Once you have the swing technique down, it’s time to learn cleans and snatches which we will cover in future Hard style articles and videos so stay tuned. Make sure to subscribe to our blog through the form on the right side or at the bottom on mobile devices.
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Since 2001, he has assisted many people with their strength training, conditioning and athletic rehabilitation including; adult clients, police, fire, military professionals, and athletes from middle school to the Professional level. No other conditioning exercise is as easy on your joints as the hardstylekettlebellswing yet delivers the same health benefit.
Train the swing and you’ll develop the essential components of long-term physical health — a strong back, glutes and legs combined with cardiovascular endurance. The swing can’t stop the years, but it can slow their effect.
It works the hamstring, butt and back muscles or posterior chain ”, like no other. Swings challenge the grip, forearms and shoulders and simultaneously exhaust the thighs.
The swing is a hip hinge, the strongest human movement. And the lift is ballistic — explosive power sending the kettle bell on it trajectory (like an iron ball from a cannon).
Golf drive or tennis serve, Taekwondo kick or boxers punch, the power comes from the hips. The big and strong muscles of the posterior chain co-ordinate to deliver the maximum power.
And that power is delivered through the club, racket, foot, fist — or kettle bell. Every rep is a restorative combination of tension and stretching.
Swinging a kettle bell rejuvenates the back, hip and hamstring flexibility you’ve lost from years of sitting. And it counters the poor posture caused by hours hunched over your computer.
Because in reality, it’s the subtleties of swing technique that unlock its power. But with the right instruction, a kettlebellswing isn’t difficult to learn.
And it’s safe and versatile enough to be part of anyone’s training, from university athlete to 70-year-old grandmother. For raw power and strength, short heavy sets and plenty of recovery time in-between.
For endurance or fat loss, lighter kettle bells, more reps, shorter rests. The hardstyleswing is one of the first kettle bell exercises you learn, and it should always be part of your training.
It is less flashy than other ballistic kettle bell lifts like the snatch or clean. Learning the hardstylekettlebellswing does take a little patience and practice, but you’ll quickly develop the skills.
No other exercise is as easy on your joints as the hardstylekettlebellswing and still delivers an equal health benefit. Today it is taught most popularly through the ROC (Russian Kettle bell Certification) school and in Strongest.
Because a loose joint absorbs the force meant to go elsewhere; it “leaks” power and is easily injured. ROC teaches how to focus the scattered energies of the body into a directed all-out effort while minimizing the odds of injuries.
Originally, “hard style” referred to martial arts like Karate which concentrated total body muscle tension into one extraordinary effort—“one punch, one kill”. When Pavel Tsatsouline served in the Soviet Special Forces, his unit was among those who had adopted a Karate-based style of hand-to-hand combat.
The hard style of kettle bell training was born to support this hard style of fighting. Determined to take the skill of strength as far as possible, Pavel researched every possible venue that could be of help, ranging from reading obscure neuroscience papers and old Soviet bio-mechanics texts, to picking the brains of gymnastics, power-lifting, and arm-wrestling elite.
Power-lifting coach Louie Simmons has said it best: “Pavel has reverse engineered what the strongest athletes do naturally.” This is Hard style. Such techniques include: compound movements, appropriate timing of body tension, power breathing, not training to failure or exhaustion, strength as practice, doing fewer things better, etc.
If you have been around the block, the hard style techniques will noticeably and immediately improve your strength in pull-ups, pistol squats, kettle bell military presses, one-arm push-ups, handstand push-ups, and a variety of killer abdominal drills. If you are new to strength, you will learn how to do these lifts right or, if you have a long way to go, get a clear set of individualized instructions for mastering them.
To learn the other 5 foundational kettle bell exercises, you MUST master the Swing first. From there the other 5 foundational kettle bell exercises build from what you learn here in the Swing.
Learning how to hinge properly — aside from teaching you how to maximally develop power from your posterior chain (your glutes & hamstrings) — will teach you how to NOT use your back when bending forward. This drill is called the “Face The Wall Squat” and will further accentuate the loading of your posterior chain.
Usually after a few weeks of consistent kettle bell training people end up saying… The HardstyleKettlebellSwing is a FULL BODY exercise and one that improves all qualities — strength, conditioning, posture, proper movement patterns.
But not some ineffective plank that your Pilates instructor brags about holding for 3 minutes. But before you start swinging, you have to know how to load and maintain the rigidity of your spine.
That means that any time you pick something up off the floor, you must maintain a straight/neutral spine. So now, we have to learn how to load our body WHILE maintaining our spine rigidity.
Before we get into the swing, we need to learn how to properly set up and start. When you reach the point when your reps are no longer explosive, YOU STOP.
It doesn’t matter where you are in your set — yes, even if your program says “20 swings” — you must stop, rest and then continue with technically perfect and explosive reps. Using our PLANK now, we are going to focus on rooting into the ground and using the power from our hips to “float” the kettle bell.
The idea is to make the KB feel weightless at the top using your hips. That means that each time you stand up and snap your hips forward, it must be powerful and explosive.
That is the difference between training with kettle bells properly and doing some “Western Society Balls-to-the-Wall” workout. You have to get out of the “no pain, no gain” mentality and focus on technique and power.
In this final lesson of the kettlebellswing, we go into different variations of how you can perform the swing.