What is the Russian Kettlebell Swing?
Kettlebells are popular pieces of gym equipment that have been around for hundreds of years.
Rumor has it that they were first used as counterweights for produce by Russian farmers in the eighteenth century.
That may be a rumor but what is undoubtable is that they are very versatile. They can be used for various exercises and to train the body in different ways.
The Russian kettlebell swing (rkb exercise) is one of the many kettlebell exercises done around the world.
It was introduced by a former Russian special forces trainer in 2001 and has been gaining popularity because of how it challenges the body to perform.
The Benefits of the Russian Kettlebell Swing
- It is a full-body exercise
The Russian kettlebell swing is an amazing full-body workout. It is a comprehensive exercise that recruits the back, shoulders, core, abdominals, lats, hamstrings, and glutes in a swing.
It not only develops these muscles but also increases their power and strength.
- It is an aerobic exercise
Want something to get your lungs burning? Do Russian kettlebell swings. This explosive workout is known to get the heart rate to the maximum and to burn calories like nobody’s business.
Several reports have shown that the intensity of doing proper Russian Kettlebell swings is equal to that of doing HIIT exercises.
- It is a brilliant endurance exercise
In addition to building aerobic capacity and muscular strength, this exercise is also known for improving muscle endurance.
To use it to improve muscle endurance, you need to use lower weight kettlebells and to increase your reps.
- Eliminates lower back pain in some cases
When done properly in the right form, Russian kettlebell swings will strengthen the muscles known as the stabilizer muscles that are responsible for protecting the body from unnatural movement that may cause back pain.
- It is a brilliant form of functional training
Functional training is any training that mimics the body’s natural movements. It is training that will enable your body to function better like a machine.
All kettlebell exercises improve motor skills, balance, mobility, coordination, strength, and endurance.
In other words, they make you stronger and more capable of performing physical day-to-day activities.
The Russian Kettlebell Swing Technique
Now it is time to introduce the exercise itself. Here is how to do the kettlebell swing technique.
- Start by holding your kettlebell using both your hands. Make sure your feet are only as wide out as your hips and then hold it slightly below your groin.
- Engage your core and flatten your spine (make sure it is in the neutral position). Pinch your shoulder blades slightly together.
- Slightly bend your knees and use them to hinge upwards a bit and then swing the kettlebell utilizing glutes and hips.
- When the kettlebell gets to the chest level hold a bit and then bring it back to the start position hinging at your hips.
- Do about ten reps with weight you can control.
This is one of the best full-body exercises.
This description here should enable you to do it fairly properly. You can browse for videos on YouTube to see how experts actually do it.
Remember, at first it may feel a little awkward to do it. However, with the time you should be able to master it and to go for more reps or to use higher weights confidently.
Why Do This Exercise Perfectly
This exercise is one of the best full-body exercises. Doing it properly is exciting and brings a lot of rewards.
But the keyword here is properly.
You cannot just do this exercise in any way you like and expect massive results.
In fact, if you do it wrong, you risk injuring yourself and spending months on recovery.
Now, the biggest mistake beginners do when doing this exercise is not keeping their spine neutral.
This rookie mistake is known to shift workload into the back instead of the legs, hips, glutes, and core.
It can result in a bad back injury.
Are Dumbbell Swings as Good as Kettlebell Swings?
Both Dumbbell and Kettlebell swings improve strength, endurance, and cardio capacity. Their motions are also roughly the same.
However, the shape of the equipment being utilized considerably affects the rewards of both exercises.
The odd shape of Kettlebells makes them better for back and core stabilization purposes, while the even shape of dumbbells makes them perfect for strength building and cardio purposes.
How Different Is the Russian Kettlebell Swing from the American Kettlebell Swing
The exercises are slightly different. The difference is in how high the swing goes.
The Russian swing stops at the chest level, while the American one goes further than that and stops over the head.
The fact that the American one stops over the head and in line with the spine, challenges the shoulders greatly. It can cause shoulder dislocation or injury if naively done with a heavy kettlebell.
This is why it is normally done utilizing smaller kettlebells and this will, of course, hinder the development of lat, legs, glutes, and core muscles.
In contrast, the Russian kettlebell swing stops just at the chest level and, therefore, does not strain the shoulders too much.
One can, therefore, quickly graduate to utilizing heavier weights in double quick time as it does not pose the same risk of injury as the American one.