The Kettlebell Swing

If there was one movement out there that burns fat, opens up and loosens the hips and that will give you that perky bum you’ve always dreamed of, it is the Kettlebell Swing (KBS).

If done correctly the swing is key to fat loss and building your glutes and hamstrings. It definitely provides the best bang for your buck. Done correctly is the key point here, usually the KBS is taught so horrifically that they should hand out business cards for a back specialist after every class.

It is a simple move in theory but can be difficult to learn.

Kettlebell Swings are the top of the pyramid when it comes to hinge movements, they are the most under appreciated movement in the gym, sport and even life!

So how do we complete The Swing?

Here’s a little video demonstrations the Swing in action.

So the key coaching points here:

  • Make sure your back is nice and flat at the top of the movement, arching back is wrong and dangerous for your back
  • Hinge at the hips so that the Kettlebell lowers, then thrust forward gaining all the power from your glutes and your hamstrings. The Swing is an explosive movement not a passive one!
  • Let the Kettlebell drag you down, at the bottom of the movement should have the Kettlebell between your legs, below the bottom. The arms should be locked and the hips behind your centre line of the body, the knees slightly bent with a neutral spine.
  • This position is impossible to achieve if you fall down with the Kettlebell instead of letting it drag you down.
  • The height of the Kettlebell completely depends on the explosiveness of your hips. Ideally it should reach parallel to the ground but not higher. Again, this all depends on how explosive the hips are.

A key thing to remember here is that the Kettlebell Swing is in fact a hinge movement and not a squat.

If you as a coach hear the saying “Oh Kettlebell Swings hurt my back” must realise  that there is a form issue here, Kettlebell Swings do not hurt your back.  More often than not the issue is that the knees are bent too much.

Hinging at the hips means maximal hip movement, minimal knee movement.

Squatting means maximal hip movement and maximal knee movement.

The hip hinge and the KBS are a good as it gets for human performance. If there is one thing that you learn to do correctly, let it be the hinge pattern.

A good target to reach for is 75-200 swings a workout. I know this seems a lot but if you break it down you realise its not that much. The KBS can be used as a warm up, condition work and a strength work.

You can break this up numerous ways such as : 25 X 3, 15 X 5, etc.

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