Kettlebell Swing Form Tips

Do you feel like your form’s not quite right on some (or all) of the basic kettlebell moves?

Does your lower back ache after a KB session?

Time for a “kettlebell form re-set”.  And it all starts with the swing …

As you know, the swing forms the foundation of HardStyle kettlebell training.  Most of the more advanced moves (snatches, cleans, etc.) are built around the swing.

So whether you’re just starting out … or you’ve been training for years with KB’s … this new kettlebell swing form tips video will help you. It’s the progression I take everyone through to learn – or re-enforce the technique basics – of the kettlebell swing.  Enjoy!

(FYI, we’ll be covering tips like these in an in-person, hands-on fashion at my June 2nd Kettlebells For Fat Loss Workshop in Sacramento, CA … click here for more details about that if you’re interested)

Video Recap

What’s up guys, Forest here from Today I want to take you through a basic progression if you are learning how to do the swing, or if you are still trying to refine your form. This is the progression I use with every single one of my clients when they are learning the swing and it is really the best way to quickly, easily, effectively get down the motion. So it is going to be a progression, we are going to start with a sumo deadlift, we are going to go to a half swing, and then go to a full swing.

I am just going to demonstrate each exercise for you here.

The first one is going to be your sumo deadlift and what you are going to do is imagine there is a wall behind you. You can actually do this drill with the wall behind you to emphasize hinging at the hips and punching your hips back towards the wall. It’s going to look like this, you are going to start with the bell even with the toes, hinge at the hips, grab the bell, stand up as tall as possible, tap the ground, and you repeat. Do 5 of those. After you have done 5, you are going to continue and now try to touch the bell down, even with the heels. This is the same motion, we are just loading up the hips more now, bringing the bell back further. Now what you are going to do is tighten up. So after you have done 5 and 5, you are going to imagine like you are doing a standing plank; tighten the quads, tighten the glutes, brace abs, chest up shoulders back, flex the triceps totally tight. This is what you are going to feel like at your locked out position in the swing.

We are going to go into a half swing. Hike the bell back and just let the weight fly up. And then, you are going to progress to a full swing. That is your progression, you have your sumo deadlift, your half swing, and your full swing.

So just real quick, a couple of things that can go wrong with this. Number one, make sure the bell isn’t going too close to the ground. So as you swing, a very common mistake is to let the bell go close to the ground here. Hold the bell tight to the body as it swings back, imagine you are throwing the bell through stomach and getting your hips out of the way at the last minute. Number two thing, is make sure you are not doing a squat and front raise, make sure you aren’t squating and raising, but hike pass and then you are snapping the hips, letting the weight fly up at the top. Those are two really common mistakes that I see. The third one is to make sure you aren’t overextending at the top and leaning back. Make sure you hike pass the weight back and finish your swing standing straight up and down.

So there is your basic swing progression and a couple of mistakes to watch for. Thanks for watching and I’ll see you next time at

In summary, mastering the kettlebell swing is key – no matter what your current kettlebell expertise level or eventual fitness goals.  The video above covers the basic progression I use with all my kettlebell training clients to learn – or re-enforce technique basics – with the kettlebell swing.

Train hard and talk soon –

Forest Vance, Certified Level 2 Russian Kettlebell Challenge Instructor

PS – For more details about our upcoming Kettlebells For Fat Loss Workshop in Sacramento, CA – and to reserve your spot while they’re still available … click here

3 thoughts on “Kettlebell Swing Form Tips

  1. Pingback: Tough Mudder Kettlebell Workout | Kettlebell Basics

  2. Pingback: Story of the Crazy Kettlebell Man (and a body weight/KB circuit workout) | Kettlebell Basics

  3. Pingback: Mud Run Kettlebell Workout | Tough Mudder Event Prep 2012

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *