4 Ways to Make Kettlebell Swings More Difficult

Don't have access to heavy kettlebells? Try these variations to challenge yourself and become a stronger and more explosive athlete.

Kettlebell Swings are one of the best exercises to build explosive hips for faster sprints and higher jumps. Problem is, many people use a kettlebell that's far too light to actually challenge them, largely because the vast majority of gyms don't have heavy kettlebells.

But fear not, you can still challenge yourself with a light- to moderate-weight kettlebell. You just need to make the exercise more difficult.

Here are five ways to make Kettlebell Swings more difficult.

Band-Resisted Swing

Grab a resistance band and loop it through the handle of the bell so one end is attached and one is off the bell. Once the band is hooked up, take the end of the band coming off of the bell, spread it apart, and step on it with a wide stance. Set the bell in front of you, hinge, and perform the Swing just like you normally would but with added band resistance. This added band resistance forces your hips to fire hard and challenges you at full hip extension.

Staggered Swing

Set up in a normal swing stance with your feet slightly wider than hip-width. Next, move your right foot slightly forward so your right heel is lined up with your left toes. Grab the bell in front of you, hinge and swing. Make sure not to overextend at the top. If you do this often, you are probably staggered a bit too far. You should feel this variation in the hamstrings of the front leg more than in a normal swing.

Single-Arm Swing

Set up as you would for a normal Swing, but grab the bell with only one hand. Once you grab it, swing it just like normal. Since the load is unilateral (on one side), the bell will try to force you to rotate. Fight this rotation and stay in a good position throughout the exercise.

Double-Kettlebell Skiers

This is the most advanced Swing variation. It should only be done after you have mastered the Swing and don't have a heavy weight available for regular Swings. Grab two bells and hold them at your sides with a slightly narrower stance. Hinge and swing the bells like normal, but hold them at your sides the whole time. If you are not ready for this movement, you may have a tendency to lean back too far and overextend or let your knees cave in. If either happens, you should regress to another variation. If you are ready for it, you will be able to load up heavier with limited equipment.

Try these Swing variations to build your posterior chain and get STRONG! Check out my YouTube and Instagram for daily tips, technique and workouts.