This week’s feature on Best Butt Exercises was inspired after my recent post on Kettlebell Butt Exercises, where it has become obvious to me that the humble kettlebell swing takes the cake for the best glute kettlebell exercise!
A few people were asking about how to properly perform this exercise, and if you’re new to the swing, it can look a bit daunting – heck, you’re swinging a heavy weight around at arm’s length – surely there can’t be that much control there?!
I must admit, I had a pretty low opinion of this exercise when I first saw it, mainly because I thought that it couldn’t be good for the back and that the risk of injury was probably high as the movement involves using inertia (and with poor form this could go wrong pretty quickly).
While my opinion of the exercise has changed, the fact that poor form can do you damage hasn’t – which is why it’s critical to make sure you’re doing this exercise correctly.
You can perform this exercise single handed or double handed, but for this post I’ll focus on explaining the double-handed version.
What Sized Kettlebell Should I Use?
A good starting weight for women doing the double-handed kettlebell swing is around 15 – 25lb (6-12kg). If you’re just learning, start with a lighter weight as this will allow more room for error without injury, until you get the hang of the move.
For men, a good starting weight for the double-handed kettlebell swing is around 30-40lb (12-18kg). Again, try starting with a lighter weight until you get used to the feel of the move.
Don’t have a kettlebell yet? Then may I suggest considering one! There are tons of options on Amazon, or for an adjustable kettlebell, check out some of my prior reviews like the Empower 3-in-1 kettlebell and also the Rocketlok adjustable kettlebell.
Exercise: Two-handed kettlebell swing
Muscles worked: Quads, Glutes, back, arms, plus cardio.
Jolie Recommends: 50 swings
Difficulty rating: 4
Effectiveness rating: 9
Best Butt Exercise #3: Kettlebell Swing
The video below is a great instructional on how to perform the kettlebell swing.
How to Do The Move
This move is a little difficult to master, so I highly recommend watching the video above. It’s definitely best explained by demostration rather than written instructions. Nevertheless, I’ve attempted to describe how to do this exercise by the following steps:
- Start with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart with the kettlebell slightly in front of you. Point your toes slightly outwards and keep the weight in your heels.
- Keeping your spine in a neutral position and core tight, hinge forward at the hips with your knees slightly bent and reach down to pick up the kettlebell between your feet.
- To begin the swing, start with your ‘hike’ – the kettlebell should swing between your legs and back behind you. At this time, you need to sit back with your hips, with a slight bend in the knees. Breathe in during the hike.
- Keeping your arms straight, ‘snap’ up by driving your hips up and and forwards to swing the kettlebell up in front of you. Don’t think about swinging your arms so much, this should happen naturally. You should forcefully exhale during the snap.
- Repeat alternating between ‘hike’ and ‘snap’, being sure to have your breathing match your movement.
- Watch the video above if you haven’t already, to make sure you are doing the movement correctly! It includes some troubleshooting to ensure that you’re performing the move correctly.
Perfecting Your Form
Have you tried kettlebell swings before? How do you like them as a butt exercise? Let me know by leaving a comment below!