The Kettlebell Swing – Burn Fat in Five Minutes a Day
What if I said you could do away with your daily lower back pain, improve your mental focus, lose weight and build endurance in just five minutes a day? Then, imagine I told you could do it all from your living room for less than $50. How is that possible?
Well, let me introduce you to modern kettlebell training and, more specifically, the kettlebell swing. The kettlebell has been around for hundreds of years but is now enjoying a revival in popularity, likely due to the fact that nothing can offer the same level of training diversity and simplicity. They are compact, portable and nearly indestructible. Plus, you can get a full body workout in just minutes. What’s not to love?
Need a quick lunchtime workout? Want to do away with two-hour sessions at your big-box gym spent waiting for machines and treadmills to open up? Grab an outdoor workout on a beautiful spring day? Grab a kettlebell and start swinging!
What Is a Swing?
The swing is a dynamic, explosive movement that allows you to work nearly every muscle in your body from your hands to your feet. It will directly target your glutes and lower back, allowing you to condition the biggest muscles in your body. Doing so will not only burn the most calories, but it will also strengthen your core and combat back pain. With a light weight and a lot of reps, you can work on endurance and cardiovascular conditioning. With more weight and fewer reps, you can build muscle and strength.
No matter which option you go with, you will be guaranteed to develop muscle, burn fat and build endurance like you never thought possible. Best of all, you will get it done in just five minutes a day!
How to Do a Kettlebell Swing
First, you want to select a kettlebell that is the proper size. For swinging, you will need a kettlebell that challenges the largest muscle groups in your body. In the StrongFirst programming guidelines, a 35lb kettlebell is the minimum standard for women and 50lbs is minimum for men. This can be scaled back for beginners to 35lbs for men and 18lbs for women. Either way, pick a weight that is challenging. You only have five minutes, and you want to get a challenging full body workout in.
To start the swing, begin with the kettlebell one to two feet in front of your toes. Reach forward and grip the handle firmly. The kettlebell should be far enough in front of you that when you grab it, the kettlebell angles about 45 degrees back. Be sure to grip the handle tight. Now, hike the kettlebell between your legs like a football. As the kettlebell travels back between your legs, exhale forcefully, then snap your hips and glute forward, propelling the kettlebell upward. There should be minimal arm contribution. Keep your elbows tight to your body and do not let the kettlebell travel to chest height. As the kettlebell reaches its peak it should hover briefly between ascent and descent. Your body should be locked in and braced, like a vertical plank. As the kettlebell travels back down, grab a quick inhalation and get ready to repeat.
That’s it! That is your swing. Super simple, but always a work in progress. Make each rep perfect and stop when your technique begins to fail.
Programming: Five-minute Kettlebell Workout Ideas
20 swings on the minute for five minutes
Total = 100 swings (35lb Kb = 3,500lbs lifted / 50lb kb = 5,000lbs lifted)
5 swings, 5 belly breaths, 10 swings, 10 belly breaths, 15 swings, 10 belly breaths, 20 swings, 10 belly breaths, 20 swings, 10 belly breaths, 15 swings, 10 belly breaths, 10 swings, 10 belly breaths, 5 swings, 5 belly breaths
Total = 100 swings
Swings + Cardio:
4 sets – 25 jumping jacks, 25 swings
Total = 100 swings, 100 jumping jacks