The five categories that exercises mainly fall into are push, pull, squat, lunge and hinge. Kettlebell Swings are under the hinge category. It isn’t an easy movement to learn. Simple and easy, quite often, aren’t the same thing. However, once you have the motion down, you’ll never forget it. Because Kettlebell Swings are in the hinge category, think of snapping or folding in half at the waist. It’s the same motion as the deadlifts, cable pull-through, or good-mornings.
Every day I see people butcher this exercise. It’s not your fault if you can relate to messing up this exercise. But if you are the butcher in this case, it is your responsibility to reach out to a trainer or someone with experience to fix it. I ALWAYS stress form and this situation is no different.
I’ve personally compromised form either unknowingly or by adding too much weight. Seventy pounds is nothing, right? Well, the consequences of lower back pain, soreness and tightening are not pretty! You try walking for days after without looking like a penguin. It’s embarrassing.
How To: Kettlebell Swings
- Stand with feet shoulder-width apart. Grip the top of the kettlebell.
- Bend your knees slightly and Hinge your hips forward to swing the kettlebell between your legs. (Think bottom of a deadlift)
- Snap your body upright and use the momentum to swing the kettlebell forward. Squeeze your glutes towards the top of the motion. (Think top of a deadlift)
Kettlebell Swing Don’ts
- Dont Squat
- Dont Round Your Back or Retract Your Shoulder Blades
- Don’t have your legs too wide apart or risk injury to your knees
- Don’t go too heavy with the weight
- Don’t swing the Kettlebell over your head for goodness sake!
Kettlebell Swings target the lats, abs, pecs, grip, hip extensors (glutes, hamstrings) and hip-flexors.
A study done in 2015 measured the EMG (electromyographic) during two-handed and single-handed Kettlebell swings to find out which muscles activated and by how much .
The bicep femoris (hamstring) activated first during the KB Swing with an average peak MVIC of 78.95% ± 53.29. The Gluteus Maximus and Medium fired second with 75.02% ± 55.38 and 55.47% ± 26.33, respectively. A percentage of 50% to 60% of the MVIC (maximum voluntary isometric contraction) is needed for muscle strengthening.
The craziest part is the MVIC during a back squat failed to exceed 35% in glute muscle activation. Do you hear that women?! Squats are not the answer.
Today, I’ve Included a Kettlebell complex that you can throw into any workout. I suggest starting with a somewhat lighter weight. This complex is very deceiving. I was definitely sore from yesterday’s workout so I was struggling just tad bit with the weight I chose.
Two handed Kettlebell Swing
One Handed Kettlebell Swing
Start with two reps of each movement. Then move up to four reps for each movement. Continue adding reps in a ladder fashion to ten. Then bring it back down the ladder from ten reps to two reps.
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Are Kettlebell Swings one of your favorites? How do you use them in your workouts? Comment Below.
Have a great weekend loves!