What Is Russian Kettlebell Swing

Christina Perez
• Wednesday, 16 December, 2020
• 24 min read

Read the entire post or skip ahead using the table of contents below. The Russiankettlebellswing is a great low impact exercise that strengthens many muscles and does not put a ton of stress on the joints.

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Because of the hip hinging movement pattern in the exercise you’ll be able to train the glutes and hamstrings. From there, the shoulders, back (mostly lats) are used to help bring the kettle bell to chest height.

Because kettle bell swings may elicit cardiovascular, neuromuscular, and metabolic responses sufficient for improvements in strength, aerobic power, and overall physical fitness. In one study conducted researchers compared thirty minutes of kettle bell swings and dead lifts to walking on a treadmill at a slight incline.

The kettle bell workout and treadmill cardio had similar VO2, blood pressure, and calorie burn markers, but the kettle bell workout had a higher rate of perceived exertion (it felt harder) and heart rate. What this tells us is that kettle bell workouts (and swings) could be a good method for cardiovascular training.

The results of one study compared the effects of weight lifting and kettle bell training on vertical jump, strength, and body composition. Results showed that short-term weightlifting and kettle bell training were effective in increasing strength and power.

However, the gains in strength using weightlifting movements were greater than that during kettle bell training. Just keep in mind that to build strength in the Russiankettlebellswing you need progressive overload.

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This is totally normal and is creatively called “beginner gains.” Almost anything you do is progressive overload at this point and your body responds very quickly to it. Grab the kettle bell with both hands and stand up using proper dead lift form.

Begin to push your hips back while maintaining a flat torso. Use the hips and glutes to thrust forward and drive the kettle bell up Maintain relaxed arms as you are doing this.

As the kettle bell approaches chest height keep the shoulders from shrugging to the ears. Knees and hips will lock out as the bell reaches chest to chin height.

To hip hinge start by standing with your feet about shoulder width apart. Shift your weight to the heels and push your hips back.

Continue driving the hips back until your torso is parallel with the ground. Reverse the movement and stand up by contracting you glutes and pushing your hips forward.

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Below are a couple of exercises and progressions to help level up your hip hinge game. The biggest difference between the Russiankettlebellswing and American kettlebellswing is in how high (the apex) you bring the kettle bell while swinging it.

The American kettle bell swing takes a longer period of time to complete which can inhibit power output. This might not develop as much strength through the glutes, hips, and posterior chain.

If you have healthy shoulders, good range of motion, and don’t have heavy enough kettle bells at home or where you train. Russian swings allow me to use heavier weight and are easier for me to maintain my form, so I do those.

As mentioned earlier kettle bell swings are low impact on the joints. But one of the greatest benefits of the Russiankettlebellswing is that it can strengthen many muscles in the core and posterior chain.

Some studies are even showing that regular kettle bell training can help reduce pain in the neck, shoulders, and back as well. Photo: Jewell Chiropractic Kettle bell swings can also be a great way to burn some calories.

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Kettle bell swings are simple in theory but can be more difficult in practice. Because high reps are often used in kettle bell swings the rounded spine can be troublesome.

This is typically because the weight is too heavy and it may feel like the legs are needed to get enough power to get the kettle bell up. Second, it could just be a matter of misunderstanding form, it might feel like you need to let the kettle bell get away to get it up.

Just like the squat above, lightening the load and revisiting form should do the trick. Continue practicing dead lift form, work on keeping your shoulders back and down, and use mini reps to help get comfortable using the hip hinge.

Below are a few commons questions I’ve received from coaching clients about kettle bell swings. When you hear 1 Food used to describe a kettle bell that means it weight 36.11 pounds.

Focus on form first as a way to decrease risk of injury as you start swinging it at higher volumes and more often. A few practice reps every couple of days is a great place to start.

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Once form, strength, and conditioning is built up the reps can vary depending on the individual. This will all vary depending on the skill and physical limitations of the individual.

A calorie deficit is the only thing that contributes to fat loss. Kettle bell swings uses calories but your best bet is to use your diet for fat loss.

Beginners will experience rapid results while those that have been training for a while will see much slower progression. Fat loss comes down to creating a consistent calorie deficit over time.

It depends on if you’re creating a consistent calorie deficit over time and reduce your body fat levels enough to be “ripped.” Mancini, Rodrigo Luiz et al. Kettle bell Exercise as an Alternative to Improve Aerobic Power and Muscle Strength.” Journal of human kinetics vol.

Chan M, McGinnis MJ, Koch S, et al. Cardiopulmonary Demand of 16-kg Kettle bell Snatches in Simulated Gregory Sport. Otto WH 3rd, Co burn Jr, Brown LE, Spearing BA.

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Jay K, Frisco D, Hansen K, et al. Kettle bell training for musculoskeletal and cardiovascular health: a randomized controlled trial. The fact that we are asking such questions is far more important because it means that, regardless of which answer you choose, the situation has gotten bad for everyone.

What will happen when the average kettle bell enthusiast finally realizes that his whole life, his house, children, car and even his dentist, is under threat? Things are not dark yet, but the world has apparently entered a sort of twilight state, limbo if you will.

The power of the swing is generated from the hips while the spine is held perfectly stable and neutral. At the apex of the swing, the kettle bell is at chest level, and the athlete’s glutes are contracted, quads are engaged, the stomach is rock solid and braced for impact, and lats are actively pulling the shoulders away from the ears.

While the American version of the kettlebellswing moves the kettle bell through a greater range of motion, it places the shoulder joint, which is highly unstable, in a compromised position at the top portion of the swing. This somewhat obvious point is actually even greater than one might think because once the arms and kettle bell are moved beyond parallel with the ground, the athlete is at a disadvantage.

The kettle bell slows quite a bit once it passes the chest on the upswing due to this disadvantage. Everyone doesn’t have access to heavy or multiple kettle bells and not all fitness enthusiasts want to train for explosive hip drive.

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If you are a trainer or a client of a boot camp style training session, the American Swing is an excellent way to increase your work capacity. If you only have access to a light kettle bell, bringing the swing all the way to the overhead position increases the amount of hip drive required to get the kettle bell overhead which, in turn, increases the work capacity of the exercise.

The Russiankettlebellswing is a very effective functional movement which elicits muscle and strength gains, along with aerobic benefits as well. The American kettlebellswing, swings higher than the Russian. Instead of snapping the kettle bell to chin level, you’re raising it overhead.

It’s always important to use good form to optimize the movement and prevent injuries. Grip the kettle bell with both hands and swing it between your legs until it reaches slightly behind your body.

Your arms should end somewhere around parallel to the ground, and you should drive upward through your heels. Maintain a straight back and bend your knees, then grip the kettle bell with both hands.

Focus on hinging from your hips to snap the kettle bell upward during the Russian swing. Do not perform the American variation if you don’t have complete mobility of the shoulders and/or full thoracic extension.

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The Russiankettlebellswing is ideal for athletes who want to incorporate KB swings into their training sessions, but may not have very good shoulder or thoracic mobility. This is naturally more beneficial for hypertrophy due to the potential for more frequent progressive overload.

Good form is essential and functional movements are best done through a larger range of motion. The American KB swing is not ideal for those with limited shoulder and thoracic mobility American KB swings require a close grip in an overhead position, which increases stress and mobility, which can then lead to injury with improper technique.

Your posterior chain (Backside of the body) is a large target area for this exercise, plus your core and other supporting muscles. The chest and arms are also involved to an extent during the kettlebellswing, but they are not exactly the target muscle groups.

Back (Trapezium, erector spinal, rhomboids, and latissimus Doris) Shoulders (Anterior and lateral deltoid mostly) Hip flexors Legs (Quadriceps, hamstring, glutes, calves) Core (Rectus abdominal and obliques) You’ll simply grip the dumbbell in a vertical position and perform the swing as you would with a kettle bell.

The dumbbell is raised up in front of the chest so naturally it’s engaged since the shoulder fibers are attached to the pectoralis muscles. But there are many kettle bell exercises dedicated for working the chest muscles specifically.

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A: There are many great benefits which justify including the kettlebellswing in your training arsenal. The kettlebellswing requires a lot of posterior-chain involvement but the legs must assist to hinge the hips upward.

The more advanced you are, the heavier you can train safely while steadily increasing the poundage and/or reps. But, of course, there’s a limit and it’s best to perform higher reps to complete the movement efficiently.

Since the hips are doing a lot of the movement, the assisting muscles are highly involved, while the kettlebellswing is also a great strength-building exercise. The hips should be prime movers for the bending and thrusting the kettle bell upward.

It takes 3,500 calories either way to lose or gain a pound which is something to be mindful of, even when planning your diet for weight loss. One study concluded that kettle bell training is a viable option for weight loss.

13 subjects performed 10 minutes of kettle bell swings above 85% of their maximum heart rate with short rest periods in between, and the average calories burned was 375 kilocalories. Now, although kettle bell training does burn a decent number of calories, it’s not a substitute for doing pure cardio.

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50 participants performed kettle bell training for eight weeks with all variables being equal. The volunteers experienced significant improvements in aerobic capacity, core strength, and dynamic balance.

The core is the center of every physical movement but strong abs and obliques protect the lower back during weight training. These core muscles allow you to maintain your balance, and they keep your torso upright which is crucial.

“ I think that’s huge because the stronger people are through the core, the less low-back pain they are going to have,” explained Forward. Choose 2-3 of the following exercises per workout based on your level of training experience.

Plus, it’ll improve unilateral (Affecting one side) strength and function. After your set, place your right foot in front and repeat using your left arm for the swing.

Both the Russian and American kettlebellswing are viable options for a functional and effective, full-body movement. It’s simpler with a smaller range of motion which is ideal for those with limited shoulder and thoracic mobility.

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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. But Tim Ferris says “the two armed kettlebellswing is the king and is all you need for dramatic body recomposition results”.

It takes time to master the kettlebellswing, but once you’ve got it nailed, this exercise has a wide range of benefits. 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. Kettle bell swings are fast and explosive, while dead lifts are much slower.

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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 kettlebellswing, you can enjoy all the benefits this exercise has to offer while avoiding all the risks.

Hold your kettle bell in front of your hips with an overhand grip. 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.

Russiankettlebell 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.

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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.

No other kettle bell exercise offers so many benefits and is so easy to learn. 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.

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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 It’s an explosive and natural expression of hip extension, a key portion of your vertical leap and your sprinter’s stride, too.

You stand grasping a kettle bell with both hands, core tight, toes pointed ever-so-slightly outward, knees slightly bent. From there, you push your butt back slightly and hinge at the waist, letting momentum take the kettle bell behind your thighs.

Momentum carries the kettle bell upwards and in front of you, and your arms drive forward, typically until they’re parallel to the ground, in the process. It’s a simple move that safely targets the muscles most guys need to work (glutes and hamstrings), keeping the emphasis on those muscles when you chain multiple reps together.

In practice, the American swing frequently takes the emphasis off your mammies and glutes, and average gym-goers over-involve muscles that aren't meant for the job, such as the shoulders and lower back. In general, you always want to choose exercises that minimize risk and maximize the benefits that’ll push you to your goals.

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You should evaluate all exercises this way (and not be afraid to question your group fitness trainer either -- it’s their job to answer you). American swing fans have two key arguments that fail to account for the way the general population actually moves.

It’s a demonstration of true shoulder flexion at the top of each rep, that your mid- and upper-back muscles will fire. In this way, it’s a total body exercise, and superior and more “complete” than the Russiankettlebellswing.

So that means, by default, they’re destined to perform the American swing incorrectly (and I've seen “fit” folks wreck this move, too). Targeting muscles is important, even if “all-workouts-should-be-total-body” nation doesn't understand that, because it's a key method of correcting weaknesses in both your mechanics and your physique.

Quick test: Lie with your belly on the ground, arms and legs long in front of you. Driving the shoulders into true overhead position isn’t as natural as you may think.

When forced to hit a true arms-directly-overhead position, many people compensate with movement in other areas, often arching their upper or (worse!) The basic swing lets you move a fairly heavy weight, since it relies on two of your body’s most powerful muscle groups, the legs and glutes, to generate the majority of the force.

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If those muscle groups can’t power the bell to the dumb American standard, the shoulders and lower back do the brunt of the extra work -- except they’re not meant to move the same load as the glutes and mammies. So the shoulder muscles and smaller upper-body stabilizers take over that large load.

The American swing crowd might contend that this isn’t all that different from a snatch anyway, hamstrings and glutes firing. Thing is, both the barbell and single-arm snatch versions let you drive weights overhead while rotating and spreading your shoulders more freely to create joint space for your rotator cuff tendons.

That can’t happen when both hands are grasping a kettle bell handle with a close grip. They rely on high rep loads, and, eventually, fatigue piles on.

Station-to-station randomness makes things worse: if the American swing ’s your first move, your mind and your shoulder blades aren’t fatigued. You could go “lighter” on the weight with the American swing, both in a class setting and in your own workouts, focusing on form.

Except then, your hamstrings and glutes, the targets of the classic swing, simply don’t get to move as much weight. Unless you compete in CrossFit (where the American swing sometimes shows up in competition), the wildest part about the stupidity of the American kettlebellswing is that there’s a much simpler way to achieve the super-aggressive hip extension and explosive glute contraction that it is supposed to bring.

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There’s a smarter, less injury-inducing way to push your glutes and hamstrings to “pop” more than they do on your average Russian swing. 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. 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).

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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.

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.

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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.

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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.

Other Articles You Might Be Interested In

01: Appropriate Kettlebell Weight For Beginners
02: Creative Names For Kettlebell Classes
03: Crossfit Kettlebell Weight For Men
04: Free Kettlebell Workouts For Men
05: Free Kettlebell Workout For Women
06: Frequently Asked Questions About Kettlebell Training
07: Creative Names For Kettlebell Classes
08: Crossfit Kettlebell Weight For Men
1 www.mensjournal.com - https://www.mensjournal.com/health-fitness/how-to-choose-the-right-kettlebell-weight-w447908/
2 www.onnit.com - https://www.onnit.com/academy/what-is-the-best-kettlebell-weight-to-start-with/
3 www.marathon-crossfit.com - http://www.marathon-crossfit.com/blog/which-kettlebell-set-should-i-buy
4 www.boxrox.com - https://www.boxrox.com/strength-building-kettlebell-workouts-for-crossfit-athletes-rx-scaled-and-beginner-2/
5 board.crossfit.com - https://board.crossfit.com/showthread.php
6 revival-strength.com - https://revival-strength.com/crossfit-kettlebell-workouts/