Kettlebell Swing Exercise

Burn Body Fat and Add Lean Muscle

Exercises like the kettlebell swing are highly effective for incorporating high intensity cardiovascular and strength training together. You will work every muscle in your body, you will burn an unbelievable amount of calories, and you will improve your heart health.

 All of this will be accomplished while you are building muscle mass and achieving a lean and sculpted appearance. Studies have shown that you can burn up to 20 calories in one minute with this exercise, which is more than most other exercise activities.

 But, not only will you burn fat, the muscle building nature of kettlebells means your metabolic rate will stay higher through the whole day burning extra calories.

Kettlebell Swing

Exercise Instructions:

  • Start this exercise by standing with your feet spread a little wider than shoulders length apart, bend down and grasp the kettlebell with one hand.

  • Squat down to start the kettlebell moving, making sure to keep your head up. You need to keep your lower back arched and push your hips back to start the momentum. 
  • Push your hips forward to swing the bell up. It is important that you focus on your hips making a back and forth motion to maintain good momentum of the kettlebell.

  • Swing the kettlebell up to eye level and try to get the momentum working so that you are not lifting the kettlebell with your arms, let your hips do the work.

  • Allow the kettlebell to free fall back down between your legs, make sure to keep the ball on the same path as when you first started. Try to do 8-14 reps with each arm.

kettlebell swing position #1Kim Demonstrating the Kettlebell Swing
kettlebell swing position #2


  • Try not to swing too high. At the top of your swing, the kettlebell should be no higher than shoulder level. This exercise was designed for the kettlebell to be swung forward, not upward. You will know when you've gone high enough when the kettlebell feels like it's floating.
  • Let your hips do the work. The swing comes from a powerful motion with your hips thrusting forwards and then retracting for the downward follow through. Lifting the kettlebell by just using your arms will defeat the purpose of this core exercise.

Benefits of the Kettlebell Swing

  • Muscle Balance: With many exercises, we tend to work one side harder than the other which causes a muscle and strength imbalance. This imbalance can cause pain and possible injury. The kettlebells will work your entire body as one unit so that every muscle will be working the same.
  • Muscle Building: With the dynamic swinging motion of this exercise, you can build strong lean muscle mass and add body strength without adding bulk.

  • Full Body Workout: Since kettlebells involve swinging motions, you will have to work harder to maintain proper balance, which will cause you to work more muscles and strengthen your entire body.

  • Cardio Workout: The high intensity of the kettlebell swing adds an element of cardio conditioning to help you realize your good health, fitness, and weight loss goals.

  • Fat Burner:  With the combination of strength training and cardio, kettlebell exercises are the ultimate fat and calorie burning combination. Research from the American Council on Exercise has found that a 20-minute kettlebell workout was so intense that it helped people burn more than 270 calories -- the same as if they were running a fast, 6-minute per mile pace.

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I will continue to share ideas about diet and exercise that have helped me along the way. If you have any questions I can help you with, or ideas you would like to share, feel free to contact me or visit our Q&A forum

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