Kettlebell Swing Tips and Video Analysis

The kettlebell swing has, with good reason, become a very popular exercise recently. Once technique has been mastered and you perform swings regularly, one can expect lots of benefits including:

  • Greater power production
  • Increased total body strength and “linkage” (strongly connecting legs + core + arms)
  • Better cardiovascular fitness
  • A friggin fabulous booty (definitely no pancake ass)
  • And yes, even running improvements (speed and durability)

I want to go a bit in-depth here and breakdown my swing so you can see what respectable form looks like. Since I spend LOTS of hours in a gym I see all sorts of attempts to swing a kettlebell and it just isn't very pretty much of the time. Additionally, instruction can sometimes be spotty at best.

Again, fantastic exercise, maybe even the best single exercise you can do, but please own your technique before ya start swinging away in an attempt to get a workout. The workout will be there when you're ready for it. Precision, progression, variety!

*Yes this is a video, but before you have the pleasure of watching me swing a kettlebell, let me say a few words.  Enjoy the freeze-frame for a minute.

Here are the cliff's notes from the video:

  • What? You don't know what a hip hinge is? Do NOT swing yet.

  • Maintain a neutral spine - including your neck.
  • In other words, your back does NOT move. Your hips do!
  • Think about your lower legs as being stuck in a buckets of cement.
  • Focus on pushing the ground away forcefully at the bottom.
  • Hips move maximally back and forth, knees move minimally.
  • At the top, you become a tall plank.
  • Armpits stay tight. Arms do not disconnect at top of swing.

For more on the swing, this is good.

Have you tried kettlebell swings before? Like or dislike? How have you incorporated them into your routine?