Do Kettlebell Swings Work Biceps

Earl Hamilton
• Thursday, 24 December, 2020
• 7 min read

Kettlebellswings were introduced to the US by Russian fitness expert Pavel Tsatsouline at the turn of the 21st Century. Since their introduction, Russian kettle bells have become a familiar sight in many gyms and a popular choice for home workouts.

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They also come in a wide range of weights, which means that you can use them at any stage of your fitness journey and can benefit whether you’re an experienced or novice user. The two-handed swing uses the hamstrings, glutes, quads, hips, core, back, trapezium, shoulders, and forearms.

The intensity means that you will feel the burn after a decent set, and with a good 30-minute workout you will be sweating profusely, your heart will be pumping faster, and oxygenated blood will be coursing through your veins. As long as you maintain good form, you don’t have to use a heavy bell, especially for cardio training.

He also advises having two additional, heavier, bells for progression and for use in some other types of kettle bell exercise. As the kettle bell descends from the swing, gravity ensures that the bell will feel a lot heavier, especially as you reach the end of your set.

As with any exercise, but perhaps more so with a full-body kettle swing workout, good form is vital to ensure the best results. When performing the swing, all your weight should be placed on the heel and middle of the foot and should never transfer to the toes.

You should also keep your neck and head in alignment with your back so ensure that you are always looking ahead at the horizon while performing this movement. The height you raise the kettle bell will be determined by the amount of power you can muster from your hip thrust.

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The number of reps and sets you need to perform depends on your fitness level, what you’re trying to achieve, and the weight you’re using. The length and frequency of your kettle bell workouts depends on the intensity and difficulty of the session.

Kettlebellswings are a full body workout, and whether you are training increasing strength or stamina, or even to lose weight, research suggests that shorter sessions are more effective. They utilize virtually every muscle in the body, and they are effective for weight loss as well as explosive strength training.

They also require very little equipment, and the intensity of the workout can be increased so that you continue to make the gains you’re looking for. Kettle bells provide exclusive benefits and unique kinds of biceps stimulation that are difficult to replicate with dumbbells and barbells.

Due to the design of kettle bells, there's significantly more tension throughout the movement, including the top contracted position. Aside from the kettle bell hanging below the wrists, which creates a constant pulling sensation on the biceps, it's almost impossible to lose tension at the top by cheating and curling the weights too high.

In addition, any swinging or excessive use of momentum will result in the kettle bells banging against the forearms, which is extremely unpleasant. Due to the high levels of continuous tension and biceps innervation, use slightly fewer reps.

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They emphasize the elongated eccentric and stretched position, which produces muscle damage and micro-trauma that's critical for growth. Because of the constant tension throughout the movement with little relaxation of the biceps, this exercise creates an occlusion-effect to the surrounding musculature.

There's an incredible amount of blood flow, muscular pump, intramuscular solmization, cellular swelling, and metabolic stress, all of which are linked to muscle growth. It finishes with the kettle bells in an extended lever-arm position, allowing you to place constant tension on the arms throughout the movement.

But the combination of lighter loads and constant tension will leave your biceps screaming at the end of each set, producing muscular pumps and cellular swelling that's hard to get with other exercises. This is due to the strict form it requires, the reduced momentum you're forced to maintain so you can stay balanced, and the resultant continuous tension on the biceps.

Performing kettle bells curls while holding an eccentric isometric squat produces incredible levels of tension in the biceps, particularly in the top position. This slightly angled position, combined with the hanging nature of the kettle bells, provides continuous levels of significant tension, creating occlusion and cellular swelling.

As an added bonus, this exercise improves lower body mobility, hip mechanics, and squatting technique. This variation keeps you from fully straightening the arms at the bottom or curling excessively high at the top.

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This creates enormous tension on the biceps because you're locked into the sweet spot of the movement where there's maximal activation and no relaxation. It also promotes optimal shoulder positioning and postural alignment, which is something most lifters struggle with when training biceps.

Many people lack the ability to keep the wrists locked during curls, which can produce strain on the surrounding connective tissue, tendons, and ligaments. This variation requires you to lock the wrists in order to create a solid platform for the weight to rest on.

Performing reps of kettlebellswings is not only a cardio workout but it also targets and strengthens many muscles. The fact that kettlebellswings basically strengthen all the major muscle groups in the body makes them a valuable part of anyone’s fitness routine.

The posterior chain core power leg drive shoulder stability The posterior chain is a network of muscles that extends from the calves to the lower back and are necessary for jumping, swinging and running.

The core is actively engaged throughout the entire exercise as it works to stabilize the torso while you swing. Best of all, the fact that most of your large muscles are being worked equates to a higher calorie burn.

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The main muscles you can expect to strengthen and tone when performing a kettle bell swing are calves, hamstrings, quads, butt, upper and lower abs, interior and exterior obliques, deltoid and rotator cuffs. Few exercises are able to target the core as well as all the major leg muscles all in one move.

An added benefit is an improvement in joint mobility, especially in the knees and hips. A final positive attribute of the kettle bell swing is that it can be tailored to almost any person’s workout needs.

The weight of the kettle bell can be increased or decreased depending on ability and the focus of the workout. Form and technique are similar to regular squats so it is quite easy for most people to make the transition.

The kettle bell swing is one such exercise that requires you to use the muscles in your hips and legs to generate the force of the swing while your abs, back muscles and shoulder girdle stabilize your upper force to control your posture, momentum and balance. The posterior chain is a network of muscles and fascia that extends from your calves and hamstrings into your buttocks and lower back.

In a study published in the January 2012 issue of “Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research,” researchers Dr. Stuart McGill and Leigh Marshall found that the hip-hinge movement of the swing causes your lower back and buttocks to undergo an activation and relaxation cycle during the movement. As you breathe and swing, your core is constantly activated throughout the exercise, which includes your transverses abdominal, external and internal obliques, multimedia and diaphragm.

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The core works with the posterior chain to stabilize your torso and control the rate and direction of the downward swing phase. These muscles stabilize the scapulae in order to control the swing without injuring your arms or shoulders, just like in a dead lift exercise.

This temporary tension, called a lockout, is where your buttocks, thighs and abs are tightened and your shoulder blades are pulled back and depressed when you swing upward. Yea I finished sinister simple a while back and stopped work with heavier KB's for a while due to a small injury in my neck.

I noticed some growth in my biceps from heavy (32 kg+) swings but I had virtually no biceps in the first place (or much muscle anywhere else, for that matter) so any growth was more a case of developing the muscles I 'should have had in the first place'. Some people see considerable biceps growth from KB cleans but this depends on technique as it's possible to clean a heavy kettle bell without relying on arm strength at all if you're generating a lot of power in the hip and knee extension. If you're looking to work on your biceps, throwing in a few curls or similar after your SAS practice shouldn't interfere with your swings and get-ups.

More about retaining muscles is what I care about and keeping strength for real world situations. I think swings /snatches and push-ups 3-4 times a week followed by 3 days of jump rope/running cover all my needs.

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