Kettlebell Swing

  • Alternative Names: Russian kettlebell swing, two handed kettlebell swing
  • Type: Strength
  • Experience Level: Beginner
  • Equipment: Kettlebell
  • Muscles Targeted: Shoulders, pecs, glutes, quads, hamstrings
  • Mechanics: Compound
  • Average Number of Sets: 4-5 with 10-15 reps each
  • Variations: American, one arm, dumbbell, and alternating kettlebell swings
  • Alternative: Medicine ball twists, dumbbell arm swings

The kettlebell swing is an explosive training movement ideal for those looking to burn calories and to lose weight. It can be performed as an individual exercise or as part of your high-intensity interval training after working out with heavier weights. Since the kettlebell is portable gym equipment and the exercise produces fast results, the kettlebell swing is now performed in almost every gym.


  • Improves your cardiovascular fitness and endurance
  • Helps you burn around 200 calories if 100 swings are done in 10 minutes (10 swings per minute)
  • Develops lean muscle mass
  • Increases your pushing, pressing, and squatting strength
  • Builds solid glutes, improves hip flexibility, and develops a powerful core

Kettlebell Swing Vs. Deadlift

Kettlebell Swing Deadlift
Muscles Worked Deltoids, glutes, quads, hamstrings, and abs Erector spinae, traps, glutes, hamstrings, adductors, quads
Used for Building strength, shoulder flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance Developing strength and muscle mass in the lower body
Weights Needed Lighter kettlebells Maximum weight

How to do a Kettlebell Swing

Start the exercise by having a kettlebell (weighing about 35-80 lbs) on the floor in front of you and stand with a shoulder-width stance. Slightly bend at your knees and hinge at the hips to grab the kettlebell using both hands with an overhand grip. Pull the weight back between the legs to produce momentum. Driving your hips forward and then straightening your back, move the kettlebell up to your shoulder level. Lower the kettlebell back to the initial position and repeat for the desired number of sets.

Tips for the Proper Form

  • Do not use your upper body to move the kettlebell forward and up.
  • Keep the kettlebell close to the body until you use your hip drive to take the kettlebell over the head.
  • Avoid shrugging the weight to keep your shoulders in a relaxed position.
  • Use the momentum of the bell and avoid keeping your elbows and arms under tension throughout the swing.


  1. American Kettlebell Swing: Is similar to the basic version except you swing the kettlebell forward and up over your head.
  2. One Arm Kettlebell Swing: Involves holding the kettlebell with a single arm.
  3. Kettlebell Swing with Dumbbell: Is done by following the same movement but using a dumbbell.
  4. Alternating Kettlebell Swing: Is performed by holding the kettlebell with both hands and then alternating your hands while swinging it.
  5. Double Kettlebell Swing: Is done in the same way as the traditional kettlebell swing but by holding one kettlebell in each hand.

Alternative Exercises

  • Medicine Ball Twists
  • Dumbbell Arm Swings

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