The swing is one of the best exercises for rapid fat loss and powerful development of the hips and posterior chain (hamstrings, quads, and glutes). At the top of a kettlebellswing you want full hip extension, knees locked, feet rooted into the ground, core tight, and glutes squeezed.
The lock is important for generating full explosive power at the top part of the swing. When extending your hips and coming swiftly to an upright position (the lock), powerfully exhale, as if you were blowing out candles.
During the swing, when hinging down, inhale and fill your midsection with air by breathing in through your nose. It fires up your glutes and hamstrings, and attacks your back muscles too, and it’ll challenge your core and your grip more than you think as well.
And it does so while also pushing your heart rate into the stratosphere as you alternately explode the kettle bell forwards then manage all its momentum on the way down. The basic kettlebellswing is hard to master, partly because it’s one of the first exercises you’ll learn that challenges you to create and then control momentum.
Especially if you come from a classic bodybuilding background, or if you’re used to focusing your training on specific muscle groups, you may find the swing tough to pick up. The good news about the swing is that most of the issues people battle with it are correctable.
This not only protects your back, but it lets you deliver more power when you’re swinging upwards. Let them near your torso before the bell shifts backwards between your legs, and keep your core tight as you do this.
Grab hold of the bell and, without moving your torso, pull it to your crotch. Then squeeze your glutes and stand up aggressively, sending the bell into a normal swing.
You see it in the arc of the kettle bell : It’s supposed to swing outwards, but squatting up and down creates vertical force and sends the bell in the wrong direction. Your quads and shoulders wind up doing all the work, and your back is at risk, since it’s being loaded more than your glutes and hamstrings.
Fix It: Place a soft ply box or a friend’s hand right in front of your knee before you start to do swings. Once you start swinging, the goal is to never let your knee touch the box or your partner’s hand.
That’s going to force your knee to stay closer to perpendicular to the ground, and if you maintain this position, your swing will wind up being a lot more hamstring-driven. The Problem: No Upper Back Tension When the kettlebellswing is done right, your entire torso is stiff as a board.
Your abs are tight, and your upper and lower back muscles are rigid and tense. Fix It: Work on proper positioning by learning what upper-body tension should feel like.
Without losing back or butt contact with the wall, reach your hands in front of you as far as they can go, rolling your shoulders forward. You’re aiming to push your hips back, letting the kettle bell carry between your legs and gradually dropping a rigid torso near the ground.
Then, you propel the kettle bell forward not with your arms or your upper body, but by essentially exploding straight into a stand-up position and squeezing your glutes as hard as possible. This content is created and maintained by a third party, and imported onto this page to help users provide their email addresses.
Kettle bell Swings were once exclusively performed by athletes in the Soviet Union. Now you'd be hard-pressed to walk through a gym and not see at least one person doing this incredibly versatile exercise.
You need to master several KettlebellSwing form tips to get the most out of this fantastic exercise. Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a kettle bell about a foot in front of you on the ground.
Step 2: Pull your shoulders down and back and brace your core before starting the exercise. Step 3: Lift the kettle bell off the ground and allow it to swing between your legs.
Step 4: Forcefully drive your hips forward to propel the kettle bell into the air. As the kettle bell lowers, move immediately and fluidly into the next rep.
Step 6: On your final rep, allow it to swing back through your legs, and then place it a foot in front of you on the ground. A loose core makes for a sloppy KettlebellSwing and puts stress on your spine.
Imagine that your upper body is in a plank position with your torso hinging on your hips. This keeps your spine in the proper position and makes your glutes, not your lower back, do the majority of work.
We advise athletes to avoid this variation, as it places extra stress on the shoulders and spine. The rhythmic nature of the KettlebellSwing makes it a wonderful move for improving your breathing technique.
Take a deep diaphragmatic breath (through your stomach) as the kettle bell lowers, and exhale fully during the swing. They explosively extend the hips and drive them forward, creating the power needed to swing the kettle bell.
Your quads extend your knees to provide an extra power boost. Your core and back muscles engage to keep your torso stable and your spine in a neutral position.
These muscles also help decelerate the kettle bell during the downswing, while maintaining control of your body. The hip hinge is a fundamental movement pattern that all athletes should perfect.
It's important for athletic skills like jumping, and for exercises like the Dead lift and Squat. This allows your strong and powerful glutes to maximally contribute to the movement, while keeping your lower back safe.
The moves require lots of practice and great coaching—heck, these lifts are sports on their own. You don't get a full triple extension—of the hips, knees and ankles—and you can't use as heavy of a weight.
In a study led by renowned spinal researcher Dr. Stuart McGill, it was found that the KettlebellSwing puts forces on the spine in the opposite direction from Dead lifts and other similar exercises. We're not saying the Dead lift is a bad exercise—it's one of our favorite lifts—but if you're dealing with back pain, the KettlebellSwing might be a smarter option.
Since the KettlebellSwing is a full-body movement, it's a great option for conditioning and training muscular endurance. According to an ACE Fitness study, a Kettle bell Snatch workout, which is similar to the Swing, burns approximately 20 calories per minute.
However, the focus of the exercise is on the hip hinge, which is driven by the glutes and hamstrings. You will use lighter weight than the traditional Swing, but the single-arm variation is more challenging for your core.
The amount of weight an experienced lifter can use is significantly different from what a beginner can handle—as with any exercise. We always advise starting on the lighter side so you can focus on mastering technique and not on the difficulty of moving the weight.
Once you perfect your form, gradually increase the weight so your muscles feel challenged in your set. A strong libido is a sign of a healthy, fit body.
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Unfortunately, most people feel it more in their lower backs than their hips and hamstrings. Instead of being crisp and fast, the swing ends up sloppy and slow.
Use these two cues to turn your swing into an explosive posterior chain developer instead of a sloppy low-back exercise. When the kettle bell is too far away from your hips, you turn the movement from a hip-focused exercise to a squat-looking thing.
And don't worry, as a human you have great reflex mechanisms when it comes to avoiding getting hit in the junk. This is especially true when a 50-pound iron ball is headed straight for your groin.
Now, many coaches will say to squeeze your butt and push your hips forward. This isn't completely incorrect, but this cue can often cause you to feel lower back pain when you're at the full extension position.
The hips going forward isn't the action, but the reaction to when you stand up aggressively. Instead of thinking “hips forward,” push your feet into the ground and stand up aggressively.
Related: Kettle bell Swings — You're Doing Them Congregated: Take Kettle bell Swings to the Next Level Linden Ellison is a personal trainer and online coach, located in Calgary, Canada. Linden specializes in getting clients pain free and becoming the athletic beasts they were meant to be.