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New ways to swing a kettlebell

The exercise primarily works the entire posterior chain including your core, hamstrings, and glutes, but really targets everything from the shoulders down while also boosting your cardio capacity. Also, the swing movement is really a pop and a float, rather than a lift, which means that it requires more energy from your tissues and joints. “It promotes flexibility and elasticity and helps develop a good foundation for generating power,” notes Zimmerman.

But doing anything the same way all of the time has its limitations. To help boost its effectiveness and your brain power, perform one or more of these innovative swings as part of a dynamic warm-up before any workout. Start with a lighter kettlebell (probably 15 to 25 pounds, depending on your strength and ability level), and slowly work your way up.

In-and-out swings

Stand with feet hip-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a kettlebell by its handle in your right hand, palm facing back, right arm long by side, left arm extended diagonally out to side. Keeping abs engaged, lift kettlebell in front of you, and then hinge forward from your hips, as you swing kettlebell toward wall behind you. Drive through hips to swing kettlebell up to shoulder-level in front of you and return to standing. Step right foot a few inches out to the side, and hinge forward from your hips again, as you bring kettlebell between your legs, and then swing it up to shoulder-level to complete one rep. Do 10 reps; switch sides and repeat.

Lateral stepping swings

Stand with feet more than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a kettlebell by its handle in your right hand, palm facing you, left arm extended diagonally out to side. Hinge forward from your hips as you bring kettlebell between your legs, toward wall behind you. Drive through hips to swing kettlebell up to shoulder-level in front of you and take a big step out to the left. Repeat swing, this time taking a big step to the right, to complete one rep. Do 10 reps.

Anterior/posterior stepping swings

Stand with feet more than shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, holding a kettlebell by its handle in your right hand, palm facing you, left arm extended diagonally out to side. Hinge forward from your hips as you bring kettlebell between your legs, toward wall behind you. Drive through hips to swing kettlebell up to shoulder-level in front of you, as you take a step forward with your right and left feet. Repeat swing, this time stepping backward, to complete one rep. Do 10 reps.

Transverse step with bottoms-up hold

Stand with feet hip-width apart, holding upside-down kettlebell (gripping handle in right hand; base in left) in front of left shoulder, elbows bent by sides. Hinge forward from hips as you lunge right leg out to right, bending right knee, keeping left leg extended, and swing kettlebell by side, toward wall behind you. Step back to start and repeat. Do 10 reps; switch sides and repeat.

Skiers

Stand with feet shoulder-width apart, holding a kettlebell by its handle in each hand, arms extended at sides, palms facing in. Keeping arms by sides, hinge forward from hips and bend knees slightly as you bring both kettlebells toward wall behind you. Then drive through hips to swing kettlebells up to shoulder-level in front of you and return to standing. Repeat immediately. Do 10 reps.