One of the greatest debates mankind has ever witnessed that still rages on is whether ‘a perfect kettlebell swing exists’. My answer has always been yes! Let’s tone it down a little here, it might not be the greatest debate ever, but this question is certainly one that has generated a lot of opinions in the kettlebell world.
Kettlebell exercises are great. They are a perfect way to shock your muscles into growth while at the same time improving your power and explosiveness from the ground up. A study conducted by Bill Campbell, PhD, CSCS concluded that kettlebells are not only safe but also very effective in improving power and strength performance. The kettlebell swing on the other hand, is a full body exercise designed to build strength, improve posture, and explosiveness.
During a kettlebell swing, your quads will extend your knees in order to provide additional power boost. You also train your core and back muscles to keep your torso stable and your spine in a neutral position.
Are you ready to enjoy the benefits of kettlebells swings? Below is a step-by-step instruction on how to do a perfect kettlebell swing:
Step 1: Master the Form
Start by mastering how to stand. Here, you will need to stand with your feet shoulder-width apart and a kettlebell kept about a foot in front on the ground.
Next, carefully bend your waist and grasp the kettlebell handle with your two hands. Note that for this to be perfect, your palms need to be facing your body and your torso should be nearly parallel to the ground.
Step 2: Brace Your Core
You need to brace your core before starting the exercise by pulling your shoulders down and back. Ensure you maintain these form cues throughout the whole set.
Step 3: Lift the Kettlebell
Alright, you will now need to carefully lift the kettlebell off the ground. While lifting, allow it to swing between your legs. You should slightly bend your knees during this movement and keep your neck straight and your back flat.
Step 4: Drive Your Hips Forward
Without wasting time, forcefully move your hips forward so you can propel the kettlebell into the air. Now, you will need to control the kettlebell with your arms but avoid pulling it up. Ensure that the kettlebell does not travel higher than your shoulders.
Step 5: Swing Down and Back
The kettlebell should be allowed to swing down and back through your legs. Keep your muscles engaged so you can control the descent of the kettlebell. As it comes down, move quickly and fluidly into the next rep.
Step 6: Place Well on the Ground
You should allow the kettlebell to swing back through your legs on your final rep and then place it carefully a foot in front of you on the ground
Congratulations, this is how to do a perfect kettlebell swing.
Common Mistakes Beginners Make in Kettlebell Swing
1. Lowering into a Squat
A kettlebell swing is more of a hip exercise. You don’t need to squat to do a perfect kettlebell swing. You only need to bend your hips and slightly bend your knees as you do this exercise.
The kettlebell swing is not a shoulder exercise; instead, it is more of lower-body exercise. Don’t pull your arms up, you only need them to control the kettlebell.
3. Taking the Kettlebell Overhead
You should never allow kettlebell to pass the shoulder during the swing. Although there is a trend of new swing called the American Kettlebell Swing that raises the kettlebell overhead during the swing. However, this variation leads to extra stress on the shoulders and spine.
Letting your core to run loose during the swing will put extra stress on your spine. To enjoy the full benefits of this exercise, ensure you brace your core throughout the exercise as if bracing for a punch.
5. Not Breathing Along with Each Swing
A kettlebell swing is perfect for improving your breathing technique. Ensure you constantly take a deep diaphragmatic breath with each swing.
Variations of Kettlebell Swing
There are variations of kettlebell swing; the most common variation of this exercise is a Single-Arm Kettlebell Swing. This variation is harder than the basic two-handed kettlebell swing. Follow the same principles and steps outlined above, but this time only use one hand.
Mastering the kettlebell swing is extremely beneficial; it will help you to perfect other kettlebell exercises such as the Kettlebell Windmill and Kettlebell Clean perfectly.