The single, or one-arm kettlebell swing, is a toning exercise that can be mastered with a few simple steps. So, whether you’re training at home or at the gym, a kettlebell is all you need to add this movement to your routine.
This exercise is based off the Russian swing — you’ll maintain the same form through your legs and core. However, instead of swinging with two hands on the kettlebell, you’ll only use one.
Taylor Race, trainer and owner of Elevate St. Pete, recommends choosing a kettlebell between 15 to 20 pounds. He says that beginners tend to make the mistake of using their upper body too much when doing kettlebell swings, so using this type of weight is “heavy enough to feel the legs and hips doing the work,” he explains.
As you gain strength and feel more confident with the technique, Race adds that you can consider increasing “weight by five-pound increments.”
- Set up with your feet shoulder width apart
- Place a slight bend in your knees
- Do not round your back
- Keep your core muscles firm
- Straighten your legs at the top of the swing
- Hold the kettlebell with an overhand grip, using your dominant hand for the first round, as you’ll feel more comfortable
- Let the kettlebell hang in front of your thighs, allowing your wrist to lightly touch your leg
- Extend your opposite hand to the side at shoulder height for balance
- Lean forward slightly. Using your hips, swing the kettlebell up to eye level
- With control, swing it down, then up again
- After a few reps, pause, then switch hands
BONUS PRO TIP: Try an intensification with a “switch swing.” Swing the kettlebell to eye level, then at the moment when the kettlebell feels weightless, switch your grip to the other hand, Race says.
Once you’ve mastered this kettlebell swing, try a incorporating a few more moves into your routine. With these simple steps, you can be “in the swing of it” in no time!