9 Kettlebell Swing Benefits & How To Do Them the Right Way

9 Kettlebell Swing Benefits & How To Do Them the Right Way

Is your usual fitness routine feeling a little stale lately? Try adding a twist to your workouts with kettlebell swings. This dynamic movement will turn you into a lean, mean (and more coordinated) machine. But kettlebell swing benefits go beyond just building muscle.

Keep reading to learn more about this exercise and discover how to do it the right way to minimize your chance of injury and maximize your results.

What Is a Kettlebell Swing?

First of all, a kettlebell is a weight with a handle on it — and a kettlebell swing is essentially swinging the kettlebell between your legs and then up to chest height or, if you’re up for the challenge, all the way over your head.

Because this exercise is such an explosive movement, it’s part cardiovascular and part strength training and provides a full body workout that targets multiple muscle groups at once. Plus, the swinging motion can be a fun and engaging exercise to add to your repertoire.

Equipment needed

You don't need much to do a kettlebell swing. Just grab a kettlebell that’s the appropriate weight for your fitness level and you’re good to go.

If you’ve never lifted, consider starting with a 4 kg (9 pound) or 8 kg (18 pound) kettlebell, and work your way up. Experienced lifters can choose a higher starting point.

You can also purchase an adjustable kettlebell. The unique design allows you to add or remove weight as needed. For example, this 20-lb Adjustable Kettlebell from Titan can weigh between 5 and 20 pounds depending on how many discs you put on.

Muscles used

Like starting any new exercise, you should know which muscles you’ll be using so you can anticipate the exercise's effect and ensure you perform it correctly.

Here are some of the main muscles targeted by the kettlebell swing:

  • Glutes
  • Hamstrings
  • Lats
  • Quads
  • Erector spinae
  • Hamstrings
  • Abs
  • Rhomboids
  • Deltoids
  • Forearms

Since the kettlebell swing hits many major muscle groups, it’s considered a whole-body workout.

Kettlebell Swing Benefits

Now that you know what this exercise is all about, let’s talk about why you should incorporate kettlebell swings into your workout routine.

1) Works your entire posterior chain

One of the primary kettlebell swing benefits is that it gives your entire posterior chain a workout, including your glutes, hamstrings, and back muscles.

Studies have shown that training your posterior chain can help reduce lower back pain and improve muscle strength. It’s also been linked to improved physical confidence.

Note: The kettlebell swing isn’t the only exercise to work your entire posterior chain. Other options include pull-ups, deadlifts, and barbell glute bridges.

2) Strengthens your core

In addition to working your posterior chain, kettlebell swings strengthen your core since your abs, obliques, and lower back muscles are all engaged in this exercise.

A strong core is essential for stability and can help prevent injuries. A well-developed core can also enhance your overall athletic performance.

3) Improves your coordination

Kettlebell swings require coordination and control to maintain proper form throughout the exercise. As you swing the kettlebell between your legs and thrust it forward, you engage multiple muscle groups simultaneously while maintaining balance.

With regular practice, this can improve your coordination and overall body awareness. You’ll know exactly how to position your body and move efficiently, whether you’re working out or performing daily tasks.

4) Bolsters your balance

Since kettlebell swings require stability throughout the movement, they can improve your overall balance. You'll strengthen your stabilizer muscles by training your body to stay balanced while swinging the kettlebell.

If you’re prone to falling or have decreased balance, regularly practicing this exercise can help you improve in these areas.

5) Trains your explosive strength

Explosive strength is one of the four types of strength and refers to the ability to exert maximum force in a short amount of time. Kettlebell swings are the perfect exercise to train this type of strength.

As you swing the kettlebell, the hip hinge motion allows for powerful acceleration and deceleration of a weighted load. This short burst of power works your muscles in a way that many lifting exercises do not.

6) Builds functional strength

Kettlebell swings are a functional exercise, meaning they mimic movements we do in daily life. This exercise requires you to use your entire body, rather than isolating specific muscle groups. It trains your muscles to work together, which can help prevent injury.

7) Increases your metabolic rate

The explosive, full-body nature of the kettlebell swing puts a high demand on your cardiovascular system. This elevated heart rate causes your body to continue burning calories, even after you’ve finished your workout.

Because of this benefit, the kettlebell swing is a great addition to any weight loss or fat-burning program.

8) Improves your mood

Exercise in general has been proven to release endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce stress levels.

The kettlebell swing, in particular, requires powerful, explosive movements that can boost your mood. And it just feels good to swing that kettlebell!

Additionally, regular exercise can improve overall mental health and contribute to a better quality of life.

9) Boosts your aerobic capacity

Aerobic capacity refers to your body’s ability to use oxygen efficiently. By improving your aerobic capacity, you can decrease your risk of heart disease, hypertension, and other chronic illnesses. It also helps you stay more active later in life.

As you continue to do kettlebell swings, you may notice improvements in your breathing and stamina.

How To Do a Kettlebell Swing

To reap the benefits above, you’ll need to do kettlebell swings correctly. If you’re sloppy on your form or techniques, you won’t see the same results.

Follow these steps to ensure every swing you do is safe and effective.

  • Start with your feet shoulder width apart, with the kettlebell on the ground in front of you.
  • Bend down to grab the handle with both hands, keeping your back flat like a table, and your core tight.
  • Hike the kettlebell back between your legs before powering through your hips and driving it up to chest level. Keep your arms straight throughout this movement.
  • If you want the extra challenge, you can take the weight all the way up above your head.
  • Use the momentum to bring the kettlebell back down between your legs and repeat for desired reps.

Common mistakes

Though the kettlebell swing is simple enough, you can hurt yourself if you don’t do it properly. Really focus on your form, and try not to make these common mistakes.

Not warming up

If you try a kettlebell swing on cold muscles, you’re more likely to pull something. Spend a few minutes doing dynamic stretches or these kettlebell prep moves so your muscles are fired up and ready to swing.

Using your arms

While your arms will be holding the weight, they shouldn’t be doing the swinging. Instead, focus on using your hips to drive the movement and generate power.

Think of your arms as an extension of that power, rather than using them to actively pull or lift the kettlebell.

Arching your back

To avoid injury, keep your back in a neutral spine position throughout the movement. Rounding or arching your back puts unnecessary strain on your spine.

Instead, keep your core tight and engage your glutes to maintain a stable position.

Using too much weight

The kettlebell swing is meant to be a full-body movement, not a power lift. If the weight is too heavy, it’ll force you to use your arms more, which will throw off your form.

Stick to a lower weight, at least until you get the hang of the exercise. Focus on proper form and gradually increase the weight as you become comfortable with the movement.


Once you get the hang of doing a kettlebell swing, it’s time to build your strength and endurance through repeated repetitions.

Here’s a recommended schedule. Feel free to swap out the weight for a heavier or lighter kettlebell depending on your fitness level.

  • Week 1: 26 pounds (12 kg), 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Week 2: 26 pounds (12 kg), 3 sets of 15 reps
  • Week 3: 35 pounds (16 kg), 3 sets of 12 reps
  • Week 4: 35 pounds (16 kg), 3 sets of 15 reps

Then, continue increasing the weight and repetitions as you feel comfortable.

Reap Kettlebell Swing Benefits with Titan

With dynamic and versatile kettlebell swings, you’re not only exercising, you’re investing in your full-body health. If you’re ready to experience kettlebell swing benefits like improved strength, coordination, and mood, grab a Titan kettlebell and give it a try.

Just be sure to avoid the mistakes listed above, and you’ll be well on your way to mastering kettlebell swings!