Kettlebell Swings: For Strength and Cross-Training

Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings mainly work the hamstrings, but the key technique is all about the hips. Try to make sure you feel the resistance in your hips, not your shoulders.  Lift the kettlebell up, give it a push, use your lower back and hips to swing the kettlebell forward.

Start without the kettlebell until you are comfortable with the movements. Your abs and glutes should be tight while the kettlebell is down by your torso, but loosen them until the kettlebell reaches the top of your lift.  Breathe in when the kettlebell is at the bottom, and breathe out when you reach the top.

Kettlebell Swings can vary in purpose, from using heavy weight for strength and endurance, to using high reps for cross-training and fat burning. People find that kettlebell swings are a good replacement for boring treadmill routines.

kettlebell swingsType: Strength/Endurance/Cross-training

  • Main Muscle Worked: Hamstrings
  • Secondary Muscle: Glutes, Calves, Shoulders, Back
  • Equipment: Kettlebells
  • Level: Intermediate

Make sure to keep your hips in motion, and keep the motion fluid, or you risk injuring your lower back.

  • The Chris Hemsworth Workout used Kettlebell Swings, Kettlebell Squats, Kettlebell Snatches, and Kettlebell Cleans for strength and conditioning to become Thor.
  • Chris Hemsworth also used kettlebell swings and other kettlebell movements to get fit quick for Thor 2.
  • The Scarlett Johansson Workout used Kettlebell Swings as an explosive movement, and to increase her heart rate, burning fat faster to fit into her Black Widow suit in The Avengers.

Kettlebell Swings Exercise:

  1. Start with one kettlebell between your feet (or two if you are going to use one in each hand), and get the motion down before you use the weight
  2. Focus on your hips, push back with your butt, and bend your knees to get into the starting position.
  3. Position your back parallel to the ground and look ahead.
  4. Explode upward using your hips for power, and swing the kettlebell upwards.
  5. Let the kettlebell swing back down, with your shoulders and hips guiding the way back down.

To switch things up, you can also do one-handed Kettlebell swings. This allows you to focus on one arm at a time, is a change of pace, and pushes you to go a bit harder. But why stop there? Check out the video below for an entire workout with kettle bells.

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