3 Common Mistakes with the Kettlebell Swing

Kettlebell Swing Mistakes

 The Kettlebell Swing is a dynamic exercise that will build a stronger, more powerful athlete. With great power comes....you know where I’m going.

The responsibility lies on your shoulders to make sure you make the most from the movement without injuring yourself or your client. Here are three common mistakes that most new trainees make with kettlebell swings and how to fix them.

Mistake #1: Lacking stability in your feet.

Whether you’re swinging from a bilateral stance or performing walking swings, staggered swings, etc. you want to make sure your feet are firmly planted on the ground. As the weight is moving it’s constantly trying to move your center of gravity with it. This is why it’s important to use shoes that are thin enough to create a strong connection between your feet and the floor. Practice rooting your  entire foot and toes into the ground before you do anything ballistic. Feel the connection throughout your lower limbs all the way up through your trunk. 

Mistake #2: Too much hip drive

“Drive your hips!” is the number one cue for the swing and while it’s important to understand that hip drive too much can be detrimental. As you go beyond neutral into hyperextension you put unnecessary pressure on the discs of your lumbar spine. Combine that with load and speed and you’re a ticking time bomb of lower back pain. A common reason people do this is to get more height on the bell. Rather than worrying about how high the bell goes, focus on the compact swing. This shortens the range of motion and allows you to focus on exerting high amounts of tension. 

Mistake #3: Chicken Necking

It’s easy at the top of the swing to be so focused on your footing, maintaining enough core tension, packing your shoulders, focusing on the posterior pelvic tilt, not hyperextending, etc. etc. that you may just forget about your cervical spine, aka your neck. New clients had the propensity to neck protraction (jutting your chin forward). Excess movement through your neck can lead to issues throughout your upper trap, upper back, and even up in headaches. The goal should be to maintain as much of a neutral neck position as possible.

If you’re making one of these mistakes, get on top of it immediately so you can swing efficiently and effectively to get the most from the movement! For lots more tips, programs, and courses check out all of the incredible information available on Living Fit!


Marcus Martinez

Master Kettlebell Coach

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