How Much Knee Bend In Kettlebell Swing

Maria Garcia
• Friday, 25 December, 2020
• 21 min read

I want to start training with kettle bells and follow S’S but have a few issues with flexibility and posture. I've seen a physio who told me I have weak glutes, tight hip flexors and gave me exercises to correct these (glute bridge, clams and hip flexor stretching/foam rolling) which I do daily, but she has said goblet squats and light dead lifts would be ok also. I'm trying to work on my hinge movement to be able to dead lift a kettle bell from the floor before I consider swings but I'm struggling with the form.

kettlebell russian swing legs exercise bend grab hands both between
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With no warm up if I just unlock but don't bend my knees then hinge backwards and drop my arms my fingertips are literally 2ft off the floor so nowhere near low enough to grab a kettle bell. After I do these on a nighttime I can hinge back with knees just unlocked but only very slightly bent and my fingertips can now brush the top of a kettle bell handle.

Various pictures I have seen, including on the front page of the strong first website show people lifting with fairly bent (almost 45deg) knees. I don't know whether to carry on trying to gain more hamstring flexibility or start kettle bell dead lifting now and am not really in a position to see a certified instructor about this at present.

Stick drill: Use a broomstick, piece of PVC pipe, or similar. This drill teaches maintaining a safe back position throughout the hinge.

If you can touch the handle of the KB with basically straight legs, you should have enough flexibility to grip the handle with a proper hinge (pushing your hips back and allowing your knees to bend as a consequence of that). Hey @Deadlift13, welcome to Strong first! Ok so in your post you are speaking about the hip hinge pattern but from two sides of the coin.

Motor control with this pattern is also important here but can be a bit more difficult to explain here. I'm sure a few peoples heads will explode with ways to give you pointers haha.

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Even more than that it is a move that lets us explosively express what’s called “hip extension.” If you do those things right (and because we increasingly sit so much, we occasionally do it wrong), you’re squeezing your glutes and your lower body is driving your ability to stand up.

This action is crucial to moving and standing correctly, and critical to improving your athleticism (and your squat and dead lift movements). This doesn’t just miss the point of a kettlebellswing (hip extension) but it’s dangerous for your shoulders, too.

You end up trying to finish the swing with your shoulders, placing your rotator cuff tendons in a compromised position. The height of the kettle bell is strictly a function of how aggressively you straighten your legs and squeeze your glutes.

Ex says: The American kettlebellswing has you swinging to a wildly high target (overhead) and that’s problem one. Problem two: if your shoulder mobility isn’t ideal; you'll compensate by arching through the lower back.

Swing Cues Ex says: Your upper body isn’t the driver of the kettlebellswing ; it’s only a lever. Ex says: This is a lower body move, and your arms shouldn’t be anything more than a lever for the bell.

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If you explosively and powerfully stand up, and really exaggerate that glute squeeze, your torso will naturally pop up and the bell will translate forward. Ex says: Critical in the kettlebellswing is not letting your lower back drive the movement.

Brett Williams, NASA Brett Williams, a fitness editor at Men's Health, is a NASM-CPT certified trainer and former pro football player and tech reporter who splits his workout time between strength and conditioning training, martial arts, and running. Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S., is the fitness director of Men's Health and a certified trainer with more than 10 years of training experience.

This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses. By using the 4 simple steps outlined below you can progress to the kettlebellswing without the risk of injury or developing bad habits.

The kettlebellswing will also radically improve the often neglected postural muscles at the back of the body. The kettlebellswing is very cardiovascular and can be performed anywhere without the need to even move your feet which is a great way to challenge your cardio without the need for high impact.

Below I have listed the most effective progression for beginners to learn the kettlebellswing safely. I’ve also included information on what weight to use for the kettlebellswing and some kettle bell workouts for you to use to practice.

Next push your hips backwards as you lean forwards keeping your back flat. Continue leaning towards the floor until you feel your hamstrings tighten at the back of your legs.

Pause for a few seconds and then return to the standing position squeezing your buttocks tight at the top. When you feel you can comfortably complete the kettle bell good morning workout above move on to exercise number 2 below.

Kettle bell Single Arm DeadliftThe single arm kettle bell dead lift takes the hip hinge movement and adds a little more knee bend while at the same time keeping the back flat. The single arm dead lift will condition your legs, hips, buttocks and back.

When performed with a decent weight and for higher repetitions the single arm dead lift can be very cardiovascular too. Keep your weight back on your heels and push your hips backwards to take your hand towards the floor and grab the kettle bell handle.

With a straight arm and a tight grip drive your hips forwards in order to use your legs to pick up the kettle bell. At the top position squeeze your buttocks tight and do not lean backwards.

To return the kettle bell to the floor push your hips backwards keeping your weight back on your heels. The single arm dead lift is the strongest of all the human movement patterns so you will be able to lift more with this exercise than any other.

If you wish to progress to the kettlebellswing then make sure you are comfortable completing the above workout before moving to step 3 below. If you have been working hard on the single arm dead lift exercise then the two hand swing should continue nicely by replicating the same hip movement.

Snap your hips forwards aggressively squeezing your buttocks and abs as you stand tall. The kettle bell should reach chest height and only be driven up by the thrust of the hips and NOT the shoulders.

Sets of 10 repetitions before stopping and resetting is a good starting point. Due to the dynamic nature of the kettlebellswing you will require more strength and stability to control the kettle bell as it swings.

10 x Two hand kettle bell swing Rest (20 – 60 seconds) Repeat 3 – 10 rounds Due to the natural rotation of the upper body during the one hand swing the core muscles have to fight hard to maintain position.

As with the two hand swing the wrist should touch the inner thigh and go no deeper than that in between the legs. Due to the overload on the shoulder joint you should start by keeping the reps under 10.

As your shoulder stabilizers strengthen over a matter of 4 weeks you can increase the number of reps. If you want to use the same kettle bell for the one hand swing then take it slowly and keep the reps low.

The kettlebellswing is the most challenging full body kettle bell exercise for the beginner to master. Take your time as you progress and don’t rush into the kettlebellswing before mastering steps 1 and 2.

Too many trainees see a picture or watch a couple of videos and give the kettle bell a whirl. Some mistakes are obvious and require a complete form overhaul while others are a bit more nuanced.

Here are five of the biggest mistakes I see with kettle bell training and the easiest fixes to get you back on track. Swings are a dynamic movement that require a hinge that already puts your back in potential danger and speed.

The problem is the bell is taking an “up and over” path which leads to a crash landing. It’s important to have the rack position down first, and then from there practice the path the kettle bell takes.

When you look at the bottom position of the swing when you’re in a high hinge and your arms tucked against your body you create an even weight distribution down your torso. Many trainees make the mistake of shrugging their shoulders while pressing the kettle bell.

This creates excessive tension throughout the stabilizer muscles of the shoulder which will spread up into the neck. The Fix: Drop the scapula, engage your lats and AVOID shrugging while pressing or at the top of snatching.

The kettlebellswing is one of your best gym weapons for high-intensity intervals as a “finisher” at the end of a weights' workout to improve cardiovascular fitness and torch fat. Subjects were tested for their half-squat one-rep max and their best vertical jump, then assigned a training plan of twice-weekly 12-minute kettlebellswing sessions of 30 seconds’ work, 30 seconds’ rest, or the same amount of jump squat training, which has already been shown to increase power output.

After six weeks the kettle bell group reported a 9.8% increase in maximum strength and a 19.8% improvement in vertical jump height, which was similar to the gains seen in the jump squat subjects. The kettlebellswing will also encourage you to keep your shoulders in a healthier position rather than slump forward at a desk.

Drive your hips forwards and straighten your back to send the kettle bell up to shoulder height. “Don’t make the common mistake of using the upper body too much to get the weight moving,” says kettle bell king Mike Mahler.

The American one differs in that you let the weight swing all the way above your head, not shoulder height. Aim to keep your forearms attached to your hips until you reach neutral then, as your arms come up, squeeze your glutes to prevent overextending your lower back.

This is a posterior chain movement (the muscles on the back of your body), not a quads exercise. “Change hands at the highest point of the swing, where the kettle bell is weightless.

You could be forgiven for thinking that people just do it to look flashy but it’s a good test of your co-ordination, timing and control of the kettle bell.” Ten-minute fat-torcher Perform as many swings as you can in 60 seconds, using the form pointers above, and record the number of reps you complete.

Aim to beat your total rep score every time you attempt the challenge. More specifically, instructors commonly advise students to stand similar to a baseball infielder, or basketball player in a defensive position.

In other words, don’t worry about bending your knees at a specific angle, or a certain number of inches. During the back swing, it’s important to maintain the flex in your right (back) knee to act as a brace for your hip turn.

The goal is to find a position that’s comfortable, balances your weight properly and enables the hips to move freely back and through the swing. You may have heard the expression, “set up like you are sitting on a bar stool.” However, the correct golf stance with knee bend places more emphasis on creating the proper spine angle rather than bending at the knees.

In fact, the entire golf swing revolves around the correct spine angle with a slight knee bend. Position your feet approximately shoulder width and bend your knees slightly.

Open your front foot slightly for a better view of the target and your arms can swing past your without any restrictions. Continue with an athletic golf stance with knee bend and lean forward at the waist for the correct posture.

Position the majority of your weight on your front foot and leg to encourage a downward strike on the golf ball. Therefore, position your hands lower on the grip to make the club shorter and easier to control.

Similarities include a golf stance with knee bend and leaning forward at the waist. Finally, the arms hang down under the shoulders with the hands positioned just in front of the ball so the shaft is leaning toward the target.

For the full swing, begin the golf stance with a slight knee bend and feet approximately shoulder width. Finally, set up with the feet, knees, hips and shoulders parallel to the target line.

Correcting a reverse pivot can be as simple as maintaining the knee bend in the golf swing. The golf swing operates with a cause and effect relationship and several outcomes of the reverse pivot are listed below.

The reverse pivot causes the head to move toward the target and dip down on the back swing. The average PGA Tour Professional only moves their head 1 inch during the back swing and even less during the forward swing.

One of the common mistakes of the reverse pivot occurs when the right leg straightens and the left knee bends too much. The lower body is responsible for maintaining stability and the knees remain level throughout the swing.

The left knee never dips down during the back swing, which causes the whole body to tilt forward to the target. A loss of balance and incorrect weight shift occur when the left knee points to the right of the ball while the lower body collapses.

There is no recovering, the body is stuck out of position and only incredible timing will allow for a decent golf shot. The reverse pivot directly effects impact and the follow through causing the body to fall back and away from the target.

The follow through with a reverse pivot generally results in the weight remaining on the right leg while the sole of the right foot stays planted on the ground. Watch any PGA or LGA player and notice how balanced they are at the conclusion of their swing.

The average PGA Player transfers 75% to 90% of his weight on the front leg and foot at impact. The violent move of a reverse pivot increases the likelihood of producing a minor to serious injury to the lower back.

The following tips will examine the consequences of the correct and incorrect movements of the knees throughout the swing. Once the club reaches waist high, the wrists hinge, hips begin to rotate and the left shoulder turns under the chin while the hands continue up to the top of the back swing.

A little known secret of the golf swing includes maintaining the original knee bend, which in turn helps deliver more power at impact. In order to maintain a fixed spine angle the swing eliminates any vertical or lateral movements.

With additional and extra steps it should be simple to understand how difficult it is to make solid and consistent contact. One simple move such as straightening the right knee during the back swing causes an entire chain reaction of extra movements that make creating a consistent and repeatable swing almost impossible.

The robotic movement achieves a fixed spine angle while the arms swing the club. That extra movement is what occurs due to the right knee losing its original knee bend in the golf swing.

Throughout the back swing and downswing, try to keep the end of the grip pointing toward the target line for as long as possible. When the end of the grip points toward your toes or other side of the golf ball the swing plane becomes steep or flat.

A steep swing plane causes the end of the grip between the toes and target line. In a severe case, the steep swing plane can be compared to the vertical motion of chopping wood with an ax.

The steep swing plane typically causes the ball to slice and start left of the intended target. The improved sequence of movements during the back swing will lead to more consistent and powerful golf shots.

This should help correctly position weight on the inside of your back leg and foot. In addition, the other key of this drill is to focus on the right knee maintaining its flex throughout the back swing.

The correct weight shift maintains the golf posture and knee bend throughout the swing. If you allow the right knee to sway or straighten practice swinging with the right side of the body against a wall or alignment stick stuck vertically in the ground.

In the event of a lateral weight shift the hips will move against the wall or stick on the right side of the body. If your weight reaches the outside of the right leg and foot you have started a lateral slide during the back swing.

Take your right foot and point it toward the ball, effectively creating about a 45-degree angle in relation to the target line. When you turn the shoulder and rotate the hip correctly you will maintain a solid golf posture and knee bend.

Once you learn to maintain the original angle in your posture and knee bend you will develop a consistent and repeatable golf swing. Changing the original angle in the right knee significantly impairs your ability to hit a solid golf shot.

Players who still need additional help maintaining their golf posture and knee bend might look at using a training aid such as the Anchor. The Anchor fits securely around the knee with 4 straps and locks into place in the set up position.

Once locked into the flex position the Anchor prevents straightening the back knee during the swing. The basics of the golf set up position require approximately a 45-degree tilt forward from the hips, known as the spine angle.

The knees should be flexed slightly and the arms hang directly down tension free below the shoulders and above the toes. Second, excessive knee bend in the golf set up places weight on the heels and poor balance throughout the swing.

The following posture drill will help achieve the correct spine angle and knee bend in the golf set up. Keep the club pressed against your back and lean forward to a 45-degree angle where the shoulders are directly above the toes.

Lastly, maintain the perfect knee bend and golf set up position and return the club to a normal address. It is beneficial to find a mirror so you can visually see the correct set up and feel the fundamentally sound address position.

Sinks the kettle bell handle below the knees at the bottom of the swing. If you’ve ever seen the movie Legally Blonde, you’re no doubt familiar with the bend and snap” maneuver for attracting attention.

I invite you to watch the following clip, and try to picture these women holding kettle bells. The bend and snap analogy has a 98 percent success rate at fixing a squat swing.

The hardest part is to get everyone on board with playing this role (shy people and macho men occasionally balk, for some reason). Push your butt back: Chase your rear toward the wall behind you with your hands.

Meaning, your forearms should be allele up in your boohoo at the bottom of your swing. Squeeze your glutes and abs at the top position, hard.

Think about the swing as a dead lift motion in fast-forward. Drive your hips forward forcefully, making the kettle bell float to shoulder height.

Form a plank with your body at the top of the swing. This means bracing your abs and creating a straight line from head to heel.

A version of this post originally appeared in Molly Galbraith’s guide “12 Basic Exercises You’re Screwing Up.” To receive the full guide, sign up for Molly’s email list at www.mollygalbraith.com. Longtime fitness writer for a number of national magazines, including Men's Health, Women's Health and Experience Life; contributor others, including Shape, Oxygen, Self, and Greatest.

The answer where 'good knee flex' is concerned is a tricky one, simply because it all depends on the golfer's height, body type, club and distance stood from the ball. It may sound silly or very simple, but the best way to obtain correct knee flex in the swing is to experiment.

Your end goal where knee flex is concerned is find a position that is comfortable, balances your weight properly and enables the hips to move freely back and through your swing. During the back swing, try to maintain good flex in your right (back) knee to act as a brace for your hip turn.

At around the same time, the Nautilus machine and the Universal weight station pushed kettle bells, fixed barbells, and gymnastics equipment from gym floors across the country. While European and Australian coaches continued to use the move in their training programs, it took more than 30 years for the swing to make a resurgence in America.

For that, you can thank renowned Russian fitness expert, Pavel Tsatsouline, author of The Naked Warrior. He popularized the kettle bell in the West, creating user courses and certification programs like Strongest.

Nowadays, 10,000 swing challenges are staged where Nautilus machines once stood. I watch YouTube videos of men picking up heavy bells and tossing them haphazardly in front of their bodies.

I've seen trainers with horrendous form pass on their technique to clients. Hinging at your hips until your torso is almost parallel to the floor allows you to engage your hamstrings, large muscles that let you powerfully swing the kettle bell back up to top.

As it nears your zipper, bend at your hips and reach your arms back like you're deep snapping to a punter. Think of the swing as two distinct movements: the hip hinge and the vertical plank.

I've already cued how to hinge, but the plank at the top of your swing is equally important. Pull your shoulders away from your ears, squeeze your glutes and quads, brace your abs, and push your feet through the floor.

Keep your eyes on the horizon, and continue to look at that point throughout the entire move. The kettle bell is heavy, so you need to generate a large amount of power to manage the weight.

Here's how to put some serious power behind your swing : After you hinge, forcefully explode your hips forward like you're performing a football tackle. Although single-arm swings are great for cardio and increasing grip strength, the uneven load can cause you to sway or twist.

Unless you have a Strongest certified kettle bell instructor taking you through the basics of a single-arm swing, just stick with the standard two-handed version. At the top of your swing, the kettle bell should end somewhere between belt and shoulder height.

The better your setup, the better your first swing will be, so don't just throw the bell back without first getting into the proper stance. Before every set, I make sure my feet are gripping the floor, my hips are hinged back, my back is flat, my lats are engaged, my hands are creating torque by trying to break the kettle bell handle, and my eyes are on the horizon.

This shows mastery and means you're in control of the weight the entire time. If you really want to learn how to master the swing, train with a Strongest certified kettle bell instructor.

They can offer regressions and corrections based on your background and challenges. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.

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