Two Arm Kettlebell Swing – Illustrated Exercise Guide

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The Two Arm Kettlebell Swing – Illustrated Exercise Guide

The two arm kettlebell swing is an awesome lift. It’s dynamic, it raises the heart rate quickly and keeps it there, it builds strength and endurance of the hamstrings, glutes, lower back and core, and it teaches whole-body movement integration and acceleration and deceleration of an outside force.

Specific benefits of the two arm kettlebell swing

This important kettlebell exercise holds so many benefits that there have been entire fitness books written about it.

  • Works all major muscle groups.
  • Fat burning. Facilitates an anaerobic state to burn the most calories and a lot of fat fast.
  • The core. The two arm kettlebell swing aggressively works the abdominal muscles, and the core is of utmost importance for overall fitness and proper alignment  of the body.
  • Improves muscle elasticity.

Exercise instructions

If there’s one technique that you had to learn, it would be the kettlebell swing. Here is step-by-step description of how to perform the two-arm kettlebell swing.

two arm kettlebell swing exercise instructions

two arm kettlebell swing exercise instructions

  1. Take a wide stance, with your feet roughly 1.5 times your shoulder width. Your toes should pointing slightly outwards. This is important to make space for for the kettlebell to swing backwards. Furthermore, the wide stance gives you stability during the upper portion of the lift.
  2. Push your hips back as if you were sitting in a chair and bend your knees to about 45 degrees.
  3. Grasp the handle with your hands close to each other and tip the kettlebell back toward your body at an angle.  Sit a little deeper backward and fix your gaze forward.
  4. Tighten your lats by grasping the handle as if it was a stick and you were trying to break it in half.
  5. Rip the kettlebell off the floor forcefully and pull it back between your legs. As soon as the kettlebell can go no farther, stand up quickly and snap your hips forward. Your hip drive is what’s going to move the weight. In other words, do not use your arms to swing it.
  6. Once your hips snap forward, allow the kettlebell to swing up to chest level  and forcefully contract your abs, glutes, quads and lats.
  7. Let the kettlebell swing down on its own until it is right in front of your genital region. At the last second, push it back between your legs as you move your hips back and bend your knees.  As soon as the kettlebell can go no farther, snap your hips again to send it  up and repeat the whole sequence.
  8. After you finish a set of reps, safely push the weight back behind your butt, do a deeper squat and place the bell on the floor.

Muscles engaged

  • Lower body. Quadriceps and hamstrings provide the majority of power during the ascent phase of the swing.
  • Middle body (the core). Abs, glutes, pelvis and lower back muscles. This helps to build balance, strength and agility.
  • Upper body. Latissimus dorsi, located on each side of your back, and the deltoids, the primary shoulder muscles.

Additional tips

Look for:

  • Keep the hips back, not down.
  • Keep the back arched.
  • Stay tight.
  • Bend the knees slightly.
  • Hike it between the legs.
  • Drive through the mid-foot to the heel, and explode by bringing the hips forward and locking the knees.
  • Keep the arms relaxed but not limp.
  • Swing the bell no higher than the face. You should aim reach chest height.

Avoid:

  • Rounding the lower back.
  • Don’t let the shins move.
  • Avoid lifting the bell using the strength of the arms. Your arms should merely be a tool for holding the kettlebell.
  • Don’t come up on the toes.
  • Avoid trying to stop a swing on the upward phase.
  • Don’t try to stop a swing in the middle of the downward phase.

Key points to remember

  • A swing is not a squat with front raise. Your thighs should never be parallel to the floor and your arms are not being worked.
  • Focus on hinging your hips and only bending your knees by default.
  • You use your arms only to guide the kettlebell.
  • Never lift or decelerate it with your arms.
  • Lastly, simply collapse your arms right against the front of your body when doing the back swing.
  • The target repetition for this exercise is 15, but when you first begin aim for 30 repetitions with a light weight in order to learn the technique.

The two arm kettlebell swing video demonstration

This video is designed to show you exactly how to perform the two arm kettlebell swing using perfect technique (proper form) so that you can get the most out of this great total body exercise.

Exercise variations

Try these other variations targeting the same primary muscle group:

  • One two arm kettlebell swing (single-arm kettlebell swing)
  • Alternating single-arm swing

Closing thoughts

Exercises performed with kettlebells are a great way to shock your muscles into growth while improving power and explosiveness. The two-arm swing is the first kettlebell move you should master. It will get you used to moving the bell and develop hip power. Mastering the two arm kettlebell swing will help you develop excellent strength and stamina that will come in handy when you perform more advanced kettlebell exercises.

About Author

Hey! My name is Kruno, and I'm the owner and author of Bodybuilding Wizard. I started this website back in late 2014, and it has been my pet project ever since. My goal is to help you learn proper weight training and nutrition principles so that you can get strong and build the physique of your dreams!

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