kettle bell swing used in high-intensity workouts such as HIIT AND Tabatha will increase your anaerobic (without oxygen) capacity.

Aerobic capacity is the ability of your body to transport and use the oxygen you breathe. If you ever have felt out of breath after just 3 or 4 minutes of jogging, then you need to increase your aerobic capacity.

Your heart and lungs will curse the day you were born, but you ’ll improve your aerobic capacity. A lot of people use their arms too much to perform the swing.

Kettle bell swing workout # 2 Kettlebellswings from hell The last time I completed this challenge, I lost 8 pounds in the first seven days.

The prescribed kettle bell weight for this challenge is: For women-16 kilos or 35 pounds. If you are feeling brave, you can perform this workout a few more times.

Just make sure you rest an adequate amount of time between workouts. The kettle bell swing is a serious way to pack on muscle, increase your strength and cardiovascular endurance, while burning a shit ton of calories.

They are an excellent way to get your workout on and kick some ass in the least amount of time possible and without having to leave the comfort of your home. You can buy a kettle bell anywhere, from sporting goods stores, Amazon, and even Walmart.

If you are unsure of which brand to buy, We own two CAP kettle bells. I have done multiple 10,000 kettlebellswings challenges, and these kettle bells have withstood all the abuse.

If you walk into any commercial gym nowadays, we’d be very surprised indeed if you didn’t find at least one set of kettle bells. Years ago, kettle bells were rarely seen in gyms, whereas nowadays they are just as common as dumbbells.

First and foremost, if you ’re looking for a way to burn fat and lose weight, kettlebellswings are fantastic. You are using your core stabilizer muscles, your back, your arms, your legs, your Delta, and many more besides.

Is the fact that kettlebellswings are a great way to break up the monotony of regular training. Changing our training keeps things exciting, it shocks the muscles, and it’s a great way to break a plateau.

You initiate the majority of the movement by utilizing a powerful hip thrust that uses many of your lower body muscles. You are also working your fast-twitch muscle fibers which means that you are generating more explosive speed and power.

When you perform the exercise, because of the mechanics of the movement you are constantly engaging your core in order to keep yourself stable and grounded as you swing the kettle bell between your legs. Not only are kettlebellswings a great resistance-based exercise, but they’re also fantastic for anybody looking to enjoy enhanced rates of aerobic capacity as well.

If you use a lighter kettle bell and perform more reps, by the end of the working set your lungs will feel as if they’re on fire, you ’ll be gasping for air, drenched in sweat, and you ’ll have yourself one heck of an aerobic workout in the bag. We’ve already mentioned how kettlebellswings function as a full-body workout, but we didn’t quite emphasize just how beneficial they are.

The exercise is a compound movement that will target several major muscle groups at the same time. You work your core, legs, back, shoulders, and arms when performing kettlebellswings, as well as giving yourself a fantastic cardiovascular workout at the same time.

Another of the more prominent kettle bell swing benefits that we’re going to look at today, is the fact that the exercise itself is so easy to master. Kettlebellswings may be extremely physically demanding, but actually performing the exercise with perfect form is quite simple and straightforward.

All you need to dokettlebellswings is a bit of open space, a solid floor, and of course, a kettle bell for you to swing. These fibers are extremely important because they are responsible for generating explosive speed and power.

This is why sprinters who need short bursts of speed, often perform so many kettlebellswings as part of their training. The power they generate in your legs will enable you to jump higher and improve your standing vertical leap.

The heart is one of the most important organs in your body, and keeping it fit and healthy is absolutely essential for a whole host of different reasons. If you ’re looking for an exercise that will enable you to better utilize glucose and keep your blood sugar levels stable, look no further than the kettle bell swing.

It is a condition characterized by the body’s inability to adequately utilize sugar for energy. The sugar is subsequently unable to be adequately processed properly and be used as energy in the cells.

Generally, you use lighter loads when doing the swings, and your stance and natural body mechanics mean that you ’re far less likely to sustain an injury when doing kettlebellswings. Because you ’re moving the weight between your legs as you are hunched forwards slightly, you ’re using your core stabilizer muscles and your feet to keep yourself balanced firmly on the ground.

*Coach Elder may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post I often harp on how proper mechanics are missing from our Physical Training instruction in the United States Marine Corps.

There are countless reasons to learn how to perform the Kettle bell Swing properly. A proper Kettle bell Swing requires you to activate and fully engage your core.

The more that you Swing, the more practice you get engaging your core and applying the proper mechanics. For the purpose of this post I will stick to the problems that we experience with knee and lower back issues.

ACL and other ligament damage to the knees Herniated discs in the spine Shin Splints Foot Pain Migraines Dizziness The kettle bell swing will not only efficiently ingrain the mechanics listed above, but it can also cut down on all the time that you devote to extra physical training in order to become a more proficient Marine.

You do not have to worry about it breaking, there is no maintenance, and you can even cook a steak on solid cast iron kettle bell in a pinch! The kettle bell has a plethora of uses, but I can promise that making you a Better Marine is certainly at the top of its list.

“It's an incredible total-body movement that builds strength while also requiring power, speed, and balance.” While the specific muscle benefits are clutch, the best part is that this movement translates to a more fit and powerful body overall.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that kettle bell swing training increased both maximum and explosive strength in athletes, while a study conducted by the American Council on Exercise found that kettle bell training (in general) can increase aerobic capacity, improve dynamic balance, and dramatically increase core strength. Practice pausing in between each swing (resting the kettle bell on the floor) before stringing them together.

“Because you are only using one side of your body, you must keep tension in your core at the top of the swing to stay balanced,” says Carr. “The one-handed swing is slightly more difficult because you're being challenged to control the entire movement with one side.

As a result, it's best to start with a lighter weight and build up as you become more comfortable with the movement.” Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and a kettle bell on the floor about a foot in front of toes.

Hinging at the hips and keeping a neutral spine (no rounding your back), bend down and grab the kettle bell handle with both hands. To initiate the swing, inhale and hike the kettle bell back and up between legs.

C. Powering through the hips, exhale and quickly stand up and swing the kettle bell forward up to eye level. When you're done, pause slightly at the bottom of the swing and place the kettle bell back on the ground in front of you.

Your arms should simply guide the kettle bell as it floats up during the first half of the swing. To help you do this, blow your breath out when the kettle bell reaches the top, which will create tension in your core.

With the explosion of sitting jobs, technology, and the ever-growing trend of living a cushy lifestyle, society has been plagued with an epidemic of bodies suffering from broken posture. If this sounds familiar to you then much of this involves forward rounded shoulders and a slouching body that resembles folding up like a tent.

Kettlebellswings are a ballistic movement, but require strong muscular control, grace, and timing. Some well-designed kettle bell swing workouts can help you to seriously ramp up your calorie burn due to the systemic stress placed on your body during the movement.

If you ’ve got a handle on the technique then you can perform a lot of swings without joint pain, or wear and tear. After returning the kettle bell to the ground from doing each set of swings that oxygen debt will hit you like a ton of bricks.

Instead, a proper kettle bell swing is done by hinging at the hips (similar to a dead lift) and engaging the posterior chain muscles such as the glutes and hamstrings. Kettlebellswings are great for developing a crush grip and will build you some impressive forearms to help you in any strength demanding situation.

Kettlebellswings stress the nervous system in a very similar manner as striking the pads during sparring work. Kettlebellswings are tremendous for developing the speed, reaction time, and conditioning for fighting and every other sport, for that matter.

If you ’re performing kettlebellswings with a high level of proficiency for a set of 20 to 30 reps every swing repetition should look the same from the first one to the last one. This back forth process will involve the kettle bell giving you constant feedback so that you can keep producing momentum with each swing repetition.

For a simple swing workout I may perform 20 to 30 reps per set with a moderately heavy kettle bell. The KISS method (or Keep It Simple Stupid) is always a solid approach to training when you ’re looking for answers and effectiveness for a good workout.

Once you have a handle on the technique of the hard style kettle bell swing then it makes for an ideal KISS opportunity to be fulfilled for your workouts. Kettlebellswings are great for building that posterior chain maintaining your ability to perform sprints, jumps, runs, and kicks for a lifetime.

This allows you to achieve a high level of work volume enhancing your muscular endurance in your hips, glutes, hamstrings, back, and forearms. When looking to enhance your aerobic capacity you need to be able to sustain a work output for a prolonged period of time.

By engaging swings with a lighter bell you can perform up to 50 reps and beyond for continuous work tapping into your aerobic capacity. Kettlebellswings are an easy method to use for HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) workouts.

This will tax your system, but after your recovery interval you can repeat the process over and over again to build up your anaerobic work capacity. Last, but not least, if you ’re performing kettlebellswings with a high level of proficiency they will make your body more injury-proof and allow you to bounce back from almost any intense physical situation.

Being able to bounce back from difficult physical and mental circumstances is something that kettlebellswings can help you to enhance in a hurry. At the end of the day, if you ’re serious about upgrading your strength, fitness, performance, and lifestyle kettlebellswings will cover the bill.

For those out there who aren’t confident in doing kettle bell workouts due to the high intensity and expected grip strength, don’t turn away yet! Our patented Dark Iron Fitness lifting straps are made of durable cowhide suede and are the perfect accompaniment to kettle bells.

Their numerous benefits include strength gain, endurance, flexibility and weight loss. Many of the movements and skills required in CrossFit focus on learning to have fast and effective hips.

Dumbbells have a tight center of gravity and mainly utilize the major muscle groups. A kettle bell ’s odd shape and off-center mass forces you to use muscles that mimic real-life activities.

Its odd center of gravity forces you to do more work involving your stabilizing muscles to create explosive movements with the bell. Enjoy the ease of use and appreciate that such a unique weight can help streamline other exercises you already do.

Always practice correct form and safety in all exercises, but be content in the fact the kettle bell is one of the safer weights to work with. If you have previously been avoiding barbell exercises due to safety concerns, look into the kettle bell alternatives.

You ’re super tight when you lift a heavy weight, but become loose when you do conditioning. The kettle bell alternates periods of intense contraction and controlled relaxation, to give you a superior workout that combines strength, as well as endurance.

Other exercises such as the windmill, and single leg dead lift, also build flexible strength. The kettle bell stimulates tremendous abdominal contraction because of the explosive conditioning movements.

The fact you can work your core indirectly, just through the dynamic aspect of kettle bells, is truly amazing. Kettle bells are so effective because they stimulate the muscles and surpass standard cardio exercises.

They enable you to increase your strength, build up speed as well as your endurance level at the same time. This gives you a great strength and endurance workout in a shorter amount of time.

So rather than moving on to a heavier kettlebellyou simply complete more reps or change the exercise to a more difficult option. Killer strength and endurance work can be achieved without necessarily having to use the heaviest weight you can find.

Unfortunately, many of us today lose some of our basic movements as a result of sedentary occupations and lifestyles. That’s what happens when we don’t move our bodies with the full range of motion or become used to certain unhealthy postures (like sitting in front of a computer all day).

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6 www.dragondoor.com - https://www.dragondoor.com/articles/the-16kg-kettlebell-snatch-1000-rep-challenge/
7 kettlebell.org.uk - http://kettlebell.org.uk/16kg+kettlebell
8 www.mad-hq.com - https://www.mad-hq.com/kettlebells