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Kettlebell Swing

May 16, 2023 | Joel Runyon

The kettlebell swing is a great strength-building and cardio exercise. If you don’t have a kettlebell yet, you should consider getting one simply because it is so versatile and won’t take up a lot of space in your home.

The kettlebell swing can be performed both to eye-level and up overhead. The eye-level version is commonly referred to as a “Russian” kettlebell swing while overhead is called “American.” Both versions can be considered effective full-body movements! 

How to do a Kettlebell Swing

Hold the handle of the kettlebell with both hands – utilizing an overhand grip with the thumb wrapped around the bottom of the handle. Stand tall with the feet hip-width apart and arms long.

Now, with a soft bend in the knee and the back straight, hinge at the hips, send the butt back, and let the kettlebell follow. The bell should stay high between the legs as you hinge.×280&!3&btvi=1&fsb=1&xpc=zGzAc73Ni8&p=https%3A//

Once you’ve hinged, thrust the hips forward into full hip extension to create momentum to swing the bell. You can think about really squeezing your glutes during this portion.

If you’re doing a Russian swing, use the momentum from the hip extension to elevate the bell up to eye-level. The arms stay long. Once you’ve reached eye-level and the body is fully extended, the bell swings back down, the hips re-hinge and you go right into the next rep.

If you’re doing an American swing, use the momentum from the hip extension to swing the bell up over your head. Think about the arms staying long – the power comes from the hip extension…not the arms pulling the bell up.

At the top of the rep, the bottom of the bell should face up towards the ceiling. The arms, hips, knees, and ankles are all fully extended. The biceps finish by the ears.

Return the bell back to the starting position. This is the one rep.

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Joel Runyon

Joel is the founder of IMPOSSIBLE® and MoveWell. In addition to free fitness resources on Impossible Fitness - you can buy performance apparel and supplements on