A Basic Guide to the Kettlebell Swing

Learn the benefits of the Kettlebell Swing and avoiding common mistakes.

A Basic Guide to the Kettlebell Swing


-Full body movement, recruits large amount of muscles in one move

-Explosive hip hinge pattern is an athletic function that many lack these days due to excessive sitting and lack of outdoor activities. Swings unlocks tight hips and strengthens the glutes, in return preventing the majority of back issues that are commonly experienced.

-Tremendous cardiovascular training, you will feel your lungs burn as the repetition gets higher.

-Strengthen the posterior chain which is essential for athletic performances such as sprinting and jumping. Prevents knee injuries due to stronger hamstrings.

-Users experience a large amount of fat loss in a given time when appropriate effort was given.

-Low impact exercise that can be done at home, heavier individuals will not have to pound their joints running out doors.

-Stronger hinge pattern directly correlates with stronger movements, when your swing improves, generally all your other lower body exercises improve.

A Basic Guide to the Kettlebell Swing


-Hip Hinge Pattern, not a Squat. Push your hips back. Your knees should only be slightly bent.

-Practice the Kettlebell Deadlift prior to doing the Kettlebell Swing, the initial pattern is the same hip hinge pattern.

-Hike passing the bell between your legs hard, a common mistake is to slowly shift the kettlebell backwards which creates no rebound effect for the kettlebell to reverse the motion. This leads to mistakes such as relying on the upper body to lift the weight.

-Explode and follow through with your hips with a sharp snap, do not lift with arms

-As you snap your hips forward aggressively, your glutes should be squeezed together at the top of the motion, creating also what is known as a vertical plank.

-While it is important to make sure your technique is sound, also understand this is a speed exercise and should be done fast. At some point you have to just let go and snap your hips forward aggressively.

-Various views have come in regards to how high the kettlebell should float, this should be a secondary concern, the most important thing for most people to get the training effect is snapping the hips enough and hinging properly, the kettlebell will float accordingly.

-When done correctly and hard, you should feel your glutes and hamstrings the next day, not your lower back!

A Basic Guide to the Kettlebell Swing

Suggested starting weight:

The lightest kettlebell you can use is the best starting weight for both male and female. Depending on how strong you are, this ranges from 8kg to 12kg, just to practice the motion.

It does not matter how heavy you start with, get the technique done right first, develop the skill.

Physically stronger trainees will try to lift their upper body or try to squat the bell up. They will find that using a heavier bell actually makes their movement better because now they will have to follow through with their hips instead of lifting with their arms.

For initial practice, work with 3-5 reps for 10 sets to make sure you get the technique down. The reason for such low reps for practice is for most beginners the higher the rep count goes the more chances of the movement going wrong. Practice fast and good movement with low reps to make sure you get the “hinge & snap” motion correctly. This could also be treated as a warm up.

Most males eventually move on to regularly using a 24kg kettlebell and most females 16kg.