D.A.R.C. Swing Technique Tips

Kettlebell Swings are the foundation of the RKC system – and they’re one of the best exercises that exists for power, explosiveness, flexibility and extreme conditioning.  But in all honesty, a steady diet of two hand Swings and not much else can get, well, a little boring.

The good news is that there are actually quite a few variations of the standard two hand Kettlebell Swing.  The D.A.R.C. Swing is a one hand variation where you switch hands at the top of the movement between each repetition.  Here’s a short video clip from the Sacramento Kettlebells For Fat Loss workshop I held last weekend at my personal training gym that covers a few tips on how to refine the exercise:

Here’s a recap of what I cover in the video:

1. You need to have the one hand Swing down cold before you try the Hand-to-Hand Swing.  Everything in kettlebell training starts with the Swing – and the two hand version is the #1 exercise you should be looking to master.  The logical progression is the two hand Swing, the one hand Swing, and then the hand-to-hand Swing.

If you don’t have the one hand Swing down before attempting the hand-to-hand version, you commonly end up too focused on switching hands and your form gets all jacked up – you lose your hip snap, ab brace, you end up swinging the ‘bell to close to the ground, etc.

2. As you learn the movement, keep the ‘off’ hand (the one you’re about to switch to) up and ready to switch. This makes it easier to ‘pluck’ the kettlebell out of the air when you let go with one hand and grab with the other.

In conclusion, the D.A.R.C. Swing is a great kettlebell Swing variation that you should be including in your workouts if you’re not already.  It’ll help you mix things up and give you a new way to challenge yourself while still working on and mastering the most fundamental of kettlebell exericses, the Swing.  I hope you find this quick video helpful in refining your technique – and keep training hard!

P.S. I have a ‘mini-product’ coming in the next week or two that’s all about – guess what? – the Swing.  The thing is, there are a lot of resources out there that tell you how to do the basic movement, but leave out a lot of the details – and the true benefits of the move are in refining and mastering the subtilties. It’ll go over in a ton of detail exactly how to do the exercise, fixes to all the common technique problems, workouts to get you in phenomenal shape using only the Swing and a handful of other exercises, and a lot more. So stay tuned!

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Kettlebell Snatch Technique Tip

The Kettlebell Snatch is one of the trickiest basic kettlebell exercises to learn.

The Kettlebell Snatch is one of the trickiest kettlebell exercises to learn …

Check out this quick video for a technique drill that’ll help improve your form and prevent the dreaded ‘forearm slap’:

To review, you’ll do:

  • 3 One Arm Swings
  • 3 Low Pulls
  • 3 High Pulls
  • 3 Snatches

The idea is to get the kettlebell to ‘float’ for a second at the top of the High Pull movement, and then to get the hand around the ‘bell – vs. just letting the KB come over the top of your hand and smack you on the wrist.  Give this drill a try and see if it improves your form in the Kettlebell Snatch – and keep training hard!!


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Kettlebell Fat Blast Workout

Here’s one of my ‘standby’ kettlebell fat loss workouts – if I have about 45 minutes and want a fast-paced, challenging, full body workout, I’ll knock this one out. It includes a joint mobility/dynamic warm up portion, a circuit with Pull Ups, TGU’s, Swings, and high intensity cardio, and finishes with a static stretch. Let’s get going!

1. Joint mobility

There are tons of ways to integrate joint mobility exercises into your routine – here’s a nice series called the ‘Daily dozen’ on mikemahler.com from kettlebell expert Steve Maxwell:


2. Dynamic Warm Up

Follow your joint mobility series with a dynamic warm up. Now you’ll take your major muscle groups through a full range of motion at speed and literally increase your body temperature. Check out this dynamic warm up video from Craig Ballentyne, creator of Turbulence Training (a killer workout program/philosophy, by the way – I use workouts from Craig’s Turbulence Training workouts literally every day with training clients and myself):

3. Pull, TGU, Swing, Cardio Giant Circuit

  • Start by doing Pull Ups – go to two reps short of failure. So, if you could do 10 Pull Ups if you had to, do 8. If you can’t do Pull Ups, you can do Beginner Pull Ups or Inverted Rows instead.
  • Follow the Pull Ups with a single TGU on each side. Pick a weight that challenges you, but one that you can use impecable form with. Here’s a refresher on the Get Up:


  • Follow the TGU’s with 20 Swings – do two hand, single hand or hand-to-hand – your choice.
  • Finish the circuit with 60 seconds of high-intensity cardio – you could hop on a treadmill for 60 seconds, do 60 seconds of jump rope, or even high knees and butt kicks for 60 seconds continuously.

Repeat that circuit 3-5 times with no rest between individual exercises and about one minute of rest between circuits.

4. Static Stretch

Finish the workout with a static stretch.  Ideally, you don’t want to just arbitrarily stretch – you want to focus on your tight muscle groups. For a very in-depth and totally free guide to flexibility, click the link below:


That’s it for this week’s Kettlebell Fat Blast workout. This is one you can bust out any time for a quick and efficient total body strength, conditioning, flexibility and core training workout. Enjoy!

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Unique Kettlebell Exercise Videos

kettlebell video screenshot

My feeling is that, aside from in-person instruction, video is one of the best ways to learn new kettlebell exercises and perfect your form. Different people learn best through different mediums, but learning with video is great because you can actually see someone performing the movement correctly in action, vs. just relying on written description or pictures.

Here are five unique kettlebell exercise videos for ‘ya – remember, mastering the basic moves – the Swing, Get Up, Squat, Clean, Press, and Snatch – should come before you move on to more advanced exercises. But these are great to add into your routine as your training progresses to that next level:

The Cross Legged Kettlebell Press

Here’s a unique one demonstrated by Anthony Dilugio. Crossing your legs helps you keep your back flat while doing seated presses.


The Kettlebell Ribbon

Ken Black shows the Kettlebell Ribbon – it’s a Halo with an extra range of motion and rotation added in. Pretty cool.


The Step Up Press

Here’s a kettlebell step up press from Lisa Schaffer. She shows the regular Step Up Press, plus the Clean, Step Up and Press.


The Alternating Clean

Anthony Dilugio shows the Alternating Kettlebell Clean.  Make sure to use a lighter weight than normal. This is not the RKC Swing-style Clean – but it’s a cool variation, none the less.


The Side Lever

Steve Cotter demonstrates the Kettlebell Side Lever – an isometric kettlebell exercise. Make sure you use a light kettlebell for this one as well.


Again, mastering the basics of kettlebell training should come before trying these moves – if you need a basic, comprehensive guide (that now includes video corrections for each of the basic kettlebell exercises), make sure to check out my KettlebellBasics.net Quick Start Guide here:


Incorporate these moves into your kettlebell workouts for additional variety, to hit some different training angles and muscle groups, and just for fun. Train hard and train smart!

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A Day At My Kettlebell Boot Camp …

I keep getting emails asking about what one of my kettlebell boot camp workouts actually looks like. So I thought that, from the standpoint of helping you put your own workouts together, I would walk you through a typical day:

1. We usually start off with a dynamic warm up of some kind … something like the warm up I talked about in this post: How To Warm Up For Your Next Kettlebell Workout In 3 Minutes Or Less

2. Then we move on to a ‘strength circuit’ – this is sometimes kettlebells only, sometimes kettlebells and body weight or dumbbell exercises mixed together.  It’s usually a combo of two exercises, performed for a specific amount of reps each and rotated back and forth for 5 minutes non-stop.  This is a great set up that allows folks of various fitness levels to all get a great workout in a group setting.  Here’s a video of one of my favorite combos (this is actually a sample video from a brand new workout program I have out – I’ll give you more details about it at the end of this post):

3. Then, we do two ‘conditioning circuits’ – this might be something like:

10 Kettlebell Squat Cleans

5 Kettlebell ‘Renegade Rows’ each side

10 Walking Overhead Kettlebell Lunges

And we’ll run through these sequences in the same fashion as many times as we can for 7-10 minutes.

4. I then take about 5 minutes to do core and/or corrective work – Planks, Hip Bridges, stuff like that.

5. To finish, we do a simple static stretch at the end.

In 45 minutes you get resistance training, conditioning work, core work, exercises for injury prevention, and flexibility – and that’s tough to beat 🙂

That’s the structure of a typical kettlebell boot camp workout at Forest Vance Training, Inc.  Hope that helps you design your own boot camp workouts in the future!

Oh, and the video above is from my new 30 Day Rapid Fat Loss Challenge total transformation plan … if you’re trying to lose body fat, it’s for sure at least worth checking out.  Heck, I’m giving away bonuses with it for the next few days (3 days to be exact) that are worth more than the actual product, including a free copy of the KettlebellBasics.net Quick Start Guide … and on top of that, the package is over 50% off.  Get the details here:

The 30 Day Rapid Fat Loss Challenge

Two Tips To Improve Your Kettlebell Snatch

The kettlebell Snatch is a tricky movement to get the hang of – I know I got my fair share of bruised wrists when I was learning it.

I stumbled across this video from Jason C. Brown of KettlebellAthletics.com that shares a couple of great tips to help perfect your Snatching form:

To summarize:

Drill 1:

Grab a light kettlebell. Do a bottoms-up Clean with it – so the ‘bell should end up with the bottom facing towards the ceiling and racked at about shoulder level. Now, ‘punch’ your hand around the kettlebell from shoulder level up to being locked out overhead. The idea here is to practice actively getting your hand around the KB, instead of just letting it come over the top and crash down on your wrist.

Drill 2

You want to base the Snatch exercise off of the high pull – in other words, the arc of the ‘bell should be like that of a High Pull vs. a Swing (watch the video to see a demonstration). If you base the Snatch off of the Swing, the arc will be too far in front of your body.

So you can do a progression to work your way into doing a Snatch: Do a Low Pull, do a High Pull, and then a Snatch. I actually use that progression with folks all the time with a lot of success.

Remember: Practice makes perfect. Don’t just blast through your KB workouts with no regard for form; strive for perfection. And if you’re having trouble getting the hang of the kettlebell Snatch, the two tips mentioned in this video should help you out.

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How To Warm Up For Your Next Kettlebell Workout In 3 Minutes Or Less

A proper warm up can make all the difference in your kettlebell workout. It not only prepares your body physically for the punishment it’s about to receive, but it gets your mind right, too.

But what if you’re pressed for time? After all, I know a lot of you like kettlebell training because it’s so efficient – you can get a great workout with kettlebells in a really short amount of time. And when you’re in a hurry, often the warm up is the first thing you skip.

I recently found this YouTube video that provides a great solution: It’s a quick kettlebell warm up that takes about three minutes to do. It includes three exercises:

1. The Halo
2. The Slingshot
3. The Figure Eight

Check it out:

So next time you’re rushing to get your workout done, throw this kettlebell warm up in and get ready to go in about three minutes!

P.S. Looking for a complete warm up plan? Check out the Functional Flexibilty Secrets bonus in my comprehensive workout, diet, and lifestyle program, the Ultimate Fitness Resource Toolkit by clicking below:

The Ultimate Fitness Resource Toolkit

Kettlebells For Fat Loss Part 2

If you missed the first article on using kettlebells for fat loss, you can check it out here:

Kettlebells For Fat Loss Part 1

Last time, we talked about how circuit-style kettlebell workouts (like the ones you’ll find in the KettlebellBasics.net Quick Start Guide) are great for fat loss and general conditioning.  And the truth is, if you’re training regularly with kettlebells, burning fat and gaining lean muscle is a natural consequence.

But I know many of you want to take your training to the next level; you want to strip that final layer of body fat and get flat-out ripped.  So we also covered how some small tweaks can make your circuit training even more effective with regards to losing body fat.

Today, I’m going to give you the second kettlebell workout for fat loss:

KB Fat Loss Workout B

*Just as in Workout A – do the first exercise in each pairing. Without rest, move to the next exercise. Complete the prescribed number of reps in the second exercise, rest :30 seconds, and complete the sequence two more times. Rest one minute before moving on to the next pairing.

1A. KB Renegade Row 3 x 16 each side

1B. KB Overhead Lunge 3 x 15 each side

2A. Pull Up (hang kettlebell from feet if additional resistance is needed) 3x 15

2B. Double KB Front Squat 3×15

*You can substitute Body Rows for Pull Ups if you can’t get all 15

Here’s some articles that should help you with the workout:

The Kettlebell Row – A how-to on KettlebellBasics.net
The Kettlebell Squat – How to do it and why it’s a different animal

And a nice demo of the KB Overhead Lunge:

Here’s how you put these workouts together: Perform workout A and some steady-state cardio on Monday.  Do some interval training on Tuesday (I’ll talk about the cardio specifics again in a second).  Do Workout B on Wednesday with some light cardio.  Do intervals again on Thursday.  Do workout A on Friday with some light cardio.  Do intervals again on Saturday.  Take Sunday off.

Repeat this same routine again the next week, except you’ll do workout B on Monday, workout A on Wednesday, and workout B on Friday.  Then start the whole cycle again the next week.

With regards to cardio, if you’re serious about fat loss, I believe you need to do six days per week of cardiovascular activity.  Three interval days and three steady-state, lower-intensity days is a great set up – for some ideas on interval training, check out this post: The Magic of HIIT Cardio For Burning Fat

You can do this workout for about 4-6 weeks until you’ll need to switch it up.

And one last thing: Your diet is more than 50% of the equation when it comes to fat loss.  You can have the best designed workout in the world, but if you’re not eating properly, it won’t do a thing for your fat loss efforts.  If you’re looking for a done-for-you, effective and client-tested fat loss program, check out my very own Best Fat Loss Diet here:  The Best Fat Loss Diet

So there you have a complete workout for losing fat with kettlebells.  Apply the principles we’ve covered in the last two articles about using kettlebells to lose fat and you’ll be well on your way to reaching your fat loss goals.  Keep training hard!

3 Tips To Improve Your Kettlebell Swing

Here’s a short video that didn’t make it into the final KettlebellBasics.net Quick Start Video Series … the audio quality isn’t great, but I still think there’s some good info here.  I cover:

  • The importance of a proper hip crease during the Swing
  • Why you should feel like you’re hike passing the KB back during the ‘bell’s decent phase
  • How to ‘lock in’ your upper body throughout the exercise


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Why Kettlebell Circuits Are An Essential Tool In Your Training Toolbox

Many times, one of the first workouts people ever do with their kettlebells is a circuit-style routine.  This is actually a bad idea if you’re just getting started – you’ll get so much more out of simply focusing on perfect technique.  It might not be sexy, but it’s true.

Now on the other hand, if you’ve been faithfully practicing your kettlebell moves, your technique is improving and you’re getting the basic exercises down pat …

Guess what? It’s about time to add the kettlebell circuit to your training arsenal. Here’s just a few of the benefits you can expect from incorporting kettlebell circuits into your routine:

* Burning fat without sacrificing muscle mass
* Improved conditioning
* Increased strength
* Increased athleticism

Another great thing about kettlebell circuits is that they are super efficient and usually can be completed in 20 minutes or less.

Here’s an example of a kettlebell circuit workout – it’s a video from my ‘kettlebell combo’ video series:

Don’t forget: Although it might not be that exciting, mastering the basics is essential before you start doing kettlebell circuits.  You’ll get a better workout, prevent injury and enjoy your kettlebell training experience a lot more.

Kettlebell circuits are an awesome way to burn fat, improve your conditioning, increase strength, and increase athleticism. Start incorporating them into your routine today!!

If you haven’t mastered the basics of kettlebell training, the KettlebellBasics.net Quick Start Guide is a great place to start. I’ve recently added a video series to the package, and the price is going up next week, so now’s the time to grab a copy if you haven’t already at a great price!!