Thursday, January 6, 2011

Bikini Body Move #5- Kettlebell Swings

    Guys: This is a great move even if you are not looking to rock a bikini (maybe a speedo?) ;)

   I haven't done one of these in a while!  I've been too busy talking about myself :P

   The first four moves are some of my top viewed posts, so I figured I should start these up again.

   My Tabata Kettlebell Swing Workout post has been getting a lot of search hits lately, I suppose because it is the New Year and everyone is looking to get in shape.  I also stated in that post that I would tape my Kettlebell swings once I had more practice and learned proper form,  I've been doing these for a few months now and I think I've got it down. So today I am talking about and demo-ing the Kettlebell Swing.

    Kettlebell Swings are a full body workout, they work the whole posterior chain (important for sprinting, jumping), and also work the abs and strengthen your core.  Your arms are actually doing the least amount in this movement, although they are still getting some benefit.  

  They are a extremely functional workout because they allow you to get cardio and weight training in at the same time.

   In my demo video I start 10 two handed swings then switch to 10 with the right hand, then 10 with the left hand.  Usually when I do these at home I then go back to the two handed swing, then one handed on each side again.  This ends up being about 2 mins. straight of swings.  Sometimes I keep going for 4 or 5 minutes in the same manner.  After doing the one handed swings, both hands kind of feels like a rest period so it is easier to keep going.

   Also as talked about in my earlier post you can do these as a Tabata workout, just up the intensity (ie: go faster :D)

    You want to make sure when you swing the bell that you are getting your power from your lower body, in the form of your hip snap.  You are not using your arms to lift the kettlebell.  From squat position you drive your hips forward to propel the bell up.  Make sure to keep your back straight, as you would in a squat.

My Kettlebell Swings:

One day I will actually talk in my videos, right now I am afraid of hearing my own voice on camera :/

Song~ "New Low" - Middle Class Rut
  Sorry if you don't like Alternative Rock (just turn the volume off ;). We just got Sirius Radio and I discovered this song on Alt Nation, I love it! It's been stuck in my head for days.

    I've been using a 15 lb kettlebell, but I think it might be time for me to move up to a 20 lb-er.  The 15 lb is still a decent workout, but I think I could have even more power in my hip snap if I was trying to move a heavier weight.

  Any questions feel free to ask :)  My original Kettlebell post (linked above) has a pretty good demo video if you are still unsure of the movement.


Chad said...

Is there any reason I can't do this with a regular dumbbell?

Katie said...

You could definitely try. It would be harder to hold, especially for the one handed swings, but if you think you could do it, go for it!
I do prefer the grip of the Kettlebell though, I'm not sure if I, personally, could do them with a dumbbell.

Matty O said...

I know nothing about Kettle Bells.

But, I do know that you typically should not use the momentum of your weight to aid in the next rep for free weights. Is kettle bells different that you use the momentum of the bell to aid in the next rep?

Or is the philosophy similar to that of free weights where you are focusing on stabilizing and controlling the movement? Just curious. I don't want to mess up if I ever pick these up at the gym ;)

Katie said...

I am by no means a Kettlebell expert (yet ;), but I will answer this the best I can and if anyone wants to add something, feel free :)

The swing is an explosive movement, so you are using momentum from your hip thrust to move it upwards. When you return to start position the kettlebell will have lost momentum and you have to propel it up again by driving your hips.

I think because it is an explosive multi-functional (cardio and strength) movement it differs from lifting free weights.

Here is a very informative link that I found~

Hope that helps!!

Marian said...

If you were just starting out, what weight would you recommend? I am a female that is around 105-110 give or take (depending on holidays;) Pretty good shape as I do work out 5-6 times a week, though nothing too intense. Thanks!!

JohnP said...

I love this blog.


Katie said...

I started the swings with a 15 lb, but since the power comes from the hips I could probably move up for this move.

I also use the kettlebell for some arm exercises and for me 15 lbs is almost too much (weak arms :/) For some exercises I can only get 3 reps before failure.

For you I would recommend starting with 15-20 lbs (it depends if you want to use it for just swing type movements or arm exercises as well and how much you can lift.)

If you want to invest, they have kettlebells that are adjustable and you can take plates in or out to make it heavier/lighter. These cost more at first, but once you have to go buy your second kettlebell (cause you're stronger :D) it pretty much evens out. I wish I went with one of these in the beginning.

You can also try a few out while you are at the store and see what feels right. Hope this helped!

JohnP~ Thanks :P I love your comments. (sometimes)

coach dion said...

I'm really to lazy to do anything else other than ran, I know I need the gym sessions, but I only ever do a couple of pull ups and sit ups... would love to be swinging a kettle-bell, or something like that. you go girl...

Detroit Runner said...

Looks like a great workout!

MuncherCruncher said...

Tabata workouts are BOMB. I'm a huge fan! Way to rock the video girl. I've had several people ask me to post some of my workouts in video form, and that terrifies me...I HATE hearing my voice too! Why is that so scary??

Jeff - DangleTheCarrot said...

I so need to get in on the kettlebell action. Some of the tabata workouts look just killer on the core.

Andrew Opala said...

if you ever wanted to make a fun video you could launch that kettle bell through the window behind you!

It would get at least 300 views ;)

BTW guys don't do that exercise ... could damage some important stuff!

Andrew Opala said...


Katie said...

ahaha Matt wants to know why I am dying from laughter on the couch.

Wear a cup!!! :D

ERG @ Elkton Runner said...

Looks like a good workout! I kindof do something like that- but with a 25 pound baby. (j/k)

Great job, Katie =D .

dannie chOOng said...

so much health tips here. love the blog. good job, and wishing you a Blessed New Year !!!

Kennyo said...

Yeah I have been thinking about buying a kettle bell to enhance my workouts, youcan do so much with them...
You mentioned your t-shirts on my comment, what site have you been using to design them?

Katie said...

ERG~ Ahaha, workout for you and entertainment for your baby :D

Dannie~ Thank you!!

Kenny~ I've played around on, haven't purchased anything yet, but I liked the site.