#FitTipFriday Perfect Your Kettlebell Swing with David Salzberg

Kettlebells (KB)

  • KB training uses a series of swift movements to work the entire body as a synergistic whole, providing serious strength training and cardiovascular training simultaneously.

 

KB Swing:

1. Stand over the kettlebell with feet hip-width apart, chest up, shoulders back and down. The kettlebell should be in line with the middle of your feet. Choose a kettlebell that allows you to swing with perfect technique while still challenging you. Consider starting and practicing with a ‘bell much lighter than what you’ll eventually use to work out so that you can practice your form.

2. Squatting down, grip the kettlebell with palms facing you and thumbs wrapped loosely around the handle.

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3. Stand tall, still gripping the ‘bell. Keep your arms long and loose while retracting your shoulders blades and engaging your core. Soften the knees, shift your bodyweight into your heels and lower your rear end back and down toward the wall behind you.

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4. Driving through your heel, explode through the hips to send that weight swinging upward from your quads. We’re aiming for chest height, with the arms extended. Achieving this finish position requires you to snap your hips through, contracting your core while squeezing your cheeks.

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5. As the kettlebell begins to descend, let the weight do the work as you ready your body for the next rep. Shift your weight back into your heels while hinging at the hips and loading both the hamstrings and glutes. Receive the weight allowing the kettlebell to ride back between your legs.

6. As it makes the transition from backward to forward, drive through the heel and hips to keep it going.

It truly is all in the hips.

When it comes to the kettlebell swing, the hip action we’re referring to is a hinging motion. You know, like a hinge on a door. Think of your legs as the wall, solid and immovable. Your hips act as the hinge, enabling movement, and the torso is the door, traveling through a predetermined range of motion—dictated by both the wall (your legs) and hinge (your hips). The swing begins to take shape when the kettlebell is added into the mix.

With loose arms and a light grip, the kettlebell is swung from inside the quads up to chest eye level—in the Russian version, anyway (more on this later). The movement itself is a bit of an optical illusion. To the untrained eye the swing appears to be a feat of upper body strength: Simply squat and then stand up, all the while pulling with the arms.

Be warned, this is not the case. Performing the perfect kettlebell swing places all the emphasis on the posterior chain—the major muscles on the backside of the body from the heels to the base of the neck, primarily the hamstrings, glutes, and low back. Think of the posterior chain as the body’s powerhouse. These muscles are big movers. And unlike little movers (like calves, biceps, triceps, and deltoids), the big movers are capable of moving big weight and burning massive amounts of calories.

Results:

Improved:

  • Balance
  • Coordination
  • Explosive Power
  • Endurance
  • Stamina
  • Core Strength

 

 Benefits:

 

  • KB’s help increase lean muscle mass in way that bodybuilding and body sculpting can never touch.

 

  • KB’s burn more calories in a shorter time than any cardio machine.

 

  • KB’s develop a balanced, stable, aesthetic, muscular frame that functions on an optimal level

 

  • KB exercises involve the whole body with every exercise including stabilization, flexion and extension, and rotation across various planes. By using several different joints at one time, KB’s provide a very comprehensive way to work the entire body.

 

 

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