This is part of the kettlebell exercise breakdown series.
Make sure you head to the home post where you can find a list of every kettlebell exercise in the series.
Let's Breakdown The Kettlebell Swing
It's the foundation.
The fundamental... quintessential... kettlebell exercise. The gateway drug into the world of kettlebells.
And for how easy it looks... it's surprisingly detailed.
So let's break it down.
Breakdown 1: Hinge
Remember it's a hip hinge and not a squat.
Your hips go backwards... not down. Stick your butt out and be proud!
Need help with the hip hinge in more detail? Here's how to master the kettlebell deadlift.
Remember... keep your spine straight. Don't let your shoulders fall forward or your spine round.
Breakdown 2: The Two Triangles
On the ground... your feet and the kettlebell.
This is called the start stop position. It's important because once you get good with swings and you go heavy... you'll need this position to safely start and stop the kettlebell swing.
Your knees and your crotch.
Yes I just said crotch. But I have to... this triangle is very important.
When you're swinging you need to keep the handle of the kettlebell inside this triangle... as close to your crotch as possible.
Your hips are (more or less) your center of gravity. They produce the power.
If you let the kettlebell get too low between your legs...
You lose an insane amount of power
Forcing your arms to do work
Forcing your back to do work
This is why most people feel back discomfort or pain during a kettlebell swing... besides the fact that most people are generally tight in the low back area to begin with.
If you sit a lot during the day there are low back stretches you should be doing .
Packed Shoulders That Still Swing
As your thrusting your hips forward and coming to the top of the kettlebell swing...
Keep your shoulders packed and in place. Don't let them shift forward and get all out of control.
Imagine you're demonstrating how to stand with perfect posture... shoulders back... a power pose.
But... just because your shoulders are packed... doesn't mean they don't swing. So let them rotate in their joint.
When the kettlebell swings out... your shoulders are rotating to let the kettlebell get too about chest or neck height.
Don't be too rigid, but don't be too loose either. It's the ying and yang of the swang!
Balance Tells All
Focus on balance.
Your feet usually keeps everything else in check. Here's what I mean...
If you feel like your weight is too far forward on your feet...
This probably means your letting your shoulders move too far forward and the kettlebell is pulling your forward.
Keep your shoulders packed.
If you feel your weight is on your heels or your toes are coming up off the ground...
This means you're probably not locking out at the top of your swing... or... your thrusting your hips wayyy to far forward.
Your butt should be squeezed and your quads should be tight keeping your body in a straight line.
If you feel your back start to get sore or tweak out...
This means the kettlebell is probably going to low between your legs. Keep the kettlebell close to your crotch... your center of gravity.
This can also mean you need to stretch and trigger ball more . Most people have tight backs because we sit too much. Learn about trigger ball therapy here to get you started.
Slow Motion For Me
Check out the two videos...
One is full blast.
One is slow motion.
All you need to do is practice and have fun.
Start by doing what I call low swings.
Don't worry about getting the kettlebell high at all. In fact keep it low. You'll feel your hips doing the work and it will help groove a dynamic hip hinge and thrust.
And you feel it and as your balance gets better... start going into the full range of swinging motion.
Post Your Swing!
Post your swing on Facebook or Insta and tag me, @TrainerKindal and/or use the hashtags: #fww... #trainerkindal... or #kindalboyle and let me see.
Keep practicing and you'll get it.
Remember this is the beginning of the kettlebell exercise database.
I have a post about choosing the right kettlebells if you need help there. So go check that post out.