Quick Tip To Fix Your KB Swing

Hope you had a great weekend!

Saturday was “FVT picture day” at our gym … it was a lot of fun, and we were long overdue for some updated shots!

Then on Sunday we went out to lunch at a really nice restaurant on the river to celebrate my grandma’s 96th birthday(!) … our daughter is almost 8 mos old now, and it’s getting a little trickier to take her out to eat these days, as she’s all of a sudden getting a LOT more active and energetic … but it’s all good, having fun and enjoying every day with our little girl!

Anyway, got a quick tip and video for you today to help you improve your KB swing form … but before we get to it, I would love to get your feedback on something real quick.

We are considering doing a live, streaming, follow-along workout from FVT and broadcasting it on the internet, and I’m wondering if you would be interested?

The way it would work:

— You sign up ahead of time for the workout (for a small fee – around $10 most likely for the first one)
— You “tune in” for the workout from wherever you are in the world and follow along
— The first session will be a minimal / zero equipment workout you can do at home
— I’ll be leading the session, and will have one or two or three folks that I’ll be coaching through the workout
— You would also get a recording of the workout as well – if you can’t make the actual event, so you could do it again on your own time, etc
— Folks who register will also get the opportunity to send in questions on things like exercise technique, etc ahead of time, and we’ll take 15 mins or so at the end of the workout to answer questions live

Sound interesting? Just hit reply to this message and let me know … and if I get enough responses, we’ll make it happen.

ALSO … if you are interested, can you also let me know what time of day / day of the week would be best for you, in Eastern Standard Time please?

This way, if we do end up doing this, we’ll be able to schedule the live workout at a time that works best for everyone 🙂

Okay, on to today’s kettlebell training tip – talk soon!

– Forest Vance
Level 2 Certified Russian KB Instructor


Quick Tip To Fix Your KB Swing

Kettlebell training is one of the best exercise methods in existence for extreme fat loss and total body conditioning.

On the other hand, learning even the basic kettlebell exercises does take some study and practice of safe and effective lifting techniques.

The kettlebell Swing is the “pilar” movement of hardstyle kettlebell lifting; and while it is technically complex,the mistakes that we see folks make with it repeat themselves over and over again. One of the most common Swing mistakes in the Swing is what we call the “squat and front raise error”.

In a correct, “hip driven” Swing, the kettlebell is hiked back between the legs, and the arms do approximately 10-20% of the work.

When a kettlebell trainee makes the squat and front raise error, the individual will perform a squatting pattern with the lower body followed by a front raise – type move. In this scenario, the arms are responsible for more like 50-60% of the movement.

What we call the towel swing is a great drill to help you fix this flaw.

To perform the Towel Swing, you just do your two handed Swings with a towel wrapped around the horn of the ‘bell and grabbing the ends of the towel; to maintain tension on the towel through the entire movement, you have to use your hips and direct energy efficiently to the ‘bell.

It’s a great drill because it’s very self correcting. Do a few Swings with the towel and you’ll naturally use your lower body more and your upper body less as you get feedback from the towel.

Watch this video for a quick demo:

To sum up, one of the most common mistakes with the Kettlebell Swing is the “squat and front raise” error. This occurs when the trainee uses a squatting, knee-dominant movement on the “down” portion of the swing, and as a result has to over-involve the arms in finishing the movement. The towel swing drill is a great one to help you fix this flaw. Give it a try today!

Improve Your Kettlebell Clean – 3 Simple Tips

Last week, one of my Elite Online Coaching clients told me that their kettlebell clean form needed some work – and sent me a video of themselves doing the move for me to take a look at and give some feedback on.

The kettlebell clean is actually one of the hardest of the basic KB moves to really perfect. I get questions about it freqently from both my online coaching clients as I mentioned above, and from a lot of folks that are just starting to train with us in person at the FVT studio.

See, most folks can pick up / swing a ‘bell into a rack position at the shoulder, and it will resemble something like what we would call a “clean” … however, to really get the movement DOWN, to make it smooth, efficient, and minimize impact on the forearm etc … is quite tricky.

So I thought I’d do a quick video with three simple tips to help you improve your kettlebell clean technique for ‘ya. Hope it helps!

1 – Think around getting your hand around the ‘bell

Most folks clean the KB up, but when it comes around their hand, it just kind of flops over the top and ends up smacking them in the wrist.

If you can think about getting your hand around the kettlebell instead, it will help you slip your hand around and finish in a nice strong position at the top.

2 – Think about zipping up a jacket

The motion your hand should be making is not unlike zipping up a jacket. Think about this next time you do the exercise, and it will help you keep your hand in the proper position.

3 – Land in the proper rack position

When the kettlebell is racked at the shoulder, this is called the rack position. You should 1) be able to touch your thumb to your collar bone 2) have the KB resting on your upper arm 3) also have the KB resting on your forearm when in the rack.

Give those technique tips a try, practice ’em, and let me know how they go for ‘ya!

Train hard, and talk soon –

– Forest Vance
Level 2 Certified Russian Kettlebell Instructor

PS – The “Elite Online Coaching” program that I mentioned today is my highest-level, highest-access, most customized online training program available. I design a custom workout and nutrition plan every month for folks that are in it … it also includes unlimited email access, unlimited video form technique critiques, and a LOT more …

Because it is so customized and time – intensive, I can only work with 10 folks in this program at any one time. And many folks who start training with me in this capacity end up training for a long, continuous period, because of the great results that they end up getting …

That being said, I have three clients who have met their goals and their training periods have come to an end … and so I will be accepting applications for the program this coming week, and accepting up to three new online training clients.

If this interests you, keep an eye on your email inbox – more info coming soon! 🙂

New Garage Built Body Program (time sensitive)

Hey – wanted to send a quick follow up yesterday’s message, I forgot to mention something –

My friend Travis Stoetzel is holding a sale this week on his new Garage Built Body program:

=> Garage Built Body special offer (time sensitive)

I am actually doing this program myself to test it out. I have been doing workouts from it all this week. And I am SUPER impressed.

So if you’re looking for a new workout program to do at home on your own, if you enjoy training with kettlebells and your own body weight, if you are limited on time, and if you’re ready to WORK, you’re going to love this one.

Garage Built Body includes a TON of the stuff FVT readers have been asking for more of, like:

— How to not only get into great condition, but build serious muscle and strength with KB’s (and other tools)
— CRAZY hard KB complexes
— How to get the most out of limited training resources (minimal equipment) and time (all the workouts are 24 minutes or less)

=> Garage Built Body special offer (time sensitive)

You’ve probably heard me mention Travis’ name before … but if not, he’s a strength coach based out of the midwest (US) that’s a friend of mine. We share a similar background (Travis played college football and still competes now in the Crossfit games) and similar training philosophies (he uses kettlebells, body weight – based movements and other types of functional training modes heavily in his programming).

Anyway, that’s it for now. Enjoy the rest of your day, and talk soon –


PS – Here’s how my workout went yesterday – just to give you a little preview:

First, I foam rolled and stretched for a few mins to get my mind right before the workout.

(Travis includes his pre-workout prep routine if you need one.)

While I was doing that, I quickly reviewed 1) the coaching video for the workout of the day, and 2) the corresponding workout manual on my iPhone – just to make sure I knew how things were set up, and that I was doing everything correctly.

Then, I got all of my equipment ready, and hit the workout hard. I did:

(sequence 1)

— 1 KB power snatch
— 1 KB push press
— 1 KB thruster

Complete 3 full rounds through the complex = set
Alternate arms each minute
3 sets every minute, on the minute x8 (4 rounds each side)

(sequence 2)

— side lunge x5
— push up x5

As many rounds as possible in 5 minutes

(sequence 3)

— kettlebell swings x10,12,14 …

Every minute, on the minute, do a set
Go until you fail to do the work listed within the minute

Did a quick sixty second cool down and was done.

And that’s how my workout went down.

Okay. That is all. Have a great weekend 😉

=> Grab your copy of Garage Built Body here

GBB Day 2 – Density Acclimation (sample KB/BW workout)

If you’ve been doing any sort of “High Intensity Interval Training” workouts, and are seeing any of the following symptoms:

— loss in strength
— loss in hard earned muscle
— loss in overall physique results (gotten fatter, softer, etc)
— drop in overall performance

You could be in trouble.

See, while these HIIT type of workouts are OK at helping you burn off a bit of fat, TOO much HIIT can hurt you.

If you’re going to do HIIT, you’ll want to make sure to balance it out with some strategically programmed strength and power work to help maintain and build muscle mass.

If you don’t, you’ll soon find yourself having the symptoms noted above.

The good news is, I’ve found a system that does just this … with workouts that last 24 minutes or less, and that can be done in your home with nothing more than a set of kettlebells (or dumbbells) and a pull up bar:

=> Garage Built Body – your HIIT addiction solution!

I wanted to give you a sample workout from the program, so you could get an idea of what a “set up” like this might look like.


GBB Day 2 – Density Acclimation

1 – 8 minutes, as many rounds as possible of:

— 3 burpees
— 5 pull ups
— 5 double KB thruster

2 – 8 minutes, as many rounds as possible of:

— KB sumo deadlift high pull x 4,6,8,10 …
— hand release push ups x 2,4,6,8 …

3 – 4 rounds NOT for time

— 40 yard sprints


Now that one might LOOK simple on paper – but trust me, it’s a SMOKER! Try it yourself and see 🙂

And instead of just being some randomized workout (like most HIIT programs are), Travis – creator of the Garage Built Body system – takes you through a progressive 16 week program, so that one training session builds upon the last, and you can see progress over time.

Learn more about the full Garage Built Body system here:

=> Garage Built Body – your HIIT addiction solution!

Train hard, and talk soon –

– Forest Vance, MS, RKC II, PCC