The Mighty Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebells are awesome. If I had one tool to train with to get stronger, it would be a kettlebell. It is a great tool for general strength and as a foundation, and to develop and maintain balance in the body.

For getting as strong as possible the barbell is still king, and most athletes will have to train with a barbell, but athletes have to use many tools. Most people should use many tools, but most people can get by with their bodyweight and a kettlebell.

The amount of things that you can do with a kettlebell is awesome.

Swings

Get ups

Presses

Cleans

Snatches

Rows

Squats

Lunges

Cossack Squats

Bottom up presses

These are only some of the movements. If I had to narrow it down even more I could do pretty well if I only did Swing and Get Ups. Fortunately, we don’t have to limit ourselves to only two movements to train with. The kettlebell swing is the king of kettlebell movements. It uses the whole body. It develops stamina and power, and it is magical for fat loss. Dan John wrote about it here and here. It is a relatively simple movement, and with some good instruction you can learn how to do it fairly quickly.

The hips are the engine of the body. Strong and fast hips are essential to sport performance. Having a strong core and hips are an essential part to longevity and health, and the swing just so happens to engage just that.

Whats important in the swing?

Firstly, this is a kettlebell swing:

These are the foundations:

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Bottom position:

·         Shoulders above hips

·         Neutral Spine

·         Hips above knees

Top position

·         Eyes forward

·         Shoulders packed

·         Neutral spine

·         Tight abs, glutes and quads

·         Stable planted feet

The movement is from the hips, its not a squat it is a hinge. It is very important to keep the spine neutral, NOT flexing it on the way down and extending it at the top.

These are some exercises to develop the awareness and ability to maintain the neutral spine position

Deadbugs

Bird dogs

If you’re new to swings find a good coach to help you with your form. Keep an eye on our page for our full technique breakdown video in the near future.