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How to Perform the Kettlebell Around the World Exercise

By Greg Brookes
Kettlebell Slingshot

The kettlebell slingshot has many other names including the kettlebell around the world, kettlebell circles, kb slingshot and kettlebell around the body pass.

Regardless of what you call the kettlebell slingshot it is an excellent exercise for many reasons and should be incorporated into your workout routine.

Here are 4 reasons why you should use the kettlebell slingshot:

1. Excellent for Active Recovery

What do you do during your workout rest periods? Sit down, walk around a bit or do something more constructive?

I like to use the Kettlebell around the body pass as an active recovery exercise. So if there is a rest period of 60 seconds between exercises I’ll move on to 30 seconds of Slingshots each way instead.

Slingshots are not so demanding that you won’t recover between exercises but demanding enough to keep the heart rate slightly elevated and keep the blood pumping.

Related: How to use active recovery workouts and exercises

2. Perfect for Fixing Bad Shoulders

If you suffer from shoulder issues then the kettlebell around the world is a healthy way to pump nutrients in and out of the shoulder without exacerbating the injury. You will notice how it puts the shoulder in front and behind the body in a healthy range.

The added weight also helps straighten out tight bicep muscles and tendons and keep shoulders down and retracted.

Related: 7 shoulder safe kettlebell exercises

3. Improves Weak Grip Strength

As we age our grip strength is one of the first strengths to deteriorate. Adding kettlebell circles helps to improve the strength of the forearms and grip.

The heavier the kettlebell and the thicker the handle the more the slingshot will challenge your grip strength. An easy way to thicken your kettlebell handle is to apply tape.

Healthy grip strength = healthy shoulders!

Related: 9 most effective kettlebell grip strength exercises

4. Best Warm-Up Exercise

I love nothing more than starting a workout with the Slingshot exercise. Slingshots help switch on those all-important muscles and prepare you for the kettlebell weight in hand.

Before most of my workouts, I’ll perform a series of 20 kettlebell slingshots one way and then 20 the other.

Related: How to use kettlebell warm-up exercises 

How to Perform the Kettlebell Slingshot

Teaching Points for the Kettlebell Slingshot

  1. Keep the feet shoulder-width apart and hips still
  2. Ensure your chest is lifted and your shoulders stay square pointing forwards
  3. Arms should remain as straight as possible and shoulders down
  4. Rotate the Kettlebell around the body in a circular motion around the hips
  5. Pass the kettlebell from one hand to the other in front of the hips and directly behind the hips
  6. Practice keeping everything nice and tight (core, abs, glutes) and motionless other than your arms

What Muscles Do Kettlebell Around the Worlds Work?

The main focus of the kettlebell slingshot is the shoulders, arms, forearms and core muscles.

The kettlebell slingshot will not add any great muscle size but will help to improve shoulder stabilisation, grip strength, and warm up the body.

Kettlebell Circles Workout

Here’s No. 1 from my 50 Kettlebell Circuits

  • Slingshot – Clockwise – 30 secs
  • Single Handed Deadlift – Left – 30 secs
  • Slingshot – Anti Clockwise – 30 secs
  • Single Handed Deadlift – Right – 30 secs
  • Slingshot – Clockwise – 30 secs
  • Halo – Alternating Directions – 30 secs
  • Slingshot – Anti Clockwise – 30 secs
  • Bodyweight Squats – 30 secs

This is my most basic 4-minute kettlebell circuit and you can see the heavy use of Slingshots. Repeat a total of 3 rounds.

No matter what your level you can try this workout and adjust the weight accordingly. If you have not performed Slingshots before you will notice the demands this places on your grip strength.

You can watch the above 4-minute workout and follow along below:


Conclusion to the Kettlebell Slingshot Exercise

Kettlebell slingshots are the perfect exercise for introducing kettlebell training to beginners as well as being used by more advanced lifters for warm-ups, active recovery and rehab of poor shoulders.

If you have not tried using the kettlebell slingshot then I highly recommend you give it a go and I’m sure you will fall in love with it just the way I have.

Have you fallen in love with the kettlebell Slingshot? Let me know more below…

52 Kettlebell Exercises Download PDF


What is a kettlebell around the world?

An excellent kettlebell warm up exercise where the kettlebell is passed around the body from hand to hand.

What are the benefits of the kettlebell around the world?

A great exercise for warming up the shoulders, grip and core muscles as well as acclimatising to a new kettlebell weight.

What muscles are worked by the kettlebell around the world?

The shoulder stabilisers and forearms are the predominant muscles worked by the around the world exercise, the core muscles are also used to a certain degree to maintain position.

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    1. Nancy Avatar

      How do you determine what weight to use?

    2. Dr. Roger B. Hughes Avatar
      Dr. Roger B. Hughes

      Excellent instruction and very clear training videos. Very motivating.

    3. Deepak Varandani Avatar
      Deepak Varandani


      Can you please elaborate on how the kettlebell is held in this exercise, i.e., loose or tight. Also, the kind of grip that is employed (In palms or fingers, etc)

      1. Greg Brookes Avatar

        Yes Deepak, it’s a loose grip with the kettlebell taken into the palms, you will discover what feels natural when you start performing the exercise.

        1. Deepak Avatar

          Thanks a lot


    4. Fredrik Askergren Avatar
      Fredrik Askergren

      You a great coach and inspiration!
      Keep up the good work

    5. Kate Avatar

      What muscles does this works aside from shoulders?

      1. Greg Brookes Avatar

        Hi Kate, the slingshot works your grip strength (which diminishes as you age), your shoulder mobility and stability, and core muscles.

    6. Maciek Avatar

      Slingshot is one of my favourite workouts too.