How To Do Kettlebell Swing Correctly
If you are not doing the kettlebell swing as part of your fitness routine you are destined to a weak, unfit body. Try our free 30 day kettlebell swing workout and view the kettlebell swing exercise demo video at the end of the article!
All that’s required is one piece of equipment, the kettlebell. It lasts a lifetime.
Step 1: Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart with a kettlebell about a foot in front of you on the ground. Bend at the waist and grasp the kettlebell handle with both hands. Your palms should be facing your body, and your torso should be nearly parallel to the ground.
Step 2: Pull your shoulders down, keep your hips above your knees and tighten your core.
Step 3: Lift the kettlebell off the ground and allow it to swing back between your legs. Your knees should bend slightly. Keep your back flat and neck straight.
Step 4: Forcefully drive your hips forward to propel the kettlebell into the air. Control the kettlebell with your arms, but don’t pull it up. The kettlebell should travel no higher than your shoulders.
Step 5: Allow the kettlebell to swing down and back through your legs. Control the descent by keeping your core tight.
Step 6: On your final rep, allow it to swing back through your legs, and then place it a foot in front of you on the ground.
Key instruction is to bend in the down position and snap your hips forward explosively! The explosive movement with your hips snapping forward as you swing up helps to build core strength and conditioning.
Drive those hips back. Only bend your knees as much as you need to in order to keep your back arched. Squeeze your glutes and abs at the top position, hard.
Choose a kettlebell that allows you to swing with perfect technique while still challenging you.
Proper Kettlebell Form
- Keep your chest nice and tall throughout the movement
- Hinge from the hips, sticking the butt out when you swing down
- Use your hips to move the kettlebell.
- Maintain the natural arch of your back throughout the exercise.
- Keep your core tight.
- Keep the shins vertical.
Common Kettlebell Swing Mistakes
Here are just a few common mistakes we see happen with the kettlebell swing.
1) Do Not Squat, The Swing Is A Hinge
The kettlebell swing is a hip dominant exercise. As you perform the exercise, consciously think about bending your hips, not your knees.
You are probably bending at the knees and squatting rather than hinging at the hips and activating your posterior chain. Keep a tight core, straight back, and get your hips behind your centerline.
2) This Is Not A Shoulder Exercise
The kettlebell swing is a lower-body exercise, not a shoulder exercise. The momentum generated by your hips is enough to swing the kettlebell. Your arms help to control the kettlebell, but you shouldn’t pull it up. If you want to work your shoulders, do a shoulder exercise.
3) Do Not Ignore Your Core
A loose core makes puts stress on your spine. Keep your core tight throughout the exercise as if bracing for a punch.
4) Avoid Raising The Kettlebell Overhead
Some individuals raise the kettlebell over their head during the swing. This is called the American Kettlebell Swing. We advise you to avoid this variation, as it places extra stress on the shoulders and spine. Remember, you’re training your hips, not your shoulders.
5) Do Not Let The Kettlebell Drag You Down
The kettlebell should end up between your legs directly below your butt at the beginning and end of executing each rep with good form. Your arms should be locked out, hips behind your center line, knees slightly bent, and your spine should be neutral.
This position is impossible to achieve if you are falling with the kettlebell rather than letting the kettlebell fall by itself and allowing it to drag you down with it. If you start hinging at the hips the minute the kettlebell starts falling, the kettlebell will end up in between your knees, much lower than proper form dictates. Starting/ending from this point will make proper form impossible.
Kettlebell The Ultimate Workout
The kettlebell swing is a fantastic exercise to strengthen your body and burn a ton of fat. It develops tremendous power in your hamstrings, glutes, and core. It also blasts your metabolism because it repeats so quickly.