Burning Calories with Kettlebell Swings

Kettlebell Advice

Burning Calories with Kettlebell Swings
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When people take a transition from their cardio world to a kettlebell regime, they are keen to know how many calories will be burned with their swings. If 10 minutes of swings does not burn more calories as compared to the 10 minutes of any other exercise, people will not consider this workout regime to be worth the effort.

There are a number of factors which determine how many calories or fat will be burned in a particular kettlebells workout regime. From your age to the style of your swing – all of these things come together to define how much fat can your body lose with those swings.

kettlebells workout regime

400 Calories in 20 Minutes

A few sports scientists from the University of Wisconsin came together to determine how many calories could be burned with one-arm kettlebell snatches. They devised a protocol and a formula to proceed further with their study.

A mix of male and female kettlebell users were involved in the study and were allowed to choose between kettlebells weighing 12, 16 and 20 kilograms. These subjects were involved in a very complicated test wherein they were supposed to carry out one-arm kettlebell snatches for a span of a minute.

It was described by the researchers as swinging the hand between their legs and over the head. Then they divided the session and asked the participants to carry out the snatches for 15 seconds and then rest for another 15 seconds. They continued to do so for about 20 minutes.

At the end of this study, the researchers found that the participants were burning 13.6 calories in a minute. After determining their blood lactate levels, it was discovered that they were burning an additional 6.6 calories in a minute. This clearly shows that kettlebell training is one of the most effective and quickest ways to burn calories and to remove excess weight from your body.

How to Do the Kettlebell Swing

It is not a difficult process, but only requires vigilance and a good balance from beginners. By losing your attention even for a minute, you can cause an injury or any serious damage to yourself or others, so you really must be careful.

Stand with your feet apart from each other at shoulder length, toes pointing straight, and there must be a distance of 1 foot from the kettlebell.

Bend slightly at the hips, just like you would do when you’re about to sit on a chair, and grab hold of the weight by reaching forward.

Initiate the swing by swinging the kettlebell behind you first and not in the front.

When the weight reaches to your front, drive your hips forward and stand straight as quickly as the weight reaches the top.

You must allow the weight to go above eye-level before reversing it and repeating the movement. Do not lean back when the weight is at the top of the swing as this does more harm than good to your body.

size of the kettlebell

Factors Determining the Calories Burned

First of all, it is the size of the kettlebell which matters the most. If you are starting this kettlebell workout for the first time, it is advisable to choose the minimum weight.

You can gradually proceed with higher weights when your body adjusts to the routine, but do not overburden it right in the beginning. The weight is a huge determinant of the number of calories which are burned through this workout.

How you do the swings also matters a lot. If you do them all at once, you will burn more calories as compared to doing them in a spread-out manner.

On average, a person can burn around 15 to 20 calories in a minute depending on their ability and level of expertise in kettlebell workouts. The maximum one can do is to burn 1,212 calories and this is only possible if you complete 250 to 300 swings in an hour with a 25 to 30-pound weight.

The intensity of the workout and the training style which is being followed are also great determinants of the calories being burned. Apart from this, the major variables which come into play while burning calories with kettlebells are:

  • Age, height, and weight of the person
  • The lifestyle followed
  • Male or female
  • The thermic effect of food
  • Build and basal metabolic rate


The only way to burn more calories by swinging a kettlebell is to use a heavy weight, but make sure that it is safe enough. In a session of 10 to 14 minutes, work for 20 seconds and then take a rest for another 10. This will optimize the end results, and if you think you can work out longer, you can increase the time for more calories burn.

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