The kettlebell swing is my favorite total body exercise. That’s why I a variation of this exercise at every work out. It’s an exercise that helped me lose 70 lbs. and get into the best shape of my life.
In this article I explain in detail the benefits of kettlebell swings. I also show you how to experience them every time you perform a set of swings.
Just in case you’ve never done kettlebell swings before I’ve included instructional tips and a video at the end of this article which shows you how their performed.
The Benefits Of Kettlebell Swings
1. Get More Work Done In Less Time
Whether you want to strengthen and build your glutes or abs, upper back or shoulders kettlebell swings get it done. Your biceps and calves will great workout too. Training so many muscles in every rep enables you to get more work done in less time.
This efficiency enables you to achieve your fitness goals faster and spend less time in the gym. My wife never does any type of ‘isolation’ exercises for her biceps, triceps, or hamstrings and has the arms and legs that are the envy of the town.
2. They Give You A Cardio & Strength Training Workout At The Same Time
Done the right way, several sets of kettlebell swings will get your heart going as rapidly as several hill sprints. This helps your heart become stronger at the same time as the other muscles of your body.
There are a few ways you can do kettlebell swings to get a great cardio-strength workout. Two are timed sets and incomplete rest periods. Both are explained below.
Begin by performing 3-5 sets of swings that last 30 seconds. Make it your goal at every workout add 10 seconds every set. Do this until you are able to do 5 sets of 120 seconds each without stopping.
Incomplete Rest Periods
This workout will really improve your overall endurance and ability to recover faster between sets.
You’ll perform this kettlebell swing workout using a weight that you can do a set of 10 swings with rather easily. Rest for 2-3 minutes between each set at the first workout. The fitter you are, the less rest you should take.
Decrease your rest time by 10 seconds at every subsequent workout. Once you’ve reached the point where you can perform 5 sets of 10 swings with 20 seconds rest between each set, move up to a heavier weight or a more challenging exercise like alternating kettlebell swings and the kettlebell snatch.
3. Continue Burning Calories Even After Your Workout Is Done
Done intensely, a 20 minute kettlebell swing workout burns about 275 calories. While that’s great, the real calorie burning benefits kick in post-workout.
Studies show that doing several sets of an intense exercise like kettlebell swings keep your body burning calories from your own body fat for several hours post-workout. This can add up to several hundred extra calories.
The reason behind this is something called EPOC or excess post-exercise oxygen consumption. All you need to know about it is that it works. Big time. When you work out the right way you will notice that you’re getting learner even though you may be spending less time working out.
5. You Can Do Them Almost Anywhere
All you need to get in a great workout with this exercise is a kettlebell and enough room to swing it in front of your body. I’ve done them everywhere, from small studio apartments, to rooftops, the beach, and my office. Being able to do them anywhere makes it possible to get in an awesome workout almost anywhere which beats training in a musty gym any day of the week.
Proper Kettlebell Swing Technique
In case you are new to this exercise or simply need a quick refresher course I’ve listed the steps to do kettlebell swings below. Accompanying these steps is a a video demonstration.
1. Stand with your feet a little less than shoulder width apart holding a kettlebell with both hands, palms facing behind your body. The ‘bell will be between your legs.
2. Begin the exercise by squatting down slightly and swinging the kettlebell between your legs.
3. Once the weight is between your legs, push with the muscles of your glutes and hamstrings to reverse its direction and swing it to about shoulder height.
4. Lower the kettlebell to its starting position and repeat for the desired number of repetitions.
1. When swinging the weight forward, focus on really pushing with your glutes and hamstring muscles. You arms shouldn’t do too much work. Think of them simply as levers that are supporting the weight.
2. Squeeze your abs and keep them tight throughout the exercise.
3. Be careful not to hyperextend your back when the kettlebell reaches shoulder height.
4. Don’t squeeze to hard. Keep your hands fairly loose when doing this exercise. This will help you keep your form in check and prevent you from wasting energy and your arms, hands, and shoulders from becoming fatigued after a couple of reps.
Kettlebell Swing Video
In Case You Don’t Own Or Have Access To A Kettlebell
Check out my article on buying a kettlebell to learn how to get the best one for your needs. This is important since you want to make sure you get a ‘bell that will last forever and be safe to use.
Now you know the benefits of kettlebell swings, how to do them so you can experience these benefits yourself, the proper way to do them, and even what to look for when buying your own ‘bell. All that’s let for you to do is get started.
A parting tip before you do begin. I recommend making them the first exercise of your workout. This is when you are the freshest and able to put all of your effort into every swing.
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