5 Ways to Improve your American Kettlebell Swing

Together with our friends from Scitec nutrition and UK CrossFit Games Athlete Steven Fawcett we are presenting the guidelines to learn the correct and safe technique of the American Kettlebell swing.

Filmed at CrossFit JST

Get started:

Like with every other exercise technique comes first to assure you to train the right muscles and avoid injuries especially in the lower back section.

1. Starting Position

Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart. Place the Kettlebell (handle running across you) between your feet in a line with your toes.

2. Bend your hips

The first step is to slightly bend your hips and push them backwards. Try to reach down with your hips until you can grab the Kettlebell. Keep your back straight (one line from hip to end).


3. Straighten up

Push yourself up through your hips, stand straight at the top. Pull your shoulders down and back. Tense glutes firmly and push your feet to the ground. When straightening up fast, the Kettlebell will first swing to the front, away from your body.


4. Swing backwards

Use the force of the swing to push back with your hips again. Swing the Kettlebell backwards through your legs always keeping the alignment and tension of your body. Drive with hips and legs.


5. Catch at the Top

Swing the Kettlebell up front driving with hips and legs. Catch it at the top of the movement – above your head.

American kettlebell swings

As a starting weight, the IKFF (International Kettlebell and Fitness Federation) suggests 16 Kg/35 lb for an average trained male and 8 kg/17 lb for an average trained female. The next weights would be 20 Kg/44 lb, 24 Kg/52 lb and 32 Kg/70 lb.

Read More: The Ultimate Guide to the Kettlebell Deadlift


3 rounds for time of:
400m Sprint
21 Kettlebell Swings (24kg)
12 Pull-ups

AMRAP in 20 min:
2 Muscle-ups
4 Handstand Push-ups
8 American Kettlebell swings (32 kg)


For time:

  • 100 American kettlebell swings (24/16kg)
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 100 air squats
  • 100 push-ups


AMRAP in 20 minutes:

  • 10 push presses (115/85lb)
  • 10 American kettlebell swings (1.5/1 pood)
  • 10 box jumps (24/20 in)

If you want to scale down, you may lower the weight of the weights on the push press to 95/65 pounds.

An even more scaled version includes lowering the push press to 65/45 pounds, the weight of the kettlebell to 1/0.75 pood, and performing box step-ups instead of box jumps.

Read More: 5 Kettlebell Workouts to Build Strength and Muscle

Text sources:

1. Kettlebell swing, Mark Maslow, Marathon Fitness, 2014
2. Kettlebell Training, Sven Anhorn, Kettlell-Training

Image Sources

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