New ways to swing a kettlebell

5 trainer-approved variations on the classic move.

Like the Turkish get-up, the kettlebell swing is a staple move among trainers. “It is one of the most effective exercises for understanding the basics of both force production andreduction,” says Alex Zimmerman, director of Equinox’s Tier X program. “Being able to maintain control at various velocities (and loads) helps reduce your risk of injury and improves your ability to perform all activities, whether it’s swinging a golf club or carrying your groceries.”

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.

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