5 Ways to Do a Kettlebell Swing

The swing is the conventional exercise associated with kettlebells and there are sundry variations on the standard, all of which engage the core, challenge the grip, strengthen the posterior chain and burn mega calories — more, in fact, than most traditional forms of cardio. One study published by the American Council on Exercise found the calorie burn of a 20-minute kettlebell snatch workout was comparable to sprinting at a six-minute-per-mile pace. 

Among the five variations presented here, master the Russian swing before progressing to the others since they require additional timing, shoulder stability and core strength. Start with a light or moderate weight to get the hang of it, then ratchet up.

Russian Swing

Stand about a foot behind a kettlebell with your feet shoulder-width apart. Hinge at the hips and bend forward with a flat back to take an overhand grip on the handle with both hands, knees slightly bent. Maintaining a flat back, straight arms and tight core, hike the kettlebell back between your legs, and then as it swings forward, squeeze your glutes, snap your hips and stand upright to create enough upward momentum to lift the kettlebell to chest height. At the apex of the swing it should feel weightless. Guide it back down through your legs and repeat.

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