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How To Kettlebell Swing With A Dumbbell

Improved movement at the hip great conditioning in a small space increased strength of the glutes and hamstrings improved coordination of bracing and relaxation make ya look better naked

author
Elaine Sutton
• Friday, 27 November, 2020
• 10 min read
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You'll feel a lot less like you're missing out because your gym lacks kettle bells and you'll reap the same benefits. If you're looking a for a great simple addition to your training for better work capacity and conditioning try adding 100 swings a day.

Plus we'll send you a copy of Brian's Push Ups & Tacos, Your guide to fun & fitness in San Diego. Alternative Names: Kettle bell swings with a dumbbell Type: Strength Experience Level: Beginner Equipment: Dumbbell Muscles Targeted: Shoulders, hamstrings, pecs, glutes, quads Mechanics: Compound Average Number of Sets: 4-5 with 10-20 reps each Variation: None Alternative: None

If you want to increase the strength of your glutes and hamstrings, improve movement at your hips, and achieve considerable conditioning in your home or a small gym, then dumbbells work as a great substitute. This no-nonsense, high intensity, fat burning workout requires only a set a dumbbells (and true grit)!

You don’t need to follow the “latest craze” to get a good workout. The kettle bell workout can easily be substituted with a set of dumbbells for a high calorie burning routine.

But, if your budget or space is limited, I think the most versatile piece of equipment is your own body but if you want to expand on that a set of dumbbells will go a long way. Listed below are some simple cues to help you achieve the most effective movement.

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For the two arm kettle bell swings you just hold both your dumbbells, so they are touching, lengthwise, in front of your hips. Squat slightly with knees wide and bring DBS between legs and then swing them up overhead with arms straight while opening up the hips.

Continue this move in a smooth and unbroken motion until you reach the prescribed number of swings. Now squat until elbows touch knees and then stand while pushing dumbbells up to a shoulder press.

If you need more instruction you can find references to these kettle bell moves by doing an internet search. Some old time strongmen took this a step further and weighed one side slightly more than the other in order to help them with the swing.

Take a look at the video above for the exact movement pattern for both variations or consult the pictures below. For the split style you can go forward with any leg you prefer and once you start practicing these on a regular basis, you can work your way up to some serious weight.

If you’d like something to mix up your training a bit, the old school dumbbell swing is the perfect fit. For those of you that follow our work pretty closely, you will know that this is the first kettle bell workout video that we have put out in a while.

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We usually shy away from indulging in using momentum to assist a movement but it can be a fun departure to sling, swing, and pop a weight around utilizing a larger chain of muscles rather than focusing on isolating just one main driver. Many kettle bell exercises are the exact opposite of what we strive for in traditional strength training.

Instead of slow controlled movements focusing on form and consistent pace as with proper strength training and weight lifting, kettle bell training instead gives us an outlet for explosive movements utilizing momentum to “cheat” allowing us to use more weight than we would be capable of lifting if utilizing a slow and controlled approach. Think of it this way, when doing a chest press (a traditional strength exercise) you should aim to be able to stop at any point during that motion and be able to do a static hold there for at least a few seconds.

For example, the kettlebellswing is probably the best known kettle bell exercise where you hold the handle with one or both hands, hinge at your hips, then pop them forward driving the kettle bell up to shoulder height then let the weight fall, “catching” it with your hips as you hinge back again either slowing the momentum to stop the motion or initiating another forward pop with your hips to keep the movement going. So, in reality, many if not most kettle bell exercises are just an attempt to control, as best you can, a weight that is traveling under its own inertia (which makes these types of motions inherently more dangerous, so be careful).

So, whether you want to geek out on science talking about how they are great examples of Newton’s 3 Laws of Motion or, chalk it up to, “it’s fun to throw stuff around”, either way it is a great way to have some fun with exercise. Thanks for watching our videos and as always, if you enjoy our work, please help us out by telling your friends, family and coworkers about us.

If you're looking for some support and motivation, check out the friendliest, most helpful fitness community on the web. Warm up: (5 min) — Side Step Cross — High Knee March Pull downs — Toe Touch Sweeps — Torso Circles — Ski Squat Ventral Raise — Sumo Squat Lean — Single Leg Arm Circles LCR — Alternating Warrior Bend — Boxer Shuffle

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Group 2: (8 Min) Lower — Walking Squat — Rotational Lunge Difficult and complex movement that develops awesome rotational strength and works and tones the shoulders, cores, and has extra focus on the sides of the abdominal

Difficult but rewarding Kettle bell Swing progression Amazing Oblique exercise Trains rotational movement Torches calories Advanced move — work up to exercise Start with lighter weight The Kettle bell Side Swings are incredible at working the quadriceps, the obliques, abdominal, hamstrings, glutes and back with specific emphasis on quadriceps, hamstrings, and obliques.

This is definitely an exercise that will promote toning and strength development in those areas. This complex and challenging exercise will demand plenty of energy to complete, but is incredibly rewarding due to all the different muscle groups it tones.

The rotational component of this exercise is also one not found in many others making it a very useful addition to most kettle bell workouts particularly if using kettle bell to help train for sports and other activities where power and rotational movement are needed. To look at it, you wouldn't guess that the simple kettle bell is such a fitness hero-both a superior calorie burner and an ab flattened in one.

Take the snatch (a one-arm lift in which, from a quarter-squat position, you fluidly move the kettle bell from the floor to directly overhead as you stand, bell flipping up and over to rest atop your forearm). (Exercisers in the study did a 20-minute workout consisting of 15-second AMAP intervals of kettle bell snatches followed by 15 seconds of rest.)

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By engaging the entire posterior chain (back, butt, hamstrings, and calves) plus the chest, shoulders, and arms, the kettle bell snatch and its variations work more muscle groups than other forms of HIIT, such as biking or running, which use primarily the legs and glutes. Do high-intensity kettle bell intervals like those in the study, and you'll also be dispatching more ab fat into your calorie-burning furnace than if you do steady reps of swings.

This pulse-like abdominal contraction stiffens your core and stabilizes the spinal column to help control the heavy, dynamic movement. A recent study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research showed that when exercisers quickly squeezed their abs at the top of a swing, their obliques contracted more than 100 percent of their maximum potential.

(And KB's are fantastic for your booty too; try Emily Sake's Favorite Kettle bell Exercises for a Better Butt.) Her go-to ab blaster is the Turkish get-up: You fluidly raise your body from lying face up on the floor to standing while holding a kettle bell overhead with one arm the entire time.

Stuart McGill, Ph.D., the author of Back Mechanic and multiple studies on kettle bell workouts and their effects on the spine, says that carrying weight on only one side of the body calls on the core to compensate, and the instability of the inverted bell challenges the core more than a dumbbell would. “Its resistance builds muscles with enough intensity that we can really burn a lot of calories, but because we're standing in place or at least not jumping, there's no pounding on the joints,” says Steve Cotter, the director of the International Kettle bell and Fitness Federation in San Diego.

If you haven't invested in them already, kettle bells are worth their weight in gold if you're trying to build massive muscle fast to bulk up and become stronger. But because these kettle bells weigh so much (anywhere from 5 to 175 pounds), it's easy to throw your back out or to strain a muscle from misuse.

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Jump-start your career with our Premium A-to-Z Microsoft Excel Training Bundle from the new Gadget Hacks Shop and get lifetime access to more than 40 hours of Basic to Advanced instruction on functions, formula, tools, and more. Roger Appointed, of Atomic Athletic, performing a dumbbell swing with an “old school” Jackson 80# globe dumbbell at the Cambridge Barbell Club.

The One Hand DumbbellS wing is one explosive lift you do not see a lot of, but you are really missing out if you aren’t doing it. As with many All-Round Association events, I came out of the meet with a far greater understanding of the lift than when I went in.

The idea is that in a 6-month period of time, you can then have two contests where you can show some improvement from the first to the second. Now, my favorite dumbbell at the meet was the one I used for my final attempt, which was a good one.

However, if I were trying to set a record, or push my absolute limit, I would NOT have used that dumbbell. I have one in my collection that measures 1 1/4 inches in diameter and it is simply too big.

I also like to have the thumb side of my hand cranked in tight to the inside collar. You could catch it in a quarter squat type movement, but you will probably have to jump backward to receive the dumbbell.

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There is a really cool screw type motion that makes it stunningly solid. Finally, if you are not already doing full barbell Olympic weightlifting, then start.

The application of that type of training to the One Hand DumbbellS wing is so obvious as to not even warrant discussion. Chad Allow performing a 150 Right Arm DumbbellS wing at the 2012 US AWA Club Challenge in Cambridge, PA. Chad has the best DumbbellS wing of ALL TIME in the US AWA.

Dumbbell Swings are simply AWESOME for your grip work. Leading up to our last All-Round Weightlifting Meet, I hadn’t done any traditional dead lifting and hardly any clean pulls.

I was doing the stone lifting because I was training Casey Elton for the German American Festival Steinstossen event and because I just love summer outdoor stone lifting. The quick answer, is “Yes… and No.” The volume of back training was pretty big, but most importantly, the volume of grip training was really high.

I needed to hit my grip and single arm work, in a genuinely per iodized fashion. I really needed to hit some lighter weights, with super high intensity.

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Without intending to create this dichotomy, it also happens to be a nearly perfect lift to balance out the crucifix hold. It is a very nice Olympic Plate Loading Rotating Dumbbell.

The handle diameter and knurling is about as perfect as you could hope for and my York weights were not sloppy, like on the old one I was previously using. Denny Becker performing a DumbbellS wing at the 2012 US AWA Club Challenge in Cambridge Barbell Club with an “old-style” 75 pound Jackson Globe Dumbbell.

However, now it is time to haul out your Plate Loading Olympic Dumbbell for the DumbbellS wing. To give you an idea of how much a wonderful lifter can do with a One Hand Swing, we turn to two time Olympian (1932 and 1936) Stanley Kratkowski.

As a middle weight (165 pounds) lifter, in 1934 Kratkowski held the Right-hand Swing US Record of 178 1/2 pounds… Not too shabby. In the modern All-Round Association, the current World Record is 78.3 Kg (172.6 lbs.)

Looking at the other weight classes, I believe there is considerable opportunity for improvement in this lift. With the two handed kettelbell swing I can concentrate on that triple extension, really working my hips back and neck.

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The two handed nature of the lift also lends a balance to the body, decreasing spinal torsion issues associated with one handed lifts. Achieving full extension of the hips seems to be a problem for many lifters.

John Grimes performing a One Arm DumbbellS wing. I can’t finish the story on the One Arm DumbbellS wing without mentioning John Grimes.

He got nominated and inducted with the first US AWA Hall of Fame Class in 1993 because of the way he trained, how he promoted odd lifting (or all-round lifting as it is known today), and the great respect all-round lifters have for him. His training program consisted, as he put it, of using “1001 exercises” to not only increase muscle size and strength, but flexibility and athleticism as well.

But this is not intended to be an autobiography of John Grimes — I don’t have enough space for that — instead just an article showing his great ability in the One Arm DumbbellS wing. I was hoping that I could find proof that John Grimes had done a Swing that would have put him into the Top Ten of All-Time.

I have read that he did swings with over 200 pounds in training — but I couldn’t substantiate them. I ran across this old YouTube Video showing John Grimes doing some lifting and posing at a weightlifting picnic at York around the year 1940.

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The quality of the video is not the best — but it clearly shows what a great lifter and performer John Grimes was! TOP TEN PERFORMANCES ALL-TIMETHE ONE ARM DUMBBELLSWING Rank Pounds Lifter Date

176 Gabriel Lassortesse (France) 1907As you can see from this list — all the top ten lifts of ALL-TIME in the One Arm DumbbellS wing happened before the year 1937. Today, the only opportunity to do a One Arm lift is in an All-Round weightlifting competition.

And given the large number of All-Round lifts — the chance to do a One Arm Swing in competition does not come around that often. It takes extra time to load a swing dumbbell during competition which leads Meet Directors in not selecting the One Arm Dumbbell swing for a competition lift.

Steve Angel, in an Iowa competition, did a One Arm Swing with 165 pounds. Rick Mellon, weighing only 160 pounds, did a One Arm Swing with 172 pounds in an Iowa event — the highest over body weight One Arm Swing ever in competition!!

Related Videos

Sources
1 strongmadesimple.com - https://strongmadesimple.com/blog/2014/10/how-to-swing-a-dumbbell-like-a-kettlebell
2 101exercise.com - https://101exercise.com/leg-exercises/kettlebell-swing/kettlebell-swing-with-dumbbell.htm
3 www.muscleandstrength.com - https://www.muscleandstrength.com/workouts/kettlebell-dumbbell-hiit-workout
4 legendarystrength.com - https://legendarystrength.com/old-school-dumbbell-swing/
5 www.fitnessblender.com - https://www.fitnessblender.com/videos/45-minute-total-body-kettlebell-workout-fun-and-tough-kettlebell-routine
6 kettlebellcentral.com - http://kettlebellcentral.com/kettlebell-side-swings/
7 www.shape.com - https://www.shape.com/fitness/tips/how-use-kettlebell-flat-abs
8 body-scuplting.wonderhowto.com - https://body-scuplting.wonderhowto.com/how-to/do-better-kettlebell-arm-swings-three-different-ways-391744/
9 usawa.com - http://usawa.com/tag/dumbbell-swing/