Sometimes you need a good workout and sometimes you need a fast workout. But what if you can actually use both? Then it’s best to choose exercises that train your entire body. The textbook example of such an exercise? The kettlebell swing!
How to Do the Perfect Kettlebell Swing
According to gym owner and CSCS ( certified strength and conditioning specialist ) Jacquelyn Baston, swings are good for almost all major muscles in the body. Jup, including your buttocks, legs, core, shoulders and chest muscles. More than five birds with one stone. Oh yeah !
How do you perform a kettlebell swing?
How : Separate your feet slightly wider than shoulder width and hold the kettlebell in front of your body with two hands. Keep your arms straight and move your hips back, bend your knees slightly and keep your back straight. Swing the kettlebell backwards through your legs. Then extend your legs and swing the kettlebell forward to shoulder height. Push your hips forward and tighten your abdominal and buttock muscles when you stand upright. When the kettlebell is at shoulder height, your knees are straight, your buttock muscles tightened and your hips pushed forward. Then swing the kettlebell back through your legs. That is one repetition.
Repeats / sets for best results : Start with three sets of five repetitions, with pauses of up to twenty seconds between each set.
The kettlebell swing has a few points of interest. Note that the emphasis in this exercise is on the hip movement. You don’t do squat. Practice the good morning to master this movement. In addition, it is important that you tighten your core properly throughout the exercise. Also : keep your back straight, not convex, and do not bend your knees too much. Finally choose the right weight. Grab a heavy kettlebell (8, 10 or 12 kg) so that you have enough weight for the explosive movement.
The benefits of kettlebell swings
Kettlebell swings are a very good full-body exercise. Your buttock and leg muscles create strength, while your core, shoulders and chest muscles stabilize movement. The benefits: more strength, better core stability, better endurance and the prevention of muscle imbalance (such as short hamstrings or lazy glutes).
Variations on the kettlebell swing
Have you ever seen it with the classic swing? You can also vary! For example, you have the American kettlebell swing, where you squat when you go down. There is also a version where you swing the kettlebell all the way above your head, instead of up to shoulder height. With this variant you only run the risk of crossing your lower back. You also need flexible shoulder joints.
The classic kettlebell swing is a safer option, because it does not burden your shoulders with it. Do you want more challenge? Then try doing the single-arm swings, the double kettlebell swings (with a kettlebell in each hand) or try to get on your toes when the kettlebell is at the height of your shoulders during the ‘normal’ kettlebell swing. Also nice: the intensity of the exercise allows you to combine it well with pushups, planks and squats in a HIIT workout. Good luck!
How do you add a kettlebell swing to your workout?
Make no mistake in this simple-looking and flowing movement. Kettlebell swings – and all kettlebell exercises, for that matter – are intense. “This is because you need so many muscles for it and it is dynamic. You have to pay attention to your recovery to prevent injuries. ‘ says Baston. She advises at least a day of rest after a kettlebell training. Schedule your kettlebell exercises and training sessions a maximum of two or three times a week. Muscular body, here we come !