I live maybe 15 or 20 minutes away from my training facility. So, if I can get my own personal workouts there, I do … but I also get some of my workouts at a “big box” gym that’s about a 60 second drive from my house.
I was there working out yesterday, and I saw a trainer taking his client through a set of KB swings.
Now I try to keep to myself when I’m working out as much as I possibly can … but hey, I’m a trainer, and a kettlebell guy at that, so I have to take a quick peek when someone’s training with kettlebells to see what they’re doing.
A couple of things that were going on:
- The weight the individual was lifting was way to light for their strength level – and as a result, they were able to “cheat” the weight up to the top of the move
- Their muscle tension and core engagement was nearly non-exisitant – so their back wasn’t protected at the bottom or top of the move, the two spots spots where the lower back is most vunerable
- They were swinging the weight too high at the top and losing their neutral spine – which was also adding stress to their back
(BTW, it wasn’t the trainee’s fault at all here – I blame the trainer 100%. Just to be clear 🙂 )
These are things that may or may not seem like a big deal to you … but they are VERY important if you want to get the most out of your swings, and stay injury free.
So, I’ve put together a little three part video series “crash course” on the swing that I’ll be delivering to you over the next few days.
Last time, we covered the first step in the progression – the imaginary, or weightless, swing. If you missed that video/post, make sure to take a look at it – it’s a really important part of the process. See that here:
The next step – shown in the video below – is the deadlift.
- Get set up so that the ‘bell is even with the insteps of the feet. You should have your deadlift hip hinging movement down from step one.
- Stand up with the KB. Get as tall as you can. Make sure to squeeze the glutes, thighs, and abs at the top.
- Keep in mind that is NOT a squatting move, but a deadlift. This is probably the most important element of step two.
That’s it for now! Stay tuned for part three of the HardStyle kettlebell swing progression video series coming soon …
Forest Vance, MS, RKC II
PS – If you like what you’re learning so far in this video series … stay tuned for a cool program I’ve recently RE-designed and improved for 2012-2013 … it’s a full 12 week course that’ll take you in a progressive fashion from KB newb to HardStyle swing ninja. I’ll have more details for you coming in the next few days …