Kettlebell Swings

Build full body strength with these kettlebell swing variations designed for building power, strength or endurance.

LEARN SWING VARIATIONS

The Hinge Based Swing

Use the Hinge Based Kettlebell Swing to build powerful hips and improve functional strength and conditioning.

 

Designed For Building Power

Strengthens

Hamstrings, glutes, core, arms, forearms

Set Up

Start with bell slightly in front of shoulders in hinge position. Spine neutral, shoulders just above hip level, set lats & shoulders by "breaking" the bell handle. Feet about hip width apart or slightly wider.

Key Points

The body position in backswing should like a deadlift: shoulders at hip level or slightly above, neutral spine, slight bend in the knees. Drive explosively with the hips and glutes to come out of the backswing.. sign up for more!

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Alternating Swings 

Strengthens: Hamstrings, glutes, quads, core, forearms

Set Up: Start with bell slightly in front of shoulders in hinge position. Spine neutral, shoulders just above hip level. Feet about hip width apart. Set hook grip on the bell. Can go thumb forward or thumb back

Key Points: Same as swing. At the top of the swing, switch arms. Palm to palm versus hand over hand makes you less likely to drop the bell. Let the bell come to the floating point before you switch

Dead Stop Swings

Strengthens: Hamstrings, glutes, core

Set Up: Start with bell slightly in front of shoulders in hinge position. Spine neutral, shoulders just above hip level, set lats & shoulders by "breaking" the bell handle. Feet about hip width apart or slightly wider.

Key Points: Hike the bell back between the legs, then complete one swing and let the bell come into the hips then return to starting position on the floor before repeating.

 
 

Banded Swings 

Strengthens: Hamstrings, glutes, quads, core, forearms

Set Up: Loop the resistance band through the kettlebell and step onto the band with both feet about hip width apart. Place the bell slightly in front of the shoulders in a hinge position, so you have to reach forward to grab hold of the handle. Keep the spine neutral and shoulders just above hip level.Engage the upper back and lats by pulling the shoulders down and away from the ears. 

Key Points: When first trying the banded swing, test out a few reps before putting 100% effort behind the hip extension (to get a feel for the resistance and so you don't lose your balance). Hike the bell back into the backswing, where the body position is like a deadlift. Forcefully extend the hips to bring the kettlebell to the top position of the swing (about chest level). The glutes and abs should control the bell at the top.

Double Swings

Strengthens: Hamstrings, glutes, quads, core, forearms

Set Up: Feet should be a bit wider than hip width apart, especially if bringing both kettlebells between the legs. Start with bells slightly in front of shoulders in hinge position, so you have to reach forward to grab hold of the handles. Spine neutral and shoulders just above hip level. Engage the upper back and lats by pulling the shoulders down and away from the ears. 

Key Points: The body position in backswing should like a deadlift: shoulders at hip level or slightly above, neutral spine, slight bend in the knees. Drive explosively with the hips and glutes to come out of the backswing. At the top of the swing, glutes AND abs should be working, your shoulders should be over your hips (so you are not leaning back and overworking your lower back). Allow the arms to come down and... sign up to read more.

The Pendulum Based Swing

A foundational movement designed for endurance in sport lifting

Strengthens: Hamstrings, glutes, quads, core, forearms

Set Up: Start with bell slightly in front of shoulders in hinge position. Spine neutral, shoulders just above hip level. Feet about hip width apart. Set hook grip on the bell. Can go thumb forward or thumb back

Key Points: Pendulum swing: most efficient way to swing the kettlebell (its natural path), distributes load through more of the body instead of concentrated on hamstrings & glutes, ensures upward momentum of the bell (better for transitioning to rack or overhead). Master bend-straighten, bend-straighten action of the legs first without a kettlebell.

 

The Kettlebell Swing - Step

Strengthens: Hamstrings, glutes, core

Set Up: Place the bell slightly in front of the shoulders in a hinge position with feet about hip width apart. Spine neutral, shoulders just above hip level, set lats & shoulders by "breaking" the bell handle.

Applications: Everyone need glute and hamstring power! This helps you with everything you do: walking, running, jumping, etc. Plus it makes your back strong so prevents injury. Adding a step at the top of the swing improves coordination and timing.

 

Key Points To the Kettlebell Swing

The Kettlebell Swing is the movement that most people are familiar with, but do you actually know the benefits and some of the variations? 

The Kettlebell Swing is a full body exercise which strengthens the hamstrings, glutes, core and arms.  Everyone needs glute and hamstring power, this helps you with everything you do in life including walking, running, jumping, all movement. Additionally, swings create strong back to prevent other injuries.

Kettlebell Swings increase heart rate and are one the best cardio workouts you can do. With kettlebells swings, one can easily change the weight you use to do lower reps and build power or lessen the load to increase reps and build endurance. 

Set up with the kettlebell slightly in front of your shoulders in the hinge position. Make sure your spine is neutral which means straight as opposed to curved and the shoulders just above hip level.  Set your lats and shoulders by "breaking" the bell handle (demonstrated above). Feet about hip width apart or slightly wider.

Some of the key points of the Kettlebell Swing are the body position in backswing should be like the deadlift. At the top of the swing the glutes and abs should be working (so you are not leaning back and overworking lower back). It is important that you control your movement at the top as opposed to leaning back at all.  Let the bell go to its terminal point (the end of natural momentum) in backswing before pushing with the hips back to the top. Let arms hit the hips before going into backswing. Keep upper body engaged (shoulders packed) the entire time. It is not just about going fast; it is about having the correct timing to generate power. Make sure your legs are locked at the top of the swing and complete a sharp exhale on the way up to engage core. Slight bend in elbows at the top to let the bell float.

Avoid These Common Errors: Leaning back at the top of the swing (not engaging abs) by not controlling the kettlebell enough or kettlebell flipping up towards your glutes in the back swing (either not waiting long enough in back swing OR bending at the wrists). Avoid hinging too early, rounding your back, squatting at the bottom or keeping your arms straight and the kettlebell getting away on the upswing.

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