If you're planning on doing a kettlebell workout, you'd better get familiar with the Kettlebell Swing.
The beauty of a kettlebell workout is that there isn't a break between exercises; the kettlebell flows smoothly from one exercise to the next. This is why it provides such a good cardio workout, in addition to helping you build awesome full-body strength. And the Kettlebell Swing is the center of it all.
Rather than try to describe the exercise and build a how-to article, I'm going to defer to others who have already done so (and done a much better job than I could do). You'll find below photos, videos, quotes from articles, and links out to my favorite sources regarding the Kettlebell Swing. Enjoy.
Posture and Form - images
Men's Health shows us the proper form:
Here is another image, where kettlebell expert Steve Cotter shows how you should be loading your hamstrings and glutes in the down position:
That image was clipped from this video (embedded below). This is a great introduction to kettlebells video that I watched dozens of times when I was getting started a few years ago.
Here are a couple other videos I've watched more than once..
This video is one of the most corny, kitchy, goofy music, home-made, youtube videos out there. But it's catchy, and it shows one man's story of how much strength he's gained, and how much weight he's lost by using a kettlebell. Once you start working with a kettlebell, you'll realize how strong this guy is!
Here is another video, with the same strong man (and the same kitchy music), only this time he has a friend - another super-strong kettlebeller, and the exercises they do together are very impressive.
a Compelling Case for Kettlebell Swings, from author Tim Ferris
I'm sure you've heard of Tim Ferris, uber-author of the 4-Hour Workweek, 4-Hour Body, and 4-Hour Chef. If you haven't read Tim's work, his blog is a great place to start.
The Perfect Posterior. Tim wrote a post last year titled: "The Perfect Posterior: Kettlebell Swings and Cheap Alternatives", in which he described stories and amazing results - for men AND women, and focused around the kettlebell swing as a primary (or only) exercise. The stories include:
- a mother of 2 who lost more than 100 pounds while working out for only 20 minutes at a time.
- a Samba dancer in Brazil who could balance a tequila shot on the top of each butt cheek.
- a girl of Chinese ethnicity with a "surfboard-like profile" who was transformed and then voted one of the top-10 sexiest girls in her university
- Tim's own story of reducing his body fat percentage and increasing his strength in the deadlift.
... All from doing Kettlebell Swings.
There's a lot in there - read the article!
Another strong opinion in favor of the Kettlebell Swing: Yavor at RelativeStrengthAdvantage.com, in an article titled "The Kettlebell Swing - Kick Ass Exercise for a Kick Ass Body", writes:
"The Kettlebell Swing is quite possibly the easiest and at the same time most effective tool when it comes to training the whole body for multiple fitness qualities at the same time. When done for high volume of reps it makes you sweat and huff and puff thus making you fitter and leaner at the same time. The high rep kettlebell swing burns tons of calories and trains your heart and lungs."
If kettlebells aren't a part of your workout routine, they should be. They build strength, endurance, and flexibility, all while using the Fit-20 principle of working multiple muscle groups simultaneously to maximize results while minimizing workout time. And the Kettlebell Swing is a great place to start!