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Kettlebell Swing Muscles Worked

author
James Lee
• Monday, 26 October, 2020
• 13 min read

MusclesWorked With Kettle bell Swings kettlebellswing is primarily used for its cardio effect which is great for weight loss, hence, it’s such a popular kettle bell exercise. The kettlebellswing is a full-body exercise that uses muscles for grip, posture, stabilization, to keep the spine erect, and the actual movement (prime movers).

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(Source: www.darkironfitness.com)

Contents

Truth be told, there are plenty more muscles used during the kettlebellswing but I’ve tried to stick to the most common and known ones, I also categorized them a bit differently than normal. If your grip has no endurance then you won’t be completing high reps unbroken.

Throughout the swing, your erector spinal muscles need to work to keep your spine erect, and there is actually a lot more going on inside as well to protect the spine and brace the abs. These are the muscles that create the movement which is the hip and knee extension only when we’re talking about the conventional kettlebellswing.

These are the muscles responsible for getting the kettle bell overhead with the American kettlebellswing. Not a great quality video at all, but the content is, I explain how to prevent the common back aches from the kettlebellswing, whether using the conventional/Russian or American swing.

The following is a drill I use for teaching the deep hip hinge insert which is what happens during the back swing and is also used to prevent bobbing of the kettle bell. If you want to be efficient with the American swing, stay safe, and be able to perform high reps then there is no doubt in my mind that you should lay the foundation with the conventional kettlebellswing and then continue that knowledge through the kettle bell snatch.

Taco Fleur Russian Gregory Sport Institute Kettle bell Coach, Caveman training Certified, IFF Certified Kettle bell Teacher, Kettle bell Sport Rank 2, HardstyleFit Kettle bell Level 1 Instructor., CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, CrossFit Judges Certificate, CrossFit Lesson Planning Certificate, Kettle bells Level 2 Trainer, Kettle bell Science and Application, MMA Fitness Level 2, MMA Conditioning Level 1, BJJ Purple Belt and more. Kettle bell swings were introduced to the US by Russian fitness expert Pavel Tsatsouline at the turn of the 21st Century.

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(Source: www.darkironfitness.com)

Since their introduction, Russian kettle bells have become a familiar sight in many gyms and a popular choice for home workouts. 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.

If you’re looking for a single piece of fitness equipment that promotes a full body workout, then kettle bells are a great choice, and the kettlebellswing is the most effective exercise. But the question on many people’s lips is, “what muscles do kettle bell swings work?”, and that’s what I want to answer in this post.

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. 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.

kettlebell swing benefits swings exercise muscles kettle squat kettlebells workout exercises muscle bell groups does before they training body technique
(Source: www.darkironfitness.com)

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.

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. Kettle bell swings 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.

I knew enough to realize I had to incorporate weight resistance training along with dieting; otherwise, I'd simply end up as a skinny version of my fat self. Within a short time after I started swinging, I noticed shoulder and arm definition I had never seen on my body, not even in my 20s.

Within 15 months, I had shed 120 pounds and was able to lower my body fat to 15-to-18 percent, that of an elite level female athlete-all this with zero traditional cardio training! I have dedicated my life to training and teaching the swing and to designing the toughest, most efficient, not to mention fun, workouts a person can do.

kettlebell muscles swings worked swing american workout crossfit kettlebells exercises during conventional cavemantraining workouts
(Source: www.cavemantraining.com)

Kettlebellswing training is your 1-stop shop for muscle size, definition, fat loss and the heart of a racehorse. After years of training clients and leading seminars and certificate programs, I've encountered just about every question about the swing.

I think the best way to get you to pick up a kettle bell and swing it (if you haven't already) is to lead you through the top five questions and give you my most convincing answers. If you're ready to jump right in, skip to question number five for how to work it into your current workout schedule.

The kettlebellswing works the muscles in the hips, glutes, hamstrings, lats, abs, shoulders, pecs and grip. It's a simple and fast way to incorporate a very athletic movement into a routine safely while burning a ton of calories.

The kettlebellswing is the perfect way to increase fat burning without sacrificing hard-earned muscle mass, as you do with regular cardio. I'm talking about the little, fibrous beauties that endure microscopic tears in training, and then rebuild and grow to give your muscles incredible depth and density.

The swing can bring a whole-body move into a bodybuilding routine and builds more of an athletic look while increasing low-back stability. The swing burns more calories in a shorter period of time than any other method of cardio (unless you're busting out a 6-minute mile, which I doubt).

kettlebell muscles swing fitness technique exercises education posterior chain nordic
(Source: twitter.com)

Training the swing also creates high heart rates with relatively light weights. It's safe because it's no impact, making it easy on the joints, and more fun to do than the StairMaster or treadmill, in my opinion.

The swing further refines the physique while simultaneously boosting your cardiovascular strength and endurance-best 2-for-1 deal on the market! So I began to create and design swing routines and programs based on interval training.

If you've ever done cardio interval training, you know it's about performing short bursts of intensity, followed by rest, and then repeating this pattern. With the swing, interval training increases your cardiovascular ability while distracting you from the incredible workload you bear.

My workouts require you to focus on the sets, reps, and variations of the 2-hand and 1-hand kettlebellswing, which takes your mind away from the actual work you do, making it seem as if the time had just flown by. You have a lot of options; there are numerous ways to incorporate swing training into your existing bodybuilding routine.

A simple way would be to use it as a finisher at the end of a workout that involves your legs or your back, since the weights are relatively light. You can train heavy kettle bells for low reps while working your cardio, or swing 30-to-40 minutes with lighter bells allowing you to focus on fat burning while maintaining muscle mass.

squat kettlebell swing snatch jump muscles swings deadlift clean zercher worked arm front vs side american squats body primary leg
(Source: kettlebellcentral.com)

How-to Images View our enormous library of workout photos and see exactly how each exercise should be done before you give it a shot. The KettlebellSwing is the most important kettle bell exercise of all but also the one that most people struggle to master.

Kettle bell swings are based on the dead lift movement pattern and hit almost every muscle in the body especially those of the posterior chain resulting in a stronger back and hips. If you only had time to do one kettle bell exercise then KB swings would be a fine choice.

Below I have gone into great detail about how to get your kettlebellswing form correct so let’s get started: It targets the posterior chain and essentially you are loading and reloading the back of the body as you accelerate and decelerate the kettle bell.

Also, at the bottom of the kettlebellswing you are decelerating its load and forcing the muscles to absorb and then reverse the swings' momentum. “ Over the last decade or so, kettle bell exercise has enjoyed a successful reintroduction into the fitness industry.

If your main objective is fat loss then there are not many single exercises better than the kettlebellswing. Kettle bell swings targets over 600 muscles in one go creating huge demands on energy consumption which in turn means more calories burnt.

kettlebell swing form muscles handed swings benefits worked points teaching training exercise
(Source: kettlebellsworkouts.com)

Huge amounts of oxygen are required to fund the kettlebellswing movement so it only takes between 30 – 60 seconds before your heart and lungs are really working hard. Based on these observations, the “man-maker” kettle bell drill provided a metabolic challenge of sufficient intensity to increase _V O2max.

If you suffer with bad knees then often the swing can be tolerated due to the lack of excessive bend at the knee meaning you can still strengthen the legs, hips and your cardio without needing to squat or lunge. Kettle bell swings develops lots of explosive power through the hips and legs which is vital for most sports.

Unlike lots of other exercises you hardly need any room to perform the KB swing. Your feet will not move and the kettle bell will only extend slightly further than your hands so you could work out anywhere within a 6-foot square space.

You will get some conditioning through the quads but not as much as with squats or lunges, great for women because it will not bulk up the legs. However, this is not such a bad thing as the chest is often overworked by men resulting in rounded shoulders.

In fact kettle bell swings can help improve a chests' appearance by producing a more upright posture and pulling the shoulders backwards. As mentioned, the kettlebellswing is a dynamic movement so caution needs to be exercised when selecting the right weight.

kettlebell swing swings muscles benefits body row kettle bell during many weak upper muscle works away cake step kettlebells challenge
(Source: andidornelas.blogspot.com)

You need to start with a basic movement skill called the hip hinge: There are various different types of kettlebellswing (more on these later) but to begin with it is important that you master the basic hip hinge movement.

“ Briefly, the swing exercise is initiated by driving the (15), loading the hamstrings while maintaining correct alignment between the back of the head, and the C8 and sacral vertebrae, and “packing” the shoulder neutral shoulder girdle). The motion is then powerfully reversed, with the aim of projecting the hip girdle, and, as such the kettle bell, forward.

The kettle bell should be vertical displaced to between hip and shoulder height, depending on the mass of the kettle bell, and swing exercise should be continued until the perceived “crispness” of the movement begins to decline. ( Lake and Lauder 2012) To ensure that your weight distribution is correct you can practice a few kettle bell swings with your toes curled back towards you.

It is crucial that during your kettle swings you keep your lower back flat. There should be a straight line running from your tail right up to your shoulders, these are all the kettlebellswingmuscles of the posterior chain.

Keep your chest raised high as if being pulled up by your rib cage. If you find that your back starts to bend at the bottom part of the kettlebellswing then push your hips further backwards and don’t lean so far forwards.

kettlebell swings muscles swing worked muscle groups workout targeted workouts fitness kettlebells exercises training biceps lower tips
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

McGill (13) has also shown that conscious bracing of the abdominal wall during the swing will further stabilize the spine adding training tolerance ( Jones et al.) The head needs to be positioned so that it creates a good alignment at the neck.

I will often teach beginners just to focus on the horizon as a lifted chin at the downward part of the kettlebellswing will help to keep the back flat. Depending on the width of the kettle bell handle you are using you may be able to hold on with all fingers from both hands, this is the best option.

During the swing the kettle bell is constantly trying to get away from you and so good grip is required just to keep holding on. The forward bending movement should come from a crease at the hips and not a dipping of the knees.

A good way to monitor this is to take the kettle bell only to the mid forearm on the inner thigh. The top of the kettlebellswing can vary and will be dictated by the strength and power of your hips and posterior chain.

The harder and faster you drive your hips forwards the higher the kettle bell will want to go. So a good hip snap but only a height of 45 degrees is a better start than using your shoulders to pull the kettle bell up the rest of the way.

kettlebell swing muscles worked form during should mistakes pulled manner isometric act lower meaning shoulder
(Source: kettlebellsworkouts.com)

This technique works inline with nature stimulating your extensor muscles as you straighten up and forces the air out as you fold forwards. As the weight increases your diaphragm steps in to help out your core muscles and stabilize your spine.

If you do opt for starting from the ground then start with the kettle bell 12 inches in front of your toes, load your hamstrings and entire posterior chain by putting your weight on your heels, brace your abs, pull back between your legs and then drive your hips forwards with everything you’ve got. Don’t attempt to twist your upper body and swing it to the side of your one foot.

During the last kettlebellswing repetition, decelerate its momentum as it swings between your legs and come to a steady stop in front of you, keeping your lower and upper back flat at all times. If your timing is off you will not generate the correct power through your hips and also “muscle” the kettle bell up more with your shoulders.

When the kettle bell is at its lowest point between your legs your hips should be the furthest back they can be. As mentioned earlier, all the power for the kettlebellswing comes from the hips and posterior chain.

Solution: Don’t get into a rocking routine when you swing, remember its 2 moves, backwards and forwards, nothing else. Solution: If your stance is too wide you will lack power and reduce the amount of leverage you have through your hips and knees.

kettlebell muscles swing worked swings handed arm single exercise
(Source: juanlugofitness.com)

Swinging the bell just to horizontal with the floor or reducing the weight may also help you to master this technique. Solution: Ensure that the complete kettlebellswing comes from the hip snap and not the shoulders.

If you are getting sore upper back or neck muscles you are probably using your arms and shoulders too much. If you find that you are getting a very sore back then re-address your technique starting at the hip hinge.

Solution: As the kettle bell reaches the transition period at the bottom between your legs ensure that the bell does not flick. Solution: A common problem when your weight is not kept in the middle and heels of the feet.

Solution: Often the knees will want to splay outwards to allow for the kettle bell to swing between the legs. If you find this is happening sit further back on your heels and keep your chest up.

Solution: Keeping your head up at the bottom part of the kettlebellswing can cause a jarring of the neck if you go too low. Solution: Don’t be lazy starting and finishing your swings this is the worst time to take your eye off your technique.

kettlebell swings muscles worked benefits form proper swing muscle results groups benefit guide
(Source: craigtuttlefitness.com)

Keep your back flat and use your hips to pick up and put down the bell. The kettle bell is held with both hands so the total body works in a symmetrical forwards and backwards movement.

Swinging the kettle bell with one hand does two things: firstly it doubles the load on the one shoulder joint and secondly it pulls the upper body into rotation requiring more core stabilization. “The study showed for the first time that 1-armed kettlebellswing induced greater activation of the contralateral side of the upper erector spinal than that of the ipsilateral side and greater than during 2-armed swing.

The lower erector spinal or external oblique was similarly activated on both sides during both swing exercises. With the alternating swing the brain has to start working a little harder, you need to focus or you can miss and drop the kettle bell.

You will need lots of focus and a good swinging technique to perform this effectively and safely. Great for training outside and to add an addition element to the regular two handed swings.

Progression : once you reach this point you are very comfortable with the swing and the next two variations can be completed when you feel ready. Holding a kettle bell in each hand will double the load placed on your total body so be careful.

kettlebell swing muscles glutes min exercise legs
(Source: fitnessvolt.com)

The kettle bell is taken across the upper body rather than between the legs so you also need to be careful not to hit the front knee. As you continue practicing and working on the kettlebellswing you will get to a point where you need to increase the kettle bell weight.

I have found the following system very effective for knowing when to increase the weight safely: It has taken years of teaching and training with kettle bells to discover all these finer points so please save yourself some time and learn from my experience.

Remember to first master the hip hinge before moving on to two handed KB swings. Go nice and steady and you’ll be falling in love with the results that short and simple kettlebellswing workouts can deliver.

The kettlebellswing targets 100’s of muscles in one movement creating huge demands on energy consumption which in turn means more calories burnt. Kettle bell swings are therefore a great way to improve physical endurance, muscle strength and conditioning, cardiovascular functions, and increase lung efficiency.

Yes, at the top position of the kettlebellswing the core has to work hard to control your pelvis and prevent you from overextending your hips.

kettlebell swing exercise right muscles swings bell exercises form kettlebells fat loss kb weight most kettleball
(Source: fatlossaccelerators.com)

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