The kettlebell is a versatile gym equipment used for exercises, such as squats, lunges, and crunches. Because of its variety of uses, many people have added the kettlebell to their exercise routines, especially during recent times when workout challenges have been gaining popularity. One of these challenges was the 100 kettlebell swings a day.
Kettlebell swings are a full-body resistance exercise that also serves as a good cardio workout. While performing 100 kettlebell swings a day may seem excessive to some, it actually carries multiple benefits that make the exercise worth the effort.
Kettlebell swings are a simple workout that can be performed by people of all experience levels. However, there are safety precautions to note when executing this exercise.
A kettlebell swing is an activity wherein a kettlebell is used to serve as resistance. One or both hands can be used to hold onto the kettlebell while the person remains in a standing position. This is an all-around strength and conditioning workout designed to make anyone stronger and more balanced while also increasing their aerobic endurance.
Several different muscle groups are used in the kettlebell swing making it a challenging and effective exercise. The gluteus maximus, hamstrings, spinal erectors, and upper back muscles are predominantly engaged during this movement. Movements like this also aid in the development of greater mobility and flexibility.
The kettlebell swing is a low-impact exercise that focuses on and improves the gluteal muscles despite its appearance as an upper-extremity movement. Hip extension, primarily produced by the gluteus maximus, is the fundamental motion in this exercise, with the hamstrings providing assistance.
Kettlebell swings begin with a person standing with the feet positioned shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent. Place both hands on the handle of the kettlebell and rest it between the legs. While maintaining a neutral extension of the back, lean forward with a bend at the hips until a stretch is felt in the hamstrings.
Lift the kettlebell until it is at shoulder height by initiating a backward swing. The kettlebell is swung forward as the lifter stands up straight and leans backward. Allow the forward push from the hip hinge to lift the kettlebell, and make sure that the arms do not contribute to the lifting motion.
This is done by extending the knees and pushing the hips forward at the same time. Allow the kettlebell to move upward until it approaches shoulder level. As gravity pulls the weight down, it returns between the legs, and the exercise is repeated until the set is completed.
Kettlebell swings are a full-body workout, although it mostly engages the muscles along the posterior chain which include the glutes, hamstrings, calves, erector spinae, trapezius, and rhomboids muscle.
While doing the exercise, the glutes, hamstrings, spinal erectors, and upper back muscles are the main groups of muscles engaged for execution. There may also be activation of the abdominal muscles for stabilization. On the other hand, the anterior deltoids, pectorals, and forearm muscles assist in the swing of the kettlebell forward.
Lastly, as there is a need for a tight grip on the kettlebell to avoid throwing it, this also works on improving grip strength.
Doing kettlebell swings makes for a full body workout that also serves as a cardio exercise. Because it works almost all muscles of the body, this exercise effectively increases the heart rate which allows the heart to pump faster and harder. This leads to a strong and healthy heart.
Performing the kettlebell swing 100 times may also lead to weight loss when done every day. However, the ability of the kettlebell swing to produce weight loss heavily relies on the current body weight, metabolic rate, and the swings done per minute.
Core engagement is required to perform the kettlebell swing. Hence, the core is strengthened when doing this exercise, which contributes to stability. A strong core leads to stability because core muscles are responsible for supporting the spine and pelvis while also having a role in the movement of the limbs.
In addition, a strong core developed from doing kettlebell swings also helps in the relief of lower back pain. This is because strong core muscles shift force and stress from the spine to the muscles. Furthermore, the swinging action of this exercise also allows decompression of the spinal discs.
Because the kettlebell swing strengthens most muscles of the body, it is able to improve functionality in many aspects of daily living. This includes activities such as standing, walking, running, lifting, and reaching for things.
Doing 100 kettlebell swings takes 7-10 minutes on average. This duration is not enough to reach the optimal health required for an average adult. As stated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the average adult person requires 150 minutes of exercise weekly, which would be divided into 6 days and so requiring 25 minutes of exercise a day.
The lacking 15 minutes that are required can be acquired by doing other kettlebell exercises such as the kettlebell hang clean, kettlebell hammer curl, and kettlebell one-arm curl among others.
Kettlebell swings are a great all-around exercise, but they do come with certain hazards. It is critical to have sufficient guidance and supervision from a competent fitness expert before beginning to use kettlebells.
It is essential for individuals who are new to kettlebell training to understand how to perform them safely. If the kettlebell is not handled properly or is utilized at an unsafe speed while doing the exercise, it might cause significant damage. The exercise should always be done carefully to avoid accidents caused by rapid movements or interference with other objects in the workout area.
Kettlebell swings should be performed with good form and control to minimize the risk of injury. Rather than utilizing the arms to lift the weight, the method depends on the hip hinge to drive it upward. The upper limbs just regulate the swinging movement and do not contribute to raising or lowering the weight.
One hundred kettlebell swings a day might sound too overwhelming for the majority, which really is the case at the initial phase of the routine. However, sticking with the program will soon lead to an ease of performance as days go by and provide the individual with a multitude of benefits which makes the routine worthwhile.
On the other hand, it is also important to note that just doing 100 kettlebell swings a day is not enough to reach optimal health for the average adult and so, incorporating other exercises is needed. Finally, before performing the kettlebell swings, safety precautions must be practiced so as not to compromise the intended benefits of the exercise as well as to reduce the risk of injury.
1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. How Much Physical Activity do Adults Need? Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Published 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/physicalactivity/basics/adults/index.htm
2. Falatic, J. Asher1; Plato, Peggy A.1; Holder, Christopher2; Finch, Daryl3; Han, Kyungmo1; Cisar, Craig J.1. Effects of Kettlebell Training on Aerobic Capacity. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: July 2015 - Volume 29 - Issue 7 - p 1943-1947 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000000845
3. Manocchia, Pasquale1; Spierer, David K.2; Lufkin, Adrienne K. S.1; Minichiello, Jacqueline1; Castro, Jessica1. Transference of Kettlebell Training to Strength, Power, and Endurance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: February 2013 - Volume 27 - Issue 2 - p 477-484 doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e31825770fe