Kettlebell swing vs running vs walking – what’s best?

walking vs running vs kettlebell


Walking, running and kettlebell swings, all work to improve cardiovascular conditioning but apart from burning calories, these training methods influence the body quite differently. We are going to compare kettlebell swing vs running vs walking to help you choose the best for reaching your desired goals.

Walking and running are the two most common cardiovascular activity, but are kettlebell swings also a form of cardio? Yes, because of its rhythmic movement pattern, Kettlebell swings also comes under a cardiovascular activity.

Before we choose the best exercise for your needs its important to define the end goal.

Know the purpose:

We all have our own purpose to start a healthy routine. All the activities are good enough to bring positive changes into your life, but your purpose of indulging in fitness is the main factor that decides what’s best for you.

Here is a list of common reasons for starting a fitness discipline.

  • To stay active
  • Burning calories
  • Weight reduction
  • Cardiovascular health
  • Just because your doctor asked
  • Muscle toning

I hope you are clear about the purpose of starting a routine to stay fit and active. Instead of wasting a lot of time, let’s hop directly on the comparison.

Running vs Walking vs Kettlebell swings

kettlebell swing vs running


Intensity is something that most of the people are concerned about.

Walking is a low-intensity activity that can be followed by almost anyone, no matter your age or bodyweight, you can follow it with ease.

Running is a moderate-intensity workout that can be done by every age group but not really suitable for overweights and people with certain health conditions. If you are someone who is overweight and face problems while running then its perfectly okay to start with walking sessions. Running is not suggested to the people with knee pain.

Kettlebell swing is a high-intensity workout that requires optimum body conditioning and heart health. Kettlebell swings are not suggested to the older adults who have no prior experience in the high-intensity workouts.


If you are a young individual with the healthy body then kettlebell swings can be the best option to stay lean and healthy but if you are diagnosed with cardiovascular or joint problems then starting with walking should be your best strategy.

Calorie burning

Are you looking to burn as many calories as you can? Here is the list of calories these exercises burn.

Walking: On average, a 30-year old male weighing 180-pounds, walking at speed of 3 miles per hour burns about 272 calories in 60 minutes.

Running: That same 30-year-old male weighing 180-pound, jogging at 7 miles per hour burns 856 calories in an hour. Obviously running is a faster alternative to burn more calories but its also quite difficult to walk for 1-hour straight.

Kettlebell swing: Calories burned with kettlebell swings are quite difficult to predict accurately. The number of calories you burn through kettlebell depends on the weight of the kettlebell, rest duration, and intensity of exercise. By an estimate, any intermediate can burn more than a thousand calories with an hour of kettlebell session.

Unline walking and jogging, Kettlebell swings also boost metabolic stress which helps in burning calories throughout the day.

Kettlebell swings will be physically and mentally challenging. It’s recommended learning to workout with a kettlebell under expert guidance before you try to do it on your own.


Kettlebell is definitly a top choice, it wont just help in burning more calories but also keeps the metabolic rate elevated for all day long.
Still its a good idea to start with walking if your cardiovascular health if not very good.

Muscle toning

Looking for a muscle toning while burning calories? let’s find the superior option.

Walking: You can’t really expect more from walking, its a low-intensity activity that can help you burn a few more calories but won’t help much in muscle toning.

Running: A quite reliable option to stay lean and toned. Jogging on different terrains not only helps in burning calories it also challenges your body to maintain lean muscle mass. Additionally, running is known to improve bone density, joint strength, and improved posture.

Kettlebell swings: It targets and strengthens the muscle groups located a the hips, glutes, hamstrings, lats, abs, shoulders, pecs and grip. It’s a simple and speedy training protocol to tone muscle while burning a ton of calories.


Kettlebell is a functional activity that helps in overall muscle toning and strength gains.

Which one should you choose?

Its clear, kettlebell swings will help in staying toned while burning the tone of calories but it might not be the best solution for everyone.

Discipline is a bridge between goals and accomplishment. If a kettlebell is hard for you then choose to jog, if daily jogging is hard as well then commit yourself to have a daily walk.

Another best thing about kettlebell, it can be done post-running or walking sessions just for muscle toning or to strengthen your posterior chain.

Your commitment to stay regular at daily workout is the way to live a healthy life.

Thanks for reading. Questions welcomed in the comments as always. 

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