Kettlebell swings are an excellent exercise for the entire body, particularly the core and the lower body. The power in your swing actually comes from your hips (in a hip-thrust motion), making this a powerful movement that forces your body to find stability as the weight swings out and up. If you're new to kettlebell training, use a lighter weight for this exercise to get your form down (for example, 10-15 lbs for women or 20-25 lbs for men). You'll find that, the heavier the weight, the more you'll engage the hip-thrust to get the weight up - but don't go too heavy until you feel comfortable and secure in the movement.
- Hold a medium-heavy kettlebell in both hands with legs hip-width apart.
- Begin with some warm up swings to get a feel for the weight and the movement. Start by squatting and taking the weight between the legs (arms should touch the inner thighs). Keep the torso upright and the abs braced.
- At the bottom of the movement shift your weight back and thrust up through the hips to bring the weight up to about hip level.
- After practicing a few swings, continue swinging the weight up higher until you get to shoulder level, squatting down and powering through the hips up each time you swing the weight up.
- At the top of the movement, the kettlebell should feel weightless. Use your hips and legs to move the weight, rather than your arms.
- Continue swinging for 1-3 sets of 8-16 reps.
- For added intensity, and if you feel comfortable, you can take the weight all the way up over the head.