When performed correctly, kettle bell swings build total-body strength, power, and balance, while improving cardiovascular stamina, all with one piece of equipment. If that sounds too good to be true, maybe it’s because you’ve never swung a kettle bell with pinpoint precision.
With this step-by-step guide, you’ll learn to use your legs (and hips, glutes, and core) to perform the perfect kettlebellswing. As it turns out, dancing the salsa and swinging a kettle bell have a lot in common.
But they do share a coaching cue that makes every movement possible: It’s all in the hips. The swing begins to take shape when the kettle bell is added into the mix.
With loose arms and a light grip, the kettle bell is swung from inside the quads up to the chest, just before eye level—in the Russian version anyway (more on this later). To the untrained eye, the swing appears to be a feat of upper-body strength: Simply squat and then stand up while pulling with the arms.
Performing the perfect kettlebellswing places all the emphasis on the posterior chain—the major muscles on the backside of the body from the heels to the base of the neck, primarily the hamstrings, glutes, and low back. And unlike the little movers (calves, biceps, triceps, and deltoid), the big movers are capable of moving big weight and burning massive amounts of calories.
But the good news is its a piece of fitness equipment that actually lives up to the hype. Consider this: A study seeking to analyze the effectiveness of kettle bell exercise concluded that “kettle bells provide a much higher-intensity workout than standard weight-training routines and offer superior results in a short amount of time.”
The same study went on to say that the benefits of kettle bell training extend beyond strength and stamina by helping people “burn calories, lose weight, and enhance their functional performance capabilities.” Keep arms long and loose while squeezing shoulders blades together and engaging your core.
Soften knees, shift body weight into heels, and lower butt back and down toward the wall behind you. Driving through heels, explode through hips to send weight swinging upward from quads.
Achieving this finish position requires you to snap your hips through, contracting your core while squeezing glutes. As the kettle bell begins to descend, let the weight do the work as you ready your body for the next rep.
Shift weight back into heels while hinging at the hips and loading both the hamstrings and glutes. Receive the weight, allowing the kettle bell to ride back between legs.
As it makes the transition from backward to forward, drive through the heels and hips to repeat. There’s nothing like an arms race to create animosity among nations (or in this case, coaches and their respective exercise communities).
Instead of stopping at eye level, the American swing finishes with the arms and kettle bell overhead. Our expert Chris Finn, certified personal trainer at Life Time at Sky and Strongest level-two kettle bell instructor, never recommends the American swing due to the risk of injury to your shoulders.
That said, the decision on where to pledge your allegiance should be based on personal ability level and safety. Paying close attention to a proper swing will ensure a successful—not to mention injury-free—workout.
Start and finish the swing by loading, firing, and hinging at the hips. The kettlebellswing is a core training staple that can help to build total body strength and power, but are you sure you're even doing the exercise correctly?
For this explosive movement, you shouldn't settle for anything other than perfect form—especially because it's such a simple, essential exercise that should serve as one of the centerpieces of your training plan. Let Men's Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S.
Before you pick up a weight and start waving it around, take note that it's extremely important to pay attention the movement here. The way that you start your swing position is essential, as is your body's posture throughout—so let's break down everything you need to know.
Even more than that it is a move that lets us explosively express what’s called “hip extension.” If you do those things right (and because we increasingly sit so much, we occasionally do it wrong), you’re squeezing your glutes and your lower body is driving your ability to stand up.
This action is crucial to moving and standing correctly, and critical to improving your athleticism (and your squat and dead lift movements). This doesn’t just miss the point of a kettlebellswing (hip extension) but it’s dangerous for your shoulders, too.
You end up trying to finish the swing with your shoulders, placing your rotator cuff tendons in a compromised position. The height of the kettle bell is strictly a function of how aggressively you straighten your legs and squeeze your glutes.
Ex says: The American kettlebellswing has you swinging to a wildly high target (overhead) and that’s problem one. Problem two: if your shoulder mobility isn’t ideal; you'll compensate by arching through the lower back.
Swing Cues Ex says: Your upper body isn’t the driver of the kettlebellswing ; it’s only a lever. Ex says: This is a lower body move, and your arms shouldn’t be anything more than a lever for the bell.
If you explosively and powerfully stand up, and really exaggerate that glute squeeze, your torso will naturally pop up and the bell will translate forward. Ex says: Critical in the kettlebellswing is not letting your lower back drive the movement.
Brett Williams, NASA Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men's Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men's Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience.
This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. Kettle bell Swings were once exclusively performed by athletes in the Soviet Union.
Now you'd be hard-pressed to walk through a gym and not see at least one person doing this incredibly versatile exercise. You need to master several KettlebellSwing form tips to get the most out of this fantastic exercise.
Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a kettle bell about a foot in front of you on the ground. Step 2: Pull your shoulders down and back and brace your core before starting the exercise.
Step 3: Lift the kettle bell off the ground and allow it to swing between your legs. Step 4: Forcefully drive your hips forward to propel the kettle bell into the air.
As the kettle bell lowers, move immediately and fluidly into the next rep. Step 6: On your final rep, allow it to swing back through your legs, and then place it a foot in front of you on the ground.
A loose core makes for a sloppy KettlebellSwing and puts stress on your spine. Imagine that your upper body is in a plank position with your torso hinging on your hips.
This keeps your spine in the proper position and makes your glutes, not your lower back, do the majority of work. We advise athletes to avoid this variation, as it places extra stress on the shoulders and spine.
The rhythmic nature of the KettlebellSwing makes it a wonderful move for improving your breathing technique. Take a deep diaphragmatic breath (through your stomach) as the kettle bell lowers, and exhale fully during the swing.
They explosively extend the hips and drive them forward, creating the power needed to swing the kettle bell. Your quads extend your knees to provide an extra power boost.
Your core and back muscles engage to keep your torso stable and your spine in a neutral position. These muscles also help decelerate the kettle bell during the downswing, while maintaining control of your body.
The hip hinge is a fundamental movement pattern that all athletes should perfect. It's important for athletic skills like jumping, and for exercises like the Dead lift and Squat.
This allows your strong and powerful glutes to maximally contribute to the movement, while keeping your lower back safe. The moves require lots of practice and great coaching—heck, these lifts are sports on their own.
You don't get a full triple extension—of the hips, knees and ankles—and you can't use as heavy of a weight. In a study led by renowned spinal researcher Dr. Stuart McGill, it was found that the KettlebellSwing puts forces on the spine in the opposite direction from Dead lifts and other similar exercises.
We're not saying the Dead lift is a bad exercise—it's one of our favorite lifts—but if you're dealing with back pain, the KettlebellSwing might be a smarter option. Since the KettlebellSwing is a full-body movement, it's a great option for conditioning and training muscular endurance.
According to an ACE Fitness study, a Kettle bell Snatch workout, which is similar to the Swing, burns approximately 20 calories per minute. However, the focus of the exercise is on the hip hinge, which is driven by the glutes and hamstrings.
You will use lighter weight than the traditional Swing, but the single-arm variation is more challenging for your core. The amount of weight an experienced lifter can use is significantly different from what a beginner can handle—as with any exercise.
We always advise starting on the lighter side so you can focus on mastering technique and not on the difficulty of moving the weight. Once you perfect your form, gradually increase the weight so your muscles feel challenged in your set.
The kettlebellswing 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. 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). Now, I understand that 160 calories aren’t anything to write home about.
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. 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. Kettlebellswing workout #5 Pick an amount of time and see how many kettle bell swings you can perform.
Kettlebellswing workout #6 Pick how many swings you would like to complete as quickly as possible. The kettlebellswing 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. If you are looking to make your glutes firmer and stronger, check out our two moves for a stronger butt, where you’ll find two workouts that can be performed at home and without any equipment!
Please, feel free to share this blog post! If you are not doing the kettlebellswing as part of your fitness routine you are destined to a weak, unfit body.
To burn fat fast you absolutely should learn how to do kettlebellswing correctly. Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a kettle bell about a foot in front of you on the ground.
Step 2: Pull your shoulders down, keep your hips above your knees and tighten your core. Step 3: Lift the kettle bell off the ground and allow it to swing back between your legs.
Step 4: Forcefully drive your hips forward to propel the kettle bell into the air. Step 6: On your final rep, allow it to swing back through your legs, and then place it a foot in front of you on the ground.
Key instruction is to bend in the down position and snap your hips forward explosively! The explosive movement with your hips snapping forward as you swing up helps to build core strength and conditioning.
Choose a kettle bell that allows you to swing with perfect technique while still challenging you. You are probably bending at the knees and squatting rather than hinging at the hips and activating your posterior chain.
Keep a tight core, straight back, and get your hips behind your centerline. A loose core makes puts stress on your spine.
We advise you to avoid this variation, as it places extra stress on the shoulders and spine. Your arms should be locked out, hips behind your center line, knees slightly bent, and your spine should be neutral.
The kettlebellswing is a fantastic exercise to strengthen your body and burn a ton of fat. It is necessary to eat healthy, reduce stress, get sufficient sleep with a combination of cardio and strength exercise to help stave off fat deposits in the body.
If you want to learn how to do a kettlebellswing, the first thing to know is you probably shouldn’t copy the people you see doing it in the gym. “The most common mistake you see is excessive knee bend and no hip drive.
Ideally, your forearm should stay connected to your body until you drive your hips.” The kettlebellswing is one of your best gym weapons for high-intensity intervals as a “finisher” at the end of a weights' workout to improve cardiovascular fitness and torch fat.
Subjects were tested for their half-squat one-rep max and their best vertical jump, then assigned a training plan of twice-weekly 12-minute kettlebellswing sessions of 30 seconds’ work, 30 seconds’ rest, or the same amount of jump squat training, which has already been shown to increase power output. The kettlebellswing will also encourage you to keep your shoulders in a healthier position rather than slump forward at a desk.
Overall you’ll gain muscle endurance, solid glutes, more flexible hips and — if you work at it — a core of steel. Bending slightly at the knees but hinging mainly at the hips, grasp the kettle bell and pull it back between your legs to create momentum.
Drive your hips forwards and straighten your back to send the kettle bell up to shoulder height. “Don’t make the common mistake of using the upper body too much to get the weight moving,” says kettle bell king Mike Mahler.
“This limits what you can lift and how many reps you can do, and makes you far more likely to develop back issues. Put your entire body into each rep and keep the bell close to your body until the hip drive begins, and then use the hip power to swing the bell to shoulder level.”
The American one differs in that you let the weight swing all the way above your head, not shoulder height. Aim to keep your forearms attached to your hips until you reach neutral then, as your arms come up, squeeze your glutes to prevent overextending your lower back.
This is a posterior chain movement (the muscles on the back of your body), not a quads exercise. “Change hands at the highest point of the swing, where the kettle bell is weightless.
You could be forgiven for thinking that people just do it to look flashy but it’s a good test of your co-ordination, timing and control of the kettle bell.” Ten-minute fat-torcher Perform as many swings as you can in 60 seconds, using the form pointers above, and record the number of reps you complete.
Aim to beat your total rep score every time you attempt the challenge. In today’s world we spend the majority of our days doing things in front of us with terrible posture.
Cubicles) for hours at a time not moving and making the front of our body even tighter. If You’re Not Doing The Kettle bell Swing, You’re Destined To Stay Fat, Tight & Weak For The Rest Of Your Life!
This overuse of the muscles on the front side of our bodies is called “anterior dominance” and it is plaguing our society. Anterior dominance results in imbalances in our muscles causing us to move and perform at sub-optimal levels.
And because of our terrible posture — because our anterior muscles are shortened and tight pulling us forward — we give the illusion of being weak and unconfident as opposed to standing erect with our chins up. It’s no wonder that we’re generally unhealthy compared to previous generations that didn’t live a convenience lifestyle in this information age.
And there is one exercise — that if you incorporate it into your daily routine — can easily combat the ill effects of anterior dominance and the Western Lifestyle. FrequencyExercise TypeIntensityRepetitionsRest up to 7x per week strength training high intensity varies by workout varies by workout Once labelled “hard core”, kettle bells are now popping up in every gym, garage and backyard because of their portability and reputation for fast results.
Go into any gym and you’ll see inexperienced exercisers turning a swing into a front squat and shoulder raise exercise further tightening our hips, quads, chest and shoulders and just adding to the anterior dominance issue that I told you about above. A hip hinge — like a dead lift movement — forces you to use those posterior chain muscles to move the kettle bell.
It will allow you to loosen your tight hips and strengthen your butt so that you’ll develop the rear end of an athlete. It will bulletproof your low back by creating an armored brace around your midsection, and it will get rid of that paunchy gut.
“If You’re Not Doing The Hard style KettlebellSwing, You’re Destined To Stay Fat, Tight & Weak For The Rest Of Your Life!” As opposed to starting your set of swings from the standing position like how you see most amateurs do it, the hike pass allows you to overstretch your lats — a powerful muscle in your upper body with a direct relationship with your glutes — and get more “juice” out of your swing.
Push your hips back keeping your butt high and bend your knees slightly. Always making sure your shoulders stay above the level of your hips, “hike pass” the kettle bell through your knees by contracting your lats.
When you push your hips back keeping your butt high and your shins vertical, you are hinging. This is good because most people today are hip flexor and quad dominant (your anterior muscles), so learning how to load and use your posterior chain creates a natural balance between front and back that will help in preventing knee and hip issues.
Imagine that you are growing roots through your feet and grab the ground with your entire foot. Getting proper instruction from an expert so that you can MASTER THE KETTLEBELLSWING is the best thing that you can do for your training regardless of your goal.
If you want to build strength, kettle bell swings will forge a grip of steel and will add pounds to your dead lift & squat. If you want to boost your athleticism, kettle bell swings will make you more powerful and add height to your jump and shave seconds off your sprints.
If you want to pack on muscle, swinging a heavy kettle bell will build an intimidating upper back & set of shoulders. And if you want to shed body fat, swings will incinerate blubber like butter melting in an iron pan.
You will get more full body results in less time from the kettlebellswing than any other exercise! If you are new to Kettle bell Training then you should focus all your time and effort on the Swing.
The kettlebellswing hits all the major muscles of body, increasing your metabolism and generating after burn for up to 24hrs after your workouts. To help you get the most from your kettle bell swings and to stop your workouts from becoming boring here are some kettlebellswing Won for you:
Double Handed Swing — 20 reps Push Ups — 10, 9, 8, 7 etc. A perfect kettlebellswing workout that hits almost every muscle in the body using only 2 exercises.
Perform 20 Double Handed Swings and then 10 Push Ups. At the end of the workout you will have completed 200 Swings and 55 Push Ups.
A super simple kettlebellswing only workout and great for beginners. Perform 20 double handed swings at the beginning of every minute.
The time left over after your 20 kettle bell swings until the start of the next minute is for rest. Alternating between Swings and Burpees will really elevate your heart rate.
This workout will seriously burn some calories as well as strengthening the complete lower body. A KB swing workout using the 2 most important kettle bell exercises.
Repeat the circuit adding an extra Turkish Get Up each round. The kettlebellswing works predominantly the muscles of the posterior chain which includes, the hips, glutes, hamstrings, back, lats, abs, shoulders, and forearms.
Perform 10 double handed swings at the beginning of every minute. The time left over after your 10 kettle bell swings until the start of the next minute is for rest.
However, you need to listen to your body and take a day off when you feel you have not fully recovered. 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 kettlebellswing is the king and is all you need for dramatic body recomposition results”. This post will reveal the main kettlebellswing benefits and how to do them correctly.
It takes time to master the kettlebellswing, 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.
Your heart rate will also soar when you swing a kettle bell, which makes kettle bell swings one of the best strength training exercises for fat loss and weight loss. Tim Ferris's writes glowingly about the fantastic benefits of the kettlebellswing for rapid fat loss and body recomposition in his New York Times Best Seller The Four Hour Body.”
Image Credit Tracy & Mark Ranking Many fitness enthusiasts believe that squats and dead lifts are the kings of exercise. But Tim Ferris says, “the two armed kettlebellswing is the king and is all you need for dramatic body recomposition results.”
Increased cardiovascular fitness Kettlebellswing 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.
In many instances, this will also eliminate the back pain often caused by poor posture. Quadriceps — located on the front of your upper thighs, the quads as they are known, are responsible for knee extension.
Gluteus Maximus — known as the glutes for short, this is the most massive muscle in the human body and is responsible for hip extension. Core — the muscles that make up your midsection, which is responsible for keeping your spine stable.
Latissimus Doris — the side/upper back muscles, the lats are responsible for shoulder extension. Forearm flexors — the muscles in your lower arms that are responsible for keeping a firm grip on the kettle bell.
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 kettlebellswing, 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. American kettlebellswing — the kettle bell is swung up and overhead until the arms are vertical.
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.
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.
*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. For lifters, this makes them a useful assistance movement for the squat and dead lift.” ¹
Dead lifts are one of the best exercises on the planet to change your body dramatically, no matter what your age. Related Posts:Footnotes:Please take a moment and share 5 Epic KettlebellSwing Benefits for Total Body Conditioning: 5 Epic KettlebellSwing Benefits For Total Body Conditioning