October 24, 2012

The Many Benefits of Kettlebell Swings

Are you looking to increase your
  • aerobic capacity
  • anaerobic capacity                                             
  • Muscular endurance or
  • Power

If you answered YES to any of the above, then I have a perfect exercise for you.

Kettlebell Swings

How can one exercise possibly meet all of the different goals?  Easy, modifications!

Aerobic Capacity:
Use a light kettlebell and perform high repetition sets of 50 or more reps.  That will help increase your heart rate and workout your cardiovascular system.

Anaerobic Capacity:
Swing a moderate to heavy weight kettlebell for 30 to 90 seconds, rest for a moment or two and then repeat for as many sets as are desired. Your breathing and heart rate will increase dramatically and you will feel your muscles burn.  The production of lactic acid is what causes the burn you feel and is the byproduct of anaerobic exercise.

Muscular Endurance:
Use a light kettlebell and perform moderate to high rep, along with short rests.  Muscular endurance is your ability to generate sub maximal muscular contractions for extended periods of time. Your glutes, hamstrings, quadriceps, lower back, shoulders, arms and core muscles are all worked effectively during kettlebell swings.

Use a heavy kettlebell for low rep sets.  You will be working your power zone because the swings are initiated with a powerful hip thrust.

Tons of Muscles
The kettlebell swing can help you achieve the ultimate goals listed above, but also actively and effectively works tons of muscles. 

           Glutes                   Core muscles

  Hamstrings          Shoulders                Back

Show Me How

Stand with your feet shoulder width apart with the kettlebell on the floor in from of you. Keep your weight spread evenly through your heels and forefoot. Bend your knees and descend into a quarter squat as you pick up the kettlebell.  Keeping your arms straight, your shoulders back and without rounding your back, come back up to a quarter squat and thrust your hips forwards swinging the kettlebell up to your preferred height. Allow gravity to pull the kettlebell back down as you push your butt back, bend your knees, and get ready for another swing.


Sometimes words are a little daunting, so I have a video to help show you how to perform a kettlebell swing with the proper form and technique.

Now that you know kettlebell swings can help you reach any of your fitness goals, are effective at working multiple muscle groups, AND you know how to properly perform them, get yourself a kettlebell and start swinging.

Please feel free to leave me any questions or comments.