Kettlebell Swinging

Time for a bit of outdoor work.

One-handed kettlebell swing
One-handed kettlebell swing.
For such a simple exercise, this is certainly a lot more fun than it probably should be.

One-handed kettlebell swing

Start by bending at the hips, bend knees and let your right hand hang down between them (as if you're about to do a pull-through); holding the kettlebell a few inches off the ground. Swing the bell back and forward a bit, and on the second or third swing explosively straighten the hips and lift the arm to above shoulder height (keeping hold of the bell). Lower the bell in the same arc, and repeat.

The idea is to keep hold of the bell at all times, but it's definitely one for outdoors just in case.


Most variations increase or decrease the amount of grip work involved. To make things easier, just use two hands or a lighter bell. If you're looking for a challenge, lubricate the handle with a bit of soap or wrap the bell in a strong towel (grab the towel, not the bell in this case).

Further thoughts

The first time I tried this, I was almost doing a front raise and could really only feel it in my shoulders (as expected). By increasing the hip action, the bell moved higher and there was a lot more lower back work. The amount of work suggested it'd be a good exercise to follow something that hits the lower back more intensely such as deadlifting or a heavy set of good mornings.

It'd also be great as part of a warmup for squats or deads, as it's primarily a hip movement.

You Might Also Like...

Brilliant device. If your shoulders aren't quite as flexible as you'd like, grab The Rotater. Love it.
Already got one? Looking for something specific? Swing by the Straight to the Bar Store. It's all in there.

Scott Andrew Bird

Scott Andrew Bird is a writer, photographer and a guy who just loves this stuff. He's been at home in front of a computer for more years than he cares to remember (OK, 38) and is now making amends for years of many mistakes noted in the De-constructing Computer Guy articles (part 2) on T-Nation.

Find out what he's up to via Twitter, Facebook, the Daily 'Paper'; and of course his online home. Enjoy.

Like this? Check out :

The Home Gym 2007.

Wonderful place to train.

The Bodyweight Aficionado's Guide to Gear.

A few extras that can add a whole lot of possibilities.

Of course, if you enjoyed these, I'd highly recommend grabbing the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Delivered weekly, and absolutely free.

(there's also a Daily Update, if you're looking for an even larger dose of training-related goodness.)

NB : If you'd like to write a guest post for Straight to the Bar, or if you'd like to join the team of Moderators here (I love hearing about everyone's training approaches) - get in touch. And if you've got a fitness competition or seminar coming up, add it to the calendar.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Over to you. Leave a comment below, or send us a tweet :

blog comments powered by Disqus
Straight to the Bar Strength Kit

Are You as Strong as You Could Be?

Grab the Straight to the Bar Strength Kit.

Training Guides, eBooks and of course the Strength & Fitness Newsletter. Absolutely free.