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What Type Of Exercise Is Kettlebell Swing

author
David Lawrence
• Saturday, 28 November, 2020
• 19 min read

The kettlebellswing is an explosive training movement ideal for those looking to burn calories and to lose weight. It can be performed as an individual exercise or as part of your high-intensity interval training after working out with heavier weights.

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Contents

Improves your cardiovascular fitness and endurance Helps you burn around 200 calories if 100 swings are done in 10 minutes (10 swings per minute) Develops lean muscle mass Increases you're pushing, pressing, and squatting strength Builds solid glutes, improves hip flexibility, and develops a powerful core KettlebellSwing DeadliftMuscles Worked Deltoid, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and abs Erector spinal, traps, glutes, hamstrings, adductors, quads Used for Building strength, shoulder flexibility, and cardiovascular enduranceDeveloping strength and muscle mass in the lower body Weights Needed Lighter kettlebellsMaximum weight Start the exercise by having a kettle bell (weighing about 35-80 lbs) on the floor in front of you and stand with a shoulder-width stance.

Slightly bend at your knees and hinge at the hips to grab the kettle bell using both hands with an overhand grip. Driving your hips forward and then straightening your back, move the kettle bell up to your shoulder level.

1 This is important because for those with lower back issues traditional posterior chain exercises such as dead lifts, good mornings, etc. For those looking to strengthen the lower back and unable to use these traditional exercises the swing may be just the thing they’re looking for.

This results in a muscle flushing that McGill wrote about, quoting Jay’s 2010 research: The rapid acceleration of the bell via the motion of the hips and knees is accompanied by substantial activation of muscles in both the posterior chain and the abdominal.

They proposed the muscle flushing mechanism as an explanation for the reports of lower pain. Now, sniff air into your belly through your nose and then exhale short and sharp like you’re trying to blow out a candle far away.

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But when you use forceful exhalation, known in ROC circles as power breathing, you are essentially creating a stiff wall around that flagpole to keep it stiffer. Using the Cassava maneuver creates a dynamic internal pressure that I believe supercharges the cerebral-spinal fluid flow.

The INTERCAL pressure is greatly increased when you add movement to the Cassava maneuver. Cerebral-spinal fluid is pumped or controlled by respiration that causes movement in the sacrum and cranial bones.

I believe that the spinal curves must be correctly maintained or the flow of information in the nervous system is compromised. In order to do the Kettlebellswing correctly I really had to work on my form and this had an incredible influence on establishing the proper robotic and kyphotic curvatures of my spine.

If we’re looking to the swing to be our one size fits all solution to back care then we must recognize that, for many, swinging the bell overhead is impossible without hyper extending the lower back or jamming the neck or shoulders due to limitations in their thoracic mobility. The swing is an expression of forward force projection such as found in boxing or martial arts, like a straight punch.

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.

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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.

Frequency ExerciseType IntensityRepetitionsRest 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.

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. When you go from HINGE to ROOT, the harder you contract your glutes, the higher the kettle bell will FLOAT.

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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.

Explosive movements like barbell cleans, high pulls and snatches all require an explosive pull and fast hips, but are typically dropped at the apex of the movement and require much more time for mastery. With the swing you get to play with maximum output synced with the deceleration of a ballistic load.

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This creates a weight that feels much heavier on the body due to acceleration and allows for multiple repetitions. Not only are you building a strong posterior with the swing you’ll also get the added benefits of increasing your grip strength, building work capacity, reinforcing the subtle balance of tension and fluidity that carries over into just about every athletic arena, and even has the potential to increase hamstring flexibility (assuming you’re not too squat).

Every client I ever had that started doing kettle bell swings praised the movement for building a stronger back and looser mammies. It helps you feel the movement throughout glutes, hamstrings, back and core while teaching tension.

Since you can dictate the speed you can teach the loaded hinge with a pause and break the movement up into two different pieces until they can seamlessly flow together. Context is everything and realizing that even though the bilateral stance allows for maximum drive it also puts the most stress on the lumbar spine.

Even with this one movement there’s variation based on how much tension you apply, whether you allow the bell to float or pull it down, and how high you go. I first tried this from Pavel back in the ROC days and still incorporate it occasionally to intensify lighter loads.

There is no weightlessness at the peak of the movement so as soon as you get to your end point you immediately pull back into the downswing as hard as you can. Typically, when a trainee complains about back pain while swinging it’s a lack of tension so this has the ability to teach them where to engage and when.

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The idea here is to pause just before the initial back swing and hip drive and then hit that landmark each time. The alternating swing is going to require some timing which gets us into one of my favorite benefits of ballistic kettle bell work which is coordination and awareness.

While you can simply keep one hand on the bell at all times, to get the best results I employ a catch and release tactic. Your gaze will be slightly altered as you downswing since you’ll want to keep a neutral neck position.

As you downswing you’ll create a natural rotation through your hips and torso, but it’s important to keep the bell in front of you on the way up. With this movement it will feel easy to round through your shoulders and mid-back on the downswing so maintain that extension through your upper back with lat engagement as much as possible.

Balance issues can come into play so that’s why it’s important to start with lighter weight at first. As you receive the bell you’ll rotate toward the planted leg creating more stress through the adductors that will help you build more stability through your limbo pelvic hip complex.

You can make it as varied as you want changing foot positions laterally or keeping your heel high off the ground of your non-dominant leg. Most swing movements keep the bell in between the legs in a wider stance, but for some clients this can pose too big of an issue on their back.

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The reason I don’t like to start with this variation is that most new trainees will simply swing their arms taking the hinge out of the equation. Performing this variation will require a narrow stance to avoid taking out your knee, but will engage your trunk significantly more on the opposing side particularly through your oblique, glute and hip.

As the width increases it’s easy to lose the tracking of your knees and toes so be mindful of excessive external hip rotation. Maintaining a narrow stance, you’ll also find that this variation will allow you to go heavier which will load your traps and upper back more.

You’ll be loading this contra laterally again (plant the knee of the opposite hand holding the kettle bell). This is another great variation for those that need help reinforcing the hinge since you reduce the distance the bell has to travel.

You’ll feel this movement throughout your entire core, but predominantly through your glutes, back, obliques, and lats. With a narrow stance you’ll be pulling and changing direction of the movement quickly while maintaining a strong hinge position.

With only one hand you’ll finish the movement in full hip extension bringing the kettle bell laterally. It’s important to keep as straight a back as possible since this movement will challenge you from multiple levels while trying to pull you over.

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(Source: www.onnit.com)

When practiced it does a fantastic job at building upper and lower body strength. With this variation you’ll be moving, rotating, hinging, and changing foot positions each rep.

Coordinating hip drive with the step and moving through the weightlessness of the bell is what makes this movement so dynamic and challenging. Similar to the staggered swing the movement will be more or less challenging depending on how much pressure you put on the back foot.

This will create strength and power on each leg while adding a coordination benefit as you alternate foot positions. It’s important to remember that regardless of what the high priests of kettle bell have said there is more than one way to swing a bell.

As your training evolves I strongly recommend learning from a number of coaches and experimenting with yourself and your athletes based on different needs and areas of your programming. I always encourage a “flow and play” day (or two) where your training is based on feel without a specific rep or set scheme.

This gives you some freedom to experiment with multiple types of swings (or any movement for that matter) and gives some much-needed unstructured play into an otherwise incredible linear training world. With that said, it’s also important to understand the fundamentals before getting too “out there.” Have a good handle on the basics and then push yourself just outside your comfort zone.

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While the specific muscle benefits are clutch, the best part is that this movement translates to a more fit and powerful body overall. A 2012 study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research found that kettlebellswing training increased both maximum and explosive strength in athletes, while a study conducted by the American Council on Exercise found that kettle bell training (in general) can increase aerobic capacity, improve dynamic balance, and dramatically increase core strength.

“Because you are only using one side of your body, you must keep tension in your core at the top of the swing to stay balanced,” says Carr. “The one-handed swing is slightly more difficult because you're being challenged to control the entire movement with one side.

As a result, it's best to start with a lighter weight and build up as you become more comfortable with the movement.” Stand with feet shoulder-width apart and a kettle bell on the floor about a foot in front of toes.

Hinging at the hips and keeping a neutral spine (no rounding your back), bend down and grab the kettle bell handle with both hands. C. Powering through the hips, exhale and quickly stand up and swing the kettle bell forward up to eye level.

At the top of the movement, your abdominal muscles and glutes should visibly contract. To help you do this, blow your breath out when the kettle bell reaches the top, which will create tension in your core.

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Despite their simplicity, kettle bells are one of the most useful and versatile tools any fitness enthusiast can have. From casual exercise lovers to expert bodybuilders kettle bell swings are a favorite because of their effectiveness.

The Kettlebellswing is so effective because it’s the only type of exercise that works on the human frame while it also offers other significant benefits like: A study on ballet dancers by the University of Paul in Italy tried to find out if the kettlebellswing can increase balancing ability.

The researchers divided the participants into two groups: one that trained using ordinary exercises, and the other followed a kettlebellswing routine. By the end of the study, the researchers found that the group that did the kettlebellswing regularly increased their balance.

Building your body’s endurance enables you to run faster, function better, heal quickly and even have a better heartbeat. Apart from proper form, the efficiency of performing a kettlebellswing also depends on your breathing.

Having the right breathing pattern helps you increase the force and speed when doing the swing. This breathing pattern engages your diaphragm; this, in turn, helps improve your lung efficiency.

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The extra work your abdominal muscles and latissimus Doris do, help in strengthening your core causing your abs to develop in the process. For you to lose weight, you have to reduce your calorie intake and exercise.

This enables your body to burn more calories even after you complete your workout, which eventually leads to weight loss. The kettlebellswing incorporates different types of exercises, and this helps every muscle group in the body.

They not only offer numerous benefits, but they also incorporate multiple exercises in every swing. Kettle bells are powerful chunks of iron that finally are getting the respect they deserve.

But if you haven’t used them before, you might wonder what makes them different from dumbbells or any other type of free weight. You can do so many things with kettle bells: they can be pressed, swung, snatched, cradled, and rowed.

This makes them excellent for any type of interval work or HIIT workouts that require minimal rest between exercises, since you don’t have to waste time changing equipment. Research shows that kettle bell workouts can burn up to 300 calories in just 20 minutes, while also increasing aerobic capacity in as little as four weeks (1, 2).

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In fact, performing kettle bell exercises with a heavy kettle bell is almost a guarantee that you will burn even more fat, thanks to something called excess post- exercise oxygen consumption or after burn.” Here’s how the after burn effect works: during a workout you’re short of breath and feel an intense burn in your muscles, which is the result of depleted oxygen levels in your cells and the buildup of lactic acid in your muscles.

In fact, studies have found a 4.2 percent boost in metabolism following high-intensity resistance workouts that resulted in “significantly elevated” fat oxidation over a 16-hour period (3). If you’re ready to cash in on these fat-burning effects, check out the five new powerful kettle bell workouts below.

It’s essential to know how to properly rack your kettle bell against your palm and arm in order to safely perform many of these exercises. This position is used to properly guide the movement of the kettle bell without straining the forearm and shoulders, especially during exercises like snatches and presses.

One mistake many beginners make with the racked position is “gripping” the handle from the top, creating unnecessary pressure on the forearm. The kettle bell will be rotated roughly 45 degrees, and will “sit” on your forearm.

However, you shouldn’t feel any uncomfortable pressure if your form is correct. There are a lot of swings featured in these workouts, and you’ll notice they’re all Russian instead of American.

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The reason I always perform Russian swings is, first and foremost, to protect the shoulder joints. Below are five variations of kettlebellswing workouts that will have you melting away fat and building lean muscle in record time.

This will increase your balance and build strength in your stability muscles. Focus of keeping your head, neck, and spine in line at all times.

Core-Strengthening Kettle bell Workout This workout focuses on kettle bell exercises that build a strong core and stability muscles, which zip up your midsection into a tight corset of muscle. Beginner: Begin with a lighter kettle bell weight of 10 to 12 lbs.

Advanced: Use a challenging kettle bell weight and lower your reps to 6 to 8. Intermediate: Increase your kettle bell weight to around 15 to 20 lbs.

Advanced: Choose personally challenging kettle bell weight. This glute and leg sculpting kettle bell workout will have your legs and butt burning during the workout, and you’ll love the post-workout results.

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Beginner: Begin with a lighter kettle bell weight of 10 to 12 lbs. Upper Body Kettle bell Circuit While most kettle bell workouts give you a good upper body workout regardless of the movement, this one focuses intently on moves to sculpt your biceps, shoulders, back, and triceps.

However, it’s this type of intensity that’s going to change your body for good. My Fat Blaster Workout will put you on the fast track to feeling fitter and slimmer.

I must admit, I had a pretty low opinion of this exercise when I first saw it, mainly because I thought that it couldn’t be good for the back and that the risk of injury was probably high as the movement involves using inertia (and with poor form this could go wrong pretty quickly). If you’re just learning, start with a lighter weight as this will allow more room for error without injury, until you get the hang of the move.

Exercise : Two-handed kettlebellswing Muscles worked: Quads, Glutes, back, arms, plus cardio. Point your toes slightly outwards and keep the weight in your heels.

Keeping your spine in a neutral position and core tight, hinge forward at the hips with your knees slightly bent and reach down to pick up the kettle bell between your feet. At this time, you need to sit back with your hips, with a slight bend in the knees.

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Keeping your arms straight, ‘snap’ up by driving your hips up and forwards to swing the kettle bell up in front of you. Repeat alternating between ‘hike’ and ‘snap’, being sure to have your breathing match your movement.

Watch the video above if you haven’t already, to make sure you are doing the movement correctly! Perfecting Your Form Keep the abdominal engaged throughout the exercise with a neutral spine position in order to protect your back.

Sit backwards in the downward motion, whilst maintaining your balance and the inertia of the kettle bell. Really squeeze the glutes in a forward thrusting motion to ‘pop’ the kettle bell up towards the high part of the swing.

Rep pin’ It With practice you can step up either the reps or the weight, and I would suggest experimenting with both to keep your body guessing.

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Sources
1 www.setforset.com - https://www.setforset.com/blogs/news/lose-weight-fast-with-kettlebells
2 darkironfitness.com - https://darkironfitness.com/how-quickly-can-you-lose-weight-with-kettlebells/