What are Kettlebell Swings?

Kettlebell swings
Man near ocean exercising using kettlebell


Kettlebell swings are a full body exercise that involves swinging a kettlebell between your legs by hinging at the hips and explosively standing up.


  • Initiating the swing by powerfully hinging at the hips uses the hamstrings, glutes, and back muscles.
  • The explosive hip thrust at the top uses the glutes and core to stop the momentum. Control the swing.
  • Kettlebell swings build explosive power while burning calories. Use lighter weight for higher reps up to 20-50.
  • Maintain a flat back. Don’t squat or bend knees excessively. Swing the kettlebell like a pendulum.


  • Russian kettlebell swings
  • Single-arm kettlebell swings
  • Two-handed kettlebell swings

Related Terms

  • Hip hinge, triple extension, ballistic exercise, power endurance

Common Questions

  • How heavy of kettlebell should I use? Start with 25-35lbs for men or 15-25lbs for women. Go heavier for lower reps.
  • Are swings cardio or strength training? They provide both conditioning and functional power benefits.

Do Not Confuse With

  • Kettlebell snatch – Involves pulling kettlebell overhead, not just hip hinge.
  • Kettlebell clean – Going from swing to racked position. More technical.
63 / 100

Thank you for reading this post, don't forget to subscribe to our free newsletter