Like the regular kettlebell swing, the alternating kettlebell swing is in the full body exercises category. This is a powerhouse move that works a lot of muscles all at once while also challenging your hand eye coordination. Just be careful not to throw the kettlebell through a wall 😉
How to do the move
Begin in a squat position making sure that your knees don’t go over your toes. Grasp the kettlebell with one hand and let it swing back between your legs, then thrust your hips forward as you stand up straight making sure to keep your core tight. Let your hip thrust propel your arm and thus the kettlebell out in front of you.
When the kettlebell is at the top of the swing, let go of it and grab it with your other hand. Make sure that all the work is being done by your hips and that you’re not using your arms to propel the kettlebell. When the kettlebell starts to swing back towards you, let it swing back between your legs as you lower into a sem-squat position before thrusting your hips forward again.
Muscles that benefit
The main muscles that this move works are the quadraceps, calves, adductors (those muscles at the top of your inner thighs), erector spinae (lower back), glutes, and hamstrings. Secondary muscles used for stabilization include the trapezius (neck and upper back), core muscles, and latissimus dorsi (mid back). As you can see, this move hits a lot of muscles. Because of the high number of muscles used along with the main muscles used being in your legs, your heart rate is sure to get going after just a couple alternating kettlebell swings.
How to use this move
Alternating kettlebell swings are a great all over move that gets your heart going and so it can be used as cardio. It’s an especially great cardio alternative for someone who needs a low impact cardio option.
A great way to use this move is to put it in between moves that do not get your heart going in order to increase the intensity of your workout and burn more calories by keeping your heart rate up. For example, do some kettlebell swings in between sets of biceps curls and push ups in a HIIT style workout. This move can also be done as a warm up to a standard strength training workout.
Get the equipment
“Kettlebell” by Andrew Malone is licensed under CC BY 2.0
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