PROPER FORM FOR KETTLEBELL SWINGS
In preparation for your Sunday Hell Week Challenge, Coach Coby wanted to share his training tips on one of his favorite movements that he sees consistently being performed incorrectly. With the proper form and technique, the Kettlebell Swing is one of the best full body exercises!
Key Point #1: The Swing is a Hinge, Not a Squat
There are several variations of the Kettlebell Swing, but the standard form of the exercise is a hinge at the hips, not a squat. If you aren’t feeling a stretch in your hamstrings as you perform each repetition, you are probably bending at the knees and squatting rather than hinging at the hips and activating your posterior chain. Keep a tight core, straight back, and get your hips behind your centerline.
Key Point #2: The Swing is Explosive, Not Passive
The primary benefit of the Kettlebell Swing is the ability to use a ballistic, explosive movement with your hips to build core strength and conditioning. Again, while there are variations (the Girevoy Sport/Kettlebell Sport “efficient” variation in this case), the standard form requires an explosive hip “snap” to drive the weight forward.
If your hips aren’t moving behind your centerline, chances are that you are literally just swinging the kettlebell like a pendulum between your legs. This could conceivably build some hook grip/forearm conditioning, but there is no way you’re improving your core strength like you should be with the Swing. Move those hips and explode forward!
Key Point #3: Leaning Back at the Top of the Swing is Wrong & Dangerous
I can’t emphasize this enough, the Kettlebell Swing is an explosive core strengthening exercise; with that said, you need to be activating your core during the drill! This is achieved at the top of each repetition as the kettlebell reaches the apex of the swing.
The hip snapping movement described in point #2 ends when the kettlebell reaches 45 degrees out from your body. What stops the hip motion is the flexing of your glutes and your abs. Doing this should force your body into a completely vertical position with good posture, fully engaging your core.