Today we will be pitting against one another two of the most popular full-body exercises. Both of them are really popular to include in total body workouts as they do not require a very high fitness level.
Which one of these exercises should you choose?
Is it true that the burpee burns more calories than the kettlebell swing? Is it true that kettlebell swings can injure you? are kettlebell swings more difficult?
We are going to give you the pros and cons of both of these exercises, and at the end of this article, you will be able to choose for yourself which one will work best for you.
This exercise is probably one of the most hated exercises. And why is that? Do a few repetitions, and you will understand why most people give it the title of – “the most hated”.
However, at the same time, it is one of the best bodyweight exercises. It manages to load the upper body as well as the lower body.
It can be used for explosiveness, strength endurance, coordination, and even as (part of) your cardio session. Do not be surprised to encounter this multi-joint pushing exercise both in the training programs of many gym-goers and in those of MMA and UFC fighters or cross-fitters.
How to Perform a Burpee
Start by standing up straight with your pelvis wide both of your arms at your sides. Squat and place your palms slightly wider than shoulder-width on the floor in front of you. Then without changing the position of the upper body, kick with your feet backward.
Landing on your toes with your body outstretched in a plank position. Then perform a push-up. Without moving the upper body, return the legs to the starting position – crouched with palms on the floor. jump upwards, clapping your hands over your head. Return to the starting position.
You can make the exercise more difficult not only by choosing an advanced variation but also by merely speeding up the pace of performance. Make sure to choose the right variation for a burpee. Even if it means doing them without the push-up part. As you get better, you will feel when the time is right to move onto a more difficult variation.
Beginners often find the technique of counting the individual steps to perform burpee a helpful tool to improve coordination. If you find it difficult to follow the sequence – try to count the individual elements.
The Kettlebell Swing
The front swing with a kettlebell is a multi-joint movement, which is performed utilizing a large number of muscle groups. A successful repetition requires utilizing momentum by synchronizing all the muscles involved in the movement.
There are multiple variations of the kettlebell swing,
Lifting the kettlebell over your head, the extended amplitude expends more energy and requires more shoulder strength as it is more challenging to perform.
Lifting the kettlebell to the shoulders, more commonly known as Russian kettlebell swing – preferably for beginners
Partial lifting – this is not a separate exercise, but a fundamental step towards performing a Russian kettlebell swing
How to Perform a Kettlebell Swing
We are going to detail the Russian kettlebell swing as it is the most commonly used variation.
Start by standing above the kettlebell with a moderately wide stride. Squat and grasp the handle of the kettlebell with a reach, then stand up as in a classic deadlift. During the first lift, try to raise the kettlebell to 1/3 of the height of the shoulders. Keep your arms outstretched throughout the movement.
When returning the pad to the floor, squat slightly, lean forward slightly, and allow it to pass between your legs, but not behind the heels. You can kill some of the momenta by straightening your back and thrusting forwards with the thighs.
The second time you lift it up, put in a lot more force. Start with an explosive straightening, protruding the pelvis forward while stretching the spine and raising the arms. If you are still worried, slowly work your way up to a Russian kettlebell swing. Raise the kettlebell 2/3 of the height of the shoulders, When releasing it, release it behind the heels, trying to keep the spine as straight as possible. When training with heavy kettlebells, you can do two, three, or more starting moves before moving to full amplitude.
The Kettlebell Swing vs The Burpee
Here is what we can say about these two exercises: the kettlebell swing vs the burpee. Both of them test your muscular endurance and are widely used as warm-up / fat burning exercises. However, burpees have one huge advantage. It does not require any equipment to perform, this allows it to be done nearly everywhere.
Burpees can also be performed by almost everyone as the only thing that you need is your own bodyweight. Fitness trainees can use the appropriate version of the burpee in their training plans, cross-fitters absolutely adore this exercise, and it has also gained popularity among calisthenic athletes.
As for the kettlebell swing, beginners should perform the movement with a lighter weight, even lighter than that used for front shoulder lifts with dumbbells. The benefits for beginners are mostly functional – more strength in the shoulders and improved coordination between the muscles. Here is where the kettlebell swing comes short.
Fans of classic bodybuilding do not benefit much from performing the kettlebell swing. Their high muscle definition, i.e. the reduced elasticity of their muscles, can even lead to injury. This is mainly because their body isn’t used to the force generated by the exercise. If they attempt to perform the movement with heavyweight without having mastered the use of inertia.
Whichever of these exercises you decide to choose, you are bound to reap their benefits. These exercises can be classified as metabolic finishers, so be sure to take adequate rests between sets.
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