The kettlebell swing is a fundamental movement, known as a hip hinge, and a staple exercise in many training programs today. What is a hip hinge you may be wondering? A hip hinge is the action of bending over, moving about the hips, while maintaining a neutral spine with minimal bend in the knee. The hip hinge is important to train on a regular basis, especially under load if able, with it being a movement we, as humans, perform every single day. 

Kettlebells themselves have been around for centuries, dating back to parts in ancient Europe. It was sometime in the 20th century when the kettlebell swing movement gained popularity in Russia due to findings of certain strength and conditioning coaches. They implemented the swing specifically because of its ability to improve overall strength, power, and endurance in athletes, which translated well to many of their main strength movements. This was able to influence many future generations of athletes in Russia and has now been embraced by many other parts of the world as a necessary movement because of its versatility and benefits. 

The swing has many benefits to one’s overall fitness ability and one’s everyday life as well. It mainly targets the posterior chain, which consists of the hamstrings, glutes, lower back, and spine erectors. Along with those muscle groups, it also demands work from the core, shoulders, and upper back for added stability throughout the movement. The swing trains powerful hip extension by moving the kettlebell in an explosive manner. The more weight you can move through this explosive hip extension correctly, the stronger you will be in your hips, glutes, back, and core. The stronger you are in those areas, the better you are going to be able to move and function on a daily life and will lead to you having a higher quality of life. 

Lastly, the swing is also great because of its versatility. There are so many different variations of a kettlebell swing, like the Russian swing, American swing, and single arm swing, to name a few. Along with the different variations the swing also translates so well to other movements. Swings have been proven to help increase strength and power on movements like deadlifts, cleans, snatches, and even squats. Any movement which primarily demands strength and stability from the posterior chain (which is quite a few) will be benefited by doing swings on a regular basis. Add kettlebell swings to your training and start seeing the benefits in other areas of your training and in your everyday life activities!