How to Single Arm Kettlebell Swing

The single arm kettlebell swing is the gateway to kettlebell cleans and snatches.

You can use the single arm kettlebell swing on its own for cardio workouts. If you want an aerobic effect you chose a weight and pace you can maintain for a longer duration. If you want an anaerobic effect you chose a heavier weight and increase the pace.

Either way, with the kettlebell swing for fitness your objective is to insert and pull the weight out. The trajectory of the kettlebell is less of an arc and the force is directed away from you, whereas, with the swing for cleans or snatches, the trajectory is up and not away from you.

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At the top of the swing you want to see good alignment when looking side-on, one straight line from the ankle, knee, hip, shoulder, and head.


Hip hinge

This version of the kettlebell swing is performed with a hip hinge. The knees remain above the ankles. The knees slightly flex but there is no ankle dorsiflexion. It can also be performed stiff-legged if you want to create more isolation.


Protect the back

Don’t follow the bell. Delay hip flexion.



The action to make the bell swing is created by an insert and pull-out timed correctly and powered by the hip extensors during the pull.


Thoracic rotation

Rotation of the thoracic is important for the natural movement of the non-working arm.


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