Kettlebell Swing Weight and Equipment

Choosing the right weight and equipment for kettlebell swings is crucial to ensure effectiveness and safety in your workout. Let’s explore the considerations for selecting the appropriate kettlebell weight and equipment.

How heavy should my kettlebell be for swings?

The optimal kettlebell weight for swings depends upon factors such as your fitness level, training experience, variation of kettlebell swing and goals. For example:

  • If you are new to kettlebell swings or want to focus on muscular endurance, it’s best to start with a lighter weight, which could range from 8 to 16kg for 10-12 reps or 20+ reps respectively, to prioritize form and technique. 
  • You might use a moderate weight that could range from 10-20 kg for 5-6 reps if you have developed the correct technique and want to focus on power development. 
  • You may use a heavier weight that could range from 16-32 kg for 6-8 reps for strength if you’ve gradually built up to this.

No matter what, the weight you use for your kettlebell swings should enable the correct technique – a flat back, engaged core and the capacity to generate force from the hips.

Labelled diagram on how to perform the kettlebell swing

What weight should a beginner kettlebell swing be?

For beginners, a kettlebell swing should be light enough to allow for learning proper form and technique without strain. Generally, this could be anywhere from 8 to 16 kg depending on your training history and starting point – if you are new to the gym environment, you may select 8kg but if you’ve been training for a while but giving kettlebell swings a go for the first time, you may select up to 16 kg. 

Top tip: Begin with a weight on the lower side that feels manageable, knowing that you can increase the weight or number of reps in your next set if your technique remains good.

Should I get 1 or 2 kettlebells?

Whether you get one or two kettlebells depends on your training goals and the exercises you plan to perform. For exercises like swings, snatches, get-ups, and any unilateral exercises that work on one side of the body at a time, having just one kettlebell is usually enough.

However, if you plan to increase the overall total load you wish to lift on kettlebell squats or presses, then two kettlebells of the same weight could be beneficial. Yet, if you’re looking to do this to build strength, I would suggest opting for a barbell and plates instead.

Kettlebell

Is a 20 kg kettlebell too heavy?

A 20 kg kettlebell may be too heavy if you’re unable to maintain the correct technique, which may look like rounding in the back, squatting instead of hinging, losing control and not following through with the hips. If one or a few of these mistakes start to happen, reduce the weight and focus on correcting them using our coaching cue tips here.

What weight kettlebell should a woman use for swings?

The weight of the kettlebell a woman should use for swings depends on her fitness level, training experience and goals. The exact weight will vary based on their own context, but here is an example: 

  • For those new to kettlebell swings or aiming to enhance muscular endurance, a lighter weight within the 8-16 kg range for 10-12 reps may be suitable. 
  • Upon mastering the correct technique and focusing on power development, a moderate weight in the range of 10-20 kg for 5-6 reps can be used.
  • For individuals who have progressively advanced their strength levels, opting for a heavier weight in the range of 16-32 kg for 6-8 reps would be more suitable for targeting strength improvements.

How do I know if my kettlebell is too heavy?

If your kettlebell is too heavy, you may struggle to maintain proper form, control the swing, or complete the desired number of repetitions. Signs that your kettlebell is too heavy include rounding in the back, squatting instead of hinging, losing control and not following through with the hips.

It’s important to choose a weight that challenges you and meets your training goal you but still allows for the proper execution of the movement.

Is a 10kg kettlebell too heavy for beginners?

For some beginners with a foundation in strength training but are new to kettlebell swings, 10 kg may be a suitable weight if they can perform them correctly. However, a 10 kg kettlebell might be too heavy for beginners who have no or limited experience with strength training.

It’s crucial for beginners to start with a weight that allows them to focus on learning the proper technique, but that start weight will be relative to them.

Is a 10kg kettlebell good for beginners?

A 10 kg kettlebell can be a good starting point for beginners, particularly those who have some experience with strength training or are relatively fit. However, this is relative to the individual, their training history and if they are able to focus on their technique.

Why are kettlebells so expensive?

Kettlebells can be expensive due to their durable construction, material costs, and the specialized manufacturing process. Quality kettlebells are typically made from cast iron or steel and are built to withstand heavy use over time. The cost can also reflect the versatility and effectiveness of kettlebells as a training tool.

Summary

Selecting the right kettlebell weight is essential in creating an effective and safe kettlebell training routine. Beginners should prioritize mastering form with a manageable weight, while more experienced users can opt for heavier kettlebells to challenge their strength and power.

Please be aware that the weights mentioned in this article serve as illustrative examples. The appropriate weight for your use should be determined by your individual context, encompassing factors such as training history and goals. It is essential to recognize that the appropriate weight varies from person to person.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

Average rating 0 / 5. Vote count: 0

No votes so far! Be the first to rate this post.

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Golf Insider UK | Website | + posts

Will is a sport scientist and golf professional who specialises in motor control and motor learning. Will lecturers part-time in motor control and biomechanics, runs Golf Insider UK and consults elite athletes who are interested in optimising their training and performance.