Effects of Kettlebell Load on Joint Kinetics and Global Characteristics during Overhead Swings in Women

Sports (Basel). 2022 Dec 11;10(12):203. doi: 10.3390/sports10120203.


This study sought to identify the changes in ankle, knee, and hip joint kinetics with increasing load while performing the kettlebell overhead swing (OHS). Women (n = 18, age: 29.4 ± 5.3 years, 69.7 ± 8.9 kg) with a minimum of 6 months of kettlebell swing training experience performed fifteen repetitions of the kettlebell OHS with three different kettlebell masses (8 kg, 12 kg, 16 kg) in a counterbalanced order. Ankle, knee, and hip joint kinematics were captured within a 12-camera infrared motion capture space, while standing atop two force plates collecting ground reaction force (GRF) data. Post hoc results of statistically significant joint by mass interactions (p < 0.05) of the net joint moment impulse, work, and peak power revealed the hip demonstrating the greatest increase in response to load, followed by the ankle (p < 0.05). The knee joint kinetics changed very little between the masses. Pairwise post hoc comparisons between the joints at each mass level support the kettlebell OHS as being a hip dominant exercise, with the knee making the second largest contribution, despite contributions not changing across kettlebell masses. Collectively, these results provide practitioners with objective evidence regarding the mechanical demands and effects of load changes on the kettlebell OHS.

Keywords: kettlebell training; power; resistance training; strength and conditioning; weightlifting.

Grants and funding

This research received no external funding.