Most, or maybe all, kettlebell routines that I see include the swings. Even some trainers who are not hardcore kettlebell fans would recommend it.

Is this exercise special, if yes why?


1 Answer 1


Yes, with proper form it's one of the few exercises that provide both "aerobic capacity development" and offers a "strength training effect". These findings have also been backed by the American College of Sports Medicine.

Update: Link #4 is actually a counter argument supporting treadmill over KB aerobic training. Also found 2 more supporting KB training.

  • Kettlebell high-intensity interval training (KB-HIIT) vs Cycling Sprints (SIC)finding that "KB-HIIT may be more attractive and sustainable than SIC and can be effective in stimulating cardiorespiratory and metabolic responses that could improve health and aerobic performance."
  • https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26360962 - Subscription Required

  1. Comparison of Kettlebell Swings and Treadmill Running at Equivalent Rating of Perceived Exertion Values

  2. Physiological Effects of a Kettlebell Workout versus a High-Resistance Circuit Workout

  3. Comparison of kettlebell swings and treadmill running at equivalent rating of perceived exertion values. Subscription Required

  4. Are Kettlebells More Effective Than Treadmills

  5. Comparison of Cardiorespiratory and Metabolic Responses in Kettlebell High-Intensity Interval Training Versus Sprint Interval Cycling.

  6. Cardiac Autonomic and Blood Pressure Responses to an Acute Bout of Kettlebell Exercise.
  • Pretty sure the first and third studies are the same, with the fourth being an analysis of them... might be the way I read it but he (author of the 4th link) didn't sound like a fan of them. Regardless, it does show they provide an aerobic and strength training effect.
    – Dark Hippo
    Mar 3, 2018 at 9:09
  • Ha oops... I've read and heard quite a bit about KB swings as a strength based version of cardio. Looks like after attempting to find full text of the 3rd study I ended up posting an article referencing someone who clearly DOES NOT support it (Author #4) oops -- my mistake!
    – Mike-DHSc
    Mar 3, 2018 at 14:50
  • Well better you post it if it holds value but comes to another conclusion. Otherwise it would be nitpicking
    – Gimli
    Mar 3, 2018 at 19:57
  • 1
    @Gimli: I don't want to nitpick, but I believe you mean it would be cherry picking. Mar 3, 2018 at 23:41
  • Haha you are right, I used the wrong word.
    – Gimli
    Mar 3, 2018 at 23:43

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