The kettlebell swing is the foundational HardStyle kettlebell movement.
It’s CRITICAL that you master it before you move on to more advanced ballistic moves like the clean, snatch, etc.
And it’s fantastic for fat loss, building your conditioning levels, and so much more.
Thing is – it can also be a tricky exercise to master. There are a lot of moving parts, and it’s commonly done wrong.
So I thought I would give you a list of the 6 KB swing mistakes we see – and how to fix them! ..
So that YOU can start enjoying the full benefits of the foundational kettlebell training movement, while also ensuring that you are performing them safely and effectively.
Top 6 KB Swing Mistakes – and How to Fix Them!
Mistake 1 – Lazy set up
It’s a common issue that people are lazy when they reach down to grab the kettlebell off the floor and start the movement.
To fix this, get set up, with your abs tight, your body engaged, everything in a nice perfect position – while STANDING .. so that when you reach down to grab the ‘bell and start your first rep, you are good to go.
Mistake 2 – Swinging the KB too low
This one is SUPER common – and is one of the biggest causes of lower back pain.
The simple fix is to make sure that when the handle of the KB swings back, it is above your knees.
Mistake 3 – Rounding the shoulders / upper back
This comes from letting the muscles in the shoulders and upper back relax too much, and letting the KB jerk you around.
You want to have the shoulders pulled back into their sockets, and your upper back tight during the whole movement.
Mistake 4 – Swinging the kettlebell too high
The “American Swing” is a variation of the exercise – I get it. But I’m not a fan. At ALL. It’s way easier to mess up, and encourages too much upper body involvement, amoung other things.
At FVT, we swing the KB to approx chest level, no higher than the eyes.
If you want to “take the kettlebell thru a full range of motion” – just snatch!
Mistake 5 – Pez head
Have you ever eaten Pez candy?
It comes out of a fun – looking dispenser.
And it’s tasty!
But it should NOT be an inspiration for your swing form.
Your neck should be neutral, and in line with your spine at all times.
Mistake 6 – Overextending at the top of the movement
In an effort to use the hips while doing swings, a lot of people overextend at the top, and go too far. This puts stress on the back and robs you of power.
Think about finishing the move in a “standing plank” position – nice and tall, firm, tight, but not overextended.
There you have the top 6 KB swing mistakes, and how to fix them.
I hope this article was helpful for you, and that you can implement some of these tips to start improving your KB swing form!
And if you want a full 8 week kettlebell program that uses the swing as a foundational movement to help you shed fat, build lean muscle, and get into amazing shape, be sure check out my flagship online course, Kettlebell Challenge Workouts.
Train hard, talk soon –
– Forest Vance
Master of Science, Human Movement
Certified Kettlebell Instructor
PS – Did you find the KB swing form tips in this article helpful? Get my full set of KB Workshop videos by clicking below: