Sunday, November 6, 2011

The Kettlebell Swing: A Tutorial

Want to burn fat, increase your cardiovascular capacity, train most muscles in your body and become more flexible with one exercise?  Well, look no further than the kettlebell swing!

If I was told that I would have to choose one exercise to be the only exercise I could do for the rest of my life, it would be the Hardstyle Kettlebell Swing.  The swing creates a powerful body, burns fat, provides cardiovascular conditioning, flexibility training, and can improve sports performance across the board--all in one exercise.  Strength progressions happen quickly when you swing with proper form.  The first time I swung a kettlebell it was 15 lbs, I believe.  Within a few sessions I was up to 12kg (26lbs).  Since then, I've swung 24kg (53lbs) and 28kg (62lbs) with regularity.  My personal best was swinging the 88lb kettlebell for reps (it's the heaviest I've ever had access to during a regular training session, and I've
wanted to attempt heavier!).

I've taught a lot of people how to swing a kettlebell.  I believe in heavy training for men AND WOMEN!  I've taken mothers and housewives from never having touched a weight to swinging 53-70lb kettlebells for reps.  I've watched obese women in their 50's melt away fat using the kettlebell swing.  What I'm saying is IT WORKS!

Swinging kettlebells (with good form) is suitable for anyone from young athletes who want to improve sports performance to moms that need to lose some baby weight to grandfathers who want to move better and gain strength.  Anyone who swings a kettlebell with regularity will become stronger, more flexible, better conditioned, and will achieve the athletic look most people desire (combined with proper nutrition, of course).

Many of my friends have told me that their gyms have kettlebells, but they don't know how to use them.  Or that they've tried to swing them with either poor instruction or without instruction at all and have injured themselves.  While highly effective, kettlebells can be dangerous when attempted without the instruction of proper form.  Although there is no substitute for having an RKC Certified Instructor train you one-on-one, I suggest watching my tutorial video below (several times!) if you are interested in swinging kettlebells.

Now, I challenge you to perform 5 sets of 20 repetitions of the kettlebell swing! Women start with 15-26lbs, men start with 35-45lbs (or whatever similar weight increments you have access to).  If you're feeling strong, go for 10 sets (200 swings total).

**If you ever decide to purchase kettlebells for yourself, there is no substitute for DragonDoor bells.  They will last you a lifetime.  Buy them here.

Pavel's Enter the Kettlebell will teach you all of the basics.


  1. This is a great video!! I have been interested in mixing up my routine and this is def a keeper!!! Thanks so much!

  2. Great video Nicole! I'm going to try these next time I'm at the gym. I've used kettleballs before but really only as weights in other more stationary exercises. Excited for this full body workout!!

  3. Cleaning the kettlebell, that is bringing the kettlebell from a position below your knees to the front of your shoulder, is a fun exercise. become a kettlebell instructor