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How to Do Kettlebell Swings for the Core

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Updated October 23, 2012

Kettlebells are ideal for this side-to-side core exercise because they provide a superior grip compared to dumbbells or a medball. The exercise requires that you swing one or, usually, two kettlebells across your body, side-to-side, rotating at the hips.

Find out more about weight training terminology and exercise description if you need background information before you try this exercise. See more exercises.

1. Kettlebell Core Swings - The Movement

Kettlebell Core Swings
Clipart: (c)Trainerclipart - www.trainerclipart.com
  1. Stand upright with legs about shoulder width apart.
  2. Grab a kettlebell in each hand and hold them together at the front of the body.
  3. The kettlebells should not be too heavy. You need to be in control of them as you swing them across the body.
  4. Commence swinging the weights, held together, across the body from side to side, rotating at the hips. Ankles and knees should flex and bend as required. Don't lock them.

2. Kettlebell Core Swings - Points to Note

  • The kettlebells should swing past the hip as you twist at the hips, but not above the shoulders.
  • Make sure you have a good grasp of the weights and that they are light enough for you to control so that you avoid body contact.
  • Do 3 sets of 10 exercise swings, where one side-to-side swing equals one exercise repetition.
  • Keep the back straight even when you bend at the hips and knees to execute this exercise movement.
  • Be sure to warm up first with a series of unweighted hip rotations and arm swings.
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