Here at Forge fitness you will mostly see information pertaining to bodyweight exercising. However, I’m open to anything that offers a valuable contribution to the pursuit of getting strong and staying strong. The kettlebell/dumbbell swing falls under this category and is one of the few times you will see me touching weights, and for a very good reason which I will allude in the paragraphs following.
Burn fat and get lean
When it comes fatloss and getting a strong, lean physique, the kettlebell/dumbbell swing is very effective … I would even use the word POTENT and even that is an understatement. Anyone who is looking to carve up fast and isn’t using kettlebell swings … they’re simply not serious about losing fat. Kettlebell swings combine cardiovascular conditioning as well as resistance which results in a boosted metabolism. All of this combined with proper nutrition, then you have a close ultimate solution to achieving your fatloss goal.
Now, when it comes to training/fitness I rarely say that one exercise is the best, but I do have favourites and personal opinions based upon experience, like most trainers. There is more than one way to skin a cat, but because my attitude towards health involve than just looks and more geared towards functional fitness, kettlebells fit in very nicely. So I would like to take a firm stance on this one…Kettlebell swings are one of the best exercises for fat loss … period! Not the only one mind you, you also have burpees which are also very potent. And I have combined these two exercises quite successfully in this gem of a workout.
So how do you perform a proper swing?
The key to this exercise is doing the exercise with proper form. There are two styles of the swing. The American and the Russian Style. I personally prefer the Russian style. Since the Russian style uses a more shorter range of motion this makes the movement quick and explosive.
With the Russian swing the kettlebell is swung just to shoulder level as opposed to the American version where bell is swung overhead. You will normally see the American style in Crossfit gyms and competitions.
The swing is a HIP hinge movement many people lose the benefit of this movement by squatting to much. There is no need to squat deep or to throw your arms up, you use the power of your hips to thrust the kettlebell up … I repeat, this movement is powered but the hips not the arms. There is minimal knee bend.
1. With kettlebell/dumbbell in middle of your feet, tand with you feet hip-width apart. chest up, shoulders back and down. The weight of the kettlebell should be challenging but still allows you execute the swing with perfect technique. So for the purpose of perfecting the technique consider starting and practising with a kettlebell/dumbbell much lighter than what you’ll eventually use to work out with so that you can practice your form.
2. Squat down, grip the kettlebell/dumbbell with palms facing you and thumbs wrapped loosely around the handle.
3. Stand tall, still gripping the kettlebell/dumbbell. Your arms should be long and loose and make you are retracting your shoulders blades and engagingyour core. With a slight bend in the kness, shift your bodyweight onto your heels and lower your rear end backwards and down behind you. From this point your will be ready to explode into swing action
4. Bang! Drive/push through your heel, burst through the hips to send that weight swinging upward from your quads. Aim to get the weight to chest height, with the arms fully extended…..this is one rep. To reach this end position its important that you snap (make note of the word I am using to describe the movement) your hips through, contracting your core while squeezing your glute muscles.
5. Allow kettlebell/dumbbell to drop back down, and get your body ready for the next rep. Again shifting your weight back onto your heels while hinging at the hips and loading both the hamstrings and glutes . Allowing the kettlebell to drop back between your legs.
6. As the kettlebell/dumbbell makes it transition from backward to forward, drive through the heel and hips get into a rhythm and just boogie with.
So think about adding swings into your exercise program, or download these 4 sample workouts here and reap the benefits of the swing!
Until next time,