Progressing To The Kettlebell Swing

Progressing To The Kettlebell Swing

The Kettlebell swing is hands down my favorite exercise for the general population. It’s a great tool for developing power and burning fat and it’s fairly safe and easy to teach. However, if it is not taught correctly it could spell disaster for your spine. Check out the progression below that we use at @bodybyboyle /@movementasmedicine to teach the Kettlebell swing .. Follow the progression clockwise starting at the top left.

1). Kettlebell Deadlift

It’s essential to lock down a strong deadlift to ensure that you are able to handle the dynamic stability required for the swing. Make sure you are executing a hip dominant deadlift pattern since that is how you should be swinging the bell. Your spine and hip position at the bottom of your deadlift should look exactly the same as it does at the bottom of your swing.

2). Kettlebell Hike

I use to breeze over this drill when teaching the swing and have recently come back to it. I find practicing the hike for a few minutes can really help you focus on maintaining torso stability during the first rep. Perform a couple sets of 5 reps, hiking the bell back hard while making sure you don’t round your back or lift your hips.

3). Single Swings

People often struggle to get a good hip pop on their first repetition. By focusing on one rep at a time it can help you learn how to get develop a powerful initial hip drive on your first swing. Additionally, single rep swings will help the trainee prioritize returning the bell back to the ground properly. Notice how @anatocco maintains tension throughout the movement and gently returns the bell back to the starting position without rounding her spine.

4). Kettlebell Swing

Once we work through the progressions above we will let the client start practicing higher repetition repeat swings. It’s important to remember that we may review all of these progressions in one session while initially teaching the swing. It only takes a few minutes and focusing on these details can make the difference between an ugly swing and a swing like @anatocco is demonstrating above.