How to do a Kettlebell Swing American

Authored by Fitbod

About Kettlebell Swing American

Sets Logged
Popularity Rank
Glutes Strength
98 mSCORE 6th
Equipment Required
Primary Muscles
Secondary Muscles

Instructions: How To

This exercise is a variation on the more common Kettlebell Swing. Like the more standard version, this is a compound, explosive movement that primarily targets the glutes. By swinging the kettlebell overhead, this exercise can better translate to some more advanced exercises like Snatches. This is a great exercise for developing power.

  1. Position yourself behind a kettlebell with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart or slightly wider.
  2. Hinge at your hips to fold your torso forwards and squat down slightly over the kettlebell. Grasp the handle with both hands such that your palms are facing you.
  3. Engage your back to pull your shoulders back until your arms are straight with a slight bend in your elbows.
  4. Swing the kettlebell between your legs. You will be lower to the ground for this first swing.
  5. Engage your glutes and hamstrings to explosively drive your hips forwards and the kettlebell up. The kettlebell should be traveling roughly a foot in front of your torso.
  6. Use the force generated by your hips, not your shoulders, to move the kettlebell.
  7. Keep your shoulders back until the weight moves overhead to keep tension in your glutes and hamstrings and not in your lower back.
  8. Allow your head and chest to come forwards slightly as the kettlebell moves over your head.
  9. Control the kettlebell as it falls and swing it back between your legs. Hinge at your hips to “catch” the kettlebell.
  10. Ensure the kettlebell is falling in roughly the same path it took before.
  11. Maintain good posture by keeping your core engaged, your back straight and your shoulders back. Keep the path of the kettlebell close to your body.
  12. You should feel this exercise in your glutes and hamstrings, not your shoulders.

Common Mistakes

  • Swinging with Your Arms

    Don’t use your arms to swing the kettlebell. Focus on dropping your hips back into a hip hinge as the kettlebell comes back to “catch” the kettlebell. Then use your glutes and hamstrings to drive them forward to propel the kettlebell away from you.

Sets & Reps: How many to do

Use this calculator to see Fitbod's possible first recommendations for you. This would be your starting line, based on more than 4.5 billion logged sets from 1.1 million users.

  • beginner
    1 Rep Max
  • intermediate
  • advanced

Enter your stats to calculate your Sets & Reps