The kettlebell swing is about the right impulse – it comes from the pelvis and not from the legs. We’ll show you how to do clean kettlebell swings.
It is not without reason that swinging with the kettlebell is described as the supreme exercise in kettlebell training. It is a powerful fitness all-rounder because it trains your entire muscle chain. The high dynamics of the design make some athletes rave. In this text we explain which muscle groups are trained and introduce some variants of the kettlebell swing.
What does the kettlebell swing bring?
With the Kettlebell Swing you swing a ball dumbbell between your legs backwards and forwards.
This allows you to train the entire muscle chain on the back of your body from the calves, buttocks, back, triceps and shoulders in just a few minutes a week.
The exercise also improves posture and helps with back pain from constant sitting.
Since the kettle swing is very complex, the exercise gets your metabolism going in just a few minutes.
Therefore, this strength training not only builds muscle mass, but also fat.
The Kettlebell Swing is a classic strength endurance exercise that also improves cardiovascular performance, athleticism, trunk stability and flexibility in the hip.
What muscle groups does the kettlebell swing train?
With the Kettlebell Swing you mainly train your leg and buttock muscles.
You will also strengthen the entire back muscles with the exercise and can also train your abdominal muscles by stabilizing the spine.
The shoulder muscles are also trained by the acceleration and braking forces.
First and foremost, your stabilization muscles are trained with the Kettlebell Swing.
The focus is always on several muscle groups, which makes kettlebell training very effective in the end.
Kettlebell swing instruction by Personal Coach Jochen
For the swing, stand behind the kettlebell.
With an impulse from your hip, you pull it explosively backwards through your legs and stretch your hip just as explosively.
This simultaneous stretching of the knees and hips causes the kettlebell to oscillate.
The explosive hip extension is the core element of the exercise.
Once at the top point, the ball falls down due to gravity.
Through the transmission of impulses, the generated force passes through the trunk, shoulders, arms and into the kettlebell.
A common mistake is that instead of opening the hip, a squat is performed or the ball is not catapulted forward over the hip, but is lifted over the arms.
Men in particular also overestimate their weight, which increases the risk of injury.
Variant 1: Kettlebell Swing with one arm
As with the two-armed kettlebell swing, the one-armed variant also addresses a variety of muscle groups.
However, the intensity is increased by the one-armed variant.
In addition, the exercise is very effective for the core and deep muscles.
It is important that the body is straight and is not twisted when braking the swing movement.
Variant 2: Kettlebell swing with hand change
In this advanced variant, the kettlebell has a short flight phase and is transferred from hand to hand about at head height.
The flying change gives you an even stronger impulse because you have to catch the kettlebell.
This variant also includes more coordinative elements.
During this exercise, you should make sure that the ball does not fall down, especially at home, otherwise the kettlebell can quickly damage a sensitive floor.
Variant 3: One-armed swing kettlebell with 8s through the legs
With this exercise, you can train your core and deep muscles even more.
You guide the kettlebell through your legs with one arm and swing it explosively forward with a knee and hip pulse at head height before you pass it through your legs and hand it over to the other hand.
It is important to keep your back straight, to trigger a short impulse from your hip and not to go too deep in the squat.
In addition, you should swing around your legs in a large amplitude so that you do not hit your kneecaps with the kettlebell.
How many repetitions in kettlebell swing?
Ultimately, it depends on your training goal how many reps you should do.
The training weight is also related to this.
It also depends on your training condition, in how many repetitions you should do the exercises.
As a beginner, you should start with 4-6 repetitions per exercise in order to learn the complex kettlebell swing design first and then slowly increase yourself.
It is important that you always exercise in a rested state and at least two to three times a week in order to achieve training progress and muscle growth.
If you are already more advanced and have already internalized the movement sequence, we recommend 8-15 repetitions for strength building.
If you’d rather train your strength endurance, then you should do 20-30 repetitions per run.
This will cause your heart rate to skyrocket and you will also be doing intensive cardiovascular training.
The length of the break also depends on the training goal, but should be kept short, as a high volume of oxygen is supplied to the muscles through an intensive cycle and ensures that fat is burned even hours after the training.
If the pause was too long, this amount of oxygen would be withdrawn from the muscle and lead to muscle fatigue.
Kettlebell swing – what weight?
The question of weight is very important as it largely determines whether you have fun training as a beginner.
Jochen generally recommends training women with an 8-12 kg kettlebell and men with a 16-20 kg kettlebell.
You should start with a slightly smaller weight at the beginning in order to learn the movement properly and to build up the corresponding muscles slowly at the beginning before you switch to a higher weight.
For example, since the kettlebell swing is much more dynamic than sumosquats with the kettlebell, clean technology always has priority over weight.
Advanced men can also train with the “classic” kettlebell size of 20 or 24 kg, which is also used in the army in this size.
The kettlebell professionals train with the 32 kg ball dumbbell, which is only recommended for very experienced and trained athletes.
Training with the kettlebell is also very popular in crossfit because it is a functional training and combines several aspects of physical fitness.
Most exercises are very dynamic and can replace many exercises with dumbbells.
The kettlebell is therefore ideal for strength beginners who want to improve their general fitness, as well as for advanced users who want to set new stimuli in training.
Classic exercises with the kettlebell, which are easy to learn and stress the whole body:
You can find more detailed tips and exercises in our article Kettlebell Training .
Due to the variety of possible exercises, an entire workout with the kettlebell is also possible.
Since it is very functional and therefore demands many muscle groups at the same time, it is ideal as a whole body workout.
The high dynamics in the exercises also improve the interaction of the individual muscle groups, which is why it is a very effective training.
There are many variants of kettlebells and it is therefore not possible to say in general which model is right for you.
A good kettlebell is made from cast iron at best.
The quality and processing of the material is also important.
If you can already see welds, then the product is not recommended.
A rubberized or plastic-coated kettlebell is also suitable for the apartment, as it is more gentle on the floor.
You can get a lot more tips for buying a kettlebell in the article (PLATZHALTER) from us.
Book tips kettlebell
The kettlebell swing and various other good exercises can best be read in the following books.
+ 320 pages
+ content from the kettlebell world champion
+ for beginners to professionals
+ good bug fixes
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Exercises at home Test verdict: a must for anyone training with the kettlebell.
In the book, Johannes Kwella, kettlebell world champion and expert, introduces the kettlebell to everyone and explains why no other training program offers such a wide variety.
The book is a real must for anyone who wants to train functionally. Beginners and advanced learners will receive descriptions of the preparation for kettlebell training and the most important basic exercises, extensive troubleshooting and training planning with over 50 detailed exercises.
Johannes Kwella describes the exercises with his personal style – humorous and honest. The contents are in line with his well-known claim to be safe, healthy, injury-free and with perfect technology for a lifetime. This book is an absolute must-read for every athlete or amateur athlete who is interested in kettlebell training.
+ 208 pages
+ from the “inventor of modern kettlebell
+ including easy-to-implement training plans
Exercises at home Test verdict: great book by the “inventor of modern kettlebell training” – good explanation of the basic exercises and easy to implement training plans.
The kettlebell was once the best kept secret of top Russian athletes, strength athletes and soldiers.
Pavel Tsatsouline, formerly a sports instructor for the Soviet special forces, had the first ball dumbbell made in the United States in the traditional Russian way in 2001, thereby initiating a fitness revolution. Therefore, he is also called the “modern king of the kettlebells”.
Over the past ten years, Pavel has perfected kettlebell training and developed a certified training system that is now the world’s largest and most successful kettlebell school. In his book Pavel brings out the maximum of good technology with clear and understandable descriptions and gives step-by-step instructions for typical kettlebell exercises, training plans and even historical backgrounds.
Functional training possible with kettlebell, which demands many muscle groups
Kettlebell Swing improves cardiovascular performance, athleticism, trunk stability and flexibility in the hip
Kettlebell Swing improves posture and helps with back pain
The high dynamic with a kettlebell improves the interaction of the individual muscle groups
You should start with the kettlebell with less weight and learn the movement properly first