How To Do a Kettlebell Swing – Video Exercise Guide with Tips

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In this article I will discuss the proper exercise technique for performing the Russian kettlebell swing which is an excellent whole body exercise that targets several major muscle groups including the quadriceps, hamstrings, glutes, deltoids, abdominals, overall core area along with the biceps and triceps. This instructional video below was shot at Maverick Training in Orlando, Florida and it’s an excellent facility if you’re looking for CrossFit classes and workouts.

In order to get an effective muscle building and fat blasting workout, all you need is one kettlebell and a whole lot of determination, so let’s get started! Choose a kettlebell that matches your current strength levels. In this video I’m using a 35 pound kettlebell but if you’re just starting out then go with a lighter 15-20 pound kettlebell to ensure you get the movement down correctly before increasing the weight. If you’re an advanced CrossFitter, then the 35 pound kettlebell is really all you need especially if you’re focused on technique which is extremely important with this exercise.

I’m standing in a profile position in this video so you can really see what I’m doing to get my body in the correct position before starting. Place your feet at about a shoulder width stance and position your body a few feet away from the kettlebell. With a secure stance, sink your hips down (not up) and grab the handles of the kettlebell. From this position, rip the kettlebell toward you so it goes back between your legs and then thrust your hips as you bring the kettlebell up to about eye level with one fluid motion. Maintain an upright chest with your back flat and your shoulders back. Avoid rounding your back and letting your shoulders slump over on this exercise. While thrusting the kettlebell up to the top make sure to get a full extension of the hips and a big squeeze with your glutes (butt muscles).

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Now, lets talk a little more about what we are trying to target with this outstanding exercise. We are trying to hit the back of the legs (hamstrings and glutes) by using the kettlebell along with momentum. In order for us to create that, instead of standing directly on top of the kettlebell when beginning the exercise, you want to step back a few feet away from the kettlebell so when you go to grip it from the ground you will be able to establish that momentum.

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Remember to get a full extension with the hips as you bring the kettlebell up to the top position. Your breathing is also very important during this movement. Take a big breath as you bring the kettlebell up and then breath out and exhale as you lower the kettlebell back down to the ground. Breathing correctly is very important for transferring the energy from your body to the kettlebell so it’s absolutely weightless at the top and then as you let the kettlebell drop back down, you will be exhaling which gives extra support to your lower lumbar region before executing the movement again.

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For an amazing fat blasting workout to burn mega calories, try incorporating the kettlebell swing with a 100 meter sprint. Do 15 repetitions with the kettlebell and then follow it up immediately with a full out sprint as fast as you can go. Another amazing workout you can try is the kettlebell swing along with jumping rope or doing a set of 10-20 burpees, which I know everyone loves! Here is a quick breakdown of 3 amazing calorie blasting workouts to shed unwanted body fat and get that lean and ripped physique you’re after!

Workout #1 – Kettlebell Swing with Sprints

  • Kettlebell swing for 15-20 reps
  • followed up immediately with:
  • 100 meter sprints (all out as fast as you can go)
  • 5 total sets with 2-3 minutes rest in between

Workout #2 – Kettlebell Swing with Jump Rope

  • Kettlebell swing for 15-20 reps
  • followed up immediately with:
  • 2-3 minutes of jump rope (all out as fast as you can go)
  • 5 total sets with 2-3 minutes rest in between

Workout #3 – Kettlebell Swing with Burpees

  • Kettlebell swing for 15-20 reps
  • followed up immediately with:
  • 10-20 burpees (to make it harder, do a full push-up)
  • 5 total sets with 2-3 minutes rest in between

The beauty of this type of workout is that it’s super high intensity and you’re incorporating both strength training along with cardiovascular exercise so you get the best of both worlds. The key is to make sure you transition between the exercises without any rest. Once you’ve finished the set, you can take a breather for 2-3 minutes to catch your breath and recover. Trust me, 4-5 sets of any one of these killer workouts will get you sweating like crazy and you will be screaming at the end of it! Hit it hard and go all out to get the most out of the exercises and then make sure to let your body recover before hitting the workout again. Rest and recovery is one of the keys to making gains in both lean muscle mass and strength so if you’re really sore or tired, take a little more time off to make sure your body is ready to go for the next high intensity workout!

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About Author

Shellane Demarest

I am a fitness professional whose journey began as an overweight child. Honestly, I am glad it happened that way. As I struggled with food and inactivity, I began to research nutrition and exercise. I'm now a CrossFit Level 1 trainer and I'm certified in several Les Mills fitness programs. See my profile page for more information!

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