Mastering the Kettlebell Swing Part I

 

The Kettlebell Swing is a powerful exercise that not only burns fat, builds muscle and increases stamina, but it also help you function better in every way.  At our training facility Revolution Fitness, the Gold Standard of high athletic functioning is to be able to perform Kettlebell Swings.

kettlebell swing

Top of the Kettlebell Swing.

Why?

Because for most people the Kettlebell Swing is the perfect exercise to reintroduce ballistic power production back into their lives. Hip mobility and Hip power means you are Athletic. In our world, being ATHLETIC is the goal and all people can be athletic with the right coaching and training.

Here is the first TIP in perfecting your Kettlebell Swing:

#1 Master the Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift

Sumo Deadlift

Sumo DL – Top position

Sumo Deadlift

Sumo DL – Bottom position

The Deadlift is the foundational movement to master prior to performing the kettlebell swing. It will teach you how to move from the hips and maintain a neutral spine.  The deadlift and swing postures are almost identical and that is why we always teach the deadlift first. These are the main points in mastering the Deadlift with a Kettlebell Sumo Deadlift:

  • Assume a slightly wider than shoulder stance with the feet pointing forward (up to 20 degrees of toe out is acceptable if the hip or knee feel any discomfort).
  • The knees must track the toes at all times.
  • With the kettlebell between the feet, push your hips back and reach your arms down to grab the kettle bell handle.
  • Once you grab the handle make sure to rotate elbows out (or external rotation at the shoulder joint). Think of breaking the handle or breaking a stick.
  • Take out all the slack in the body and make sure the arms are very long and extended, the arm pits (lats) are very tight, and the hips are pushed back and slightly up in the air. Make sure the shoulders are still higher than the hip joints.
  • Once all the “slack” is taken out of the body, you can start the ascent by thinking of pushing against the ground with your feet.
  • It is essential that the shoulders and hips move at same time.
  • When you get to the standing position squeeze your glutes very hard, tighten your quadriceps muscles by pushing the earth away from you and contract your abdominal muscles. Return to the starting position by pushing your hips back again and slowly returning the KB to the floor again.

To get hands on instruction, take our 1 Day Kettlebell User Course at Revolution Fitness in La Jolla, CA on July 26, 2014. Click here to sign up online!

Stay tuned for the next blog post where will go into Tip # 2 on mastering the Kettlebell Swing.

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