How many calories do you burn swinging kettlebells?

Swinging kettlebells is an effective full-body workout that can help you burn a significant amount of calories. The exact number of calories burned will depend on several factors.

How Many Calories Does Kettlebell Swinging Burn Per Hour?

On average, a 155 pound person can expect to burn around 400-600 calories per hour doing kettlebell swings. Heavier individuals generally burn more calories, while lighter individuals may burn slightly less.

Here are some estimates on calories burned per hour based on weight:

Weight Calories Burned Per Hour
100 lbs 300-450 calories
125 lbs 350-500 calories
150 lbs 400-600 calories
175 lbs 450-700 calories
200 lbs 500-800 calories

As you can see, heavier individuals generally burn more calories per hour swinging kettlebells. But even for lighter individuals, kettlebell swings can be an extremely effective calorie-burning exercise.

What Factors Influence Calories Burned?

There are several factors that affect how many calories you’ll burn swinging kettlebells in an hour:

  • Intensity – Swinging with more power and speed burns more calories than a slower, gentler swing.
  • Weight of kettlebell – The heavier the kettlebell, the more calories burned.
  • Length of workout – Longer workouts result in more calories burned.
  • Rest periods – Taking shorter rest periods keeps your heart rate up and increases calorie burn.
  • Experience level – The more skilled you are, the more intense and longer you can swing for.
  • Body weight – Heavier individuals generally burn more calories swinging.

So to maximize calories burned, you want to swing heavy kettlebells forcefully for extended periods with minimal rest between sets.

Calories Burned Swinging Different Kettlebell Weights

Heavier kettlebells require more effort to swing so will burn more calories. Here’s an estimate of calories burned per hour swinging kettlebells of different weights:

Kettlebell Weight Calories Burned Per Hour
15 lbs 300-400
20 lbs 350-450
25 lbs 400-500
30 lbs 450-550
35 lbs 500-600
40 lbs 550-650

As you can see, increasing the kettlebell weight significantly increases the calories burned. A good guideline is to use a kettlebell that challenges you but still allows you to maintain proper form.

Calories Burned Per Swing

On an individual swing basis, you can expect to burn around 0.5-1 calorie per swing. So if completing 10 swings per minute, that would equate to around 300-600 calories burned per hour.

The per swing calorie burn will increase slightly with heavier weights and more forceful swings. But 0.5-1 calorie per swing is a reasonable estimate for most moderate intensity kettlebell swing workouts.

Calories Burned Per Minute Swinging Kettlebells

Based on averages, swinging kettlebells burns approximately 6-12 calories per minute. So swinging for 10 minutes would burn 60-120 calories.

Using our estimate of 400-600 calories burned per hour, that breaks down to about 7-10 calories per minute. Again, the rate will increase with higher intensity.

How Long To Swing Kettlebells To Burn 500 Calories?

If aiming to burn 500 calories swinging kettlebells, you’d need to swing for around 50-85 minutes based on averages. This depends on the factors we’ve mentioned like kettlebell weight and swing intensity.

Here’s a rough guideline for how long to swing kettlebells to burn 500 calories at different intensities:

  • Low intensity = 60-85 minutes
  • Moderate intensity = 50-70 minutes
  • High intensity = 40-60 minutes

So swinging at a vigorous pace with heavier kettlebells would burn 500 calories quicker in around 40-50 minutes. But slower paced swings may take over an hour to hit 500 calories burned.

Muscles Worked Swinging Kettlebells

Here are the major muscles engaged during kettlebell swings:

  • Glutes – Your gluteal muscles propel the swing motion, driving your hips forward.
  • Hamstrings – The hamstrings contract to help swing the weight back between your legs.
  • Lower back – Your erector spinae muscles stabilize your lower back during the swing.
  • Shoulders – The deltoids steady the weight at the top of the swing.
  • Core – Your core muscles brace to support your spine during the movement.
  • Grip – Your forearm and hand muscles grip the kettlebell handle throughout.

So kettlebell swings work your posterior chain muscles along with core and grip strength. Performing high reps builds muscular endurance in these areas.

Benefits of Swinging Kettlebells

Here are some of the top benefits of working out with kettlebell swings:

  • Full-body workout – Kettlebell swings work your legs, glutes, back, core and grip in one exercise.
  • Increased strength – Swings build strength in your hips, lower body and core.
  • Calorie burn – Swings burn calories quickly for weight loss.
  • Enhanced work capacity – High rep swings build cardiovascular fitness and work capacity.
  • Power development – The explosive swing motion translates to power.
  • Improved posture – Kettlebell training strengthens postural muscles.

Kettlebell swings are a demanding but highly effective exercise for improving your fitness, body composition and athletic performance.

Proper Kettlebell Swing Form

Here are some tips for proper form on kettlebell swings:

  • Hinge at the hips to swing the bell back between your legs, keeping your lower back flat.
  • Thrust your hips forward forcefully to swing the weight to chest height.
  • Squeeze your glutes and brace your core at the top of the swing.
  • Allow the kettlebell to swing back gently under control.
  • Keep your shoulders relaxed and arms straight for the entire movement.
  • Maintain a tall, neutral spine posture. Don’t round your back.
  • Use your hips to generate power, not your shoulders or arms.

Follow these form cues to swing correctly and avoid injury. Record yourself to check your form is on point.

Kettlebell Swing Variations

There are a few different types of kettlebell swing variations:

  • Two-handed swing – Gripping the handle with both hands to swing the kettlebell up to chest height.
  • One-handed swing – Swinging a single kettlebell up with one hand. More challenging for grip and core.
  • Single leg swing – Balancing on one leg while swinging demands more stability.
  • Pistol swing – Swinging the kettlebell as you descend into a one-legged pistol squat.

You can also get creative with variations like lateral swings across your body, between your legs swings, alternating hands, or overhead swings.

Kettlebell Swing Workouts

Here are two sample kettlebell swing workouts:

Beginner Kettlebell Swing Workout

  • 2-handed swings x 10 reps
  • Rest 30 seconds
  • Repeat for 5 rounds

This simple workout trains the movement pattern with 50 total swings. Use a light weight to dial in your form.

Advanced Kettlebell Swing Workout

  • 2-handed swings x 15 reps
  • 1-handed swings each side x 10 reps
  • Rest 60 seconds
  • Repeat for 3 rounds

This advanced routine works grip strength with one-handed swings and burns 150 calories with 150 total swings per round.


Kettlebell swings are an efficient exercise that can help you burn 400-600 calories per hour. Heavier weights, more intense effort, and longer durations increase calories burned. Swinging kettlebells works your posterior chain, core and grip for full-body benefits. Master proper hip hinge technique and progress safely to burn fat and boost fitness.

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