The Kettlebell Swing For Beginners

Back in 2013, I completed a CPD (Continuing Professional Development) course in kettlebell training with YMCA and since then, a kettlebell can’t be in the same studio as me and not get used. I feel like everyone loves the kettlebell swing exercise; once after class (I always open up for feedback at the end) a girl came up to me and said “I loved your class, next time, can we have more kettlebell swings?!”. Ask, and you shall receive!

kettlebell swing

The Kettlebell Swing

It’s so easy to use the wrong technique when exercising, which like most things can increase your risk of injury. So here I am with a little advice on the first exercise you should try with a kettlebell – the (double armed) kettlebell swing.

It’s a simple exercise that burns fat, builds strength and improves cardiovascular fitness all at the same time. What more could we want?! The main muscles this exercise works are the glutes but there are a host of others involved in the movement including hamstrings, lats, abs, shoulders, pecs as well as working on your grip.

How To Do A Kettlebell Swing:

standing start for kettlebell swing

squat phase of kettlebell swing

arms extended in kettlebell swing

Step 1: Holding the kettlebell with both hands, stand with your legs a little wider than shoulder width apart

Step 2: Keeping your chest and back straight, lower into a squat

Step 3: Drive through your hips to come back to standing, swinging the kettlebell to shoulder height. At this point, the kettlebell should feel weightless for a moment before you “catch it” and return to the start position.

Things To Consider

To reduce the risk of injury, I don’t ever coach anyone to swing the kettlebell higher than parallel to the floor (prob a tad lower than pictured above).

Keep your core engaged while performing the swing; I always cue this by saying “squeeze your belly button in towards to spine, hold it there, but don’t forget to breathe!”

This is defo a move that if you’re not confident doing it, just ask a Fitness Instructor or Personal Trainer to take a look at your form and give you any pointers, if needed. I always prefer when people in class ask me to check they’re doing it right than forging on with bad technique.

Try This Workout:

Beginners – 5 sets of 5 reps using <10kg kettlebell
Intermediate / Advanced – up to 10 sets of 10 reps using >12kg kettlebell

RELATED: Weekend Challenge: Burpees VS Kettlebells

If you want results, all you have to do is add this simple move into your training…

Elle 🙂 

P.S Safety always comes first. If you are new to exercise ensure you seek advice from your GP. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, wear appropriate clothing and carry out drills in a suitable space. Technique is paramount, and nothing should hurt. Should you experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath etc, STOP and consult your GP. 

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4 Comments

  1. February 7, 2019 / 10:08

    Ooh I need to try these, they look like they’d be relatively pain free haha xx

    Gemma • Gemma Etc . ❤️

  2. Organic Runner Mom
    February 6, 2019 / 17:26

    I love kettlebell swings. We do them a fair amount at Crossfit. Thank you for sharing this!

  3. matilda @runmum
    July 26, 2013 / 11:14

    You should totally check out Cassey (at blogilates) latest Pop Pilates. I'm hoping to tackle it tomorrow. It's a kettlebell/burpee pyramid. Sounds evil, but I love kettlebells, burpee's well we have a love hate relationship.

    • Elle Linton
      July 27, 2013 / 22:14

      Ooooo gonna go check that out now! …sounds…fun?! Hahaha! Let me know how you found that workout!

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