Note: Should the weight begin to squirm or moan, simply offer it a “treat” (peanut butter or Pirates Booty works quite well)
On a (slightly) More Serious Note
Here are a few highlights from our first newsletter, which provided a few different methods for kettlebell swing conditioning.
First up is the infamous swing chain. Line up three (or more) consecutively heavier bells. Choose weights that are appropriate for you to perform five reps at each bell, Som and I opted for a 20kg, 28kg, and 36kg kettlebell. Start at the lightest bell and bang out five swings at each bell. Cycle through the chain 6 – 10 times as quickly as possible with little to no rest between cycles. Another alternative is to work this for time, say fifteen minutes, and see how many times you are able to work through the chain in the given amount of time.
In Regards to Cervical Extension…
What did you notice?
If you paid close enough attention, you probably took note that while I swing, I do my best to maintain that oh so pretty crown to coccyx alignment through cervical retrusion (pushing my chin back), and mild cervical and capital flexion. The goal here is to keep the entire spine in perfect alignment, so if you were to place a broomstick on your back, it should touch the crown of your head, T-spine region, and tailbone (it will not touch your lumbar if you are maintaining natural lordosis) throughout the hinging movement.
Som on the other hand performs his swings with a bit of cervical extension, where the chin is up and he is visibly focusing on the horizon. This “look at the horizon” is the current method we use for teaching head position in regards to swing as RKC’s.
Now I am not saying one method if better than the other. I have only heard anecdotal evidence to support either method. But I personally feel more authentically stable and stronger while maintaining perfect crown to coccyx alignment. The only potential danger here is that I feel there is a possibility (especially for those new to this type of lifting) that the mild capital flexion may lead to flexion elsewhere along the spine, which would certainly be less than optimal or desired.
So what do you think? Which method do you use/prefer? I would love to hear more from anyone else who has ever experimented with neck position in regards to hip hinging movements.