Kettle bell exercises reveal and fix misalignment, compensations, asymmetries, and weaknesses in the body, relieving you of muscle stiffness and joint pain. By bridging the gap between cardio and strength training, your overall physical fitness levels will skyrocket, getting you to the best shape of your life.
Later this month, physical therapist Shawn Monacan and trainer Darius Stankiewicz will spend a weekend earning their SFG Kettle bell Instructor Level I Certification with Strongest master Jon En gum. But, in the last decade or so, they’ve seen a resurgence in popularity, not least because they are a part of so many CrossFit workouts.
Of all the exercises you can do with a kettle bell, the swing is arguably the most popular and may even be the most valuable. Many fitness enthusiasts believe that squats and dead lifts are the kings of exercise.
But Tim Ferris says “the two armed kettle bell swing is the king and is all you need for dramatic body recomposition results”. This post will reveal the main kettle bell swing benefits and how to do them correctly.
It takes time to master the kettle bell swing, but once you’ve got it nailed, this exercise has a wide range of benefits. These muscles are crucial for better posture, as well as improved sports performance.
Increased cardiovascular fitness Kettle bell swing training is excellent for your heart and lungs, as well as your muscles. Because they are a full- body movement, kettle bell swings will drive your heart and breathing rate sky-high, which makes them a beneficial and challenging cardiovascular exercise.
Better posture Kettle bell swings are one of the best exercises for undoing the effects of prolonged sitting. Swings work your posterior chain, which are the muscles responsible for holding you upright against the pull of gravity.
Because kettle bell swings involve so many muscles and joints working together and at the same time, there’s a lot that can go wrong with this exercise. But, if you master a proper kettle bell swing, you can enjoy all the benefits this exercise has to offer while avoiding all the risks.
Standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, pull your shoulders down and back, and brace your abs. Focus on your hip drive to pop the kettle bell upwards, not your arms.
Use your lats and abs to stop the weight swinging upward and then let the kettle bell fall back down. Russian kettle bell swings generally allow you to lift more weight, and they are easier to learn.
However, it’s all too easy to inadvertently shorten your rep range by not swinging the weight high enough, i.e., below shoulder-height. Swinging the weight up until the arms are vertical ensures that each rep is the same, making them easier to judge and quantify.
However, raising the weight so high will increase stress on the lower back, which could lead to injury. The increased range of movement also means you won’t be able to lift as much weight.
But, unless you are training for CrossFit competitions, the Russian swing is potentially the safer one, which may mean it’s the best choice for most exercisers. Alternatively, here is a kettle bell -only workout that you can do anywhere you have enough space to swing yourkettlebell weight.
As recommended by the American Council on Exercise, ACE for short, this kettle bell workout is best done three times a week on non-consecutive days, e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. With this workout, you do a set of kettle bell swings at the start of each minute, and whatever time is left over is for resting.
You can also use any kettle bell swing alternative you prefer for this workout, including: *Note: kettle bells are popular home workout gear, and some items are not yet back in stock, so you might need to be preordered.
AmazonBasics Vinyl Coated Cast Iron Kettle bell Weight With the Noose Fitness Kettle bell Handle, you can add as many or as few standard weight plates as you like, making it both ideal for a range of users and also saving you from buying several sets of kettle bells.
Kettle Grip Kettle bell Adjustable Portable Weight Grip Kettle bell cleans and snatches come close, but they are much trickier to master.
Whether you want to burn fat, get fit, or boost your dead lift performance, kettle bell swings will help. Remember, to get the most from this exercise; you need to do them correctly and give yourself time to recover between workouts.
While I was never exactly shredded, I was making good progress on the big lifts and felt comfortable taking off my shirt in public. I was still eating like a person with an active lifestyle, but the most movement I was getting was walking from my bed to the couch.
That, coupled with the new existential threats of daily existence under the pandemic, meant I was eating a lot of takes out, and food became a distraction from the casual terror of everyday life. Dan John's 10,000 Kettle bell Swing Workout has earned a reputation as a simple, brutal fitness challenge.
The swings are supplemented with squats, presses, or dips for four of the weekly training sessions. John claims that people who have taken on the challenge dropped fat while adding muscle, saw noticeable improvements in posture and body composition, and made significant gains in overall strength.
I wanted a program that didn't require regular gym access while still offering big results to combat my pandemic pounds and general malaise. By the time the challenge was finished four weeks later, I had dropped nearly all the pandemic weight and a quarter of my body fat.
Week 1 of the 10,000 Kettle bell Swing Challenge There are thousands of trainers on the internet insisting their programs are the absolute best way for people to lose weight. You need to expel more energy than you're putting in (this is called a caloric deficit).
That can happen through careful focus on diet, exercise, or most effectively, some combination of the two. To keep me accountable and make sure I actually finished the 10,000 swings, I asked longtime friend and collaborator Diego Lopez, a comedian and model in Brooklyn, to complete the challenge with me.
During the pandemic that's meant coaching clients through Zoom and training sessions in the park. For people looking to improve their fitness with minimal equipment, Lopez has been a strong advocate for kettle bells.
“The kettle bell swing is a phenomenal pattern to strengthen the upright human being,” said Lopez. The first day of training Lopez completed his 500 swings with a 70-pound bell, but struggled with his grip.
The first day of swings (I used a 54-pound bell, as prescribed in John's workout design) and presses took me 38 minutes to complete. By the end of the last set I looked like I’d just stepped out of the shower and every part of my body felt sore.
One of the hardest things about hitting 500 reps in a workout was maintaining good form. Focusing on the hip hinge and being consistent with the swings can get exhausting, but that's kind of the point.
Logging the calories and doing more or less the same workout each day wasn’t sexy, but it did give me a sense of control. With the beauty of hindsight I can understand what a success dropping three pounds in a week is, but it didn't feel that way at the time.
These feelings had more to do with the fact that a big assignment was ramping up at my day job than anything to do with diet or kettle bell swings. I had a huge project due that required late nights and multiple meetings.
My face looked noticeably thinner and clothes that had been feeling tight fit again. Getting a decent workout in at under half an hour was incredibly satisfying, even if I continued to look like Swamp Thing after I was finished.
He cut his record for completing 500 swings to an impressive 17 minutes, and dropped 10 pounds without tweaking his diet. My buddy, Diego Lopez, showing off his results from the program. I dropped 16 pounds in four weeks, going from 210 to 194.
While the 10,000 swing kettle bell challenge didn't leave me with visible abs or a superhero body, it did leave me in a significantly better body composition than when I started, which serves as proof of concept for Dan John's program. I kept hoping to come up with some kind of life changing revelation when I discussed the challenge with friends, but nothing profound came to mind.
If you make a plan, put in hard work, and remain consistent, you'll get results. So really, I think the challenge shows that you don't need a gym or personal trainer to get noticeable results from your workouts.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. You might be new to the world of fitness or maybe you’ve been going to the gym 5 times a week for years, either way, the kettle bells exercises will be beneficial for you.
All kettle bell work-outs make the muscles strong but not bulky and increase the heart rate to the same levels as cardio exercises. The experts say that it’s a combination of cardio and strength training that work your entire body.
The main thing you need to remember is that the power comes from the hips, not the arms. Moving the hips back and slightly bending the knees, lower the body.
Then explosively move the hips forward swinging the kettle bell at the same time with the momentum. Adjust the kettle bell according to your personal level, going too light is actually just as unsafe as going too heavy.
Start with getting into a very wide stance, the wider your feet are apart, the more effective this exercise is. The important part is that you should feel that the glute muscles are working the most, not your quads.
If you mainly feel the front of thighs working, spread your feet a little wider apart. Place your feet at a 45° angle, hold the kettle bell in front of both hands and lower your body and then return to the initial position.
When you squat, the knees follow the direction of your feet, and don’t move forward. Hold the kettle bell with both hands, raise it overhead making sure that the elbows are pointing forward.
If you want to add a little extra challenge, pause for a couple of seconds at the lowest position. Hold the kettle bell in front of your chest, keep the elbows close to your body, and stand up straight.
It’s very tempting to start just moving hands with the kettle bell, but remember that quality is always more important than quantity. The same trick from the 2-arm swing also applies to this one, the power should come from the hips, not the arms.
Grab the kettle bells in each hand and walk slowly with small steps. Do 10-12 steps, put the kettle bells down, then repeat the exercise walking back to the start point.
Then snap the hips forward giving yourself the momentum to lift the kettle bell up. Lunge forward with right leg and raise the left arm with the kettle bell at the same time.
Start with your feet slightly wider than hip-width apart, lower body to about a quarter of a squat position. Lie on the floor, bend one or both legs, hold the kettle bell with the right hand with the palm facing in.
With the Romanian dead lift the legs remain nearly straight with only a very slight bend to lower the kettle bell. Conventional dead lifts involve the back muscles more than the Romanian and also work on the quadriceps.
Remember, when going down, bend your knees so your thighs are just above the parallel line to the floor. Important tips to avoid injuries: never round the back, stick the butt out when lowering the kettle bell, and keep the knees soft when coming up.
This exercise is not for beginners, you need to have a good feeling of how to work out with kettle bells to perform it safely. Grab 2 kettle bells and hold them near the shoulders, keep the elbows close to the body with the palms facing each other, the knees soft, and the core engaged.
Press the kettle bells up, turning the hands at the same time so the palms face the front. Be smart when choosing the weight of the kettle bells and ask for professional advice if you are not quite sure how to do this exercise.