American Kettlebell Swing

Over the past few years then has been a debate as to whether the American Kettlebell Swing or Russian Kettlebell Swing is the better exercise routine. Looking online, there is certainly a lot of animosity toward the American style. The difference is that when you do an American swing, the kettlebell is directly over your head. With the Russian swing, it peaks at chest level and then swings down.

Exercise Demonstration

Video courtesy of Onnit

Aside from the top position, the two styles of swings are identical. The bell will swing between your legs and your hips provide the power for raising the bell. The American style is also known as the CrossFit swing. CrossFit, Inc. is a sport and fitness company that encourages this style over the Russian version.

There is no wrong answer as to which you should favor over the other. However, caution should be used when performing the American Kettlebell Swing. Since the weight is directly overhead, it poses an obvious risk if you lose your grip. Also, unlike the Russian swing, you can’t solely rely on the downward momentum of the bell while doing reps. Your arms will need to remain extended on the downswing.

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