Kettlebell Swing Tips

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A Carson City Kettlebell Gym Post…

Kettlebells are one of my favorite training tools.  A weird looking hunk of iron you get to do cool tricks with?  Count me in!

And kettlebells are taking off in popularity, most likely because so many celebrities are using them with their personal trainers.

Kim Cattrall, Jennifer Lopez, Katherine Heigl, Penelope Cruz, Robert Downey Jr, the Pussycat Dolls,  Lance Armstrong, Mariska Hargitay, Sylvester Stallone, Clair Danes, Ethan Hawke, the cast of “300”, and Matthew McConaughey all work out with kettlebells.  (I feel more famous just for typing all those names!)

The most basic kettlebell exercise is the swing:

If you want to blast off fat, strengthen your whole body, and build scary endurance… the kettlebell swing is your go-to exercise.

Now, don’t just rush out and get a kettlebell workout DVD and try to follow along.  After a kettlebell workout with Jillian Michaels you won’t be burning fat, you’ll be looking at your spine lying on the floor and cursing her name.  Even if you don’t know anything about exercise, you can see Jillian is putting the low back at risk with her kettlebell technique:

I don’t want to try to teach the swing over the internet, you really need an experienced trainer’s eye on you to get it mastered.  BUT, if you’re kettlebelling it up already, here are a few tips to help you groove your swing:

  • NEVER round your back over at the bottom of the swing (see Jillian pic above).  Keep your low back locked into neutral position.
  • Don’t try to pull with your arms, back, or shoulders.  Drive with your butt and hamstrings instead.
  • Don’t just pick up the kettlebell.  Set yourself up perfectly first, with the kettlebell in front of you, then “hike” it back to start the first rep.
  • Keep your chest up and your back flat.
  • Don’t just let the kettlebell come down on its own.  “Snap” it back like you’re hiking a football.
  • Flex your lats (big muscles on your back) to keep your shoulders packed tight.

3 Responses to “Kettlebell Swing Tips”

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