Kettlebell Swing

The Kettlebell Swing is one of the most popular kettlebell movements out there and the one most people are familiar with. The popularity of the kettlebell has arisen largely because of the popularity of the kettlebell swings, but what exactly does the kettlebell swing do for you and how do you do it properly? When taught properly the kettlebell swing increases power and explosiveness across athletics and whether you are trying to improve yourself or gain an edge on the competition, the kettlebell swing will improve your performance.

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Our friends Mike Salemi and Mind Pump Media break down the kettlebell swing in this super detailed explanation. The kettlebell swing utilizes a lot of muscles like your quads, glutes, core, shoulders and back in one movement. It is truly a full body exercise. It can be used to build all the muscles previously mentioned as well as help strengthen other lifts. Kettlebell Swings will significantly increase your deadlifting numbers. Increased power and strength in your hips, quads, glutes and core directly translate to better athletic performance and explosiveness which can give you the edge you need in athletic competitions. While others focus on traditional lifts that isolate one muscle, you can create more power and explosiveness throughout your entire body with the kettlebell swing.


  1. Feet about ten inches from kettlebell, toes can be aligned or pointed out
  2. Set the hips, by pushing your butt back toward the opposite wall (1:46)
  3. Drive the shoulders away from the ears (2:09)
  4. Activate the lats by 'bending the handle' (2:27)
  5. Practice the hike drill (2:40)
  6. Keep your neck straight, at the bottom the eyes should look down and then look straight ahead at the top
  7. Move to the kettlebell swing (7:00)
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More Kettlebell Swing Styles

Pendulum Kettlebell Swing

Strengthens: Hamstrings, glutes, core, arms, forearms
 
Key Points: The body position in backswing should like a deadlift: shoulders at hip level or slightly above, neutral spine, slight bend in the knees. Drive explosively with the hips and glutes to come out of the backswing.
 

Hinge Based Kettlebell Swing

Strengthens: Hamstrings, glutes, core, arms, forearms
 
Key Points: The body position in backswing should like a deadlift: shoulders at hip level or slightly above, neutral spine, slight bend in the knees. Drive explosively with the hips and glutes to come out of the backswing.
 

Double Kettlebell Swings

Strengthens: Hamstrings, glutes, quads, core, forearms

Set Up: Feet should be a bit wider than hip width apart, especially if bringing both kettlebells between the legs. Start with bells slightly in front of shoulders in hinge position, so you have to reach forward to grab hold of the handles. Spine neutral and shoulders just above hip level. Engage the upper back and lats by pulling the shoulders down and away from the ears.

Alternating Kettlebell Swings

Strengthens: Hamstrings, glutes, quads, core, forearms

Set Up: Start with bell slightly in front of shoulders in hinge position. Spine neutral, shoulders just above hip level. Feet about hip width apart. Set hook grip on the bell. Can go thumb forward or thumb back

Dead Stop Swings

Strengthens: Hamstrings, glutes, quads, core, forearms

Set Up: Start with bell slightly in front of shoulders in hinge position. Spine neutral, shoulders just above hip level. Feet about hip width apart. Set hook grip on the bell. Can go thumb forward or thumb back

Kettlebell Swing Step

Strengthens: Hamstrings, glutes, core

Set Up: Place the bell slightly in front of the shoulders in a hinge position with feet about hip width apart. Spine neutral, shoulders just above hip level, set lats & shoulders by "breaking" the bell handle.

Squat Swing