In this article, I’m gonna walk you through my 200 kettlebell swings a-day routine that I was really consistent with over the last few months.
I needed a solution to do my training at home because all of the gyms were under lockdown. Here’s what happened.
Doing 200 kettlebell swings a day builds up your strength, power, conditioning, and stamina. Apart from developing strong looking physique, 200 swings a day will make you stronger at every other compound exercise you do (deadlift, squat, hip thrust, jump).
I’ve decided to buy a kettlebell and start workouts at home. But there are few things that I wish I knew before starting this workout. Let me explain what I mean.
Why Doing 200 Kettlebell Swings Is So Effective?
I was doing around 200 kettlebell swings almost every day.
It all started with my buddy Alex who is in love with kettlebells. He told me one day that if I get better at swings, I will get better at anything.
He was a stud. I needed a new solution.
At the same time, I had to make a choice to quit the gym. And it was the best damn decision I’ve made. Actually looking back, I should have done that years ago.
I was in quarantine in San Diego for 3 months. My ship was docked in the port and we couldn’t get out.
- 5th of June I came back home.
- 10th of June I was already doing my swings.
To be transparent I will highlight that I was using a 53 pounds kettlebell. Could I go lower? Sure.
But the reason why I choose the bigger size was that I didn’t wanna end up with an army of kettlebells in my home.
So I figured that if I can go one level heavier, I will work my way up.
And it worked! I did kettlebell swings in the past. But I’ve never done 200 per day before.
Here are some details that I’ve noticed after doing only swing for 4 months.
Related article: Are Kettlebell Swings Better Than Cleans?
One of the obvious results was my explosiveness. Which is a fancy name for being able to swing the kettlebell with less power.
- The beginning
I had to put a lot of effort to swing the kettlebell to reach my shoulder level. And after doing so for fifteen reps, I was done.
My heart rate was racing like crazy and my forearms got pumped. But just a few weeks later, I was able to perform swings much easier.
- The end
Doing swings became just much easier. Normally after 2-3 sets, I already felt every muscle in my back getting tight. By the end, I had to do much more reps to chase this effect.
The best conditioning results came from doing swings for almost the maximum number of reps until my forearms started to scream.
- The beginning
I was doing somewhere around 15-20 reps. That made me out of breath immediately. Then I would wait for even up to 3-4 minutes and do it again. Also, my forearms got cooked easily.
- The end
Later on, I was able to do even up to 40-50 reps. My personal best was 55 reps without break. I think I had few days I went over 350 reps. But the weekly average stayed around 200. You wanna know the best recipe for conditioning?
I wasn’t doing it every day. It started literally from a self-experiment. And after noticing I can do more reps until I feel this forearm burn I was carry on.
Higher reps is also higher intensity. You can do swings in many different forms. Tabata, high volume + longer rest, steady pace. You name it.
In this article, I even compare burpees vs kettlebell swings? What is better? . Should you do one or another? Or maybe both?
This is why I started the kettlebell journey.
I wanted to work on my back muscles, traps, and shoulders.
Of course, I can do bodyweight exercises like push-ups, sit-ups, burpees, or squats. I can put on a P90X or T25 and just perform a “whole-body” without. Which is what I used to do in the past.
And as much as those workouts are great, they won’t develop strong, and powerful back muscles.
The thing about swings is this is a dynamic hip hinge movement. This means it is working the same way as deadlifts or rowing on the ergometer.
And it doesn’t kill you.
In fact, here in this article, I’ve compared Is Kettlebell Swing Better Than Deadlift?. So if you are on the fence between one or another, have a look.
The best result from doing 200 swings a day I’ve noticed was my back and shoulders were looking really good.
They all have a strong grip and strong forearms.
Because the grip strength comes from their forearm. I don’t know how about you, but for me, the first obvious sign that I know the person standing in front of me is a real savage is the size of his forearms.
it’s just so obvious.
And that’s what I’ve noticed.
An unexpected benefit from doing 200 swings every day for 2-3 months was that my forearms got insanely stronger.
My grips were better, which allowed me to do even more swings.
Related article: 5 Ways To Be In A Calorie Deficit Without Being Hungry
Hip hinge movement is all about engaging your glutes.
This means each time when you swing the kettlebell to the shoulder level, and your torso moves into a straight “vertical” position, you must squeeze your butt.
This alone will help to fire up much more of the muscle fibers, which will lead to better muscle “glute” activation.
In the beginning, you won’t feel much difference. You may even feel like “this is stupid, why I must squeeze the butt?”
But as you continue, your muscle memory will start to do its job, adapt, and engage with each swing.
This means that the swing has all of a sudden become a great glute exercise. This can get very confusing, especially for the female audience. Because they may be worried that kettlebell swings will make them look big.
So, if you wanna learn more about will kettlebell swings make my legs bigger check out this article.
Another aspect of squeeze-the-butt is that it’s a safety necessity.
If you don’t do it, just imagine how your lower back will behave after 200 heavy swings every day.
Related article: Can You Build Glutes In A Calorie Deficit?
How Many Kettlebell Swings Should I Start From?
How many swings should start from? Start by doing 15 to 20 repetitions of kettlebell swings in one set. From there, you can decide on how many sets that you will feel comfortable with. Doing 5 sets will put you in the range of 75-100 swings. From there, you can increase the number of sets as you getting stronger.
In the beginning, I’ve managed to do only 15 reps per set.
The total number of sets were between 8 and 10. And this was good enough to feel the workout. I was tired after each session. I kept the rest longer so I could recover a bit more and focus on my form.
The timing of my rest was approximately But after a couple of weeks I’ve noticed I can easily ramp up the number to 20 or even 25 per set.
It’s really straightforward. You don’t wanna jump straight in the 200 swings number. Remember that the purpose of the workout is to get you to feel better at the end than you’ve been before.
Remember that technique is important, as well as your flexibility. Here in this article, I wrote everything I’ve learned about how to do kettlebell swings without knee pain.
Why Are Kettlebells So Popular?
Kettlebells have become popular because of the benefits that they provide. There are over 60 different types of exercises that can be done using kettlebells. Also, they don’t take up space, so they can be easily used at home.
Over the last 15 years, thanks to the increased popularity of functional fitness and cross-fit gyms, there has been a spike in the interest in kettlebell workouts.
And for good reason.
Kettlebells have been there for hundreds of years. They came from Russia. The Russian word for kettlebell is girya, which means the cast of iron that’s been used to balance the weight on the scale.
Together with the popularity of exercises, there been a huge increase in the scholarly studies that been investigating the effects of this exercise tool. In the studies, the most common exercise was kettlebell swing.
Its been proven that kettlebell swings can improve our stamina in many ways. This, however, doesn’t mean that kettlebells are better for cardio than for example running on the treadmill.
Why Are Kettlebells So Expensive?
The kettlebells are so expensive because they been made of iron or cast steel. The average price of the kettlebell is around $2 per pound. Depending on the weight of the kettlebell, the majority of the price is for the source, the work, and the transportation cost.
On the surface it may seem like kettlebells are expensive. But if you will look at it as an investment in the long-term benefit, you may change your mind.
But keep in mind that this kettlebell can serve you for years.
Plus, having a kettlebell at home also comes with other benefits. Because it’s not just the piece of metal that you can exercise with. The kettlebell also offers convenience. Let me explain.
In June, after I came back home from quarantine in San Diego, the first thing I bought was a kettlebell.
Because I didn’t just buy 53-pound weight. I bought a convenience.
Which not only saved me a LOT of my time. But it also allowed me to be more consistent with my training.
Normally before pandemic hit, first I’d get to the gym. Then I would get on with my workout. And finally, after I’m done I’d get home.
So I would expect to spend at least 2 hours of my day. Just to get my workout done. However, when I was short on time I would simply skip the day.
Cause I felt like it was “not worth” to go there for only 20 minutes. And then I would feel guilty about it.
But not anymore. Because now, not only I can do my workouts anytime, even if they are shorter. But also, I can do more things at the same time while I exercise.
For example. I can do cooking and meal prep, or I can do some house jobs, or I can do my paperwork, or my blogging, even I can do my emails. The list goes on and on. And here’s my point.
That’s a lot of stuff.
Which is a huge deal for me. Because once I get everything done. Not only I can focus more on the most important projects.
But also I have extra time on my hands that I can use on. Spending time with my family. Catching up with friends. Reading. Or even taking my dog Rolo out for a walk.
And it’s all thanks to one kettlebell.
Obviously, I can’t do all the same stuff that I’d be doing at the regular gym. But at least I’m in control of my day more than before.
That’s why I highly recommend you try that too. Cause if you like to go to the gym regularly.
But you feel fed up with all the BS that is happening lately with the pandemic.
Which is exactly how I feel. Maybe you can relate. But if you can look at your workout time as the opportunity to embed other daily tasks. You can end up doing more in a shorter time.
Without missing out on your fitness. Especially if you value your time.
What is the good warm-up for doing kettlebell swings?
To warm-up before the workout, make sure you can get moving for at least 5-10 minutes prior to exercise. That can be in the form of bodyweight exercises like squats, pushups, lunges, or sit-ups. Also, don’t forget to stretch and do some mobility exercises.
How heavy kettlebell should I use?
I would recommend first having a visit to the local gym or a shop where you can assess the weight of the kettlebell in-person. You can also consult with a trainer. For men, I recommend weight anywhere from 16 kg to 20 kg (35 pounds to 45 pounds). For women, I recommend anywhere from 6kg to 12 kg (15 pounds to 25 pounds.