The Swing


Lesson 1: “It’s a HINGE, not a Squat”

The biggest mistake when it comes to swinging a kettlebell is “squatting your swing”.

The KETTLEBELL SWING is a hinge (not a squat)…

kettlebell swing squat vs hinge

Squat

  • maximum HIP flexion
  • maximum KNEE flexion
  • maximum ANKLE flexion
  • vertical spine, chest up
  • spine and shin are parallel

Hinge

  • maximum HIP flexion
  • minimal KNEE flexion (only as much as needed)
  • minimal ANKLE flexion
  • (almost) vertical shin
  • spine and shin are almost perpendicular

So when you are learning how to swing, the most important thing is to know the difference between the two.


Lesson 2: Video-The Waiter’s Bow

In this drill, I teach you the “Waiter’s Bow” which teaches you how to load your hips while hingeing.

I can’t stress how important this is. Learning how to hinge properly – aside from teaching you how to maximally develop power from your posterior chain (your glutes & hamstrings) – will teach you how to NOT use your back when bending forward.

This is a MUST for anyone wanting to bulletproof their back.


Lesson 3: Loading Your Hips

In the previous video we learned how to hinge.

Now we are going to learn how to keep our shins vertical while loading our hips.

This drill is called the “Face The Wall Squat” and will further accentuate the loading of your posterior chain.


Lesson 4: Finishing Your Swing With Your Abs

We have this saying in the kettlebell world called…

“The ‘What The Heck!?!’ Effect”

Usually after a few weeks of consistent kettlebell training people end up saying…

“What the heck, I can do a chin-up now!”

Or “What the heck, my pants are too loose!”

Or “What the heck, I can run faster than my kid!”

And it all starts with the swing.

The Hardstyle Kettlebell Swing is a FULL BODY exercise and one that improves all qualities – strength, conditioning, posture, proper movement patterns.

In the first 2 lessons, we worked on the hinge… the start of the swing.

Now we will work on the FINISH.

Simply, the finish of the kettlebell swing is a PLANK.

But not some ineffective plank that your Pilates instructor brags about holding for 3 minutes.

The finish of a kettlebell swing is about a high-tension HARDSTYLE PLANK.

Here’s how to do it…


Lesson 5: Loading Your Swing with The KB Deadlift

Hinge – Plank – Hinge – Plank

That is all a Kettlebell Swing is…

…a series of high frequency transitions of going from a HINGE to a PLANK.

The is no “in between” action.

You are just going from Hinge to Plank as fast and as explosively as possible.

But before you start swinging, you have to know how to load and maintain the rigidity of your spine.

“The #1 way to injure your back is flexion (and/or rotation) under load.”

-Dr. Stuart McGill
Considered the Top Low Back Researcher in The World

That means that any time you pick something up off the floor, you must maintain a straight/neutral spine.

So now, we have to learn how to load our body WHILE maintaining our spine rigidity.

Check out the Deadlift below…


Lesson 6: The SWING – Set Up, Stance & Sling Shot

Almost there…

Before we get into the swing, we need to learn how to properly set up and start.

Remember that EVERY REP MATTERS…

…and we want each rep to be technically perfect and explosive – from “Rep 1” all the way to “Rep 20+”.

When you reach the point when your reps are no longer explosive, YOU STOP.

It doesn’t matter where you are in your set – yes, even if your program says “20 swings” – you must stop, rest and then continue with technically perfect and explosive reps.

OK, let’s go through the Stance, Set Up and Slingshot Start of your Swing…


Lesson 7: The SWING – Rooting Into The Ground

OK, it’s time to swing (FINALLY!).

Using our PLANK now, we are going to focus on rooting into the ground and using the power from our hips to “float” the kettlebell.

Follow this drill closely so that you “get it”.

The idea is to make the KB feel weightless at the top using your hips.

Your arms are just there to guide the kettlebell up.

DO NOT lift the kettlebell with your arms…

“The hips drive, the arms guide”

Let’s get started…


Lesson 8: The SWING – The Hip Snap

Make every swing powerful…

…THAT IS YOUR GOAL.

That means that each time you stand up and snap your hips forward, it must be powerful and explosive.

The moment that you are not as powerful, you stop… you rest… and then you go again WHEN YOU ARE FULLY RECOVERED.

That is the difference between training with kettlebells properly and doing some “Western Society Balls-to-the-Wall” workout.

You have to get out of the “no pain, no gain” mentality and focus on technique and power.

The best way to do that?

Work on your HIP SNAP…


Lesson 9: The SWING – Kettlebell Swing Variations

In this final lesson of the kettlebell swing, we go into different variations of how you can perform the swing.


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