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How To Incorporate Kettlebell Swings

author
Bob Roberts
• Thursday, 22 October, 2020
• 9 min read

Kettle bell rows and the single-handed dead lift work well too due to the way the kettle bell handle sits up, and the Turkish get up works nicely due to the way the kettle bell lies against the arm when conditioning the core muscles. If you are performing a more tradition barbell or dumbbell routine then simply replacing some of your existing exercises with kettle bells is a great start.

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Contents

This is the easiest option, just replace like for like so a dumbbell overhead press can be replaced with a kettle bell overhead press, a dumbbell lunge with a kettle bell lunge etc. You can perform dead lifts and squats with a barbell and snatches and swings with a kettle bell.

You may also choose to perform all single leg exercises with a kettle bell and all others with a barbell. For example, single leg dead lifts, pistol squats, Bulgarian lunges etc.

Keep in mind your goals, if it’s size or strength then you may NOT want to completely eliminate all the big barbell lifts. A second option is to add kettle bell training as part of your warm up or as a muscle activation drill before your existing workout.

Certain kettle bell exercises lend themselves perfectly as great warm up movements: This first warm up drill works into the legs, hips, back and shoulders.

If you are training for a specific sport or activity then this warm up drill will help to develop better rotational strength through the core muscles. You will also develop good full body muscle activation and challenge your mobility through the essential movement patterns.

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Two Handed Swing x 10 reps Rest x 10 seconds Repeat 10 rounds Great for adding an explosive hip element to your training while at the same time working your cardio.

Kettle bell High Pulls Exercise If you have a demanding schedule of sports, running, or martial arts then one option is to add two days of kettle bell training to your week. As you can see it uses lots of different movement patterns and so activates hundreds of muscles per workout.

The workout is designed to strengthen the legs for running and incorporates strength and stability as well as core conditioning through the rotational sling system. Kettle bell Bulgarian Lunge Exercise One final option is to add short, low volume workouts that you can perform each day that doesn’t take away from your other activities.

Using this option can give you a great introduction to kettle bell training without overloading your body and avoiding the risk of injury. The above workout is a full body beginners circuit that will take 4 minutes.

The workout takes you through some major movement patterns using hundreds of muscles at a time and raising your heart rate too. Everyone recovers from exercise differently depending on their: age, experience, diet, genetics and so on.

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A simple guide is to listen to your body, start off gradually and take an extra days rest if needed especially when you first introduce kettle bell training. Be prepared to reduce kettle bell loads, take longer rest periods in between exercises and change repetitions.

You’ll be hard-pressed to find another exercise that works so many areas of your body. The kettle bell swing strengthens your core, glutes, hamstrings, quads, back, Delta and arms.

Research shows that kettlebellswings improves balance and posture, even for elite athletes. Each time you swing the kettle bell and stand tall, you engage your glutes which relaxes the opposing hip flexor.

The repeated contraction of the glutes and relaxing of the hips eventually unlocks tight hips… which is a common problem. The kettle bell swing is a great exercise to combat our modern-day issues of sitting too much.

Improving hip flexibility helps increase performance in other exercises, sports, and reduces back tension. An American Council on Exercise (ACE) study found that the average person can burn 400 calories in just 20 minutes with a kettle bell.

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Researchers credit the brisk calorie burning to the fact that the kettle bell workout is a total-body movement that is also done very quickly due to the interval-training format. It’s a quick workout, and you do get a big bang for your buck in a very short amount of time.

The only other thing I could find that burns that many calories is cross-country skiing uphill at a fast pace. A 2012 study found that kettlebellswings have healing benefits and can reduce back pain.

Researchers discovered the movement of a kettle bell swing can reverse posterior strain on the discs in the lower back (namely L4 and L5). The kettle bell swing does so much and that’s why it’s a staple exercise at Team Due Fitness.

Developing great quality muscle and shred body fat fast. Do this 2-4 times a week and you’ll see significant gains in your body, endurance, and overall quality of life.

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.

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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 kettle bell swing (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.

Problem two: if your shoulder mobility isn’t ideal; you'll compensate by arching through the lower back. You absolutely must maintain the stiffness through your torso over the life of your swing set.

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 kettle bell swing is not letting your lower back drive the movement. If you’re having trouble getting that response, think of actively squeezing your glutes to drive the bell.

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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. Using the kettle bell swing, you can be sure that you are going to get a full body workout, using your upper and lower muscle groups.

Recruiting all of these different muscle groups into one solid workout, only using one single piece of exercise equipment is why learning the correct way to use a kettle bell can quickly become a go-to workout on a weekly basis. Here at Guardian-Elite Fitness, we promote muscle gain through classic dumbbell and barbell weight training exercises using concepts like progressive overload and compound lifts.

Workouts that will work multiple muscle groups while at the same time, giving your cardiovascular engine a run for its money. Although, to really get the full benefit of the kettle bell swing workout, you have to be performing it correctly.

There are some dos and don’ts that are important to follow to make sure you are getting the full body benefit of this workout in, and avoiding injury at the same time. The main force of the swing will be generated by your glutes, legs and core.

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First, we’ll explain why the kettle bell swing is so beneficial, and why you should be incorporating it into your workout routine. The kettle bell swing uses your hips, glutes, core, legs, arms, shoulders and back to complete the entire movement.

As we mentioned earlier, it’s important to perform the kettle bell swing properly to reap the benefits throughout these entire range of muscles. For instance, if you are using too much of your arms to pull the weight, you will not realize the lower body exercise benefits.

The Wisconsin Lacrosse Department of Exercise and Sports Science did a study specifically using the kettle bell swing to improve aerobic capacity. Participants of the study showed marked improvement in not only aerobic capacity, but also core strength and flexibility.

Using your hips, glutes and hamstrings to generate thrust and force for the swing is at the crux of this workout and that is one of the main reasons why this is the perfect workout to increase power. No matter the physical activity, you will be relying on these muscles to generate power and force, i.e. running, jumping, sprinting, etc.

We mentioned earlier that studies have shown the kettle bell swing will improve balance. We’ve mentioned it several times now, but perfecting the kettle bell swing form is crucial to not only getting all the benefits from the workout, but also avoiding any possible injuries.

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There are some common mistakes that can happen, so being on the look-out for these in the beginning will put you on the fast track to getting in a great workout. During the kettle bell swing, which we will outline shortly, you will want to keep your back straight through the entire movement.

Remember, hinge at the hips, engage the hamstrings, and keep your back neutral. At the very top of the swing movement, your body should be in a straight line from your head to your toes.

The plank is a good way to describe this point of the swing too, because in addition to keeping your body straight, at this point your core, glutes and quads will all be engaged. Good form beats throwing up weight any day, this is how we gain muscle and avoid injury.

If you are letting the weight of the kettle bell control your movement, instead of your movement controlling the path of the kettle bell you will find this workout ineffective and probably end up with an injury to go along with it. By hinging at the hips, you will load up your hamstrings and glutes in preparation for the swing itself.

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Sources
1 www.nbcnews.com - https://www.nbcnews.com/shopping/fitness/best-kettlebells-n1246049
2 heavy.com - https://heavy.com/sports/2020/02/best-kettlebells/
3 fitterliving.com - https://fitterliving.com/best-adjustable-kettlebells/