Just HIIT It: Kettlebell Swings

By Joe Scali on March 29, 2016 , categorized in Strength + Conditioning

By Joe Scali and Sharan Dhaliwal, Semiahmoo Athletic Club

Think of building lean muscle and reducing body fat as a rugged three-legged stool, where one leg is strength and conditioning exercises, one leg is metabolic conditioning, and one leg is nutrition.

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You’ve got strength and conditioning exercises down, and nutrition too. But what the heck is metabolic conditioning? You might recognize it by one of its more popular nicknames: High-Intensity Interval Training (our pal HIIT), Tabata, or CrossFit.

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All of these types of metabolic conditioning share the same principles­­—they combine bursts of high-intensity work (squats, sprints, body weight exercises), and short rest periods in intervals. Compared to steady-state cardio, metabolic conditioning improves your metabolism post-workout,1Perry CG, Heigenhauser GJ, Bonen A, Spriet LL. (2008). High-intensity aerobic interval training increases fat and carbohydrate metabolic capacities in human skeletal muscle. Applied Physiology of Nutrient Metabolism. 33(6):1112-23. and burns fat more efficiently2Boutcher SH. (2011). High-intensity intermittent exercise and fat loss. Journal of Obesity. 2011:868305. Accessed 4/15/15 from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2991639/, AND it takes less time than trudging away on a treadmill, leaving you for more time to hang out with your partner, catch that game, or attend that 20th work happy hour this month. The only catch? You’re going to have to go all out when it’s ON. Your legs will burn, your lungs will ache, you’ll want to stop. You’ve been warned.

  • High Intensity Interval Training

Example:

4 to 5 total rounds of kettlebell swings and burpees, alternating between each type of exercise:

  1. 15 to 20 Kettlebell swings
  2. 15 to 20 Burpees

1 minute rest between rounds.

Kettlebell Swing, Better

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A good kettlebell swing is all in the hips –powerful explosions from the hips. Now if that doesn’t sound like a great exercise, what does?!

1. Stand over the kettlebell with feet shoulder-width apart, your chest up, and shoulders pulling down your back.

Note: start with a lighter kettlebell to get the movement down, then go heavy enough to be challenging but not ruin your form.

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2. Squat and pick the kettlebell up and start to rise, engaging your core.

3. Driving up through your heels, explode through your hips, engaging your quads as you straighten, to send the kettlebell upwards to chest height, being sure to squeeze your glutes to finish.

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4. As the kettlebell decends shift your weight back to your heels and prepare to explode again as the weight swings between your legs.

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5. Repeat.

 

How often do you incorporate kettlebell swings into your strength and conditioning workouts?

 

Joe Scali

Owner and Certified Trainer Semiahmoo Athletic Club

Joe Scali grew up playing hockey and continued to play College Hockey at Cornell University and went on to play professionally in Texas. With his elite background in competitive sports and his passion for training, Joe pursued a career in the fitness industry. Becoming a personal trainer, he enjoyed helping people change their lives through fitness. His passion for training and vast experience in the fitness industry led Joe to open Semiahmoo Athletic Club.

Joe is a CFP Certified Personal Trainer, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, TRX Certified Trainer, and Certified in Trigger Point Performance Therapy and Twist Conditioning.

Sharan Dhaliwal

Owner and Certified Trainer Semiahmoo Athletic Club

Inspired by her entrepreneurial parents, Sharan Dhaliwal pursued a degree in business and entrepreneurship. Upon graduating, she pursued a career in the Natural Supplements Industry and continued her studies by obtaining her Advanced Sports & Nutritional Advisor Certification. Sharan is a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer.

Tagged with
body composition fuel your better hiit metabolic conditioning strength and conditioning

Joe Scali

Joe Scali is a freelance writer and regular contributor to Vega’s Expert Panel. Owner and Certified Trainer at Semiahmoo Athletic Club Joe Scali grew up playing hockey and continued to play College Hockey at Cornell University and went on to play professionally in Texas. With his elite background in competitive sports and his passion for training, Joe pursued a career in the fitness industry. Becoming a personal trainer, he enjoyed helping people change their lives through fitness. His passion for training and vast experience in the fitness industry led Joe to open Semiahmoo Athletic Club. Joe is a CFP Certified Personal Trainer, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, TRX Certified Trainer, and Certified in Trigger Point Performance Therapy and Twist Conditioning.

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