Mastering The Kettlebell Swing

One of the primary exercises used during kettlebell training is the one hand and two hand kettlebell swing. This exercise is a fundamental movement in kettlebell training making use of and training the hips, legs, back and core. The swing should be practiced and mastered using a light weight bell before moving on to other exercises. Once you’ve got the basic swing mastered, you can add another exercise to it and build on it.


I searched around for a video that I was going to be happy with and finally the name Dax Moy caught my attention. I am very happy to use this video from his training studio to show the movement. What they don’t mention in this video is the importance of having the kettlebell placed between your feet, but then slightly back from center. You should be reaching through your legs to grasp the bell. This places the load on your hamstrings right from the start.

In the Russian Kettlebell Challenge, Pavel quotes David Willoughby, a 1920s weightlifting champion, stating that the 2 arm swing

brings into action and develops practically every group of muscles on the back of the body and legs, and a good many others besides…. If you have time on your schedule for only one back exercise, make it this one…

This is a fundamental movement designed to generate power from the core outwards and should be mastered before moving on.

I will be starting my training by simply getting used to this movement. I have a 20 pound Kettlebell and will be following this beginner kettlebell routine.

Two Handed Kettlebell Swing

5 to 10 sets of 20 to 50 reps
1 minute of rest between sets

I’ll be doing this each morning after I get back from my walk and recording my heart rate as well. From what I’ve heard, just doing two handed kettlebell swings for reps with short rests between them can be enough of a cardio workout on it’s own. I’ll have to record my heart rate to verify this. I will also be recording how long it takes to complete 20 reps and 50 reps so that I can track the amount of time invested. I got this idea from Tracy Riefkind, as she’s tracking the time involved for her kettlebell training workouts.

I’ll be doing this for the first week before I learn and add another exercise.

Video Credit: Dax Moy Personal Training Studios
Dax Moy Interview: an interview with Dax Moy is part of the Unstoppable Fat Loss interview series

9 Comments

  1. thank you very much for that…i am 190lb but extremetly strong for my weight, what would be a good weight for me to really push me? the 45lb’s i thought?

  2. How tall are you James?

    The easiest way to tell is to try one out (perhaps in a gym, or at a friend’s place). If this isn’t an option, grab a 45lb dumbbell and try a few of the moves. It won’t feel quite the same, but it’ll give you an idea.

    A 45lb kb is probably reasonable though – but go lighter if you’re in any doubt. There are several ways to make the exercises themselves more challenging :)

  3. That seriously looks like so much fun.
    I’m positive that it is more difficult than it looks, but damn I wanna try it

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