The Kettlebell Swing


Why the kettlebell?

The past 10 years or so the kettlebell has been advertised in every magazine, ad, or gym. It is not like kettlebells are new, they actually have been around for at least 300 years. The Russian military adopted the kettlebell because of it’s effectiveness in building strength in shorter time frames. But it was Pavel Tsatsouline (Chief Instructor of StrongFirst) who introduced the
kettlebell to America in 1998. Unfortunately though however, kettlebells are one of the most poorly used and taught training tools that you will find. Personal Training on the kettlebell is strongly recommended.

Here some things you need to know:

Kettlebell training is grouped into two basic movement types: ballistics and grinds. Ballistic movements are explosive and include the swing, clean and snatch. Grinds are slower movements like pressing and squatting. It is said that the kettlebell swing is the centre of the universe because all kettlebell ballistics are based on this movement pattern. If you can’t swing, then you can’t clean nor can you snatch.

A quick overview of the benefits of the swing.


  1. Anyone can do it. Obviously you need to have some instruction and coaching but that is with any new physical activity. This is why we recommend learning Kettlebells from a StrongFirst certified trainer like at Box 33.

  2. One of the best tools for fat loss.
    Swinging a kettlebell lets you work the cardiovascular and muscular systems at the same
    time. You can burn up to 20 calories a minute!

  3. Virtual force of the kettlebell.
    As an example; if you do a swing with a 24kg kettlebell, the virtual force is up to 10 times    the weight of the bell.  This means that if you are unable to lift heavy weights the kettlebell swing will still give you the benefits of lifting heavy, without touching a heavy weight.

  4. Solid carryover to activities in the real world.
    The body is a linked, interconnected system and needs to be trained in such manner.
    Hardstyle kettlebell swings teach you how to create linkage in your body from your feet all the way up to your shoulders. Total linkage equals safety, but it also equals greater force production.

  5. Posterior chain and lower back strength.
    These days most people complain about lower back pain, one of many reasons is
    the amount of time we sit during the day in combination with no- or incorrect movement.
    The hip hinge movement pattern used in the swing is a natural movement for humans and it’s is an excellent strength developer for the hamstrings, glutes and lower back which can prevent or cure most lower back issues.

  6. Mental and physical toughness.
    Kettlebell swings are simple but not easy! Maximal muscle contraction is extremely taxing on the body and mind.

The kettlebell swing is a big part of what we do here at Box 33. Yes there are other tools you can use to achieve your goals, but the swing is amongst the most efficient and effective. Personal training is the best way to learn as it best allows for the individuals needs.