Like squats, the humble kettlebell swing is one of those superhero exercises that targets a bunch of important muscles – and can be a powerful weapon for those trying to counteract the harmful effects of a sedentary lifestyle.
Kettlebell swings provide a whole-body workout that can improve your overall balance, strength, cardio and mobility, all while helping burn those extra kilojoules.
Why are kettlebell swings so effective for sedentary people?
Why? Because the kettlebell swing does double duty as a fat-burning and strength-building routine – working up to 600 muscles at a time.
Also, a sedentary lifestyle can raise your risk of obesity, depression, chronic pain, cancer, injuries, heart disease and type 2 diabetes, so any one exercise that can directly counteract the harmful effects of sitting too long throughout the day is a winner in our books.
By introducing kettlebell swings into your fitness routine, you start working the group of muscles known as the posterior chain (hamstrings, glutes and spinal erectors), which are crucial to developing a strong back and legs into old age. They’ve also been shown to boost core strength by more than 70%, while working to strengthen the muscles that shrink in those who sit for long periods of time.
Because kettlebell swings require flexion and extension at the hip, they help to lengthen the hip flexors, which tighten up when constantly sitting with the hips at a 90-degree flexed position.
How to master kettlebell swings as a beginner...
The beauty of kettlebell swings, like squats, is that you can do them anywhere, any time. All you need is a suitably sized kettlebell (lfor most people, try in the 6-8kg range) and a couple of metres of clearance in front and behind you.
To get started, here’s what to do:
- With the kettlebell on the floor, position your feet on either side at slightly more than hip-width apart, with your toes angled slightly outward. Bend your knees a little and keep your abs engaged, drawing your belly button toward your spine.
- As you reach for the kettlebell handle, you want to tip your torso forward, keeping your back straight if you can, while pressing your hips back
- Breathing in as you grab the handle firmly, and with your core still engaged, you want to roll your shoulders back slightly. This will help control your swing momentum.
- Now as you exhale, you want to drive your hips forward to rise to an upright position in one powerful movement. Allow the kettlebell to swing forward as high as it will naturally go, usually shoulder height.
- Inhale and swing the kettlebell back down between your legs, pressing your hips back and keeping your neck aligned with your spine, with your eyes facing forward.
- Continue the kettlebell swings in sets of 10, remembering to keep your torso straight and to power the movement with your hips and glutes.
If you’re keen to get started but have an existing injury, chronic pain, or a metabolic condition, some expert advice is always a great starting point.
Our team of expert and empathic Agility Rehabilitation Exercise Physiologists are here to help you move safely toward your goals.
You can contact us here
, or call (08) 6162 8145