Kettlebell Single Arm Swing

best single arm swing workout

People often wonder why they should even train with kettlebells when there are dumbbells. The answer is that you can get an amazing cardio workout by using kettlebells which burns your fat, unlike any other workout.

They also build your strength as dumbbells would. When you compare them, it is often a no-brainer to use kettlebells over dumbbells. 

They also work really well to strengthen your core and back. The swinging motion which you get from kettlebells is great for increasing your flexibility and mobility.

Single arm swings give that swinging motion, increasing your flexibility, but adds the explosiveness and ballistics to build and strengthen your muscles, especially in your triceps and forearms.

Rating of Difficulty

This exercise is not too difficult. As long as you bend your knees slightly, you will have no problem generating the force needed to swing the kettlebell through your legs and upward.

What Muscles Does This Workout Target?

Single arm swings are great for targeting your shoulders, triceps, and forearms. You will also feel a lot of benefit in your core and lower back.

By bending your knees as you are completing the swing, you will also get a lower-body workout, targeting your hamstrings, glutes, and calves.

How Often Should I Perform This Workout?

This is a nice exercise to add to your weekly routine up to three times. It is great for your shoulders and arms, and will also help to improve your mobility and flexibility.

Try to work up to fifteen reps for each arm, and look to complete three sets of each rep.

single arm swing workout guide

Step by Step

Prepare your area. Make sure that your area is clear, and that there are no dangers present.

Ensure that you are wearing the proper clothing and that you are fueled for your workout.

Place the kettlebell on the floor in front of you.

  • Stand over the kettlebell so that the kettlebell is in between your legs. Make sure that your feet are spaced equally around the kettlebell. You should have enough room between your legs for you to be able to swing the kettlebell between your legs and hike it up.
  • Grab the kettlebell with your right hand on the top of the handle. You should be in a squat position. As you lift the kettlebell off of the ground, you should swing it back through your leg. Keep your back flat and straight as you are swinging the kettlebell. Your weight should be on the backs of your heels.
  • As you are swinging the kettlebell through your legs, you can extend your free arm out to your side, sitting horizontally to the ground. This arm will help to stabilize you and give you more balance.
  • Swing the kettlebell forward through your legs and upwards. As you do this, lift up with your legs to add momentum to the kettlebell. Thrust with your hips to achieve even more momentum. Swing the kettlebell until your arm is extended out in front of your face and is parallel to the ground.
  • Swing the kettlebell back down, keeping your movements smooth and firm. Squat down a little again as the kettlebell swings through your legs. Keep a hold of the kettlebell and do not let it touch the ground yet. Repeat the swing for another rep for a target of fifteen reps.
  • After you have completed your reps, place the kettlebell on the ground in front of you and repeat with the other arm. Try to complete three sets for each arm.


A kettlebell swing is a great introduction to kettlebell exercises. There are many complicated exercises which can be completed with a kettlebell, but the more complicated ones should only be progressed to once you have a good grasp of the basics. 

This basic exercise is a great place to start. You get to add to your strength while also working your core, mobility, and flexibility.

It is also great how much of a cardio workout you get from this exercise. It can be hard to find time for cardio when you are doing a lot of strength training, but this exercise is a great way of combining the two.

Once you master the swing, there are a number of kettlebell exercises which you can move on to. You can move onto double-hand swings and more complex lifts.


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