Kettlebell Swing Versatility


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Kettlebell Swing Versatility

I’m fairly certain that there is no exercise more versatile than the kettlebell swing. I find myself programming it for myself and my clients frequently due to its ease of instruction and variety of application.

Non-Impact Power Development: The kettlebell swing has been shown to be an effective tool for the improvement of horizontal force production and vertical jump. When you take this into account along with the fact that it does not require ground impact it makes it a very suitable tool for power development for injured athlete or older trainee. For this reason the kettlebell swing is the primary lower body power tool at @bodybyboyle when training adult clients or athletes with lower body injuries who cannot sustain impact. When training for power we would likely prescribe swings with relatively heavy loads in ranges of 5-10 repetitions.

Hamstring Rehab: Research has shown there to be high levels of bicep femoris and semitendinous activation during the traditional kettlebell swing. Considering that the majority of hamstring strains occur during ECCENTRIC action, the high velocity eccentric overload that occurs during swings can serve as an effective rehabilitation and prevention strategy.

Dynamic Effort Work: Personally, I’ve found heavy kettlebell swings to be an effective substitute for dynamic effort deadlift work as part of a deadlift development program. The dynamic nature of the swing allows for a ballistic eccentric and concentric phases as opposed to the deadlift where you lose momentum at the bottom. I would recommend programming these heavy for 1-5 repetitions.

Conditioning: When programmed correctly swing can also be a superior option for aerobic development. I often will program kettlebell swing intervals at the end of workouts using the clients heart rate to determine the rest period. Typically, I’ll program 15-20 swings followed by a recovery period down to 65-70% of the max heart rate before repeating again for 6-12 sets.

Give some of these approaches a try or let us know how you use the KB Swing in the comments!