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Now onto some more serious business…
The kettlebell swing… eh, certainly been around this block more than once…
Yet here we are again with another tutorial video. And what I want to clear up is:
“what is the right way to swing a kettlebell?”
My answer to you is this:
There are an infinite number of ways you can swing a kettlebell. And I’m not going to say that any other way is wrong, but I am going to show you the way that I teach it to my victims and why I choose to teach it this way.
Here a few nuances of the way that I teach the kettlebell swing –
1. Packed neck. If you haven’t checked out my interview with Dr. Charlie Weingroff on the importance of packing the neck then I highly encourage you to do so here.
The easiest way to go about “packing in your neck” is to think you want to try and give yourself a double chin. What this looks like is mild capital flexion coupled with cervical retrusion. The goal of this is to keep the cervical spine as neutral as possible, just as you would want to keep any other part of your spine as neutral as possible. Packing in your neck will help prevent excessive amounts of cervical extension as well as aid in taking you out of that dreaded head forward position that so many people hang out in now adays.
2. Hinge Not Squat. This would seem like a no-brainer to most, and I’m not saying it’s wrong to squat your swings, but it’s just not what I would do – and for a variety of reasons…
When I think the kettlebell swing I like to think an outward projection of force, not upward. So if I were to correlate the kettlebell swing to any other movement, I would say it is most similar to a broad jump (not so much a vertical jump). Now if you were ever going to perform a broad jump you would hinge, not squat to project the force outward. The swing to me is primarily a posterior chain driven power movement, meaning deep hinging and hip flexion.
3. Bell Doesn’t Float Above Chest This ties into the last point quite nicely. Again if the projection of force is outward rather than upward then there is no marginal benefit to swinging any higher than chest height. Secondly if you want to swing above your chest, then why not just learn to snatch? And for a third point, the two hand swing isn’t so friendly for swinging above chest height without either compensating at the lumbar through hyperextension or at the shoulders through scapular elevation(shrugging) and losing that strong connection/lat engagement that helps keep your shoulders safe. For me there have never been any valid/reasonable arguments that have convinced me that swinging higher than chest height has any additional benefit that at least isn’t outweighed by any marginal cost.
Those are just three of the many nuances that I cover in the video below. Please take the time to watch and re-watch the video so that you pick up on all the annoying nitty gritty detail. Because it’s all that annoying nitty gritty detail that makes a world of difference with your kettlebell swing.
I hope you all enjoy this tutorial video, and be sure to post any questions or comments you have in the comment section!