As a piece of advice from a man who has two stepchildren, is married and feels like he was always the master of his fate rather than a victim, let me tell you, looks will always wither away whether you like it or not. If you are here to get your back into a healthier state with a kettle bell or because you have some cardiovascular problem let me know in the comments or write an email.
If you want to increase your strength to beat your opponents or make it on the team I have been in Judo 12 years at a national level and know some things to look out for. Consultants and salesmen all over the world are trained into answering with “It depends on” to a closed question like this to obtain more information.
You can distinguish the well-meaning trainer from the predator by paying attention to whether they keep their minds open to all options rather than just one particular one when they explore your goals and thought process. Kettle bell swings will help you with back pain and explosiveness more than dead lifts if executed correctly.
Kettle bells have the added benefit of being easily obtained as part of a home gym and working your endurance. It has recently gained popularity as one of the main tools to build strength in athletes and also regular gym rats.
For you, the dead lift can be helpful if you are interested in powerlifting or when all of your opponents stomp you to the ground with ease by overpowering you. For this, the kettle bell swing and the Olympic lifts are considered more beneficial among strength coaches in general.
At least in my experience and you will not have a hard time to find a hand full of people with chiseled abs and big arms to agree with me. The biggest risk with the dead lift is the high potential for lower back injuries if performed incorrectly.
In addition, if you train women or you are a woman yourself, there seems to be a negative bias in the female population towards barbell work. This is becoming less pronounced in recent years, but if your client is female and in dire need of lower back strength sell her on the Kettle bell dead lift as you will have a hard time with the barbell.
It has been made popular in the west through the books and work of Pavel Tsatsoulin with publications like Simple and Sinister, Power to the people or Dead lift Dynamite. I love the kettle bell personally as one of the simplest tools for my strength warm-ups to work the midsection of the body front to back.
Where I used to run a warm-up cycle utilizing a glute ham raise bench, a medicine ball, a sandbag and box jumps I now only do the simple and sinister routine with better results and less fuss. For aesthetic purposes, the kettle bell is better suited to achieve your goals of getting a six-pack as the exercise is more aerobic in nature.
You can run a circuit or Tabatha like exercise regime to support your diet choices to get quicker into an area of low body fat percentage. These guys make a living with absolute strength and you will usually find the swing as an assistance movement and not main exercise.
That is why you see more grannies and women swing than dead lift apart from the unfounded gender bias I outlined earlier. The eagerness to progress in weight which you especially find in newbies leads to poor form and potentially harmful movement patterns for the lower back.
I recommend reading Simple and Sinister and watching the Strong first material before starting kettle bell exercising. Often strength coaches observe synergies between the two lifts and use them to make more advanced trainees progress quicker with minimizing the risk of injury.
Vice versa progression on the dead lift increases absolute strength which makes it easier for you to handle bigger kettle bells. A kettle bell is a great tool for teaching proper hip movement and for conditioning glutes and hamstrings But athletes need heavier loads to induce adaptations which they can only get from the dead lift
If your goal is to stay mobile, agile and strengthen your lower back I think the kettle bell is a better tool for you than the barbell. In my opinion if you are after general well-being combined with cardio the kettle bell is an excellent tool to get strength in the mix.
The kettle bell swing is an incredible exercise, but it's also quite polarizing, as strength coaches seem to either love it or hate it. I've spoken to coaches in America, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada, and I always get the same two opinions.
“I love the kettle bell swing, it's a great tool for teaching proper hip movement and for conditioning the glutes and hamstrings.” “The kettle bell swing sounds good in theory, but my athletes need heavier loads to induce adaptations.
What the coaches with the latter opinion fail to realize is that the hip extension torque requirements of a lighter kettle bell swing can indeed match that of a heavier clean or snatch, due to the inherent arced motion of the kettle bell. You must absorb eccentric loading and then reverse the kettle bell forward and upward, whereas in the case of the Olympic pulls you simply accelerate the barbell upward and then catch it up top.
For this reason, the classic argument suggesting that power outputs of kettlebellswingscan 't match those of power cleans and snatches isn't accurate, but you must take into account the resultant (horizontal and vertical) data to realize this. However, I agree with the premise that a 35-pound kettle bell won't do much for increasing a lineman's hip strength — heavier loads are indeed needed as they lead to greater force production, which is always important!
I'm sure the ROC folks have scrutinized every last detail about the swing and have come up with the best possible way of teaching it. And since I'm not RKC-certified, I'm not quite as qualified as those folks to discuss kettle bell swing form.
A proper set up (sort of like a center hiking a football) is with high hips, a solid arch, and the kettle bell out in front of allow for proper “hiking” of the first rep. The feet stay planted firmly on the ground — there's no rising onto the toes.
On the way up, an explosive hip action characterized by a strong gluteal contraction raises the kettle upwards and the lifter shifts his weight backward a bit. While the kettle bell is near the body, it stays close to the “privates” and never sinks below the knees.
A neutral spine (no lumbar flexion at the bottom or hyper extension at the top of the movement) position is maintained with very slight anterior pelvic tilt at the bottom of the motion and very slight posterior pelvic tilt at the top. The posterior pelvic tilt and glute contraction is maintained while the kettle bell travels upward and away from the body and is held until the kettle bell drops back down and returns near the body.
There's no excessive contribution from the arms; for the most part the hips drive the kettle bell to its peak height, which is around shoulder-level. A neutral neck position (no cervical hyper extension) is maintained throughout the movement.
The goal isn't to learn how to use momentum and conserve energy — it's easy to figure out how to “cheat” during the swing. Rather, the goal is to achieve a maximal glute contraction to drive the kettle bell forward and upward explosively while adhering to excellent technical form.
They don't possess the motor control to stabilize the spine while moving solely around the hip joint. With these clients, you must improve their movement patterns before loading them up, so patience is needed.
These qualities exemplify most of the more complex components of the big lower body lifts. Think about the typical cues used by coaches during squats and dead lifts : “Sit back,” “knees out,” “chest up,” “push through the heels,” “squeeze the glutes,” and “keep the neck in neutral.”
But I know how to use my glutes properly (from 6 years of hip thrusting) and therefore I fire them like crazy during the swing. I've found that it's easy to swing 70 pounds with perfect form, but when you go heavier, it's a different story.
Eventually I'll make the 203-pounder look right, but in the meantime it still provides an amazing training stimulus. I'm not nearly as eloquent as Marianne, but nevertheless I've found that the transfer to dead lifting is incredible as long as you go heavy.
Best still, heavy swings don't destroy the body like maximal dead lifts do, so you can train them more frequently. In fact, you can put dead lifts on the back burner for a while and maintain your strength by doing heavy ass swings 2-3 times per week.
Inherent Ground Reaction Forces Involved in 2 Styles of KettlebellSwings When I was in Auckland, New Zealand, I conducted a minor experiment. Styled (lbs)Peak Vertical Force (N)Peak Horizontal Force (N)Squat Style702,170-2,349166-182Squat Style1402,431-2,444278-353Hip Hinge Style701,935-2,140340-402Hip Hinge Style1402,325-2,550499-520 Heavy Hip Dominant Swings, Horizontal Force Production, and Sprint Speed As you can see by the chart, the hip-hinge style swing generates much more horizontal forces than the squat style swing due to the more aggressive hip action.
Elite sprinters are able to generate large amounts of net horizontal force at high velocities, and faster speeds are all about the hips, so it's logical to assume that rapid, forceful kettlebellswings done in an Restyle fashion would help sprinters attain greater speeds. In fact, the 140-pound swing (I needed to hold onto two 70-pounders to use this load) leads to similar levels of horizontal force than those seen during maximal sprinting by elite sprinters.
Two excellent studies have been published on muscle activation during the kettle bell swing. I wish Stu would've reported the compressive and shear forces on the spine during Pavel's swings as this would be interesting to know.
The average spinal loading was reported for the other participants and values were very high considering the weight of the kettle bells. One good thing I've noticed over the last year is that we're seeing a huge influx of kettle bell studies in the literature.
Well, that's what I'm seeing in kettle bell research — incredibly light loads for the hips! Interestingly, a recent study published ahead of print by Lake & Lauder used up to 70 pounds and this is one of the best studies I've seen to date (it showed that swings elicited a greater impulse than squats or jump squats), but this is the exception, not the norm.
I want to see training studies using heavy-ass kettle bells to see their transference to athletic performance. I realize that lighter kettle bells are common because people want to clean them, snatch them, press them, and do Turkish get-ups with them.
And initially, lighter kettle bell loads are warranted in the swing. I know most gyms and athletic facilities don't carry heavy-ass kettle bells, so I'm calling for action here!
At the end of this article I'll provide several options that allow for heavy swinging. (8) It's actually a quote from two legends in our field, Yuri Verkoshansky and Mel Sight.
The pelvis plays a vital role in the ability of the athlete to produce strength efficiently and safely, because it is the major link between the spinal column and the lower extremities a neutral pelvic tilt offers the least stressful position for sitting, standing and walking. It is only when a load (or body mass) is lifted or resisted those other types of pelvic tilt become necessary.
Even then, only sufficient tilt is used to prevent excessive spinal flexion or extension The posterior pelvic tilt is the appropriate pelvic rotation for sit-ups or lifting objects above waist level. Nevertheless, if you do experience pain or discomfort in the swing, make sure you swivel at the hips and keep the core and glutes tight.
One interesting gem I learned from Stu in a recent lecture was that the very top portion of the swing, where the kettle bell reaches its apex, poses the greatest risk to the spine. (9) At this moment, the core musculature relaxes and therefore compressive force diminishes.
Heavy Swings A Permanent Replacement for Dynamic Effort Dead lifts ? And third, there's a greater acceleration phase with the swing as it's really a ballistic movement; by law the dynamic dead lift must decelerate to come to a halt.
In fact, I like the heavy swing better than the Olympic lifts and jump squats for football players — it's simpler to teach and easier on the joints. Down the road I'd like to see college football and NFL teams taking heavy swings seriously.
My 106-pounder is from APOLLO, which I bought at a local fitness store, and my 203-pounder is from Adler, which I found on eBay. If you have the money, you should definitely go this route and buy the actual heavy kettle bells as they simply feel the best, but the Hungarian Core Blaster works very well too, as does the KettleClamp.
And with that, I shall wrap up this article that's ostensibly every damn thing you wanted to know about heavy kettle bell swinging. I hope you decide to take my advice and start implementing heavy swings, if so you'll thank me down the road.
Morin JB, Édouard P, Amino P. Technical ability of force application as a determinant factor of sprint performance. Zebus MK, Scott J, Andersen CH, Mortensen P, Petersen MH, Visor TC, Jensen TL, Hence J, Andersen LL.
Lake JP, Lauder MA. Contreras, B. Olympic Weightlifting vs. Kettle bells on Lower Body Strength and Power.
(I received an advanced copy) McGill S and Lebanon C. From the Lab to the Trenches. Blood and Chalk Volume 4: Jim Gender Talks Big Weights.