A kettlebell is a cast steel or cast iron ball with a handle attached to the top. It is used to perform various types of exercises including cardiovascular exercises and strength training. One of the exercises done using kettlebells is a kettlebell swing.
The basic kettlebell swing is done by standing with your legs apart, swinging a kettlebell between them using your arm(s) then swinging it in front of your body.
The kettlebell swing is one of the best exercises as it involves a lot of muscles in your body; your shoulder muscles, arm muscles, back muscles, abdominal muscles, glutes, quads and hamstrings.
Some of the common kettlebell benefits are that they help strengthen, stabilize and tone muscles.
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However, it is widely believed that they also help in fat loss. I believe so too and for a good reason.
That’s why in this article, I’m going to give you 12 powerful secrets on how you can use kettlebell swings for fat loss.
DO KETTLEBELL SWINGS HELP YOU LOSE WEIGHT?
The simple answer to this is yes. Kettlebell swings do help you lose weight because they;
INCREASE YOUR AEROBIC AND ANAEROBIC CAPACITY
Kettlebell swings are explosive and intense, even more than traditional weightlifting.
Hence, they increase both your aerobic and anaerobic capacity, which aids fat loss.
ARE A COMPOUND EXERCISE
Kettlebell swings take you through multiple planes of motion and work multiple muscle groups in your body. The more muscles you use in an exercise, the more calories you burn.
The compound nature of kettlebell swings makes them a very efficient calorie burner.
HAVE PROFOUND EPOC EFFECTS
Post Exercise Oxygen Consumption aka EPOC refers to the “afterburn effect” of intense workouts which enables the body to burn more calories way after you finish your workout.
Kettlebells are considered some of the best tools to achieve EPOC. Since kettlebell swings are intense and work a lot of muscles, their EPOC effects are intense.
WILL KETTLEBELL SWINGS BURN BELLY FAT?
When done with the right amount of intensity, kettlebell swings can be a serious calorie burner. If you want to specifically target belly fat with kettlebell swings, you may have to do core-specific exercises that will strengthen your abdominal muscles.
This, however, may not guarantee results if you are not consuming fewer calories than you burn. For this reason, ensure you pair the kettlebell swing workout for fat loss with a healthy diet that is on a caloric deficit. This will make it easier for your body to use up the fat stored in your abdominal cavity for energy.
HOW MANY KETTLEBELL SWINGS SHOULD YOU DO TO LOSE WEIGHT?
The amount of calories you lose during any workout depends on many factors such as your basal thermic rate, age, build and your lifestyle.
Like every other workout, the effectiveness of kettlebell swings in fat loss is influenced by such factors as those mentioned above. Other influencing factors specific to kettlebell swings are intensity, type of swing done and weight of the kettlebell(s).
Unfortunately, the influence of these factors on a kettlebell swing workout makes it hard to provide an exact answer to the question of how many swings you should do to achieve weight loss.
For this reason, attempts to answer this question are based on pure estimation.
An American entrepreneur, Tim Ferris, claimed in his book, The 4 Hour Body, that he did 75 reps of kettlebell swings twice every week and in six weeks he had dropped to his lowest body percentage in years.
It seems that there is no standard number of kettlebell swings that guarantee you fat loss since most people choose to work with a number that best suits them. You should choose what works best for you too.
HOW MANY CALORIES DO YOU BURN DOING 50 KETTLEBELL SWINGS?
Again, calorie counting is barely ever accurate since the number of calories you burn is influenced by many other factors aside from the number of kettlebells you do.
However, people have made attempts at estimating the number of calories you can lose during a workout based on research studies.
A study by the American Council on Exercise found that the average person can burn 400 calories in 20 minutes.
If this study is anything to go by, this means you can lose about 20 calories in a minute.
You can do about 10 kettlebell swings in a minute. Going by this estimation, 50 kettlebell swings would take you five minutes to complete. 20 calories per minute multiplied by 5 minutes equals a total calorie burn of 100.
100 is the number of calories you can burn doing 50 kettlebell swings if we rely on the information on the study mentioned above.
IS IT OK TO DO KETTLEBELL SWINGS EVERY DAY?
Kettlebell swings are pretty easy to execute once you’ve mastered the correct form. Doing them every day isn’t much of a challenge.
However, this will also depend on other factors such as intensity of the workout, your experience in fitness and how fast you can recover from a workout.
You are probably already trying to lose weight by doing kettlebell swings but not seeing any progress yet.
That may be because you still don’t know how to use kettlebell swings for fat loss effectively.
Below are some less-known secrets to using kettlebell swings for fat loss, which can help you shred some fat within a short period of time;
HIGH-INTENSITY INTERVAL TRAINING
High intensity interval training (HIIT) lowers your body’s insulin resistance and changes the way your skeletal muscles oxidize fat, which results in fat loss.
HIIT involves all-out bursts of intensity that raise your heart rate to near-maximum for intervals that last between 10 seconds and 4 minutes.
According to a 2010 study sponsored by the American Council on Exercise, moves such as kettlebell swings raise your heart rate to near-maximum, making them an ideal exercise for intervals.
You can achieve fat loss using kettlebell swings by incorporating HIIT into your fitness regimen to get better results.
Progressive overload means you are gradually increasing the difficulty level of your workout.
If you maintain the same workout structure over a long period of time, it becomes easier as your body adapts to the stimulus. This can make your workout progress stagnant.
Although increasing the difficulty level of your workout is typically effective for muscle building, it is also necessary for weight loss; once your workouts become too easy for you, you will begin burning fewer calories.
When doing kettlebell swings for fat loss, you can achieve progressive overload through various ways such as using heavier kettlebells, increasing sets, increasing your workout time and decreasing your resting time.
MAKE YOUR KETTLEBELL SWING WORKOUT REGIMEN FAT-LOSS ORIENTED
To achieve maximum fat loss using kettlebell swings, you should curate your regimen to make it fat-loss oriented.
You need to consider some vital factors when using kettlebell swings for fat loss: the workout length, workout intensity, the rest time, and the number of reps and sets.
This way, you will be able to fully focus on losing fat rather than building or strengthening muscles. You are likely to achieve better results when you maintain your focus on one fitness goal.
For you to lose weight, you must be consuming fewer calories than you burn. This will enable your body to burn excess fat for energy hence the fat loss.
It will also make it easier to lose more fat through your kettlebell swing workout.
PAIR THE WORKOUT WITH A HEALTHY DIET
Avoid foods that are likely to increase your body fat such as fatty cuts of meat, high-fat dairy, foods with added sugar and foods laden with empty carbs.
Instead, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, low-fat dairy, leaner cuts of meat and whole grains.
When you eat foods that increase fat accumulation in your body, you slow down the effectiveness of kettlebell swings in shredding your body fat.
PERFECT YOUR FORM
One of the most common mistakes people making when doing kettlebell swings is positioning themselves wrongly which not only impacts the efficiency of the exercise but also puts them at risk of getting hurt.
Most people bend their knees excessively hence failing to engage their hips. What you should do, instead, is make sure you don’t bend your knees so much that it prevents you from driving into your hips.
This move is very essential for calorie burn as it works a lot of muscles which also speeds up fat loss.
AVOID PULLING WHEN DOING KETTLEBELL SWINGS
Your hands do not need to pull the weight up towards your chest; they only serve to guide the direction of the kettlebell while your hips propel it.
Controlling the kettlebell keeps you from working your muscles hence decreasing the efficiency of the exercise.
AVOID STRAINING YOUR BACK
Excessively straining your back will make you get tired quickly, making you want to stop doing the swings.
This would not be good for your fat loss goal since one of the factors that determine the effectiveness of kettlebell swings is the length of the workout.
FOCUS ON YOUR POSTERIOR CHAIN
One of the ways through which you can improve how you use kettlebell swings for fat loss is by focusing on your posterior chain.
The posterior chain in this case refers to all the muscles that make up the backside of your body from your heels to your neck.
The backside of your body is comprised of some of the largest muscle groups in the body e.g. the hamstrings, glutes and lower back muscles.
Unlike smaller muscles like biceps, calves and triceps, the large muscle groups on your posterior chain can elicit very high muscle activity which will burn a lot of calories.
DRINK MORE WATER
Don’t forget to stay hydrated throughout your workout.
A 2014 study found that drinking water helps in burning calories by increasing the body’s expenditure.
Drinking cold water especially enhances the ability of the body to burn calories because the body expends calories by heating up the water for digestion.
AVOID SWINGING THE KETTLEBELL TOO FAST
Swinging a heavy kettlebell without proper control and coordination can give you a muscle pull
Additionally, slower, controlled movement strengthens muscles and works for the large muscle groups hence aiding fat loss.
QUALITY OVER QUANTITY
Do not overdo kettlebell swings if you are still new to them.
It is advisable to begin with a few sets then increase them gradually as you move further into the routine.
Starting off with too many sets or reps may ruin your form which will affect the overall results of the workout.
There’s no point in completing many reps or sets when your form will be poor for the rest of the routine because you did not take time to perfect your form first.
THE FINAL WORD
Kettlebell swings are associated with a lot of benefits including building, strengthening and stabilizing muscles as well as aiding in weight loss.
If you are new to kettlebell swings, it is best to take it slow and perfect your form before anything. Once you’ve perfected your form you’ll be able to do the exercise efficiently which will guarantee good results.
The additional tips on how you can use kettlebell swings for fat loss have also been made available to you through this article.
Lastly, don’t forget to pair your fitness regimen with healthy lifestyle habits such as eating healthy to help you reach your weight loss goal faster.