7 Kettlebell Swing Benefits

Fitness training has changed in the last few years. Now you are just as likely to see people training on the latest fitness machines in the gym as you are fitness enthusiasts in the park swinging a funny round weight with a handle. Perhaps you saw a segment on the news talking about this thing called kettle bell training and aren't really sure what to make of it. Well kettlebells seem to be everywhere and are going from strength to strength.

So what is a kettlebell? A kettle bell sort of looks like an black steel bowling ball with a thick handle and come in various sizes usually ranging from 8kg to 48kg.

Used previously by old time strong men and popularised by Russian athletes, the kettlebell is now used by top sports teams, martial artists, athletes, Hollywood celebrities and everyday trainers throughout the world, due to the outstanding results people are getting.

The foundation kettlebell exercise is the kettlebell swing. The swing can be done with 1 or 2 hands. It involves hiking the kettlebell between your legs before using your hips and posterior chain to propel the kettlebell forward and up in a circular swing movement before it drops under control back between your legs. The following great benefits can be gained by training with kettlebell swings.

1). Kettlebells are highly efficient and allow you to do fitness and weight training in one workout at the same time.

2). Swings develop the important posterior chain muscles of the body such as the hamstrings, glutes, core and back. These muscles are often overlooked with traditional weight training but they are crucial for a large number of sports as these muscles are heavily involved in sprinting, jumping and tackling movements.

3). A kettlebell swing is a perfect choice of exercise for tabata training. This very short but intense style of training is ideal for kettlebell swings as they hit a lot of muscle at one time and get the heart rate soaring. Although Tabata training only involves work periods of 20 seconds with 10seconds of rest it is very brutal but very effective.

4). Swings work the abs and strengthen the core muscles as they provide a stable platform for other muscles to pull from. Traditional crunches are useless and do nothing for you, hit your abs with functional abdominal training that actually has benefit in the real world.

5). A key benefit of kettlebell swings is that they train all parts of the back from the lower back all the way to traps. They train all the muscles together giving you a great functional workout

6). High rep swings also develop back endurance which Professor Stuart McGill a leading spine/back expert considers has a very positive effect on the reduction of back injuries.

7). Swings are a fantastic conditioner and body fat burner. More and more studies are concluding that greater body fat burning occurs when training is performed at higher intensity levels rather than long slow endurance type training.

The above are only some of the benefits a program of kettlebell swings can provide. Although it sounds too good to be true there is a downside of kettlebell swings ... they are hard work. However, if you build into your program gradually, a program based around kettlebell swing movements will provide fantastic workouts to get you fit, lean and healthy in a surprisingly short amount of time.

For more information then check out this resource about kettlebells

How to Swing a Kettlebell Correctly!

The kettlebell swing is the foundation movement for a large proportion of kettlebell exercises.

The swing utilises a hip thrust that is fundamental to other kettlebell exercises such as the kettlebell clean and the kettlebell one arm snatch.

The swing maximizes muscular endurance in the back and waist, is a great lower body strength builder and is a highly effective conditioning exercise.

1) The starting position of the Two Arm Kettlebell Swing is with the kettlebell on the ground in front of you, knees bent, your weight centered towards your heels and your back flat

2) Start the movement by hiking the kettlebell behind you and then drive your hips forward to propel the kettlebell through its arc. The movement is similar to performing a standing broad jump, but of course you stay in the same spot

3) Your arms are just hooks and the power comes from the movement of the hips and the muscles of the posterior chain ie, hamstrings, glutes, lower back.

4) Swing the kettlebell to about chest height. At the top of the movement breathe out whilst contracting your quads, glutes and your abs (by tilting your pelvis up).

5) Breathe in and hold your breath as you let the kettlebell free fall back between your legs so that it passes through your legs as high as possible (to keep the arc tight and to stop unnecessary pulling on your back). Aim for your groin and then get your groin out of the way by taking you hips back

6) Although different trainees will have varying amount of knee bend the important thing is that the hips go back and thrust forward and that the quads do not take over the exercise. You should feel the movement in your hamstrings. If your quads are instead fatiguing then you are not taking the hips back at the bottom of the movement.

Kettlebell swings are a fantastic exercise for fitness and conditioning and to develop strength and power in the posterior chain. If you require any further information I suggest you check out this <a href="#" id="broken_link_61398905" style="color:#333; text-decoration:line-through" oncontextmenu="return showBrokenLink(61398905, false);" onclick="return showBrokenLink(61398905, false)">kettlebell hub</a>.

Some kettlebell training information

Comments 8 comments

Forest 6 years ago

Nice hub - good detailed description of the swing exercise. One of the best kettlebell exercises out there!


raybanwayfarer profile image

raybanwayfarer 6 years ago

Some good tips there. Kettlebell swings and Turkish get ups are fundamental moves that everybody should master before moving on to the more fancy ones! nice job.


Spears Fitness 6 years ago

There's a great video demonstration of the kettlebell swing on youtube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ey5KGQxe6gA&feature...


loseweightmama profile image

loseweightmama 5 years ago from Maine

I love kettlebells. They are such a great workout. Great Hub!


Houston View Point 5 years ago

I have been using kettlebells for two years. I am doing a rest between sets as I type this LOL.

I am a 48 yr guy and it is a great workout to do at home.

Yes the swings are one of the base movements. Everyone should try it.


steve 4 years ago

Kettelbell swings are amazing, I'm 23 and last year i got into a pretty bad accident which bulged some discs in my lower back and left me with sciatica. I've only been doing swings with a 16kg bell for about 2 months and the strength and pain relief i am getting is insane, i couldn't even sit down before without feeling excruciating pain. and i tried everything from physiotherapy to cortisone shots. The russians weren't lying when they said they were breeding out weakness with they're miracle exercise!

Anyone who's interested should look up a guy by the name of Pavel Tsatsouline, he's the guy making the kettelbell training for the US military special forces and the secret service.


KarenCreftor profile image

KarenCreftor 4 years ago from Kent, UK

I'm very interested in trying out kettlebells but hestiate due to a shoulder problem.

I have hypermobility and my shoulder is prone to subluxating (mini dislocation). I'd like to strengthen the muscles around the shoulder to stabalize it but at the same time don't want to injure it further.

I've heard some say kettlebells are fantastic to healing injuries and others say it can aggravate them...what do you think?

Is it worth trying a really light one first maybe?

Interesting hub thanks kbelluser!!

~Kaz x


Jim 4 years ago

How do they affect people with chronic low back problems?

Kind of looks like they might aggravate some conditions.

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