The Kettlebell Swing

The Kettlebell Swing forms the foundation of kettlebell training.  It hits almost all of your major muscle groups, especially those of the all-so-critical posterior chain (a fancy term for the back of the body): the glutes, hamstrings, back extensors, and lats.  It can be used for a wide variety of applications, including fat loss, conditioning, building explosive strength, and much more.  First, watch this video to see how the movement is done:

Now we’ll break it down into steps:

1. Before you attempt the full kettlebell swing, do a kettlebell sumo deadlift.  Start with the kettlebell between the feet.  Initiate the movement by pulling the hips back.  This is different from a squat; you should feel a stretch in the back of the legs if you’re doing it right.

2. The swing is simply an extension of the deadlift.  Start with the weight about a foot or so in front of you; hike it back between the legs and use the legs and hips to snap it up.  Remember that the swing is a lower-body driven movement, not a squat and front raise.  When the ‘bell reaches the top of the swing, it should float for a second if you’re doing it right; snap the weight back down and repeat for reps.

Those are the basics of a kettlebell swing.  Refine this movement until you’ve got it down before moving on – you must perfect the swing before moving on to more advanced drills like the clean and press and the snatch.  Good luck!

16 thoughts on “The Kettlebell Swing

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  16. Started working out with the kettlebells back in Feburary and now it is June i lost a total of 25 lbs with a good diet..Got 5 more lbs to go to get to my goal..Love these workout..I am 55 been going to the gym for over 20 years.Gave up my membership and now i just do kettlebell workouts..Finally found something that works for me..Just started doing the turkish half get ups with very light weight but love the feel of the motion thru my core..i know in a month i will see great results in this excersies all with the great kettlebell swing…Bring it on …

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