I’ve seen Kettlebell swings referred to as the King of exercises.
And I don’t think that’s an exaggeration.
Kettlebell swings really are a super-effective all-around movement.
It targets multiple muscle groups, its working strength, cardio, mobility, and balance and stabilizing muscles.
So if you’re looking for one exercise to rule them all, you’ve come to the right place!
Kettlebells in general play a big part in how I train.
They are probably my favorite piece of equipment.
I’ll use a kettlebell at least 3 times a week, whether I’m training for strength or endurance.
I’m also not shy to just do sets of kettlebell swings and then call it a day.
You really do get that much of the humble kettlebell swing.
And did I mention it’s been shown to improve posture?
Before we go into the benefits of the kettlebell swing in a bit more detail, get your free copy of my E-Book ‘Train Wherever the F*ck You Want‘
A guide to my other favorite piece of equipment, the resistance band.
Kettlebell swings hit almost every muscle group in your body making them a super-efficient use of time.
It’s strengthening multiple muscle groups at one time which is pretty crazy really.
Whether that’s doing the Russian kettlebell swing or the American swing.
The American kettlebell swing finishing above your head, and the Russian swing finishing at shoulder height.
Both work your full posterior chain and when done with proper form at high reps will improve muscular endurance.
There are not too many other movements out there that are going to hit your quads, glutes, hamstrings, hip flexors, abdomen, back shoulders, and grip strength.
In other words, your posterior chain muscles.
For me, the benefits of kettlebell swings mean that kettlebell workouts should be in any workout routine.
Proper kettlebell swings improve aerobic capacity, explosive strength, power output, and fat loss.
Given the nature of the movement and the interval training format, you’ll typically follow with a kettlebell swing.
You’re going to find yourself with your heart in your throat and breathing heaving after only a few sets!
When you train in intervals you send your heart rate through the roof and then don’t give it quite enough time to drop back down.
This pattern keeps you in the fat-burning zone for a lot longer after the workout is finished.
Kettlebell swing workouts use your upper body and your lower body equally and when you build muscle in all your major muscle groups you set yourself up to burn more calories and encourage weight loss the right way.
A light kettlebell is all you need to see how a kettlebell swing benefits your cardiovascular health.
Kettlebell swings are really working your power muscles, and mimic a lot of explosive movements we do in sports.
Like running and jumping.
So kettlebells strengthen all the muscles that improve power and athleticism.
Even more benefits of the kettlebell swing include explosive power and core strength. This explosive movement really is a full body workout.
The constant tightening and relaxing of your glutes when performing a swing also has an effect on the opposing muscle groups in your hips.
The same muscles that get tight from sitting all day.
Believe it or not, those tight hip muscles are a big cause of lower back pain.
And while a lot of it can’t do a lot about the fact we have to sit for long periods of the day, we can start strengthening the muscles that will improve this.
This is all going to depend on the intensity of the workout.
If you’re doing 100s of big heavy kettlebell swings every day you are going to over fatigue the muscle.
Like with any exercise if you overdo it, and don’t let the muscles recover you are risking serious injury.
That being said there’s no reason why you can’t treat kettlebell swings as light cardio.
If running is out of the question because of other problems then kettlebell swings are going to be a great cardio alternative.
If you were to do lighter weight and shorter workouts then sure you could do them every day.
I like to mix it up with kettlebell swings.
I rotate through light weight high reps.
Heavy weight with shorter rests. Sometimes I do big sets of alternating single-arm swings.
Play around with it, keep your body guessing.
But also, always listen to your body.
If you’re getting sore or tired to give them a rest, let your body recover.
So we’ve already covered kettlebell swings and how beneficial they are for your core muscles.
But let’s not forget that your abs are one of the muscle groups that make up your core.
But if we look at using a kettlebell to add resistance to some common ab exercises that we already know things start to get fun.
Take the Russian twist, for example, using a kettlebell while doing our twists takes it to a new level.
You can also take flutter kicks and hold a kettlebell above your head while doing them.
The added resistance forces you to brace your core in a way you wouldn’t normally have to while doing standard flutter kicks.
We can also do Turkish sit-ups.
Which is simply, the first half of a Turkish get up.
The main thing to focus on here is to keep your eyes on the kettlebell during the full movement.
They sure can, the fact that most exercises you do with kettlebells are using multiple muscle groups, means you are burning more calories when you train with them.
Also, as I mentioned earlier, kettlebell swings are dynamite for your cardiovascular system.
You’re breathing heavily and getting your heart rate up.
You do these things for long enough and you are in a good spot to start burning fat.
But you have to remember that to get ripped you need to get your diet right.
If you eat more calories than you burn it doesn’t matter how you train.
Here’s an article I wrote that goes into more detail on this.
So teaming up with a calorie deficit, training with kettlebells is a great way to get ripped.
And better still one kettlebell is an all-in-one home gym.
You can work all your muscle groups with one piece of equipment.
Not only that, but you can train for strength, cardio, mobility, flexibility, and endurance.
You start pairing up a well-rounded training routine with a well-balanced diet and you are on the right track to getting ripped.
Not only getting ripped but you are on the right track to becoming functionally strong and fit.
And trust me once you start feeling like that it becomes easy and easy to eat better.
Once you start feeling those gains in strength and fitness it really does make you think twice about what you eat.
Do you really want to put in all the work and have it be for nothing because you keep eating shit food?
Try this workout you can do with just one Kettlebell. Add it to your training program because any kettlebell training really can be a full-body workout.