Reliability of kettlebell swing one and five repetition maximum

James A Ross, Justin W L Keogh, Christian Lorenzen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)
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BACKGROUND: Research into the kettlebell swing has increased in the last decade. There has been a paucity of literature assessing an individual's ability to perform the kettlebell swing exercise. The purpose of this study was to determine the test-retest reliability of the one and five repetition maximum (1RM and 5RM) kettlebell swing.

MATERIALS & METHODS: Twenty four recreational resistance-trained participants performed an isometric mid-thigh pull (IMTP) and two familiarization sessions followed by three test sessions for each RM load approximately one week apart, using a custom-built plate-loaded kettlebell. On each test occasion, subjects completed a series of warm-up sets followed by 3-4 progressively heavier kettlebell swings to a standardized height until 1RM or 5RM was reached. Test-retest reliability was calculated using the intra-class correlation (ICC) and typical error was represented as the coefficient of variation (CV%) with 90% confidence limits (90% CL). The smallest worthwhile change (SWC%) representing the smallest change of practical importance, was calculated as 0.2 × between-subject standard deviation. The relationship of kettlebell swing performance and maximum strength was determined by Pearson correlation with ±90% CL between the absolute peak force recorded during IMTP and 1RM or 5RM.

RESULTS: Results demonstrated a high test-retest reliability for both the 1RM (ICC = 0.97, 90% CL [0.95-0.99]; CV = 2.7%, 90% CL [2.2-3.7%]) and 5RM (ICC = 0.98, 90% CL [0.96-0.99]; CV = 2.4%, 90% CL [1.9-3.3%]), respectively. The CV% was lower than the SWC for both the 1RM (SWC = 2.8%, 90% CL [1.9-3.5]) and 5RM (SWC = 2.9%, 90% CL [1.9-3.6]) kettlebell swing. The correlation between IMTP absolute peak force and the 1RM (r = 0.69, 90% CL 0.43-0.83) was large and very large for the 5RM (r = 0.75, 90% CL [0.55-0.87]).

CONCLUSIONS: These results demonstrate the stability of 1RM and 5RM kettlebell swing performance after two familiarization sessions. Practitioners can be confident that changes in kettlebell swing 1RM and 5RM performance of >3.6 kg represent a practically important difference, which is the upper limit of the 90% CL.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14370
Publication statusPublished - 21 Nov 2022


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