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Are Your Kettlebell Swings On Point?

Are Your Kettlebell Swings On Point?

  1. Do you regularly perform kettlebell swings?  
  2. Is your kettlebell swing technique on point? 
  3. Are you effectively engaging your muscles and physically understanding each component of the kettlebell swing? 

If you are performing kettlebell swings then you need to make absolutely sure your technique is spot on in order to reap the benefits of this awesome drill. If you’re not 100% sure about each phase of the kettlebell swing then keep on reading. 

The Phases Of Kettlebell Swings

First, the kettlebell swing combats a lot of negative factors that can have an impact on your body. 

For starters, swings are great for fighting against and correcting a poor hunching posture. Unfortunately in this day and age a hunching posture is something that seems to be an epidemic with a great deal of our modern society. 

If you’re suffering from forward rounding shoulders, low back pain, tight hips, and just generally bad posture the kettlebell swing can help to signifiantly resolve most of this. 

You see this overblown forward rounding posture with the front of your body shortened and hunched over is what is known as anterior dominance. I usually refer to this as being the human version of folding up like a tent because the body is rounding forward. 

This is common due to lifestyle factors that involve too much sitting and internal rotation of your shoulders and not enough thoracic extension (good posture reinforcement). 

Essentially you’re allowing your body to fold up just like a tent. 

This is a problem, but the good news is that it can be fixed. 

The kettlebell swing can basically be broken down into 4 phases…

1. Hike:

This is where you pass the kettlebell between your legs at your groin like a football. You’re actively loading your hips preparing for the swing. 

2. Hinge: 

The kettlebell swing is NOT a squat. In fact, it’s more similar to a deadlift because you’re sitting your butt back and loading your glutes and hamstrings to propel the kettlebell up out of the hike and into the arc of the swing.  

3. Root: 

The Root is the finished part of the swing. Here your body should be locked, rigid, and standing firm. Imagine yourself doing a vertical plank as you lock out your body position and “root” your feet into the ground. At this point of the movement you should be strong and rigid like the trunk of a tree. 

4. Float: 

The float is what happens when you execute the kettlebell swing correctly. This is demonstrated by the bell obtaining lift to the point that it stalls out at the peak of the swing…like it’s in a float.

This is proof that you engaged your legs and properly fired your hips to achieve this sort of momentum with the swing instead of trying to “muscle” the bell up with your arms…which is not proper swing technique. The kettlebell swing is NOT an arm lift. 

Kettlebell Swings: The Takeaway

If you’re not performing kettlebell swings properly and on a regular basis then you need to be. In order to become proficient in the movement I would recommend you seek out professional help to master the proper technique and to properly engage each phase of the movement outlined here in this article. 

Are you currently performing kettlebell swings in your strength and conditioning workouts? 

How many days a week do you perform kettlebell swings? 

Post up and share here below in the comments. 

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I'm a Certified Strength And Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and author. I have had over 17 years experience in MMA fitness, strength and conditoning, and athletic performance for most every sport. As an author and specialist I've written close to a million words on fitness and strength. I'm also a Muay Thai practictioner and enjoy helping others to reach their peak potential through fitness and performance.

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