Total Shape is a reader-supported site. Purchases made through links may earn a commission. Learn more.

Will Kettlebell Swings Burn Belly Fat? What You Need to Know

Anthony Diaz
Published by Anthony Diaz
Last updated: October 3, 2022

As a personal trainer, I’m always getting my clients to try new ways to get fit and speed up their fat loss. In many cases, people get bored doing the same exercises at the gym.

One way to avoid that boredom is to introduce new exercises like kettlebell swings.

Not only can these be extremely fun, but they are also a very effective way to burn more calories and target the more stubborn body fat around the belly.

But before you just grab the first kettlebell you see, let me show you how to approach this the right way.

Quick Summary

  • Kettlebell training can be a highly effective way to achieve weight loss and strengthen the body at the same time.
  • Most kettlebell swing variations result in compound muscle exercises targeting multiple muscle groups for more effective fat loss.
  • There are a few variations you can add to kettlebell training to specifically target belly fat and build up more core muscle strength.

Can You Lose Belly Fat By Doing Kettlebell Swings?

A man with strong core doing kettlebell swing

Yes, you can lose belly fat by doing kettlebell swings. The great thing about the majority of kettlebell workouts is that they represent a full-body exercise.

You can feel the pressure build-up from your calves, through your core, and all the way up to your shoulders.

And research has shown that using kettlebells can be just as effective as regular weight training in building up more muscle strength [1].

Like with any other form of exercise, it comes down to form and intensity. If you want to burn more calories and trigger fat loss, then you need to ramp up the intensity levels and add variation [2].

Let’s see what an intense full-body workout with kettlebells would involve.

youtube

4 Kettlebell Exercises for Belly Fat

A woman swinging a kettlebell

So, there are many different forms of kettlebell swing exercise, but I want to specifically focus on a few that are suitable for building up core muscles.

What you’ll need is a few different kettlebell weights and maybe a heart rate monitor.

This will help you make sure that you push your body hard enough to burn fat.

“The cannonball-shaped cast iron orbs called kettlebells were originally developed by Russian strongmen in the early 1700s to quickly build strength, endurance, balance, and flexibility. Once relegated to a dusty corner of the weight room, researchers now say kettlebells are experiencing a resurgence in popularity.”

- Louise Chang, MD, WebMD.com

Two-Handed Kettlebell Swing

Start with the kettlebell on the ground between your feet and slightly behind you. You should be reaching for the grip with both hands between your legs.

With your knees slightly bent, lift the kettlebell off the ground and then pull your arms straight forward as you stand up.

This should be one smooth movement and aim to get the weight as high as possible.

Then let it swing back between your legs but don’t let it touch the ground. Repeat this at least 20-25 times and aim to do three sets.

Increasing Weight Swings

This is the same exercise as the two-handed swings, but it should push your aerobic capacity that bit further.

After you complete a set, pick a heavier kettlebell for the next set, but aim to do the same number of reps.

You should really feel this increasing strain in your abdominal muscles, helping you to shed fat faster.

One-Handed Kettlebell Swing

Performing a one handed kettlebell swings

This is a slightly more advanced exercise, and you’ll feel quite a difference in your balance and stabilizing muscles. Pick a smaller weight and do the same movement as the two-handed version.

Aim to do 20-25 reps for three sets.

Kettlebell Snatch

And finally, once you are comfortable with the above exercise, then try to take it one step further.

Aim to do a one-handed kettlebell swing. But instead of letting it swing back down once you get to about head-high, pull it further up over your head.

Hold it at the top for two seconds, and then swing it down again.

Related articles:

A Word On Intensity

If you want to get rid of belly fat fast, then it all comes down to how many calories you burn. That means you can’t grab the smallest kettlebell.

Instead, go for something heavier and perform the above exercises as a form of high-intensity interval training.

At the end of each set, your heart should be pumping, and then you only give yourself 30-45 seconds to catch your breath.

This will burn calories a lot more efficiently, and it will vastly improve your cardiovascular conditioning [3].

What Other Advantages Do These Exercises Have?

A man holding a kettlebell weights

One of the major benefits that I highlight for clients is that you can easily adapt kettlebells to cardiovascular exercises and resistance training.

For the average person, that means that just a few different weights can help them improve cardiovascular fitness and build up muscle mass.

And because of the way most swing exercises are performed, it’s a great way to improve core stability.

If you’ve had problems with your posture and back pain, then doing a kettlebell exercise regularly can make a huge difference.

FAQs

How Many Kettlebell Swings Should I Do to Lose Weight?

You should do at least 20 kettlebell swings per set and complete three sets to lose weight. However, it’s difficult to give a precise number as your age, gender, metabolism, and the kettlebell weight will dictate how many swings you should do.

Are Kettlebell Swings Better than Running for Fat Loss?

Yes, kettlebell swings are better than running for fat loss. It’s much easier to adapt your training intensity through kettlebell circuit weight training, which will also build up muscle tone.

With running, it’s a lot more common that you hit a weight loss plateau.

Add A Kettlebell Swing Workout To Your Weekly Plan

If you want to make a difference in the fat stored by your body, then try to add some weekly kettlebell workouts to your routine. They are great for burning calories and building up more physical strength.

And if you need a bit of an extra boost when it comes to losing fat, then I would recommend adding the following supplements to your stack:

These aren’t magic pills to get you slim. But they can boost your metabolism enough to increase your calorie burn throughout the day and during training.


References:

  1. https://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/kettlebellresearch.html
  2. https://hqlo.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12955-017-0743-4
  3. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7215828/
Was this article helpful?
YesNo

About The Author