And how this playful Workout Move can help you too feel grounded and confident
(and get a Booty you love!)

Ok, so I would not feel comfortable walking around in the summer In NYC wearing black exercise shorts ( a bit more conservative than “booty shorts,” but still…you can’t really hide too much with these things.

And I have to say that the 2 handed kettlebell swing has really come through for me again, during this time in my life:

Big TY to Kettlebell Swings

I’ve had a lot of stress, and I’m really thankful to be able to workout at home. I do love working out at the gym, but it’s been really important for me to be able to workout at home right now

I fell in love with the swing 6 years ago and it’s what got me into strength training; it got me hooked, it made space for strength training in my life…And once again it’s really come through for me  (29 second before & after video):

 

 

Gaining strength…burning fat…lifting the bootay

You can see from my video above that’s it’s not just some strategically taken before and after photos…I gained quite a bit of strength which you can tell from my posture…burned quite a bit of fat…and LIFTED my booty, yay.

And for me, it’s been really grounding to have a Movement Practice that makes me feel calm, creative, centered and strong. The workouts are pretty short, and the movement is actually pretty FUN to do…so it makes it kind of challenging NOT to do the workouts…when you KNOW you’re going to feel more grounded, strong, confident and clear after you do them…

Plus, you do get to see your booty perk up and lift pretty quickly. My results above are just from a few weeks of swinging 3x a week, going for walks, and trying my best to eat nutrient-dense food.

 

 

What is the BEST Home Booty and body workout?

Quite simply…the one you will DO! 🙂 Right? Well, and of course a part of DOing any kind of home workout plan, is that you want to ENJOY the workouts…and you want to see some pretty immediate feedback from your efforts…

And you truly want to  be able to get into committed FLOW with doing them too…so that you can enjoy all of the health, body, booty, beauty & lifted spirit results.

This style of working out also helps me stay inspired about eating food that gives me good energy…

 

And I want to mention too, that the first time I became intrigued with the swing was 6 years ago..from reading Tim Ferriss’ 4 Hour Body Book…at the time, having gained some weight and seeing that my booty was taking a downward slant…it got me hooked on weight training and excited to learn more…and it did again give me some excellent results:

Ok…so here are my pros and cons with this fabulous move.

Pros:

1. Research tested to be a full body workout AND Burn the most Calories of any move

So when the kettlebell swing first became popular in the US (made popular in part by the US military actually, as a “travel gym” for soldiers to train while living “in the field”…idea brought to the US by Russian military training)

Anyways, when people first started getting excited about the 2 handed kettlebell swing…people were like “oh my gosh, this move is so amazing. It builds muscle, it burns fat…it’s fantastic!”

And the American College of Fitness was like, oh my gosh everyone is going crazy about this move…is it really TRUE?

So they did this really cool study about the 2 handed kettlebell swing & calories burned–and they found out that yes, there’s only one other exercise that’s as powerful for burning calories as the 2 handed kettlebell swing…and that is:

Cross Country Skiing UPHILL. 🙁 Which if you’ve ever done that, you start off skiing and you have all of these warm clothes on, and then you try to walk up the hill, it makes you SO sweaty and it does totally use your whole body…but it’s not that fun! It’s more fun going downhill or gliding on the flat ground…

The kettlebell swing on the other hand I think is very fun to do:

–it’s playful
–you’re squeezing your booty
–you’re using the hip-hinging motion 😉
–feels good!

And the thing is…

The goal of your workout is that you don’t want to feel super drained…so it’s not like you have to workout for a really long time…

Anyways, it’s not about these really long, arduous workouts…what you want to happen is that you want to feel MORE ENERGIZED after you finish working out than before you started.

And it’s impossible to think about anything else as you are doing this move! I personally think about holding on tight to the kettlebell (umm, no broken windows or cannonball size holes in the plaster for me, please :))…and feeling my hips hinge forward and my booty squeeze.

This move is a great form of Movement Meditation, and when you clear your mind and focus on feeling your body, muscles (and booty) do the work…you get the same health benefits of regular meditation too…

Including a mind/heart coherence and reduction of cortisol and stress, and a greater connection to your feelings of personal power, strength and creativity.

2. you can Build muscle & burn fat, at the same time

The Power of Concurrent Training…

Now utilizing both kinds of exercise…resistance training & cardio…has been shown through this huge comparative study…to give you the BEST fitness results…

And what’s really cool is that the Swing can be a really simple & sexy way that you can strategically combine booty-focused strength training & fat-burning interval cardio, into your same workout sessions (convenience, minimum effective dose workouts, awesome results)….And you can DANCE during your rest periods too, which takes a little while to work up to, but it makes it fun too.

In fact, researchers from the University of California in Santa Cruz and Berkley, published their research about the idea of “Concurrent Exercise”…and their participants actually experienced 10x greater fat-loss with this integrated style, than by doing either type of exercise alone…while building muscle at the same time, increasing flexibility and reducing post-werkout soreness.

Deadlifts rock, but it can be challenging to “go heavy” with them

2. Strengthens your Back

 

This lower load movement is safer for your back then other hamstring/glute exercises like the Deadlift and Squat.

Now you can really add a lot of weight to traditional deadlifts and squats…and that can be very hard on your body, especially your lower back.

In fact, posture researcher Dr. Stuart McGill found that the 2 handed kettlebell swing was able to strengthen the Lower Back without exacerbating existing low back problems…unlike traditional deadlifts and squats, which can cause low back pain to flare up.

With the 2 handed kettlebell swing, you can effectively use a lighter weight (like 15, 24, 35 or 44 pounds)…and get really HOT “heavy” results…without putting undue stress on your spine. Personally I think it’s great that you can use a lighter weight & get results.

 

3. You get noticeable results pretty quickly with the Swing!

Now as long as you really take the time to learn how to actively squeeze and release your booty muscles when you move…and learn the booty-out, hip-hinging posture that you use with the kettelbell swing…and in my personal opinion too…I recommend building up some glute & inner thigh strength (which we do in the first week of my program)…before you embark on swinging a kettlebell…then you feel less more after your workouts, while maximizing your gains, and reducing the chance of injury/or a stopping of your workouts.

And my experience is that the 2 handed swing literally draws your butt muscles UP your body…and burns fat too (if you’re eating nutrient-dense food too of course)

4. The workouts don’t take long to do

I had one of my longtime students email me and ask…how long do the workouts take to do? She is already studying martial arts, and pretty busy with that…but she was wanting to get into strength training, but she just didn’t have a lot of time to fit it in.

I wrote her back and said 20 minutes or a little less…and she replied that she was IN! 🙂

I personally schedule my workout times…and then I love that I can warmup for working it, and then literally standup, and GET IT IN>

But what I think is potentially the coolest thing about these workouts, and swinging the kettlebell in general:

5. Is that swinging the kettlebell can be your ticket to getting into a “Fitness Flow” with working out

Because the workouts are pretty fast to do…and you get relatively fast results…I think doing the swing 3 times a week…and finding ways to “fit it in”…is a great way to develop a fitness routine and commitment in your life.

So I would love to teach you how to think about the FORM when you do this move…people seem to really appreciate my teaching style (and research :)) as I’m also a dancer, dance teacher….

And booty building lover 🙂

Ha! Well, it does make working out enjoyable to do when you focus on your booty…and building your glutes…

So come take a MOVEMENT break with me today…and learn how to rock the Brazilian style of Stiff Legged Deadlifts…which is an essential move to get in your body that allows you to transition to rocking the Swing. You can get these free Bodyweight Booty Movement Break class at the bottom of this post 🙂

 

Cons:

–add in glute focused moves…to build more glute mass
–Add in quad moves to sculpt the front of your legs too 🙂

–More AB moves makes the form easier to do

–work up to the swing…most closely related to the deadlift, or a standing hip thrust…learning the deadlift posture…and I teach you a cool progression of deadlift postures in my program too!

–this move can cause some soreness when you’re first conditioning your posterior chain…so I recommend building up posterior chain strength with 2 weeks of bodyweight/dumbbell workouts & going for Brisk Walks on the days you aren’t swinging

–if you’re very out of shape, you may get better results building up strength with a Brisk Walking plan & eating for energy instead…and then adding in Weight Training when you have a solid foundation from this

–bad knees or back, more tailored strength training and working with a physical rehab person is going to be way better

About my Swinging Form:

So, for me personally this is the *best form/posture* for my upper body & neck. I have tried having a long neck, straight neck for the entire swing, but it put strain on my upper back…Kettlebell teacher Tracy Riefkind recommends doing this more *athletic stance* (pictured above) where your sternum and eyes stay lifted…it’s the athletic position you get into when you’re playing soccer or jumping…and it’s the Brazilian style of deadlifting too…so try out a straight neck and see if it works better for you (some experts do do it this way)…but I prefer this neck & upper body posture instead.

Biggest Challenge with the Swing:

So barring that you should try Brisk Walking first before adding in weight training workouts, if you’re in good health, good stuff like that…I would say that the biggest challenge with the 2 Handed Kettlebell Swing, for all of it’s fabulousness…is that it can make you feel VERY SORE when you first get started with it. I found that it basically “conditions your entire posterior chain”…

SO, what I would highly recommend, is that you personally condition your own posterior chain by building up some glute, core, inner thigh and all over body strength…so that you can indeed have the most fun and enjoy the workouts and the hot results.

*You want to feel that when you first get started Swinging, that your posterior chain feels like it’s been “zipped up in a form fitting dress”…and not making you hobble down the stairs!

And right now I’m recommending  2 weeks of Bodyweight & Light Weight short & fabulous workouts to get ready to feel GOOD with the Swing…based on my own experience and my last 6 week challenges that people really enjoyed, yay.

Check out my 12 Week Challenge, that uses Swing Workouts (and dumbbell/bodyweight workouts strategically too)…and let’s move.

I like it when I can get into it with working out. For me, I get really inspired/fascinated  with the FORM…having fun turning on some music & really getting into the moves…

You can also get intrigued with the swing by taking some Movement Breaks with me, and learning how to ACTIVATE the key muscles you need to rock the swing with my favorite way to warmup your Body & your Booty…Come check out these seven 10 minute Movement Breaks…you can just literally standup and try it out.

Have fun moving with me:

Plus Movement Breaks have been shown through a huge 1 million person study, to be a really important part of a Fitness/movement Plan…as too much sitting can actually cancel out the positive effects you can get from movement/working out.

All right! I hope you enjoy trying out my favorite booty & upper body activation moves.

Theresa Stevens
Dancer, teacher, fitness coach