The kettlebell swing is an essential move that should be a part of any workout! The alternating 1-arm swing works to develop both power and cardiovascular endurance.
- Set your feet shoulder width apart or slightly wider with toes slightly pointed out. Scoot your butt back as if you’re going to sit on a stool, keeping your back flat instead of curved, and grasp the handle with one hand. Keep your head up and eyes out in front of you.
- Swing the kettlebell back between your legs, and with one smooth motion, squeeze the glutes and snap the hips forward, projecting the kettlebell out in front of you. Keep your core tight and engaged.
- Maintain your grip as the power of your hip thrust projects the kettlebell forward and up. Depending on the weight of the bell and the force of your thrust, you may need to rock back on your heels to prevent yourself from leaning or falling forward.
- Limit the power of your swing so that the upward momentum of the kettlebell stops about chest height. Release the kettlebell at the point where it stops moving upward and before gravity pulls it back to the ground. Reach out with the opposite hand and grab the handle, and allow it to swing back down between your legs. Repeat the move on the other side.
It’s important to time your breathing with the movement. I believe that for higher repetition work, it is easier to inhale on the upswing as your body extends, while exhaling on the downswing and contraction, but feel free to experiment and see which way you feel more comfortable with.
On the downswing portion of the movement, it’s not necessary to go very low. In fact, you’ll want to avoid going lower than the knees. Doing so could strain the lower back. Just low enough to allow the kettlebell to swing between the thighs is fine.
Whether you are working this exercise for reps or for time, make sure you challenge yourself!