What’s up fitness fans?
In today’s article, we’re going to be looking at several crazy kettlebell swing benefits.
Years ago, if you’d walked into a commercial gym looking to lift weights, you’d find dumbbells, a barbell, and a few machines designed to help you build muscle and get big and strong in the process.
These days, however, things are very different.
Nowadays gyms are packed full of complex machines and equipment that would look more at home in a sci-fi epic than in a gym, but the times are a-changing.
As well as all of the new and sophisticated pieces of kit, you’ll likely also have noticed how kettlebells are now becoming a great deal more common too.
Nowadays, kettlebells are found in most commercial gyms, as well as CrossFit boxes, and the benefits they can provide are very well documented.
Want to see just how well documented we mean?
In that case, you’d better check out these crazy benefits that are sure to impress.
- 1 What Are Kettlebells?
- 2 The History Of The Kettlebell:
- 3 What Are Kettlebell Swings?
- 4 What Are The Kettlebell Swing Benefits?
- 4.1 1. Kettlebells Look Cool
- 4.2 2. Kettlebell Swings Offer Something Different
- 4.3 3. Kettlebell Swings Are Easy To Master
- 4.4 4. Kettlebell Swings Burn Calories
- 4.5 5. Kettlebell Swings Are The Ultimate Core Strengthening Exercise
- 4.6 6. Kettlebell Swings Increase Your Strength
- 4.7 7. Kettlebell Swings Will Improve Your Athletic Performance
- 4.8 8. Kettlebell Swings Build Muscle
- 4.9 9. Kettlebell Swings Are Great For Posture
- 4.10 10. Kettlebell Swings Improve Flexibility
- 4.11 11. Kettlebell Swings Are Convenient
- 4.12 12. Kettlebell Swings Save Time
- 4.13 13. Kettlebell Swings Are Great For The Legs
- 4.14 14. Kettlebell Swings Are Great For The Back
- 4.15 15. Kettlebell Swings Are Functional
- 4.16 16. Kettlebell Swings Are Great For Different Workouts
- 4.17 17. Kettlebell Swings Help Prevent Injury
- 5 Final Thoughts:
What Are Kettlebells?
If you’re fairly new to the world of health and fitness and you’re not sure what kettlebells are, you’ve certainly come to the right place.
Kettlebells are unique pieces of gym equipment in that they’re free weights, but likely not the ones which you’re used to.
Kettlebells not only look cool, but they’re incredibly functional as well.
Think of a cast-iron cannonball with a handle attached to it and that’s pretty much what you’ll get with a kettlebell.
They’ve been around for a long time, but have only really become staples in commercial gyms over the last ten years or so, but one thing that is for certain is the fact that, if used right, kettlebells can be hugely beneficial.
The History Of The Kettlebell:
Before we can look at some of the many health benefits of kettlebells, first off we’re going to take a look at the history of Kettlebells.
When people think of kettlebells, they generally think of Russia.
While the traditional kettlebells we know and love in gyms and CrossFit boxes up and down the globe may have Russian origins, however, true kettlebells can be traced back much further.
Early Kettlebell Mentions:
If you want to discover the very earliest mentions of kettlebells, it isn’t Russia that you should travel to, it’s actually Greece.
The object that we know as the kettlebell today is actually a relic all the way from ancient Greece.
If you make your way over to Athens and visit the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, you’ll find a huge kettlebell on display there, which weighs in at a whopping 315 pounds.
Inscribed upon the kettlebell are the words ‘Bibon heaved up me above ahead by one head’.
This would indicate that the ancient Greeks used pieces of equipment resembling kettlebells, though other than that, there isn’t much more evidence to show just how extensively they were used.
The first recorded usage of the word ‘kettlebell’ can be found in the Russian dictionary from 1704 where it is listed as ‘Girya’ which translates to ‘Kettlebell’.
Just to make matters even more confusing, there isn’t actually any evidence of where the “modern” kettlebell was invented or whom.
Origins Of Kettlebell Training:
It is believed that Russian farmers would use kettlebells at the market, where they would use them as counterweights for grain.
The farmers, either bored or inspired to get fit and healthy, learned that because of their unique handles, kettlebells could actually be swung and tossed.
Soon, at farming festivals, kettlebell tossing became a prominent event.
In the 19th century, a doctor from Russia the name of Vladislav Kraevsky saw the sporting potential in kettlebells, and in his established fitness training facilities in Russia, he promoted the use of barbells and kettlebells.
Krayevsky knew people in high places as he was the personal physician of the Russian Czar at the time, who ordered kettlebell training to be mandatory in the Russian army.
Kettlebell training soon became more popular and began to evolve, where it became a national sport.
Kettlebells may be a common sight in gyms and CrossFit boxes nowadays, but decades ago that wasn’t the case.
Sure, the odd gym here and there had a set, but usually, they sat rusting in the corner somewhere, covered in dust and cobwebs.
Thanks to kettlebells being used by Hollywood celebs, including Sylvester Stallone, kettlebells became more popular and as the benefits of kettlebell training became more apparent, kettlebell training, in general, became more popular.
Kettlebell swings are probably the most functional and most popular kettlebell exercise in existence, and these can be found in many major training routines and programs.
There is of course, much more to the history of kettlebells, but here we’ve covered the basics and hopefully have done the topic justice.
What Are Kettlebell Swings?
Right, well, we know what kettlebells are, now let’s take a look at what kettlebell swings are.
Kettlebell swings are a type of exercise performed with a kettlebell, which in basic terms, requires you to swing the kettlebell between your legs back and forth.
Obviously, there’s more to it than that, as it’s all about the technique you should grab the handles with both hands, bend the knees slightly, crouch over slightly, open your legs with a wide stance, and swing the kettlebell in front of you to around 6 inches above head height, before allowing the kettlebell to swing back between your legs in a controlled manner.
What Are The Kettlebell Swing Benefits?
So, now that we’ve looked at what kettlebells are, we can now bring you up to speed with some of the many benefits which are out there to be enjoyed.
1. Kettlebells Look Cool
Okay, this is perhaps a bit of a silly benefit, and while it won’t benefit your body directly, the fact that kettlebells look cool is something that people find appealing.
Kettlebells just look the part, and they look like they belong in a gym.
Companies have obviously picked up on this because there are now some awesome kettlebells out there that have been custom-made to resemble things like skulls.
Now that’s bada**.
2. Kettlebell Swings Offer Something Different
If you’re finding yourself stuck in a bit of a rut with your training and are unsure about what you can do to get back on track, kettlebells could be the answer.
Kettlebell exercises are like no other exercises you could wish for and kettlebell swings are perhaps the most beneficial of all.
Kettlebell swings are completely different exercises to those that you’re used to, and as the saying goes ‘a change is as good as a rest.
3. Kettlebell Swings Are Easy To Master
Doing kettlebell swings is not easy, in the sense that the exercise itself is very physically demanding.
In terms of learning the form and technique of performing kettlebell swings, however, learning the exercise is actually very easy.
Performing kettlebell swings is much easier than complex barbell or dumbbell exercises, and often all it takes is a quick instructional video guide on YouTube and you’re all set.
4. Kettlebell Swings Burn Calories
Another of the awesome benefits which we’ll be looking at today is the fact that exercise is great for burning calories and losing weight.
Kettlebell swings recruit multiple muscle groups at once and help to elevate your heart rate, so as you perform each rep you’ll find that you require more energy and burn more calories as a result.
If you’re looking to lose weight, kettlebell swings are the perfect exercise to do precisely that.
5. Kettlebell Swings Are The Ultimate Core Strengthening Exercise
When you perform kettlebell swings, one of the best things about this particular exercise is the fact that they help to strengthen and tone your core.
Kettlebell swings work your core because for the duration of the exercise you’re being forced to utilize your core stabilizer muscles which in turn will help strengthen and tone your core and abdominal muscles.
If you want a strong and powerful core, kettlebell swings are perfect.
6. Kettlebell Swings Increase Your Strength
If you’re trying to get noticeably stronger, kettlebell swings are the perfect exercise to enable you to do exactly that.
Kettlebell swings are compound exercises that will target several major muscle groups in the body at once, which instantly will yield impressive muscle fiber recruitment.
Not only that, but kettlebell swings also strengthen the core as we just looked at, which means that the stronger your core becomes, the stronger you will become by default.
Your core is responsible for generating explosive strength and power, and as kettlebell swings are so great for strengthening the core, it’s easy to see why people looking to increase their strength will perform so many of them.
7. Kettlebell Swings Will Improve Your Athletic Performance
Another of the crazy benefits that we’re looking at today, is the fact that kettlebell swings will provide such noticeable results for people looking to boost and enhance their athletic performance.
Kettlebell swings will improve your explosive speed and power, they’ll strengthen your muscles, they’ll mimic everyday actions while exercising, and a whole lot more besides.
8. Kettlebell Swings Build Muscle
It isn’t just bicep curls, bench presses, and barbell squats you should be doing if you want to build muscle.
It turns out that one of the most effective things you can do if you are looking to bulk up and build muscle is to perform kettlebell swings.
Kettlebell swings are a compound exercise that will target multiple muscle groups at once, so one exercise is the equivalent of putting your entire body through a full-body workout.
If you’re looking to add quality muscle mass to your frame, kettlebell swings are the ideal exercise for doing precisely that.
The muscle hypertrophy benefits you’ll enjoy thanks to kettlebell swings are second to none.
9. Kettlebell Swings Are Great For Posture
Another great reason to consider implementing kettlebell swings into your training regime is the fact that kettlebell swings are great for posture.
If you suffer from poor posture, bad back, neck issues, and any other issues which are associated with bad posture, kettlebell swings are ideal.
Because the exercise requires you to straighten your back and brace your core, the more kettlebell swings you perform, the more you’ll find that your posture gradually begins to improve.
As opposed to slouching, as you bend forwards with your hips, this too is very beneficial from a posture perspective.
It’s bad news for chiropractors, but it’s good news for people looking to avoid posture-related issues.
10. Kettlebell Swings Improve Flexibility
Another of the awesome benefits that we’re going to look at today is the fact that kettlebell swings have been found to improve flexibility.
Every time you swing the kettlebell and engage your core, you’re also engaging the glutes, which in turn helps to relax and strengthen your hip flexors.
The more reps you perform, the looser the hip flexors become which in turn means that tight hips will become loose hips, and in turn, you’ll find it much easier to stretch, bend down, and bend over.
11. Kettlebell Swings Are Convenient
Another great reason to consider doing more kettlebell swings is simply due to the fact that they’re so convenient.
One of the biggest problems with busy gyms is finding the right equipment when there’s a large crowd, especially if you’re in a hurry.
The great thing about kettlebell swings is that you don’t need a gym to do them, as you can do them at home, in the garden, or virtually anywhere else for that matter, and all you will need is one kettlebell.
12. Kettlebell Swings Save Time
If you’re looking for an effective workout that will target several muscle groups at once, and give you a killer workout in the process, kettlebell swings are perfect.
Kettlebell swings are great because they can be done quickly so will save time, yet they’re still incredibly effective and efficient.
With just a few sets of kettlebell swings, you can potentially burn off hundreds of calories, build muscle, build strength, and increase your speed in the process.
13. Kettlebell Swings Are Great For The Legs
Even though you’re driving the kettlebell with your arms, one of the best things about kettlebell swings is the fact that the exercise itself is great for working on the legs.
Kettlebell swings target your glutes, you’ll work on your hamstrings, you’ll work on your quads, and even your calves will get in on the action.
Kettlebell swings are therefore great for building muscle in the legs, toning the leg muscles, and also strengthening muscles in the legs.
Put simply, if you want a great set of wheels, kettlebell swings are a great exercise.
14. Kettlebell Swings Are Great For The Back
As well as working the core, and the lower body, kettlebell swings are also fantastic for people who are looking to strengthen and develop the back.
Because you are swinging the kettlebell, your lats, traps, and rhomboids are engaged during the movement, which over time will result in some pretty impressive back gains.
15. Kettlebell Swings Are Functional
If you take part in a CrossFit Workout of the Day, or WOD for short, don’t be surprised to find kettlebell swings in there.
Kettlebell swings are a very functional exercise, and as you may know already, CrossFit is all about functional fitness and functional exercise.
A functional exercise, by the way, is an exercise that is functional and beneficial outside of the gym.
One awesome benefit is the fact the exercise itself is one of the most functional you could ever wish for.
16. Kettlebell Swings Are Great For Different Workouts
If you’re a bodybuilder, kettlebell swings are a great exercise for making gains.
At the same time, however, if you’re into CrossFit, are circuit training, are lifting weights to condition your body, or are simply trying to stay fit, kettlebell swings work very well alongside burpees, jumping jacks, and more
It doesn’t matter which workout routine you’re following, or what you’re looking to get from your training, kettlebell swings can almost certainly be incorporated into your training program.
17. Kettlebell Swings Help Prevent Injury
Finally, the last benefit that we’ll be looking at today, is the fact that the exercise itself is great for people looking for ways of preventing injury.
Because of how the exercise is performed and which muscles it activates, kettlebell swings are a great way of warming up and preventing injury when training.
As you can see, there are plenty of kettlebell swing benefits to be enjoyed, so if you’re not yet using this exercise, what are you waiting for?
Whether you want to build muscle, lose fat, get fit, or improve your sporting performance, kettlebell swings are ideal.