Let’s start this off by saying that the kettlebell swing is an amazing movement to add to your exercise routine.
Benefits of Kettlebell Swings
- Strengthen muscles and increase your heart rate for a well rounded workout.
- Movement helps us load our posterior chain (glutes and hamstrings for example) which can help counteract the negative effects of sitting all day. This movement can also help strengthen our lower back (also in our posterior chain) and abdominals to help prevent lower back issues in the future and improve spine stabilization. Breathe deeply with the movement and you’ll be activating your core even more!
- Performing kettlebell swings properly allows us to improve hip power, which can translate over into other exercises such as box jumps (or any jumping), slam balls, squats etc.
- Kettlebell swings have relatively much lower loads (or weight used) than other power, functional movements such as Olympic lifts, or plyometric exercises (box jumps etc.) Therefore, this movement can give you some of the same benefits as these other functional lifts but with a decreased load on the spine and less impact on other joints.
- This can also be a great cardio exercise that can easily be done in your home with minimal space and equipment. Doing swings properly, elevates that HR quickly as stated above.
Tips for a Proper Kettlebell Swing
So how do you know if you’re performing this great movement correctly?
- The beginning movement is called a hip hinge. It’s similar to a quarter squat in which you load by letting the kettlebell swing underneath your body. Keep your chest up slightly and core engaged. Back should be flat or straight.
- The swing or drive of the movement comes next! Snap or drive your hips in a quick, upward motion just like if you’re jumping up. We want to get full hip extension, so you shouldn’t be squatting slow. Your goal is to generate enough hip drive so that the power created moves the kettlebell through the swing. Your hips do the work – your arms are simply hanging onto the kettlebell; not lifting the kettlebell.
- Stabilize at the top! No matter your ending position; American (KB pointing to the ceiling overhead) or Russian (KB coming to eye level), you will want to stabilize or come to a brief pause. Engage your core, keep back straight to keep spine neutral and squeeze those glutes! Then allow the kettlebell to come back down to go back into another swing. This is similar to a pendulum movement where the weight of the kettlebell brings you back down to the starting position. Keep your core engaged to stabilize your spine as the kettlebell returns to the hip hinge or step #1.
AHHHH what do these words mean??? Please watch the full video for tips and demonstrations.
I hope that some of these tips have helped you! See you in class!