Our kettlebell 10,000 swing challenge is an excellent task for helping members advance in their training. The kettlebell may be the most versatile piece of equipment you can have for strength, conditioning, and combat drilling. Think of it as the combination of a punching bag and a treadmill. Indeed, the results it can provide may exceed those of a hard run! Used properly, it will greatly improve your function, in terms of decreased pain, increased conditioning, and specific goals for self defense.
Which brings us back to the 10,000 swing challenge. Our tribe is made up of the entire spectrum of people, from soccer moms, to single young professionals, to serious/professional martial artists, to middle aged and senior citizens looking to live a healthier and more pain-free life. There are many exercises that the kettlebell is good to use in, but one of the foundation exercises to build up to, and maintain, is the kettlebell swing. Why the kettlebell swing is such a key exercise is another series of posts in and of itself. Setting a goal to do 10,000 swings by May 29th, is a sound way to help improve your health, conditioning, and lifestyle.
One beautiful thing about this challenge is that you can break it up into different numbers of swings per day. For a healthy lifestyle, this may mean doing a few dozen swings at different times throughout the day, or hundreds of swings at once. Either way works well, since the research from the American Council of Sports Medicine (ACSM), bears out that you should accumulate 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity throughout the day, for most days of the week. The word ACCUMULATE is critical, since it means you can break it up into whatever manageable chunks you can operate in. This also removes the excuses of “I don’t have enough time”, and “I don’t have the space”. All you need is one kettlebell, which is a one-time investment that will last a lifetime, and minimal floor space. It can be done outdoors or indoors, and you can see your progress gradually tick up. Some of our tribe members are keeping track of their physique as we run through the challenge. The kettlebell swing can be a high intensity exercise with a great “afterburn effect”, and can certainly do a number to burn fat!
As an exercise however, the kettlebell swing is not just there so that you can train your body’s metabolism, it’s not just there to give you a nice pump feeling and a good sweat. It’s also there for martial artists, operatives, and athletes to train their power generation. I can certainly speak for myself that it has helped my punching power improve with less energy exerted since I took up this exercise 5 years ago. Swinging a kettlebell involves transferring power and strength from the ground, through your feet, to your thighs, butt, core, and back to give you a full body workout, but also train your body for using the chain of your anatomy to move efficiently, and with powerful results. As the late great Bruce Lee said regarding striking, an iron ball being swung on the end of an iron chain “hurts inside” when it makes contact with, and then penetrates, the target. The same principle can be applied to throwing a football, or any sport that involves being effective with contact against your opponent. It’s amazing that one simple tool, and one “simple” exercise, can be used by so many different people at so many different levels, isn’t it?
Why the number 10,000? It encourages consistency. If you are to meet this challenge, it is impossible to cram, at least not without greatly increasing your risk of injury or sickness because of bad form or overtraining. Also, we all know that in order to get good at anything, you need to do it over and over again. The 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge gives us a nice number to aspire to so that we space out our training, get our rest and restoration in between swing sessions, and lets the patterns groove into our brains and nervous system, and swing number 10,000 will be much smoother and more powerful than swing number 1!
We’re all trying to change something about our bodies, whether it’s for health, looks, performance, or all the above. This swing challenge is a tremendous way to kickstart your fitness and training journey.