If you search online you’ll find many articles citing the benefits of daily kettlebell swings. Fitness experts suggest a range of anywhere from 50 to 300 swings a day. However, most seem to focus on getting in 100 swings every day. After much trial and error, I’ve found a kettlebell swing interval workout that is a respectable 200 swings each day.
In the past, I’ve experimented with various routines of hitting a certain amount of swings per day. Just a couple of years ago I was able to do 100 swings over 164 consecutive days. It was a mental hurdle as much as a physical challenge due to the fact that I did them all in a single session.
Next, I tried a different tactic by doing 30 swings every hour on the hour throughout the day. That required having a kettlebell handy 10 hours out of the day to hit 300 reps. The idea was to get those reps in during my work shift on weekdays. Of course, I didn’t account for the unexpectedness that life brings and how such a large timeframe wasn’t practical.
My takeaway from these past experiences is that the time for daily swings needs to be short and not spread out. Furthermore, the pacing of swings must include some recovery time so that I don’t dread the task at hand on a regular basis. Now, allow me to explain how I came up with this kettlebell workout and the reasons behind the format.
200 Rep Kettlebell Swing Interval Workout
Before discussing the details of the workout it’s important to understand a few things first. Most importantly, the style of the kettlebell swing. There are several different variations that may confuse beginners as there are important key differences. This excellent article by Cavemantraining describes the movements and goals of the hip hinge, pendulum, and squat swings.
The Hip Hinge Swing
For the purposes of this particular kettlebell workout, I highly suggest you do hip hinge swings. Not only are the reps quick, but I believe them to be the most balanced for power, cardio and endurance. The quick action is important as well which I’ll explain later on.
Here is a video from the article I mentioned above. Pay attention to the middle section which breaks down the hip hinge swing as demonstrated by Taco Fleur. For beginners, click back to the start of the video for some background information on each swing.
Using The Right Weight
There is no one-size-fits-all when it comes to a standard kettlebell weight. When I started my kettlebell training I was struggling with a 15 lb. kettlebell. Granted, I was very out of shape. These days I’ve peaked at using a 35 lb. kettlebell which is what I use most regularly.
What it ultimately comes down to is selecting a weight that feels best for you. One that does not seem too heavy nor too light. This kettlebell swing interval workout is designed for the long haul – one you may repeat day after day if you wish. Personally, my objective is to integrate this workout frequently without sacrificing many other kettlebell routines throughout the week.
Workout Format & Routine
This is what I would classify as a short workout with just a total time of 10 minutes. There are numerous ways you can break up 200 swings within that time limit. Although, the idea is to allow time to rest but not have your heart rate drop or rise dramatically.
Cardio-focused individuals will love this format based on every minute on the minute (EMOM) interval style of training. However, at the end, you’ll feel fatigued in your muscles which helps with strength. If your body isn’t tired afterward consider upping the weight.
Here is how simple it is:
- Complete 20 kettlebell swings in 1 minute
- Rest remainder of the minute
- Repeat 9 more times for a total of 10 rounds
That’s it. No complicated sequences of moves but effective nonetheless. It’s short enough that you may use it as a complement to other exercises and physical activities. You won’t feel too burnt out either repeating it day after day.
The Right Amount of Rest Time
I estimate you should have around 28 seconds of rest time after finishing each set of swings. That might seem like too much rest but all of these swings will start to wear you down towards the end. Additionally, you won’t push yourself too hard should you want to incorporate it into a daily or semi-regular schedule.
Previously, I tried 10 swings in 30 seconds format which left me about 10 seconds of rest. My line of thinking was that 10 swings are easy! Reality came crashing down as that rest time seemed to disappear before I could catch my breath and give my body much-needed breaks.
As a result, it ended up being another challenge of sorts where that was my daily routine and nothing else. That’s fine if all you want to do is the swing exercise. However, I found I missed the variety of the other kettlebell exercises. I admit now that 300 swings a day didn’t give me the flexibility I desired to pursue even some of my staple kettlebell workouts.
In the case here, 200 swings a day is much more reasonable in regards to this matter. Plus having almost 30 seconds of rest provides plenty of opportunities to regroup. I don’t feel rushed trying to get a drink of water or other tasks in between. There’s enough time for some arm circles, stretching, and even a few jumping jacks for active recovery.
Final Thoughts On This Kettlebell Swing Interval Workout
Very rarely do I work out with kettlebells for more than 30+ minutes a day. Usually, it’s around anywhere from 10 to 20 minutes. Obviously, that is not a lot of time but I like to be consistent and work out Monday thru Friday. I enjoy mixing things up by switching between my 25 lb., 35 lb., and 45 lb. kettlebell throughout the week.
As such, this short routine easily fits into my hectic schedule. It’s great on its own or as a supplement to those other workouts. Lasting just 10 minutes and 200 swings, this workout isn’t daunting but by no means a picnic either.
Yes, this workout doesn’t get any points for excitement but I don’t need to concentrate much either. Instead, I’m getting all of the benefits of the kettlebell swing as a full-body exercise. Also, it’s easy enough to track the time with an app or a wall/digital clock.
I truly believe I found a program easy enough for beginners but great for kettlebell training veterans as well. It certainly beats trying to go through all the swings in 1-4 sets consistently. Even by dropping down to 5 minutes and 100 swings you’ll still get a great mini workout.