5 Major Benefits of Doing Kettlebell Swings Everyday

published by: Debbie Luna
Last Updated:
October 24, 2022

The kettlebell swing is a compound exercise that works the posterior chain muscles and involves swinging a kettlebell from between the knees to eye level or over the head. This workout improves power and muscular endurance while also improving core stability, balance, and coordination.

Being a full-body workout, performing kettlebell swings on a daily-basis offers a variety of benefits. These benefits include improving strength, power, and speed in the lower extremities, improving grip strength, and strengthening the core muscles, among others.

What is A Kettlebell Swing?

Kettlebell swings are a type of exercise that uses a kettlebell as a form of resistance. This can be done either with one or two hands, and it is typically performed while standing. The goal of this exercise is to develop stamina and aerobic endurance while improving total body strength, power, and balance.

how to do a kettlebell single arm swing

The kettlebell swing is a complex workout that engages several muscle groups at the same time. The main muscles used for this exercise are the glutes, hamstrings, spinal erectors, and muscles of the upper back. The movement also helps improve flexibility and mobility.

To perform kettlebell swings, the individual first stands with the feet shoulder-width apart and the knees slightly bent. Hold the kettlebell with both hands by its handle so that it rests between both legs. While keeping the back in neutral extension, bend forward at the hips until a stretch in the back of the legs around the hamstrings is felt.

Swing the kettlebell backward first to gain momentum to lift it up until level with the shoulders. As the kettlebells are swung forward, the individual stands back straight by thrusting the hips forward at the same time extending the knees. Repeat this motion for the desired number of reps to complete a single set.

Despite the fact that it seems to be primarily an upper extremity activity, the kettlebell swing is a low-impact workout that targets and strengthens the gluteal muscles.  Because this exercise requires a great hip extension, the gluteus maximus is the primary mover, aided by the hamstrings.

Kettlebell Weight Increments 

A disadvantage of using a kettlebell is the limited weight increments that it offers, unlike weight plates that come in as light as 2.5 pounds and can easily be attached to barbells or dumbbells, kettlebells start from 8 pounds and only increase in eight-pound increments. 

kettlebell increments

This may prove to be a disadvantage as not all individuals may be capable of increasing 8 pounds each time there is a desire to increase weight. So basically the mechanics of a gradual increase of load may deem to be impractical when it comes to the use of kettlebells.

What are the Benefits of Doing Kettlebell Swings Daily?

Kettlebell swings are a great exercise to build strength and maintain mobility in the body. Swings are a great way to get cardio workouts in and they can also be done at home or in the gym. It is a full-body workout that will help increase power, speed, and strength in the lower extremity muscles.

1. Increases Strength in the Hamstrings and Glutes

Kettlebell swings are one of the best ways to build muscle in the lower body. They target the hamstrings, glutes, and lower back, which are all important for building strength and endurance. 

The hamstrings are the muscles on the back of the leg. They aid in bending forward, standing up, and moving through space when performing swings.

hamstring posterior

The glutes are located at the posterior part of the pelvis, near the rectum and anus. They help stabilize the body during movement by acting as shock absorbers for other muscles in your lower body.

gluteal muscles

For strength training purposes, kettlebell swings work primarily with these two muscle groups. Hamstring exercise is important because it helps develop power throughout the stance phase while also strengthening what is known as supportive muscles like those found around our hips and knees.

Additionally, the kettlebell swing is a compound movement that engages multiple muscle groups. With each repetition, the hip flexors, hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps femoris, and calf muscles will all be working. It also engages other smaller muscles such as the adductor magnus through high reps per set, so even people who are not particularly strong can still benefit from doing kettlebell swings daily.

2. Increases Power and Speed in Leg Muscles

Kettlebell swings are one of the best exercises for increasing power and speed in leg muscles. It also helps to develop core strength, which is important for athletes who want to be able to run fast and jump high, as it can strengthen the muscles of the lower body as well. 

When this exercise is done correctly the vertical jump and speed of an athlete will be increased by a huge margin. Studies support that the best way to gain an increase in speed and power of the leg muscles through kettlebell swings is by using a weight that is 30% of the individual’s body weight and moving it very fast. 

The modification of the repetition and sets of the kettlebell swing is also important if the individual either wants to focus on speed for that day or strength. For a speed-focused workout using kettlebell swings, 5 sets of 10 repetitions using a kettlebell that is 30% of the lifter’s body weight with explosive movements is recommended. Training for power, on the other hand, would require heavier weights with 8 reps and 5-10 sets. 

3. Improves Grip Strength

The kettlebell swing exercise is a great way to improve grip strength. Kettlebell swings are an easy exercise that targets the grip, forearms, and upper body. The movement involves swinging a kettlebell between the legs of an individual, which activates the gripping muscles of the arms and shoulders. This can help build more muscle and increase overall strength. 

4. Strengthens Core Muscles

The core is made up of multiple muscles of slow-twitch and fast-twitch muscle fibers that work together harmoniously. If these muscles are not strong enough, they will cause discomfort or pain when doing certain activities like walking long distances or playing sports like basketball, where jumping off one foot might mean landing on another leg instead.

5. Fat Burner

One of the reasons people love using kettlebells for exercise is that it works out the individual’s entire body in one session. They can help achieve a leaner physique, as they require so much effort that the body will burn fat rather than sugar.

While many may think that only moving weights around makes an individual work out their arms and legs, doing kettlebell swings will also help with burning fat all over the body. The best way to burn fat is through cardiovascular exercise, so kettlebell swings are perfect for this.

This exercise will help the individual burn more calories than traditional cardio because it targets both heart rate and calorie expenditure. In addition, it is easy to perform anywhere in an individual's home or outdoors. 

Risk of Injury?

Kettlebell swings are an excellent overall workout, but they do have some risks. Before beginning to use kettlebells, it is vital to get proper instruction and supervision from a qualified fitness professional.

For those just beginning kettlebell training, it is important to learn how to do them safely. The weight of the kettlebell can cause serious injury if it is not handled properly or used at an unsafe speed while doing the exercise.

Kettlebell swinging should always be done slowly so that there are no injuries caused by sudden movements or collisions with other objects in the area where the exercise is done.

To avoid injury, kettlebell swings should be executed with proper form and control. The technique relies on hip hinging to propel the weight upward rather than using the arms to raise the weight. The upper limbs merely control the swinging action and do not help in lifting or lowering the weight.

Conclusion

In summary, kettlebell swings are an excellent overall workout that can be done anywhere without equipment. The benefits of doing Kettlebell swings daily include increased strength and power in the legs, improved cardiovascular health, and body mechanics.

However, these benefits are not without a price tag—the risk of injury is real when using kettlebells as opposed to other forms of exercise such as running or walking on flat ground without any resistance against gravity

References

1. 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 

2. Maulit, M., Archer, D., Leyva, W., Munger, C., Wong, M., Brown, L., Coburn, J., & Galpin, A. (2017). Effects of Kettlebell Swing vs. Explosive Deadlift Training on Strength and Power. International Journal of Kinesiology and Sports Science, 5(1), 1-7. doi:https://doi.org/10.7575//aiac.ijkss.v.5n.1p.1

3. Duncan MJ, Gibbard R, Raymond LM, Mundy P. The Effect of Kettlebell Swing Load and Cadence on Physiological, Perceptual and Mechanical Variables. Sports. 2015; 3(3):202-208. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports3030202

4. 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 

Debbie (Deb) started powerlifting and Olympic lifting in High School as part of her track team's programming; She continues to train in order to remain athletic. Inspire US allows Deb to share information related to training, lifting, biomechanics, and more.
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