Kettlebell Swing Benefits (Should They Be In Your Workouts?)

The kettlebell swing is one of the most powerful exercises you can perform. It is a fundamental exercise in strength training that can be incorporated into your routine and used to improve your health and fitness in many ways.

But before you add a set of kettlebells to your home gym setup, it's a good idea to understand the benefits to work out if it's right for you.

Keep reading to find out more about the kettlebell swing and whether you should add it to your workout routine.

So what muscles does the kettlebell swing work? A kettlebell swing is a full-body exercise that focuses on most major muscle groups. It is especially great for your core, glutes, hamstrings, shoulders, and quads. It's a simple movement that you can do anywhere, and it's a great way to add a bit of variety to your workout.

Everyone can benefit from adding kettlebell swings to their regime, but the following athletes will find them particularly beneficial.

Strength And Power Athletes

Strength and power athletes should focus on the kettlebell swing as it helps to build pure power and explosive strength. It's also great for improving grip, postural, back, and core strength, all of which can be used in other areas around the gym.

Functional Fitness And Crossfit Athletes

The kettlebell swing is the go-to exercise for functional fitness and CrossFit athletes due to its ability to provide a full-body workout. It's a great exercise to build total-body strength, which is why kettlebell training is a staple in CrossFit gyms across the country.

Endurance Athletes And Runners

The kettlebell swing builds strength and power, and it's also a great calorie burner.

Endurance athletes and runners can perform the kettlebell swing to improve their performance, but it's also a great exercise to help them recover from their runs or races.

Kettlebell Swing Benefits

10 Benefits Of Kettlebell Swings (What Are They Good For?)

There are tons of benefits of Kettlebell Swings. The most important thing to know about the kettlebell swing is that it's a dynamic movement, meaning that it involves many muscle groups simultaneously. This is what makes it such an excellent exercise for the entire body.

Here are some of our favorite benefits of the kettlebell swing.

  • Total Body Workout 
    Kettlebell swings are kind of like the Swiss Army Knife of exercises because they work so many different muscles at once. They work your glutes, your hamstrings, your back, your shoulders, and your entire core.
  • Better Muscular Endurance 
    If you're looking to improve your muscular endurance, kettlebell swings are a great exercise to prioritize. The best way to build muscular endurance is to incorporate kettlebell swings into HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training) training.
  • Increased Power And Aerobic Capacity 
    A recent study found that kettlebell swings can help you build strength and aerobic capacity. The study showed a "6% gain, in maximum oxygen uptake", concluding that kettlebells could make a "significant improvement" to aerobic fitness.
  • Cardiovascular Training 
    Kettlebells are an incredibly effective piece of equipment for cardio. They're easier to take with you than a treadmill or a bike, and they're portable, so you can do them at home or at the office.
  • Helps For Healthier Lungs 
    One of our favorite exercises for improving breathing is the kettlebell swing. As it is a demanding exercise, it requires a lot of oxygen to perform, helping keep your lungs strong and healthy. The kettlebell swing also helps open up the chest and get the ribcage moving and breathing properly.
  • Increased Endurance 
    A kettlebell is a great tool to build endurance and burn fat. Kettlebell training that involves alternating periods of low reps and high reps builds endurance and helps you burn fat faster.
  • Increase Ability For Balancing Activities 
    A study performed by the University of Padova in Italy on a group of classical dancers concluded that training with kettlebells improved "jump performance and balance."The reason? Swinging a kettlebell puts our balance to the test, helping us to improve with each swing.
  • Helps Weight Loss 
    Kettlebell Swings are a great way to burn calories. They're a compound exercise that works for several muscle groups at once, including your glutes, quads, hamstrings, and core. This complete body exercise can burn up to 1200 calories an hour under the right conditions.
  • Decreased Injury 
    Kettlebell swings help build muscle, stimulate new bone growth and improve posture. All these lead to a more robust frame and one that is less prone to injury.
  • Improve Power 
    Kettlebell exercises specifically target explosive power. Explosive power is the ability to produce a high amount of force in a short period.A kettlebell swing requires you to forcefully extend your hips and knees while holding a heavy weight. This requires a tremendous amount of energy.

Step-by-Step Instructions For Kettlebell Swings

Sold on the kettlebell swing? Great. Let's run through the exercise step by step.

  • Start with your feet shoulder-width apart, your toes pointing forward with the kettlebell on the floor in front of you.
  • With your knees slightly bent and your back straight, lower yourself down to pick up the kettlebell, keeping your core tight. The kettlebell should be hanging down in front of you. This is the starting position.
  • Next, drive your hips forward, thrusting your weight into the kettlebell and swinging it up to about chest height.
  • Allow the kettlebell to swing back down in a controlled manner, catching it with your hips. The kettlebell should swing between your legs, primed for the next thrust.
  • Repeat for as many repetitions as you can.

Common Mistakes To Avoid While Doing Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell swings are one of the best exercises you can do to build a strong core, burn fat, and improve your athleticism.

However, there are a few common mistakes that can lead to injury. Thankfully, most of them can be easily corrected with a few simple steers.

Lifting With Your Arms

The kettlebell swing is meant to be a hip-hinging exercise, not an arm-swinging exercise.

If you're using your arm muscles to swing the kettlebell, it's a dead giveaway that you're using a weight that's too heavy for you. Try lowering the weight and focus on thrusting with your hips instead of lifting with your arms.

Swinging The Kettlebell Overhead

Although there is a variation of the kettlebell swing that does place the kettlebell over your head, we would not recommend this for beginners. We much prefer the Russian kettlebell swing that finishes about chest height.

Master the Russian swing before moving on to advanced moves.

Rounding Your Back

Rounding your back during a kettlebell swing is a common mistake and should be avoided at all costs. Rounding your back means that your lower back has a tendency to arch, which puts pressure on your lower back. Rounding your back is also known as hyperextension of the spine.

When you're doing a swing, your back should be straight, and your core should be engaged. Think about sucking your belly button into your spine and holding that position. This will ensure that your back is straight and that you're not swinging with a rounded back.

Squatting Down With Each Swing

The only time you should be squatting down in the kettlebell swing is when you're setting the kettlebell down and picking it back up again.

When you squat during a swing, you're using your hips to do most of the work instead of your legs and glutes.

Mistakes To Avoid While Doing Kettlebell Swings

People Also Ask (FAQs)

Is it OK to do kettlebell swings every day?

If you do the same thing every day, you're not challenging your body. You're not making it adapt, build strength or help build stability.

What size kettlebell should I start with? Is 32kg too heavy?

When it comes to kettlebells, the bigger, the better. If you're a newbie and unsure how much weight you can lift, a good rule of thumb is to start big and work your way down.

We recommend starting with a 12kg kettlebell (26.45 lbs). You could start out with a 16kg kettlebell if you're already strong and confident with your form, but the 16kg (35.4 lb) kettlebell is probably the heaviest kettlebell you should start with.

The 32kg kettlebell (70.55 lbs) is a weight that many people have a hard time lifting off the ground. It takes a lot of strength to do so, and it's essential to be aware of your own limitations.

How many kettlebell swings should a beginner do? Are 20 minutes enough?

When you're just starting out, 3-5 sets of 15-20 swings is an excellent place to start. As you get stronger, you can increase the number of sets, or the weight, to increase the difficulty.

Kettlebell exercises can be performed in short and long sets. The short sets are usually between 5 and 20 minutes, and the long sets are generally between 30 minutes and an hour.

To ensure that you get the best results, you should include various kettlebell exercises in your kettlebell workout.

Do you need 2 kettlebells?

We have a straightforward philosophy when it comes to fitness equipment. If you can get the same results with less equipment, then you should buy less equipment. When it comes to kettlebells, you can do all the same exercises with one kettlebell as you can with two kettlebells.


The kettlebell swing is one of the best exercises you can do for your entire body, and the best part is it only requires one kettlebell and a little bit of space. You can do it at home, at the gym, or even at the park.

Whether you're a CrossFit Athlete or a runner in training, the kettlebell can help build strength and stability while introducing variety into your workout.

Last Updated on April 10, 2023

Paul J

Paul J

Paul J is is an ex-professional footballer who has seen a gym or two and is an expert at knowing what is required for home gym setups. When he isn’t testing out products for his readers, he’s usually going for a run in the park or out for coffee.