How to Do Kettlebell Swing: Muscles Worked & Proper Form

Kettlebell swing exercise technique

Muscles Worked in Kettlebell Swings

Muscles worked in the kettlebell swing exercise

Primary muscles worked:

Secondary muscles worked:

How to Do Kettlebell Swings

  1. Place a kettlebell on the ground, about one or two feet in front of you.
  2. Take a wide stance, lean forward and grip the kettlebell.
  3. Brace your core slightly, and swing the kettlebell back between your legs, while inhaling.
  4. Swing the kettlebell forward by extending your hip, while exhaling.
  5. Try to swing the kettlebell to about chest height.
  6. Repeat for reps and put the kettlebell back on the ground when you’re finished.


Remember that it is the power from your hip and back that lifts the kettlebell, not your arms. The kettlebell swing is primarily an exercise for your glutes, back, and posterior thighs, and therefore you shouldn’t bend your knees more than just slightly. If you want to train your quads (front of the thigh) with a kettlebell, then goblet squats or front squats are a better alternative.

In order to make the exercise heavier, you can of course use a heavier kettlebell, but another alternative is to hold one lighter kettlebell in each hand.

Another alternative is one-handed kettlebell swings, where you hold a single kettlebell in only one hand. This will have you fighting to resist the rotational pull of the kettlebell, and thus increasing the training effect of the obliques.

Lastly, the kettlebell swing is an exercise that is also suited for cardio training, for example by training short, intensive intervals.

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