30 Apr The Kettlebell Swing for Rapid Fat Loss
The kettlebell swing may be the most effective exercise for shedding body fat fast.
When combined with good nutrition for fat loss, the swing may be the king – seriously.
While it’s hard to crown any exercise the absolute “best” because there’s so many variables, I’d say it’s definitely one of the best we have available for the goal of fat loss and many other strength and performance benefits.
Now, that’s not saying there aren’t other great exercises for fat loss. There certainly are, but the swing is unique.
As I’ve stated many times before, the key is to learn how to perform this powerful exercise – correctly.
The Russian style swing is brutally effective.
For your understanding, the Russian swing projects the kettlebell horizontally to approximately shoulder level.
This is all that’s needed for a high level of cardiovascular conditioning and elevated metabolism for fat burning benefits.
Here’s proof, a powerful case study.
Take Tracy Reifkind, for example.
Tracy experienced a dramatic body transformation. She lost 120 pounds by focusing on – and mastering – this exercise.
Her secret was NOT monster “aerobic” sessions. Instead, she focused on the kettlebell swing twice per week for an average of 15-2o minutes.
The two handed (or one handed) kettlebell swing is called “a fat burning athlete builder” by Dan John, which may very well be the best description of the exercise I’ve ever heard.
My experience has demonstrated over and over again how powerful the kettlebell swing is for fat loss.
I’ve experienced it and when I want to accelerate fat loss, I simply increase the kettlebell swing volume and intensity for brief periods.
The swing is extremely effective.
It’s so effective, an entire book has been written about it.
There is no other exercise that combines the cardiovascular benefit and resistance training advantage like the kettlebell swing, in my opinion.
Possibly the kettlebell snatch, but the challenge is that the snatch is not as widely available for everyone to perform – it’s the next level of the swing.
The swing is the foundation of kettlebell training and virtually anyone can learn how to perform it with proper coaching.
Here’s a simple 3 step plan to get started with the swing the right way:
STEP #1 – Learn.
Learn how to properly perform a double arm swing or two handed kettlebell swing.
The best way to learn how to swing safely and effectively is from a certified instructor. “Live” training is best, but certainly remote coaching is reasonable.
Please use caution with YouTube videos, as many DO NOT teach the swing with a proper hip hinge.
The best way is to find a qualified instructor. There are also many solid books and training resources available.
If you’re new, I’d suggest starting with Simple and Sinister by Pavel
STEP #2 – Get the right kettlebell.
Use an appropriate size kettlebell (average strength males use a 16kg to 24 kg, average strength ladies use an 8 kg – 12 kg).
My preferred brand is by Rogue Fitness and can be found here.
STEP #3 – Start swinging.
A good “workout” could be 10-12 reps every minute for 10-12 minutes.
Of course, this will totally depend on current conditioning levels, so this is just a general beginner’s guideline and can be adjusted as necessary.
Again, the real key is to learn how to swing properly.
I can’t say this enough. If you learn how to perform a proper swing, you will get results.
For performance and full body strength, the Russian style kettlebell swing is a “complete” exercise and a “2 for 1” strength and conditioning exercise that’s very unique and effective.
Learn to swing – and experience the benefits.
HOW MANY SWINGS SHOULD YOU DO?
Tim Ferriss noted in his book, The 4 Hour Body, that he performed 75 reps of kettlebell swings just twice per week (Mondays and Fridays) and in 6 weeks he dropped to his lowest body fat percentage in years.
It should be noted that he did this after a light, protein rich breakfast. Nutrition obviously has a tremendous amount to do with fat loss, let’s be real here.
Beginners should start with sets of 10 and build up volume progressively.
I’ve found that anywhere from 50-100 reps total is typically effective, but this will “depend”on many other things.
If you’re more experienced, the opposite end of the spectrum is Dan John’s now legendary 10,000 Swing Challenge.
Not only in this a 4 week crash course in body recomposition, but it’s a test of mental toughness and grit.
Somewhere between 50 reps and 10,000 seems to be about right – of course, I’m joking.
50 to 100 is probably the “sweet spot.”
It’s a wonderful exercise that has a role in almost any program.
And for fat loss, it’s hard to beat!