How Many Calories Do Kettlebell Swings Burn? (For Fat Loss)

Kettlebells are a convenient and powerful way to lose fat, build muscle, and gain strength at home or in the gym. Ballistic and grinding exercises are possible with kettlebells, allowing you to complete comprehensive workouts with kettlebells alone.

In this guide, we’ll answer how many calories do kettlebell swings burn, so you can learn how best to burn them with those exercises.

Kettlebell swings are a ballistic exercise great for balance, stability, and burning calories. How many calories kettlebell swings burn depends on the weight of the kettlebell and the number of swings you do. But the reason why they burn lots of calories is that they're a form of interval training, and they provide an intense workout.

Interval training is performed in short bursts of around 30 seconds of intense activity followed by a few minutes of more relaxed activity. This provides many cardiovascular benefits and 28% more weight loss across 28 days compared to non-interval training.

man holding kettlebells

10 Minute Kettlebell Workout  

How many calories does a kettlebell swing burn in 10 minutes is worth asking because we all lead busy lives and often only have small gaps in our schedules. The kettlebell swing calories burned in 10 minutes will vary depending on your weight, but we’ll give a rough estimate for men and women.

For American men with an average weight of 200 lbs, the 10-minute kettlebell workout calories burned is 155. For American women with an average weight of 170 lbs, a 10-minute kettlebell workout will burn 133 calories.

These figures are rough calculations based on performing interval swings or continuous swings. Your relative fitness, age, workout consistency, and kettlebell weight also affect these figures. We used a kettlebell calories burned calculator to figure out our numbers, and you can find plenty of these online. They will give you approximate numbers, but you’ll only know for sure by working out for a few weeks. 

Regarding how many kettlebell swings you can do in 10 minutes, the average per minute was 22 in one study of 2-handed swings with a 16kg kettlebell, so you can assume roughly 220 in 10 minutes.

20 Minute Kettlebell Workout  

You can fit in a more extensive kettlebell workout incorporating more exercises if you have extra time. Whether you choose to do ballistic exercises like swings or grinding exercises like weighted squats, your workout will be more substantial. You’ll also lose double the number of calories compared to a 10-minute workout. 

The 20-minute kettlebell workout calories burned can be estimated by simply doubling the average number of swings from a 10-minute workout. That gives us a figure of 310 for American men and 266 for women. Again, this will vary on numerous factors like those listed above, but you can use them as a rough estimate, especially if you’re lifting a 16kg kettlebell.  

As for how many kettlebell swings can be performed during 20 minutes, you can simply double the figures we referred to earlier. That means losing 440 calories, assuming a double-handed swing of a 16kg kettlebell. 

30 Minute Kettlebell Workout  

You can take 30 minutes out of your workout routine and devote them to kettlebells for a comprehensive workout. Or find a spare 30 minutes in your day if you don’t work out regularly. With this much time, you can complete a range of ballistic and grinding exercises to lose weight, gain muscle, and improve posture and balance.

burning calories with kettlebells

Naturally, your results will depend on the exercises chosen. When you devote this much time to a suitable kettlebell workout, you’ll burn roughly triple the number of calories you would have burned during a 10-minute workout. Regarding how many calories does a 30-minute kettlebell workout burn, it’s 465 for American men and 399 for American women.  

Burning so many calories multiple times a week will accelerate your weight loss, which is what makes using kettlebells so rewarding. So if you’re wondering, ‘are kettlebells good for weight loss?’, the answer is that they are indeed, so long as you’re using them correctly and consistently. If you’re planning on working out with kettlebells for this long when you’re at the gym, getting some personal training for good form would be beneficial.

Doing 100 Kettlebell Swings  

If you want to base your workout on swings rather than on minutes, you can simply take our figures from earlier and see how long it takes you to reach 100. For reference, 220 swings are the average in 10 minutes with a 2-handed swing of a 16kg kettlebell, so you should easily be able to make it to 100 in 5 minutes if you’re lifting this much or less.

It’s tough to determine the calories burned per kettlebell swing because so many factors contribute to the number per swing. That’s why picking a number like 100 is an excellent way to make a start if you’re not comfortable with kettlebells. But to help give you a rough guide, remember that a 10-minute workout will burn 155 calories for American men, and 133 for American women. That means halving these figures will give you a reasonable estimate.

Related Articles


Kettlebell Swing Calories Burned Formula & Calculator

There is a formula used to calculate calories burned from kettlebell swings. You can use this website to calculate calories burned.

The formula for the calories burned per minute during a kettlebell workout contains a MET number, which is the energy cost of a specific activity over a period of time.

Also in the formula are your body weight in kilograms and a few precise numbers. Here it is: 

(MET x Body Weight in Kg x 3.5) ÷ 200 

A kettlebell workout has a MET of 9.8, so if you’re an American man weighing the average weight of 90.6kg (200 lbs), the formula and result would be: 

(9.8 x 90.6 x 3.5) ÷ 200 = 15.54 

kettlebell sitting on the floor of a home gym

With an average of 22 kettlebell swings per minute, that would mean an estimated calorie burn per kettlebell swing of 15.54 ÷ 22 = 0.7 for men and 13.29 ÷ 22 = 0.6 


Things To Avoid When Doing Kettlebell Swings 

  • Rounding Your Back
    Your shoulders should always be rolled back, and you should stand with a straight posture and keep your back flat as you bend. The hips, arms, and shoulders should be doing all of the work with kettlebell swings, like how they do with lateral raises. You can push out your buttocks to ensure you’re not rounding your lower back.
  • Performing A Squat When Doing A Swing
    If you’re swinging from your hip for a kettlebell swing, then the last thing you want is to perform a squat. It’s an entirely different movement, and you won’t work the right muscles. You can use a kettlebell for squatting, but they shouldn’t form a part of kettlebell swings. Avoid it by not bending your knees excessively.
  • Not Using Hips To Generate Power
    Your hips are the most vital part of a kettlebell swing and need to be used correctly. When performing kettlebell swings, lead with your hips. They’ll give you the power to push through the rest of your swinging motion, which relies on the shoulders and the arms.
  • Ignoring Your Core
    Kettlebell swings also use your core, and a slight bend at the waist and hips is crucial for getting them right. But if you fail to do that, you can strain your knees or lower back instead. Doing that sidelines your core muscles, so you should ensure you bend correctly.

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Are kettlebells good for weight loss? 

Kettlebells are a great way to burn calories and lose weight, especially if you use them consistently and with good form. However, you’ll need to perform a good range of exercises over a long enough workout session to stack up the benefits over time. If you do that, losing weight becomes easier.

Is it ok to do kettlebell swings every day? 

Yes, it is, but you should always monitor how you feel and what’s happening to your body. If you feel like you’ve strained a muscle, you may be lifting a kettlebell that’s too heavy or performing your exercises with incorrect form. You can check with a fellow gymgoer or a personal trainer if in doubt.

Will kettlebell swings tone the arms?  

As long as you do an intense enough workout and repeat it over time, kettlebell swings will tone your arms. You’ll be relying on the arm muscles to swing the kettlebell after you’ve powered the swing with your hips, waist, and shoulders. But make sure you progress to heavier weights when it feels comfortable.

Can you get a full-body workout with a kettlebell?  

Yes, you can, because of the wide variety of exercises you can perform with a kettlebell. As we mentioned, kettlebell exercises fall into ballistic and grinding categories. A healthy combination of both with the correct form, intensity, and duration will ensure an excellent full-body workout from kettlebells.


Conclusion

Kettlebells are an excellent tool for burning calories and losing weight, plus they provide an excellent full-body workout. You’ll be good to go as long as you calculate your calorie-burning goals and maintain the correct form while working out. Now that you know kettlebells burn calories, jump over to our guide on the best kettlebells to start shredding fat!

Paul J