How to “AB-ify” your KB Swing…

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 8.27.00 AMI rediscovered something yesterday that I really want to share with you.

For those of you that hang out with me on my Facebook Page, you’ll know that I’ve been outlining what I’m doing in my training EVERYDAY in my training journal.

You’ll also know that twice per week I’ve been taking a moderate sized kettlebell – the 32kg – and have been doing 10×10 Swings and 5 x 1 Get-ups, also know as the Simple & Sinister protocol.

When I first started S&S back in early-December, I was doing regular 2-arm swings and it got really easy. My hip snap was explosive. My breathing on point. I was throwing that mo-fo kettlebell down hard to get the overspeed eccentric. It was effortless.

It got to the point where I was doing 10 sets of 10 reps every 30s – done it 5 minutes.

And then I switched to 1-arm swings. Man, that’s a completely different beast.

The problem with one-arm swings for most people is that they do it dead wrong. Some people do it SO WRONG that I’m surprised they haven’t ripped their arm right off their torso.

The 1-arm swing is such a powerful exercise that I built an entire phase of the Kettlebell Evolution Advanced Fat Loss System around it.

But like I said, you may be doing it wrong.

So, humour me for a minute and give this quick 30s drill a shot…

Get down into a push-up position but instead of putting your feet together, spread them apart a little wider than hip width.

Make sure your hands/wrists are right under your elbows which are right under your shoulders – so this would be more of a “close-grip” push-up.

Once you’re in that position, follow my instructions…

1. Pull your knee caps up into your crotch (“flex” your quads is what I really mean, I just wanted to say “crotch”).

2. Pretend that there’s a $100 between your butt cheeks and someone’s trying to pull at it so squeeze your glutes tight.

3. Now brace your abs like like someone’s about to hit you in the stomach – so brace hard.

4. Finally, “corkscrew” your arms/shoulders into their sockets so that you can feel your shoulders move further and further away from your ears.

Screen Shot 2014-01-08 at 8.45.41 AMOK, are you there? Now here’s the best part…

Lift one hand off the ground and touch your opposite elbow.

Did you feel your abs light up?

Did your glutes cramp from the contraction?

OK, now imagine yourself in that position, but turn yourself vertically so that your feet are now on the floor…

We just mimicked your “finish” position for the 1-arm swing.

And one of the most important elements of that position is the corkscrewing of your arm into your shoulder socket.

How many of you have seen someone do a 1-arm swing and the kettlebell literally twists half their body away? How good do you think that is for your back? HINT: It’s not.

The one-arm swing is so powerful that Tim Anderson & Geoff Neupert (creators of the Original Strength system) say that it’s one of the best exercises to improve your reflexive strength – your foundational strength – because of the way your body has to work cross sectionally (your right arm/lat coordinates with your left leg/glute and vice versa).

Any exercise that involves crossing the midline and working opposites sides will help with both your foundational strength and stabilty (more on reflexive stability and strength next week).

The point is that as much as we are reliant on what we do most comfortably – like 2-arm swings – it’s only when we venture out of our comfort zone when amazing things start to happen.

So many people rely on the 2-arm that they are literally missing half the benefit by not doing more of its 1-arm counterpart.

But once you’ve set the foundation of the 2-arm swing and you feel confident doing it, start transitioning into the 1-arm swing.

That’s exactly how I have the Kettlebell Evolution Programmed…

You start with the foundation – 2-arm swings – then in Phase 2 you move into 1-arm swings. And then in Phase 3 we take the 1-arm swing to the next level and start snatching…

Roll -> Crawl -> Walk -> Run

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So today, I challenge you to replace your 2-arm swings with doing 1-arm swing and holding the top of your 1-arm swings identically to the feeling that you had when I walked you through the drill above.

I guarantee after a few weeks of doing them, you’ll be pleased with the results.

Have an awesome day,


P.S. If one of your goals is to do a 1-arm push-up, you’d be smart to do 1-arm swings and really working on the finish…just sayin’.

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