Kettlebell swings develop explosive power in the glutes, hips, and legs. Swings are a great movement to have in your workout plan for strength and conditioning. (In other words if you do swings you will be gaining strength, building muscle, and burning fat all at the same time).
Before starting swings you must be proficient with kettlebell deadlifts. Also make sure you can do a plank on your elbows for one minute. You have to have a foundational amount of core strength to protect your back as well as have the basic hip hinge pattern down before you can do swings.
Practice the swing movement without weight, then start with a 20-25lb kettllebell.
How to do the Kettlebell Swing
- Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip width apart.
- Set up the kettlebell about a foot in front of you
- Sit your butt back, grip the kettlebell handle, pull your arms and shoulders back into their sockets.
- Hike/throw the kettlebell back behind youQuickly squeeze your glutes and extend hips and knees back to the start position.
- Your arms with the kettlebell simply go along for the ride.
Think of doing a vertical jump, but don’t actually leave the ground. This is how explosive this movement should be.
- Lifting with the arms. Glue your arms to your rib cage. Your arms should not leave your rib cage until your hips bump them forward. Then the arms float up. Your arms do not need to go any higher than chest height.
- Squatting and/or swinging the kettlebell too low. Swings are not squats. Let me say it again–swings are not squats. The swing is a back and forth motion, originating in the deadlift movement. It is not an up and down motion, like a squat. Keep the kettlebell close to your crotch. If you don’t get friendly with your crotch, the weight is going to create excessive pull on your lower back–not good. If you are really struggling with this, go back and practice the hip hinge pattern without any weight. Stand with your butt a foot or so away from a wall and push your butt back to touch the wall. Increase your distance from the wall and do it again.
- Rounding the back. Keep your chest up, eyes forward, and a slight arch in the lower back.
- Not straightening the hips and knees completely at the top. Squeeze your glutes and abs and straighten your knees completely. The fronts of your hips should be completely flat with no crease.
- Overextending/arching back at the top of the swing. Again, squeeze your glutes and abs and stop yourself right at the top of the movement. Do not over-arch the back.
Give the kettlebell swing a try. Questions? Comments? Talk to me below.