Equipment

Can Kettlebell Swings Help Lose Belly Fat? Yes, Here's How To Start

Can Kettlebell Swings Help Lose Belly Fat? Yes, Here's How To Start

If you’re trying to lose belly fat then you’re probably wondering if explosive movements like kettlebell swings will help you lose fat more quickly.

So, can kettlebell swings help lose belly fat? Kettlebell swings are a dynamic exercise that can be extremely effective and helpful for losing belly fat when programmed correctly. If you program kettlebells in a way that cultivates a higher caloric burn then you will increase the amount of fat that is being lost during a workout.

To help you maximize fat loss with kettlebell swings, I’ll explain how kettlebell swings help you lose belly fat and how to incorporate them, and provide you with a sample kettlebell workout you can implement to start losing belly fat.

Key Takeaways


  • Kettlebell swings can help you lose fat by increasing the number of calories you burn per day through exercise and by increasing muscle mass.

  • Kettlebell swings cannot target the fat in your belly, but they can help you lose total body fat which will eventually cause you to lose fat from your belly.

  • Kettlebell swings by themselves do not cause you to lose fat, you must also be in a calorie deficit.
  • How Kettlebell Swings Help You Lose Belly Fat

    How kettlebell swings help you lose belly fat

    Kettlebell swings can help you lose body fat but they cannot guarantee that the fat you lose will come from your belly. Your genetics determine where you lose fat more easily and the more stubborn areas. 

    Some people may lose fat from their belly first, whereas others may lose body fat everywhere else before they lose it from their belly.

    If you stay consistent, you will lose total body fat so don’t get discouraged if you’re not seeing reductions in belly fat right away.

    Kettlebell swings help encourage fat loss in a variety of ways:

    Increases Energy Expenditure

    Total daily energy expenditure (TDEE) is the number of calories your body burns throughout a day.

    TDEE consists of your basal metabolic rate (the number of calories you burn to simply exist), your activity level, and the thermic effect of food (the number of calories you burn digesting and absorbing food). 

    The easiest ways to influence the number of calories you burn per day is to consume fewer calories or increase your activity level. Most people find it easier to increase their activity level than to eat less food.

    Implementing kettlebell swings is an easy way to increase your activity level and encourage fat loss.

    Increases Muscle Mass

    Kettlebell swings can increase muscle mass in the glutes, hamstrings, quads, back, and shoulders. Since the kettlebell swing can increase the mass of so many muscles it has an especially potent effect at increasing your metabolism.

    Essentially, the more muscle you have the more calories you burn (even at rest) because muscle requires more energy (calories) to maintain and use.

    Therefore, increased total body muscle mass can increase your BMR and help increase the number of calories you burn per day (TDEE).

    Saves Time

    Kettlebell swings are often included in High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), which involves alternating between periods of high-intensity training and lower-intensity training. 

    This style of training is short-lived but can significantly increase your heart rate which can further increase the amount of calories burned and subsequently causes fat loss.

    Implementing kettlebell training using HIIT can help you lose belly fat more efficiently even if you’re short on time.

    How To Incorporate Kettlebell Swings To Lose Belly Fat

    How to incorporate kettlebell swings to lose belly fat

    Learning how to incorporate kettlebell swings into your routine is important to maximize your ability to lose belly fat.

    Frequency

    High-frequency kettlebell swing routines can promote greater fat loss because more sessions throughout the week will increase your weekly total energy expenditure. I would program training kettlebell swings for up to three sessions a week to promote fat loss.

    Sets

    High-set kettlebell swing workouts (5+) can further increase total volume which can increase weekly fat loss. More sets can increase the amount of work you accumulate throughout the week, leading to more calories burned and potentially more muscle growth.

    Reps

    High repetitions (10+) can also increase the amount of work that is done during a given workout which leads to increased fat loss. 

    Higher repetitions within a set will change the energy system that is utilized during the set, more specifically the anaerobic lactic system which may burn more calories.

    Intensity

    Low-to-moderate intensities can be performed for a higher number of reps which promotes higher energy expenditure in a given workout. 

    Additionally, training to failure (the point where you can’t do another rep with good form) causes more muscle growth.

    Both of these mechanisms (energy expenditure and muscle growth) can help you to lose belly fat more efficiently.

    Therefore, it may be best to have some of your kettlebell workouts focus on using very light weights for higher reps to increase energy expenditure and other workouts during the week that focus on moderate loads and training to failure to encourage muscle growth.

    Styles Of Training

    There are also different styles of training to choose from:


  • Standard training is your traditional sets X reps X load workout that involves resting between each set. This style of training allows you to lift heavier loads and push yourself closer to failure.

  • Tabata can increase the total intensity of your kettlebell workout by limiting rest which can lead to improved fat loss. Tabata is a system that involves timed sets rather than goal repetitions. 

  • HIIT using kettlebell swings integrated with other exercises can lead to a high-intensity workout to lose belly fat. 
  • HIIT involves the implementation of a wide variety of exercises, so you can pair kettlebell swings with sled pushes, kettlebell snatches, and sprints to increase the total volume of work for the weight to burn calories.

    Sample Kettlebell Workout To Lose Belly Fat

    Sample kettlebell workout to lose belly fat

    Here is a sample week-to-week kettlebell workout to lose belly fat:

    Week 1

    Monday

    • Tabata with kettlebell swings
      • 20 seconds on: 10 seconds off for five rounds

      Wednesday

      • HIIT workout: 3 rounds
        • Sprints for 10 seconds
        • Kettlebell swings for 20 seconds
        • Sled pushes for 20 seconds

      Friday

      • Alternating kettlebell swings: 2 x 15 each @40%
      • Kettlebell swings: 2 x 15 @40%
      • Kettlebell goblet squats: 3 x 20 @30%

      Week 2

      Monday

      • Tabata with kettlebell swings:
        •  20 seconds on: 10 seconds off for six rounds

      Wednesday

      • HIIT workout: 4 rounds
        • Sprints for 10 seconds
        • Kettlebell swings for 20 seconds
        • Sled pushes for 20 seconds

      Friday

      • Alternating kettlebell swings: 2 x 15 each @40%
      • Kettlebell swings: 2 x 15 @40%
      • Kettlebell goblet squats: 3 x 20 @30%

      Week 3

      Monday

      • Tabata with kettlebell swings:
        •  25 seconds on: 10 seconds off for five rounds

      Wednesday

      • HIIT workout: 4 rounds
        • Sprints for 15 seconds
        • Kettlebell swings for 25 seconds
        • Sled pushes for 20 seconds

      Friday

      • Alternating kettlebell swings: 3 x 15 each @40%
      • Kettlebell swings: 3 x 15 @40%
      • Kettlebell goblet squats: 3 x 20 @30%

      Week 4

      Monday

      • Tabata with kettlebell swings:
        •   25 seconds on: 10 seconds off for five rounds

      Wednesday

      • HIIT workout: 4 rounds
        • Sprints for 15 seconds
        • Kettlebell swings for 25 seconds
        • Sled pushes for 20 seconds

      Friday

      • Alternating kettlebell swings: 3 x 15 each @40%
      • Kettlebell swings: 3 x 15 @40%
      • Kettlebell goblet squats: 3 x 20 @30%

      Best Kettlebells To Help Lose Belly Fat

      The Gymreapers kettlebell is my favorite kettlebell for kettlebell swings, especially for those who want to lose fat. The sturdiness of these cast-iron kettlebells allows you to perform hundreds of reps of kettlebell swings without the fear of breakdown. 

      Gymreapers kettlebell

      SHOP KETTLEBELLS

      A range of cast-iron kettlebells are available for you to purchase:

      • 4 kg (9 lbs)
      • 8 kg (18 lbs)
      • 10 kg (22 lbs)
      • 12 kg (26 lbs)
      • 14 kg (31 lbs)
      • 16 kg (35 lbs)
      • 18 kg (40 lbs)
      • 20 kg (44 lbs)
      • 40 kg (88 lbs)

      For weight loss, I would focus on the lighter range of the weights that are available. You can also perform kettlebell swings with two kettlebells at a time, so purchasing a pair of each would be great for weight-loss workouts.

      How Long Does It Take To Lose Belly Fat With Kettlebell Swings?

      Typically, the goal of weight loss should be 1-2 lbs of bodyweight a week. More than this may compromise the hard-earned muscle that you’ve built, while less than this may stretch out your weight loss phase for a long period.

      By tracking calories and introducing dynamic kettlebell swing workouts you can easily lose the target of 1-2 pounds per week.

      Remember that you may not see this loss in your belly right away if you’re losing fat in other areas first, but if you stay consistent it will eventually come from your belly.

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