I’m not much of a cardio bunny, if I’m honest – I see the most change in my body when I concentrate on heavy weight training. Lifting dinky, pink dumbbells for hundreds of reps and doing kickbacks does nothing for my physique.
I do run, not regularly, but still hit my 5km target after a few months of random training.
How did I do this? I put a lot of it down to getting stronger and working with kettlebell swings.
They really are one of the most effective exercises I’ve ever done. They will get your heart racing as soon as you hold the handle – my endurance and cardiovascular fitness has improved immensely, they work your posterior chain (everything on the back of your body – your calves, hamstrings, bum and back) and they will really work your inner thighs too!
How to swing a kettlebell.
- Start with your stance. It should be about shoulder width apart with the toes pointed out a tiny bit
- Now focus on your grip. The arms should be straight, shoulders pulled back and down with your chest up
- Now we concentrate on your stance. The shins stay as vertical as possible, almost all the movement is from your hips
- We start the swing. Grab the handle and take a breath. Lock your abs, lift the kettlebell then swing it back between your legs. We call this the Lifting Position
- Once it reaches the end of the swing, exhale forcefully and with power, snap the kettlebell forwards and up by extending the hips explosively. Keep the abs braced tight, the shoulder blades back and down and your weight on your heels
- Once the kettlebell reaches the top of the arc, let gravity take over and pull the kettlebell back down. Drop back into the Lifting Position by pushing your hips back. Remember to keep your abs braced, low back straight and shins vertical. The top of the arc is variable. Aim for stomach height at the start and when you improve aim for chest height, then for advanced aim for eye level
- Repeat for as many reps as possible keeping good form
If you’re up for a really tough challenge (and ladies, I know you are!) superset the kettlebell swing with the goblet squat. You’ll curse me for days then thank me for months as you’ll develop the hottest lower body you’ve ever had 😉