Below I have gone into great detail about how to get your kettle bell swing form correct so let’s get started: It targets the posterior chain and essentially you are loading and reloading the back of the body as you accelerate and decelerate the kettle bell.
Be warned the eccentric or deceleration part of kettlebellswings is what causes muscle soreness so you could be walking like John Wayne for a few days if you perform too many KB swings early on. “ Over the last decade or so, kettle bell exercise has enjoyed a successful reintroduction into the fitness industry.
If your main objective is fat loss then there are not many single exercises better than the kettle bell swing. Kettle bell swings targets over 600 muscles in one go creating huge demands on energy consumption which in turn means more calories burnt.
Huge amounts of oxygen are required to fund the kettle bell swing movement so it only takes between 30 – 60 seconds before your heart and lungs are really working hard. “ Performing kettlebellswings at a self-determined pace for 12 minutes, attempting to complete as many swings as possible during that time, maintained subjects’ HR and _ VO2 at an average of 87 and 65% of their respective maxima.
Based on these observations, the “man-maker” kettle bell drill provided a metabolic challenge of sufficient intensity to increase _V O2max. Big strength and conditioning gains come from eccentric movements which involve lengthening muscles under load.
Look out though, eccentric movements are what make your kettle bell swing muscles feel sore the next day! If you suffer with bad knees then often the swing can be tolerated due to the lack of excessive bend at the knee meaning you can still strengthen the legs, hips and your cardio without needing to squat or lunge.
Kettle bell swings develops lots of explosive power through the hips and legs which is vital for most sports. Unlike lots of other exercises you hardly need any room to perform the KB swing.
Your feet will not move and the kettle bell will only extend slightly further than your hands so you could work out anywhere within a 6-foot square space. The shoulders, forearms and lat muscles are also used during the kettle bell swing.
You will get some conditioning through the quads but not as much as with squats or lunges, great for women because it will not bulk up the legs. Kettle bell swing muscles worked lower back should act in an isometric manner meaning that it should maintain a flat or neutral spine throughout the movement, the core muscles will help to maintain this position.
However, this is not such a bad thing as the chest is often overworked by men resulting in rounded shoulders. In fact kettle bell swings can help improve a chests' appearance by producing a more upright posture and pulling the shoulders backwards.
As mentioned, the kettle bell swing is a dynamic movement so caution needs to be exercised when selecting the right weight. You need to start with a basic movement skill called the hip hinge:
There are various different types of kettle bell swing (more on these later) but to begin with it is important that you master the basic hip hinge movement. “ Briefly, the swing exercise is initiated by driving the (15), loading the hamstrings while maintaining correct alignment between the back of the head, and the C8 and sacral vertebrae, and “packing” the shoulder neutral shoulder girdle).
The motion is then powerfully reversed, with the aim of projecting the hip girdle, and, as such the kettle bell, forward. The kettle bell should be vertical displaced to between hip and shoulder height, depending on the mass of the kettle bell, and swing exercise should be continued until the perceived “crispness” of the movement begins to decline. ( Lake and Lauder 2012)
To ensure that your weight distribution is correct you can practice a few kettlebellswings with your toes curled back towards you. There should be a straight line running from your tail right up to your shoulders, these are all the kettle bell swing muscles of the posterior chain.
If you find that your back starts to bend at the bottom part of the kettle bell swing then push your hips further backwards and don’t lean so far forwards. McGill (13) has also shown that conscious bracing of the abdominal wall during the swing will further stabilize the spine adding training tolerance ( Jones et al.)
The core and abdominal muscles are worked hard during the kettle bell swing. Imagine the top part of the kettle bell swing as an upright plank.
It is important to realize that during the swing the shoulders are used merely as a connection between arms and body. I will often teach beginners just to focus on the horizon as a lifted chin at the downward part of the kettle bell swing will help to keep the back flat.
Depending on the width of the kettle bell handle you are using you may be able to hold on with all fingers from both hands, this is the best option. During the swing the kettle bell is constantly trying to get away from you and so good grip is required just to keep holding on.
Remember that the kettle bell swing comes from the hips and not the lower back or shoulders. A good way to monitor this is to take the kettle bell only to the mid forearm on the inner thigh.
The top of the kettle bell swing can vary and will be dictated by the strength and power of your hips and posterior chain. So a good hip snap but only a height of 45 degrees is a better start than using your shoulders to pull the kettle bell up the rest of the way.
This technique works inline with nature stimulating your extensor muscles as you straighten up and forces the air out as you fold forwards. As the weight increases your diaphragm steps in to help out your core muscles and stabilize your spine.
Nudging the kettle bell off the thigh ensures that you are already upright and the lower back is not comprised however it does entail a few small kettlebellswings to really get the momentum going. If you do opt for starting from the ground then start with the kettle bell 12 inches in front of your toes, load your hamstrings and entire posterior chain by putting your weight on your heels, brace your abs, pull back between your legs and then drive your hips forwards with everything you’ve got.
Don’t attempt to twist your upper body and swing it to the side of your one foot. If your timing is off you will not generate the correct power through your hips and also “muscle” the kettle bell up more with your shoulders.
When the kettle bell is at its lowest point between your legs your hips should be the furthest back they can be. As mentioned earlier, all the power for the kettle bell swing comes from the hips and posterior chain.
If you want to generate the maximum amount of power then explode forwards with the hips and snap them to vertical. Here’s a drill to help improve your kettle bell swing form and hip snap:
Solution: Don’t get into a rocking routine when you swing, remember its 2 moves, backwards and forwards, nothing else. Solution: If your stance is too wide you will lack power and reduce the amount of leverage you have through your hips and knees.
Swinging the bell just to horizontal with the floor or reducing the weight may also help you to master this technique. Solution: Ensure that the complete kettle bell swing comes from the hip snap and not the shoulders.
The back muscles are used during the kettle bell swing but only as stabilizers and should not be the source of power. Solution: As the kettle bell reaches the transition period at the bottom between your legs ensure that the bell does not flick.
Solution: Often the knees will want to splay outwards to allow for the kettle bell to swing between the legs. Solution: Keeping your head up at the bottom part of the kettle bell swing can cause a jarring of the neck if you go too low.
Solution: Don’t be lazy starting and finishing your swings this is the worst time to take your eye off your technique. The kettle bell is held with both hands so the total body works in a symmetrical forwards and backwards movement.
Swinging the kettle bell with one hand does two things: firstly it doubles the load on the one shoulder joint and secondly it pulls the upper body into rotation requiring more core stabilization. “The study showed for the first time that 1-armed kettle bell swing induced greater activation of the contralateral side of the upper erector spinal than that of the ipsilateral side and greater than during 2-armed swing.
The lower erector spinal or external oblique was similarly activated on both sides during both swing exercises. Watch a video of the single arm kettle bell swing form below:
With the alternating swing the brain has to start working a little harder, you need to focus or you can miss and drop the kettle bell. You will need lots of focus and a good swinging technique to perform this effectively and safely.
Progression : there are no specific requirements to move onto the walking swing because the movements are very different. Great for training outside and to add an addition element to the regular two handed swings.
Progression : once you reach this point you are very comfortable with the swing and the next two variations can be completed when you feel ready. Holding a kettle bell in each hand will double the load placed on your total body so be careful.
The kettle bell is taken across the upper body rather than between the legs so you also need to be careful not to hit the front knee. I have found the following system very effective for knowing when to increase the weight safely:
I hope you have enjoyed this kettle bell swing form guide and found it useful. It has taken years of teaching and training with kettle bells to discover all these finer points so please save yourself some time and learn from my experience.
Remember to first master the hip hinge before moving on to two handed KB swings. Once you can swing the kettle bell with two hands for 60 seconds then you can progress to the other variations of kettlebellswings.
Go nice and steady and you’ll be falling in love with the results that short and simple kettle bell swing workouts can deliver. The kettle bell swing targets 100’s of muscles in one movement creating huge demands on energy consumption which in turn means more calories burnt.
Kettlebellswings are therefore a great way to improve physical endurance, muscle strength and conditioning, cardiovascular functions, and increase lung efficiency. Yes, at the top position of the kettle bell swing the core has to work hard to control your pelvis and prevent you from overextending your hips.
But, in the last decade or so, they’ve seen a resurgence in popularity, not least because they are a part of so many CrossFit workouts. Of all the exercises you can do with a kettle bell, the swing is arguably the most popular and may even be the most valuable.
Many fitness enthusiasts believe that squats and dead lifts are the kings of exercise. But Tim Ferris says “the two armed kettle bell swing is the king and is all you need for dramatic body recomposition results”.
This post will reveal the main kettle bell swing benefits and how to do them correctly. It takes time to master the kettle bell swing, but once you’ve got it nailed, this exercise has a wide range of benefits.
These muscles are crucial for better posture, as well as improved sports performance. Kettlebellswings are one of the best kettle bell exercises for developing the entire posterior chain.
Tim Ferris's writes glowingly about the fantastic benefits of the kettle bell swing for rapid fat loss and body recomposition in his New York Times Best Seller The Four Hour Body.” Image Credit Tracy & Mark Ranking Many fitness enthusiasts believe that squats and dead lifts are the kings of exercise.
But Tim Ferris says, “the two armed kettle bell swing is the king and is all you need for dramatic body recomposition results.” Increased cardiovascular fitness Kettle bell swing training is excellent for your heart and lungs, as well as your muscles.
Because they are a full-body movement, kettlebellswings will drive your heart and breathing rate sky-high, which makes them a beneficial and challenging cardiovascular exercise. Better posture Kettlebellswings are one of the best exercises for undoing the effects of prolonged sitting.
Swings work your posterior chain, which are the muscles responsible for holding you upright against the pull of gravity. In many instances, this will also eliminate the back pain often caused by poor posture.
Quadriceps — located on the front of your upper thighs, the quads as they are known, are responsible for knee extension. Gluteus Maximus — known as the glutes for short, this is the most massive muscle in the human body and is responsible for hip extension.
Core — the muscles that make up your midsection, which is responsible for keeping your spine stable. Latissimus Doris — the side/upper back muscles, the lats are responsible for shoulder extension.
Forearm flexors — the muscles in your lower arms that are responsible for keeping a firm grip on the kettle bell. Because kettlebellswings involve so many muscles and joints working together and at the same time, there’s a lot that can go wrong with this exercise.
But, if you master a proper kettle bell swing, you can enjoy all the benefits this exercise has to offer while avoiding all the risks. Standing with your feet about shoulder-width apart, pull your shoulders down and back, and brace your abs.
Focus on your hip drive to pop the kettle bell upwards, not your arms. Use your lats and abs to stop the weight swinging upward and then let the kettle bell fall back down.
Russian kettlebellswings generally allow you to lift more weight, and they are easier to learn. However, it’s all too easy to inadvertently shorten your rep range by not swinging the weight high enough, i.e., below shoulder-height.
They involve a more extensive range of motion, which could make them more demanding. Swinging the weight up until the arms are vertical ensures that each rep is the same, making them easier to judge and quantify.
However, raising the weight so high will increase stress on the lower back, which could lead to injury. The increased range of movement also means you won’t be able to lift as much weight.
But, unless you are training for CrossFit competitions, the Russian swing is potentially the safer one, which may mean it’s the best choice for most exercisers. As recommended by the American Council on Exercise, ACE for short, this kettle bell workout is best done three times a week on non-consecutive days, e.g., Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.
With this workout, you do a set of kettlebellswings at the start of each minute, and whatever time is left over is for resting. You can also use any kettle bell swing alternative you prefer for this workout, including:
*Note: kettle bells are popular home workout gear, and some items are not yet back in stock, so you might need to be preordered. AmazonBasics Vinyl Coated Cast Iron Kettle bell Weight
With the Noose Fitness Kettle bell Handle, you can add as many or as few standard weight plates as you like, making it both ideal for a range of users and also saving you from buying several sets of kettle bells. Sold without filling, you can easily adjust the weight to suit your needs.
Kettle Grip Kettle bell Adjustable Portable Weight Grip Whether you want to burn fat, get fit, or boost your dead lift performance, kettlebellswings will help.
Remember, to get the most from this exercise; you need to do them correctly and give yourself time to recover between workouts. Dead lifts are one of the best exercises on the planet to change your body dramatically, no matter what your age.
Related Posts:Footnotes:Please take a moment and share 5 Epic Kettle bell Swing Benefits for Total Body Conditioning: 5 Epic Kettle bell Swing Benefits For Total Body Conditioning Thomas Edison once said, “The doctor of the future will give no medicine; instead he will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, nutrition and the cause and prevention of disease.”
1 This is important because for those with lower back issues traditional posterior chain exercises such as dead lifts, good mornings, etc. For those looking to strengthen the lower back and unable to use these traditional exercises the swing may be just the thing they’re looking for.
Because of the dynamic nature of the swing the opportunity to overload or injure the body is quite low. A grind is like a missile — constantly being pushed along, no matter how fast or slow it moves.
This results in a muscle flushing that McGill wrote about, quoting Jay’s 2010 research: The rapid acceleration of the bell via the motion of the hips and knees is accompanied by substantial activation of muscles in both the posterior chain and the abdominal.
They proposed the muscle flushing mechanism as an explanation for the reports of lower pain. Now, sniff air into your belly through your nose and then exhale short and sharp like you’re trying to blow out a candle far away.
But when you use forceful exhalation, known in ROC circles as power breathing, you are essentially creating a stiff wall around that flagpole to keep it stiffer. Using the Cassava maneuver creates a dynamic internal pressure that I believe supercharges the cerebral-spinal fluid flow.
The INTERCAL pressure is greatly increased when you add movement to the Cassava maneuver. Cerebral-spinal fluid is pumped or controlled by respiration that causes movement in the sacrum and cranial bones.
I believe that the spinal curves must be correctly maintained or the flow of information in the nervous system is compromised. In order to do the Kettle bell swing correctly I really had to work on my form and this had an incredible influence on establishing the proper robotic and kyphotic curvatures of my spine.
Set up as if you were doing a conventional two hand swing: hips back shoulders down, lats engaged, connected and linked to the bell. The key principle of Hard style Kettle bell training is that, to quote Pavel, “We choose power over efficiency, choosing maximal acceleration in the quick lifts and maximum tension in the grinds.”
If we’re looking to the swing to be our one size fits all solution to back care then we must recognize that, for many, swinging the bell overhead is impossible without hyper extending the lower back or jamming the neck or shoulders due to limitations in their thoracic mobility. The swing is an expression of forward force projection such as found in boxing or martial arts, like a straight punch.
If you’re an athlete with a vertical component to your sport such as in Olympic weightlifting, Highland Games, or even swimming, then try the snatch. Picking the right tool for the job will go a long way to ensuring your back stays healthy and strong for years to come!
What I want to point out in this blog is why I’ve also found it has helped so many of my clients who once suffered with lower back pain. Czech Republic’s Dr Vladimir Wanda is renowned for drawing our attention to the rise in “gluteal amnesia”.
This common problem is a typical side effect of too much sitting and basically means that the backside muscles have got so used to not working that they have permanently fallen asleep. To quickly get an understanding of how the gluteal muscles help your core, try leaning backwards from a standing position.
However, leading sports therapist to the Navy SEALs and NFL teams, Gray Cook comments: “You can go to parallel in the squat without fully activating the glutes, however a Kettle bell Swing done with correct form will quickly light them up”.
Exercise physiologist Bret Contreras’ has also found that the Kettle bell Swing far exceeds the glute activation of a squat. This is perfect to open the muscles at the front of the hips, helping posture and taking the strain off the lower back.
Prof. Stuart McGill has found that learning to brace the core is more effective for spinal health and longevity than the classic “hollowing” or pulling navel to spine. To make sure you are getting the most from your Kettle bell Swing for a strong lower back you can watch the video tutorial below.
If you walk into any commercial gym nowadays, we’d be very surprised indeed if you didn’t find at least one set of kettle bells. Years ago, kettle bells were rarely seen in gyms, whereas nowadays they are just as common as dumbbells.
First and foremost, if you’re looking for a way to burn fat and lose weight, kettlebellswings are fantastic. You are using your core stabilizer muscles, your back, your arms, your legs, your Delta, and many more besides.
Is the fact that kettlebellswings are a great way to break up the monotony of regular training. Changing our training keeps things exciting, it shocks the muscles, and it’s a great way to break a plateau.
You initiate the majority of the movement by utilizing a powerful hip thrust that uses many of your lower body muscles. You are also working your fast-twitch muscle fibers which means that you are generating more explosive speed and power.
When you perform the exercise, because of the mechanics of the movement you are constantly engaging your core in order to keep yourself stable and grounded as you swing the kettle bell between your legs. Not only are kettlebellswings a great resistance-based exercise, but they’re also fantastic for anybody looking to enjoy enhanced rates of aerobic capacity as well.
If you use a lighter kettle bell and perform more reps, by the end of the working set your lungs will feel as if they’re on fire, you’ll be gasping for air, drenched in sweat, and you’ll have yourself one heck of an aerobic workout in the bag. We’ve already mentioned how kettlebellswings function as a full-body workout, but we didn’t quite emphasize just how beneficial they are.
The exercise is a compound movement that will target several major muscle groups at the same time. You work your core, legs, back, shoulders, and arms when performing kettlebellswings, as well as giving yourself a fantastic cardiovascular workout at the same time.
Another of the more prominent kettle bell swing benefits that we’re going to look at today, is the fact that the exercise itself is so easy to master. Kettlebellswings may be extremely physically demanding, but actually performing the exercise with perfect form is quite simple and straightforward.
All you need to do kettlebellswings is a bit of open space, a solid floor, and of course, a kettle bell for you to swing. These fibers are extremely important because they are responsible for generating explosive speed and power.
This is why sprinters who need short bursts of speed, often perform so many kettlebellswings as part of their training. The power they generate in your legs will enable you to jump higher and improve your standing vertical leap.
The heart is one of the most important organs in your body, and keeping it fit and healthy is absolutely essential for a whole host of different reasons. If you’re looking for an exercise that will enable you to better utilize glucose and keep your blood sugar levels stable, look no further than the kettle bell swing.
It is a condition characterized by the body’s inability to adequately utilize sugar for energy. The sugar is subsequently unable to be adequately processed properly and be used as energy in the cells.
Generally, you use lighter loads when doing the swings, and your stance and natural body mechanics mean that you’re far less likely to sustain an injury when doing kettlebellswings. Because you’re moving the weight between your legs as you are hunched forwards slightly, you’re using your core stabilizer muscles and your feet to keep yourself balanced firmly on the ground.
When swinging, you’re constantly working on finding your balance and keeping yourself firmly in place. If you’re looking for a way to switch up your training and keep it exciting and productive, why not do some kettlebellswings the next time you’re in the gym?
The kettle bell swing is a core training staple that can help to build total body strength and power, but are you sure you're even doing the exercise correctly? For this explosive movement, you shouldn't settle for anything other than perfect form—especially because it's such a simple, essential exercise that should serve as one of the centerpieces of your training plan.
Let Men's Health fitness director Ebenezer Samuel, C.S.C.S. Before you pick up a weight and start waving it around, take note that it's extremely important to pay attention the movement here.
The way that you start your swing position is essential, as is your body's posture throughout—so let's break down everything you need to know. 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 kettle bell swing (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. Problem two: if your shoulder mobility isn’t ideal; you'll compensate by arching through the lower back.
You absolutely must maintain the stiffness through your torso over the life of your swing set. Ex says: This is a lower body move, and your arms shouldn’t be anything more than a lever for the bell.
You really need to think about two things when you are trying to explode the bell upwards: stand up and squeeze your glutes. 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 kettle bell swing 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.
The kettle bell swing is a powerhouse when it relates to burning fat, building muscles, and improving your cardiovascular system. Burn a bunch of calories Studies#1 The American Council on Exercise (ACE), researchers found that a kettle bell workout can burn up to 20 calories a minute (1).
This means that a 20-minute kettle bell workout could burn up to 400 calories. The participants would use a 16 kg (35lbs) kettle bell to complete the workout.
They were told to go at their own pace and take as much rest as they needed. The subjects completed an average of 265 swings in the 12-minute workout.
Using a metabolic cart, researchers found that the participants burned an average of 160 calories in the 12 minutes, an average of 22 swings per minute (2). The heavier you are, the more calories you will burn (assuming all other variables are equal).
Obviously, the heavier the kettle bell, the more calories you will burn (assuming all other variables are equal). The subjects completed an average of 22 swings per minute.
It is fair to say that not everyone will burn an average of 20 calories per minute, like in the Ace study. But that doesn’t mean everyone will only burn 160 calories in 12-minutes, like in this study.
There are too many variables that determine how many calories a person could burn for any given activity. Age Weight Gender Activity level Your lean body mass (more LBM equals more calories burned) Your metabolic rate
Full body workout The Kettle bell swing works your core, back, shoulders, hamstring, quads, glutes, forearms, and chest. Move that shit as fast as you can (while keeping control) for 3 to 5 sets of 1 to 5 reps.
The Kettle bell swing used in high-intensity workouts such as HIIT AND Tabatha will increase your anaerobic (without oxygen) capacity. Aerobic capacity is the ability of your body to transport and use the oxygen you breathe.
If you ever have felt out of breath after just 3 or 4 minutes of jogging, then you need to increase your aerobic capacity. Your heart and lungs will curse the day you were born, but you’ll improve your aerobic capacity.
A lot of people use their arms too much to perform the swing. Kettle bell swing workout # 2 Kettlebellswings from hell
The last time I completed this challenge, I lost 8 pounds in the first seven days. The prescribed kettle bell weight for this challenge is: For women-16 kilos or 35 pounds.
If you are feeling brave, you can perform this workout a few more times. Just make sure you rest an adequate amount of time between workouts.
The kettle bell swing is a serious way to pack on muscle, increase your strength and cardiovascular endurance, while burning a shit ton of calories. They are an excellent way to get your workout on and kick some ass in the least amount of time possible and without having to leave the comfort of your home.
You can buy a kettle bell anywhere, from sporting goods stores, Amazon, and even Walmart. If you are unsure of which brand to buy, We own two CAP kettle bells.
I have done multiple 10,000 kettlebellswings challenges, and these kettle bells have withstood all the abuse. If you are looking to make your glutes firmer and stronger, check out our two moves for a stronger butt, where you’ll find two workouts that can be performed at home and without any equipment!
Please, feel free to share this blog post! In today’s world we spend the majority of our days doing things in front of us with terrible posture.
Cubicles) for hours at a time not moving and making the front of our body even tighter. If You’re Not Doing The Kettle bell Swing, You’re Destined To Stay Fat, Tight & Weak For The Rest Of Your Life!
This overuse of the muscles on the front side of our bodies is called “anterior dominance” and it is plaguing our society. Anterior dominance results in imbalances in our muscles causing us to move and perform at sub-optimal levels.
And because of our terrible posture — because our anterior muscles are shortened and tight pulling us forward — we give the illusion of being weak and unconfident as opposed to standing erect with our chins up. It’s no wonder that we’re generally unhealthy compared to previous generations that didn’t live a convenience lifestyle in this information age.
And there is one exercise — that if you incorporate it into your daily routine — can easily combat the ill effects of anterior dominance and the Western Lifestyle. FrequencyExercise TypeIntensityRepetitionsRest up to 7x per week strength training high intensity varies by workout varies by workout Once labelled “hard core”, kettle bells are now popping up in every gym, garage and backyard because of their portability and reputation for fast results.
Go into any gym and you’ll see inexperienced exercisers turning a swing into a front squat and shoulder raise exercise further tightening our hips, quads, chest and shoulders and just adding to the anterior dominance issue that I told you about above. A hip hinge — like a dead lift movement — forces you to use those posterior chain muscles to move the kettle bell.
It will allow you to loosen your tight hips and strengthen your butt so that you’ll develop the rear end of an athlete. It will bulletproof your low back by creating an armored brace around your midsection, and it will get rid of that paunchy gut.
“If You’re Not Doing The Hard style Kettle bell Swing, You’re Destined To Stay Fat, Tight & Weak For The Rest Of Your Life!” As opposed to starting your set of swings from the standing position like how you see most amateurs do it, the hike pass allows you to overstretch your lats — a powerful muscle in your upper body with a direct relationship with your glutes — and get more “juice” out of your swing.
Push your hips back keeping your butt high and bend your knees slightly. Always making sure your shoulders stay above the level of your hips, “hike pass” the kettle bell through your knees by contracting your lats.
When you push your hips back keeping your butt high and your shins vertical, you are hinging. This is good because most people today are hip flexor and quad dominant (your anterior muscles), so learning how to load and use your posterior chain creates a natural balance between front and back that will help in preventing knee and hip issues.
Imagine that you are growing roots through your feet and grab the ground with your entire foot. Getting proper instruction from an expert so that you can MASTER THE KETTLEBELL SWING is the best thing that you can do for your training regardless of your goal.
If you want to build strength, kettlebellswings will forge a grip of steel and will add pounds to your dead lift & squat. If you want to boost your athleticism, kettlebellswings will make you more powerful and add height to your jump and shave seconds off your sprints.
If you want to pack on muscle, swinging a heavy kettle bell will build an intimidating upper back & set of shoulders. And if you want to shed body fat, swings will incinerate blubber like butter melting in an iron pan.
The fact that we are asking such questions is far more important because it means that, regardless of which answer you choose, the situation has gotten bad for everyone. What will happen when the average kettle bell enthusiast finally realizes that his whole life, his house, children, car and even his dentist, is under threat?
Things are not dark yet, but the world has apparently entered a sort of twilight state, limbo if you will. In fact, some experts would argue that a new Cold War between the American and Russian Swing could very well be more hazardous than the first.
“This Cold War, its epicenter on Russia’s borders; undertaken amid inflammatory American, Russian and Ukrainian media misinformation; and unfolding without the stabilizing practices that prevented disasters during the preceding Cold War, may be even more perilous.” The power of the swing is generated from the hips while the spine is held perfectly stable and neutral.
At the apex of the swing, the kettle bell is at chest level, and the athlete’s glutes are contracted, quads are engaged, the stomach is rock solid and braced for impact, and lats are actively pulling the shoulders away from the ears. The Russian Swing is a great modality to teach athletes how to break at the abs, lats and glutes while using their bodies in a more efficient manner.
If the goal of the kettle bell swing is to increase hip hinge power output, doesn’t it make sense to use the best weight to achieve the desired result? If you were to superset that with an overhead shoulder mobility exercise aren’t you achieving the desired effect in the same time in a more efficient way?
Patrick McCarty wrote a great article for Breaking Muscle about the benefits of the Russian Swing where he states: The goal is not always simply to “do more work.” And you’ll never convince a powerlifter dead lifting 750lbs that he is only doing a “half rep.”
If the workout is kettle bells and burpees and you choose to do Russian swings but turn up the heat on the burpees — by resting less, going a little faster, or wearing a vest — can you, in theory, do as much “work” while keeping the swings from causing an uncomfortable shoulder impingement overhead? This somewhat obvious point is actually even greater than one might think because once the arms and kettle bell are moved beyond parallel with the ground, the athlete is at a disadvantage.
The kettle bell slows quite a bit once it passes the chest on the upswing due to this disadvantage. The other problem is that the time to complete the rep is much longer — which reduces the power output.
Everyone doesn’t have access to heavy or multiple kettle bells and not all fitness enthusiasts want to train for explosive hip drive. If you are a trainer or a client of a boot camp style training session, the American Swing is an excellent way to increase your work capacity.
If you only have access to a light kettle bell, bringing the swing all the way to the overhead position increases the amount of hip drive required to get the kettle bell overhead which, in turn, increases the work capacity of the exercise. Many people, mostly Cross fitters, are true fans of the Overhead Kettle bell Swing but I find the risks of this exercise far outweigh the rewards.
The shoulder is a very complicated joint needing to be both mobile for movement and stable for support. For beginners overhead exercises can cause real problems because basic stabilization strength has not yet been developed.
More advanced lifters can also have issues with overhead exercises due to a lack of shoulder mobility leading to compensations further down the kinetic chain. As a dead lift based exercise that works predominately into the buttocks, hamstrings and core muscles I don’t see the benefit of jeopardizing the shoulders by lifting overhead.
Most people nowadays due to more sedentary lifestyles suffer with mobility issues concerning the shoulders or thoracic spine. When you swing a kettle bell overhead tight shoulders or a limited upper back will lead to a compensation of movement further down the body.
Repeated overhead swings will continually arch and aggravate the lower back as you compensate for the lack of movement in the upper body. For most of the people I coach I want to get in more reps in less time to promote cardio benefits, so the Overhead Kettle bell Swing is less efficient for this.
In order to power the kettle bell overhead you will need to use less weight than the conventional swing to avoid bad technique and compensations in movement. First beginners need to master the basic hip hinge movement, then how to isometrically hold the back flat during dynamic movement, and finally how to avoid overextension at the lower back all while coordinating timing with the arms and the kettle bell.
A lack of power from the hips will also see an excessive lower back extension and many participants will lean backwards just to get the kettle bell into the top position. Repeatedly swinging overhead with the hands together put the shoulders at risk, aggravates the lower back, reduces the amount of work and promotes bad form in beginners.
With any kettle bell exercise you need to consider the true benefits of the movement, what are the risks and what are the rewards. Repeatedly swinging overhead with the hands together puts the shoulders at risk, aggravates the lower back, reduces the amount of work and promotes bad form in beginners.