The 30 Day 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Challenge

The 30 Day 10,000 Kettlebell Swing Challenge

The 10,000 rep kettlebell swing challenge--GORUCK style--is a calorie-torching, muscle-building challenge you need to try. It's mentally and physically demanding, but that's why we love it. Without hard challenges, people fall into routine and rut.

Our kettlebell swing challenge is a rut-buster. It's also a gut-buster.

We recommend friends do the 10,000 kettlebell swings challenge together, so you hold each other accountable. Think of someone who will do it with you. Alright. Got someone? Here we go...

Tap to Jump to a Section
1. What is the 10,000 kettlebell swings challenge?
2. Benefits of 10,000 kettlebell swings in 30 days
3. How to do the challenge
4. Choose a kettlebell
5. Frequency
6. 3 plans to get 10,000 swings
7. Get the most out of your 10,000 swings
8. Scaling the kettlebell swings challenge
9. Kettlebell Swing Technique 10. Swing setup
11. Swing execution
12. Dos and Don'ts
13. Swing Variations
14. Life is all about showing up 15. Kettlebell Swing FAQs

What is the 10,000 kettlebell swings challenge?

It's a workout program where you'll do 10,000 kettlebell swings in 30 days. Your 10,000 swings will be broken into 20 workouts over the 30 days. It's high intensity strength and conditioning program that's accessible for everyone. We space the 10,000 swings out so you can get it done, no matter your kettlebell experience. That being said, this challenge isn't easy, no matter your fitness level.

We recommend 20 workouts spread over the 30 days. That means you'll do 500 kettlebell swings per workout. This is more about consistency and discipline than strength or experience. 500 swings in one workout is a lot, but it's achievable.

Our Director of Training, Nichele, came up with GORUCK’s 10,000 kettlebell swings challenge. If you’re subscribed to Tribe ‘n Training, you have direct access to chat with Tribe Cadre, Trainers, and Fitness Experts like Nichele. Tribe ‘n Training is all about getting stronger together, and we’ve put the resources and people together to make it happen.

Benefits: Why do 10,000 Kettlebell Swings in 30 Days?

The 10,000 rep kettlebell swing challenge has many strength and cardio benefits. Here are the top reported side effects:

  1. Swings build functional strength. If you've done kettlebell swings, you're familiar with tired forearms, screaming legs, and sore shoulders. Kettlebell swings improve grip strength, train every muscle in your legs, and safely strengthen your shoulders.
  2. Swings are a complete core exercise. Your core includes your abdominal muscles, hips, glutes, and lower back. Your lower back and abdominal muscles stabilize the swing while your glutes and hips provide power to get the weight up. That's a complete exercise, and there aren't many like it.
  3. Kettlebell swings change body composition. Not everyone has extra fat they'd like to get rid of, but for those that do, look no further than the kettlebell swing. Seriously. Swings get your heart rate up and build muscle, two things that torch calories and reduce bodyfat. In short, swings will make you lean and improve body composition, no matter where you're starting.
  4. Swings improve posture. Like rucking, kettlebell swings improve posture. With proper kettlebell swing form, your spine is in a neutral position, your shoulders pull back and down, your chest and head are facing forward--all elements of great posture.
  5. Cardio without the injury. Running can be hard on joints, but swinging involves no pavement pounding. You get all the benefits to your heart and lungs without the knee pain, blisters, and replace-me-every-six-months running shoes. Kettlebells last forever (especially if they're made of sand, like ours). Save your joints and your wallet.

You will have more lean muscle mass at the end of the challenge. Your grip strength and cardio will greatly improve. If you ruck, play sports, or train martial arts, you'll be stronger, faster, and more capable. Kettlebell swings also force you to find your glutes, abs, and hamstrings. So if you feel out of touch with those muscle groups, you'll feel them turn on throughout the challenge.

How to do the 10,000 Kettlebell Swings Challenge

The 10,000 kettlebell swings challenge--GORUCK style--is 20 workouts spread over 30 days. So it's 500 swings per workout, with other exercises included for balance (and a break from the swings). First, you need the right gear.

Choose the Right Kettlebell

Kettlebells are easy to find on resale sites, garage sales, and sporting goods stores. You may already have one. However, if you want to join us for a GORUCK style kettlebell swing challenge, we recommend a Sand Kettlebell.

Why choose a Sand Kettlebell?

Their design withstands hard workouts, they can be dropped without incident, and they fold up for training on the go (headed to the beach? take an empty Sand Kettlebell and fill it when you get there). Because Sand Kettlebells have comfortable padded handles and swing smoothly, there isn't much downside. In fact, we recommend them for anyone who likes kettlebell training at home or on the go.

woman kettlebell swing challenge with sand kettlebell

We recommend guys start with a 35lbs to 53lbs Sand Kettlebell. Ladies, start with 18lbs to 35lbs, depending on your experience. Tap here to check them out.

Kettlebell Swing Challenge Frequency

Next, let's talk about frequency. You're going to do a ton of swings in 30 days, so you need to spread them out. We recommend following a 2 days on, 1 day off routine. That equals 1,000 swings every three days, for a total of 10,000 kettlebell swings in 30 days.

If you want to build a daily kettlebell swing habit, you can do 333 swings per day for 29 days, then 343 your final day. However, we recommend the rest days included in the 20 workouts in 30 days plan.

The Plan: 10,000 Swings in 30 Days

We have a few kettlebell swing challenge options. Because we think rucking is the best exercise people can do, we've included a GORUCK inspired challenge. Which you choose depends on how much you like to ruck and how many additional exercises you'll include in the workouts.

1. GORUCK's "10,000 Kettlebell Swings Challenge"

Four rounds:
50 Sand Kettlebell swings
5 bent over Sand Kettlebell rows, each side
10 pushups
20 4ct flutter kicks
Ruck 1.5 miles
100 Sand Kettlebell Swings
Ruck 1.5 miles
Four rounds:
50 Sand Kettlebell swings
5 goblet squats
10 Sand Kettlebell deadlifts
20 American Twists

You'll do that workout two days in a row, then take the third day off. Four rounds of PT (200 swings), ruck 1.5 miles, perform 100 swings, ruck 1.5 miles, then do 4 more rounds of PT (200 swings). Congrats. That's 500 kettlebell swings in one day. How do you feel? 19 more workouts to go.

The three additional exercises in the PT session can be exchanged for others. Swap in whatever exercises you'd like. If you don't have a Ruck Plate®, your Sand Kettlebell might serve as the weight in your rucksack, and that's fine. In that case, you might sub Sand Kettlebell rows, goblet squats, deadlifts, and American twists for other exercises.

Try these exercises in your 30 days of swings...

Sand Kettlebell Deadlift
Single Arm Kettlebell Clean + Reverse Lunge
Turkish Get Up
Kettlebell Snatch

2. 10,000 Kettlebell Swings Challenge [Option #2]

Day 1
10 swings, 2 pushups
15 swings, 3 pushups
25 swings, 5 pushups
25 swings, 5 pushups
15 swings, 3 pushups
10 swings, 2 pushups
Rest up to 3 minutes. Repeat 4 more times for 500 swings and 100 pushups.

Day 2
10 swings, 2 goblet squats
15 swings, 3 goblet squats
25 swings, 5 goblet squats
50 swings
Rest up to 3 minutes. Repeat 4 more times for 500 swings and 50 goblet squats.

Day 3: OFF

Day 4
10 swings, 2 kettlebell deadlifts
15 swings, 3 kettlebell deadlifts
25 swings, 5 kettlebell deadlifts
25 swings, 5 kettlebell deadlifts
15 swings, 3 kettlebell deadlifts
10 swings, 2 kettlebell deadlifts
Rest up to 3 minutes. Repeat 4 more times for 500 swings and 100 kettlebell deadlifts.

Day 5
10 swings, 2 chinups or pushups
15 swings, 3 chinups or pushups
25 swings, 5 chinups or pushups
50 swings
Rest up to 3 minutes. Repeat 4 more times for 500 swings and 50 chinups or pushups.

Day 6: OFF

Day 7: Start the cycle again

3. Daily 10,000 Kettlebell Swings Challenge [Option #3]

A third 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge option is to perform the swings throughout the day, every day. You'll need to do about 333 swings per day for 29 days, and 343 on day 30.

So when you wake up, do 2 sets of 25. Before heading to work, another 2 sets of twenty five. Perform 50 swings before lunch in sets, and another 50 after. Then, before and after dinner, finish your remaining 133 swings.

For some, this plan is easier to chew on. It breaks the kettlebell swings into many sets that don't seem too challenging. Rest assured, you'll still be challenged and reap all the benefits of 10,000 kettlebell swings in 30 days.

Get the Most Out of Your 10,000 Swings

Your goal is 10,000 swings in 30 days. Get creative: try different routines, adjust your rest times, and include a variety of exercises. We recommend using a Sand Kettlebell and wearing a rucksack to maximize the challenge's results.

Rucking is all about Active Resistance Training™: it builds muscle and strength while improving cardio and endurance. Combine that with the intensity of kettlebell swings to get the most bang for your buck. Tap here to read more about rucking.

woman kettlebell overhead press with sand kettlebell

Scaling the 10,000 swing challenge

If you're not ready for 10,000 swings in 30 days, you can scale the above programs to fit your ability. You might cut the swings in half but stick to the schedule. Or you can do 100 swings per day with your regular workout routine. When rucking, use your Sand Kettlebell as weight and add 50 swings at the halfway point.

The challenge is flexible and scalable. Kettlebell swings are worth getting familiar with, but you don't have to start with 10,000 swings in 30 days. Consistency and discipline are the keys to success, and you can practice those with less reps.

Technique Matters: How to do a Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing requires attention to details. Your form must be up to standard to get all the benefits. Here's what you'll need to focus on...

The Kettlebell Swing Setup

  1. Stand in front of a kettlebell. Your feet should be slightly wider than hip-distance apart. The kettlebell should be about a foot in front of your feet.
  2. Reach your arms straight forward as you hinge at the hip. Your head and chest should stay up, not bending to face the floor.
  3. Hinge until your glutes and hamstrings are completely loaded. Your hips should be much higher than your knees, you shoulders much higher than your hips. This is the same position as a deadlift setup, but your arms are reaching forward.
  4. Your spine and pelvis should be neutral (AKA not sticking your butt out) and your core should be turned on. Still, your glutes and hamstrings are loaded.
  5. Grip the kettlebell, palms down, and use your lats to pull your shoulders away from your ears. Now your lats, glutes, and hamstrings should be loaded. Your core is helping maintain a neutral spine and your arms are relaxed.

How to Execute the Kettlebell Swing

  1. Using your lats, "hike" the kettlebell toward your tailbone, staying in your loaded & hinged position.
  2. Drive hard through your heels, pushing the floor away. There is no pulling motion in the kettlebell swing, only a push that powers the weight to swing.
  3. Reach full extension with your hips to stand upright. You should not lean back and you should not have to lift or pull with your arms. All power comes from the hips.
  4. Still, your lats should be pulling your shoulders down, away from your ears. Squeeze your glutes and maintain a neutral spine, recruiting your core muscles for stability.
  5. As the kettlebell swings back down, your hands should make contact just below your beltline, and the kettlebell's arrival initiates the hinge back to the loaded position. The kettlebell should not fall toward the floor, but stay just below your waist.

Kettlebell Swing Tips: Dos and Don'ts

  1. If your lower back hurts, you're likely pulling the weight up instead of pushing your heels through the floor. You may also be letting the weight drop too low on the descent, rather than letting your hands make contact below your beltline to initiate the hinge.
  2. If your elbows hurt, you need more power from your hips. Drive hard through the floor to reach full extension. Don't lift the kettlebell.
  3. Your arms should stay straight throughout the movement.
  4. Your shins should stay vertical throughout the movement.
  5. Keep your lats engaged throughout the movement. Your shoulders should remain down, away from your ears.
  6. Your swing should reach shoulder level. A more powerful swing (more energy through the glutes and hips) will go higher. Less power will go lower. Don't pull the weight!

Kettlebell Swing Variations

There are many exercises that you can do with kettlebells. There are also different types of swings you can do with kettlebells. The Russian Kettlebell Swing is the original swing most people are familiar with, but it's not the only one. Throughout your 10,000 kettlebell swing challenge, try adding dual kettlebell swings (same form with two kettlebells) and single arm alternating kettlebell swings.

Life Is All About Showing Up

It's unlikely you'll enjoy the individual swings, especially after the first few hundred swings of the day. Hang in there when you hit a wall. When you're halfway through the month, you might think of some good reasons to skip a day. While this workout is simple, it's far from easy. But YOU wouldn't have it any other way. You didn't sign up for easy, you signed up for all those benefits we talked about, and all the mental toughness gains. You're training discipline and perseverance, and those are invaluable.

If you're just getting started with kettlebell training, scale the challenge to 500-5000 swings in 30 days. That'll show you what to expect when you come back for 10,000 swings.

Life is all about showing up. The 10,000 rep kettlebell swing challenge will ask you to show up for a whole month. No excuses, no hesitation, no complaints.

Just 10,000 kettlebell swings.

sand kettlebell overhead kettlebell swing challenge exercise

Kettlebell Swings FAQ's

Is it ok to do kettlebell swings every day?

Yes, you can do kettlebell swings every day. If you're doing them every day, keep your volume lower, hydrate and fuel, and get plenty of sleep. Kettlebell swings are a great exercise to build a daily habit, but listen to your body. We recommend resting from kettlebell swings a few times per week, cross training with rucking, yoga, and bodyweight PT.

How many kettlebell swings should I do per day?

During the 10,000 rep kettlebell swing challenge, you'll do 500 swings per workout over 30 days, resting every 3 days. If your plan is to do kettlebell swings every day, start low and build up. 25 swings is a good starting point for beginners, adding 5-10 per day. Take rest days when your body needs it. Your body will adapt to the demands of kettlebell swings, and you'll see plenty of benefits.

What happens if you do 100 kettlebell swings per day?

If you do 100 kettlebell swings per day, you'll build functional strength in your arms, core, legs, back, and shoulders. Your grip strength will improve, your core will become strong and toned, and you'll develop explosive power for sports, weightlifting, and sprinting. Practicing frequent kettlebell swings improves posture and has impressive cardio benefits.

Can you get ripped with just kettlebell swings?

Yes, you can get ripped with just kettlebell swings. Kettlebell swings are a complete core exercise, which means they stabilize and tone your abdominal muscles, strengthen your glutes, and develop explosive power in your hips. Additionally, your shoulders and back will gain lean muscle mass from performing kettlebell swings. Your grip strength and posture will improve, your heart and lungs will be healthier, and your entire body composition will change. Kettlebell swings are excellent for improving fitness and changing the way you look.

Are kettlebell swings cardio or strength?

Kettlebell swings are a cardio and strength exercise. You get all the cardio benefits of running, but you build muscle and strength. Kettlebell swings are a great exercise for anyone who wants to improve fitness all around.

Why are kettlebell swings so effective?

Kettlebell swings are so effective at improving fitness, burning calories, and getting strong because they use multiple muscle groups, require core activation, and tax your heart and lungs. To properly perform a kettlebell swing, your legs, core, grip, back and shoulders are all engaged.