My top 3 kettlebell exercises series culminates in the great kettlebell swing (K.B.S.) You can probably attribute the recent kettlebell revolution and stratospheric rise in popularity to this move. It’s a fantastic exercise that can develop great fitness, plus, it looks super cool when done well and you can really give it some welly. There are many interpretations and as long as you are safe, that’s okay. That said, I often see it done poorly and it’s so easy to injure yourself. Here is my way of doing it for maximum gains and minimum risk. Start with a light kettlebell, say 2-4kg and work up as you feel confident.
REMEMBER – NEVER compromise the technique in order to go heavier! – Here we go.
What’s It Good For:
Explosive Strength, Whole Body Workout
Primary Body Parts:
Bum, Thighs, Trunk (Shoulders)
Initial Swing Back
Stand over the kettlebell and squat down to grasp it with both hands. Like the Prepare phase in the first Kettlebell blog with two hands. Slowly, stand up head first so that you are standing straight and strong with the kettlebell hanging on straight arms. Now, squat down allowing the kettlebell to swing back under you as pictured. Notice the 45º body angle. Avoid bowing or bending over.
Thrust your hips aggressively forward as you stand up, driving your legs as if driving hard into the floor whilst pushing your arms away with your hips, as pictured. Think of your arms as pendulum ropes; they should remain passive up to the Leg Snap (coming up next). This is not a front raise shoulder exercise.
Snap your legs straight, finishing with your hips thrust powerfully forward. A powerful hip thrust will leave you with a reasonable backward lean as pictured. Allow your arms to continue to rise to around eye level (due to leg power NOT arm work). If you have to pull the weight up with your arms then your thrust was not powerful enough. Remember, the arms are passive, their only job is to hold on to the kettlebell.
Return & Repeat
Allow the kettlebell to fall straight down (keeping hold of it) and smoothly guide it into a back swing beneath you as you return to the Initial Swing Back Position. Immediately repeat your thrust and maintain this flow for the planned number of repetitions. Think aggression of the way up and calm on the way down.
Single handed, with or without mid air switch. Much like the Kettlebell Clean and Press, squat down and grasp the kettlebell in one hand. Choose a much lighter weight to start with, half the weight of your two handed KBS. Now, do the KBS as instructed above, avoiding the urge to twist your body especially when going down. If you’re feeling confident and it’s safe to do so, try releasing the kettlebell at the top of the movement and switching hands (this is the point when it has stopped going tip, but has not yet started to fall). Aim to release the kettlebell at eye level as it is floating, avoid spinning it so that the handle is presented ready for your other hand to simply grab and go.
As always, task yourself with mastering the technique before challenging yourself to go heavier or single handed or switching mid air. Let me know how you get on with these instructions and how your kettlebell skills are doing. I love it when you come back and comment. Thank you for reading, catch you soon.