Kettlebell swings look easy, but you are probably doing them wrong.
When executed correctly, kettlebell swings build exceptional explosive strength and power in your entire body. They strengthen your entire posterior chain muscles (hamstrings, glutes, erector spinae and shoulders). They also teach you to brace your abdominals, engaging your core and stabilising your spine.
They may look easy, but kettlebell swings are quite technical. It takes a fair bit of practice to swing the kettlebell in the explosive manner in which it is meant to be done. In my experience, many tend to over-think it and try to control the descending momentum. They would lift the bell up with their shoulders and arms. If your lower back and shoulders start to fatigue or hurt, you are doing it wrong.
Here are some tips to help you perform the swing more effectively.
Form tips to do a proper kettlebell swing
[A] Stand with your feet slightly wider than hip-width with toes pointing straight, or slightly turned out. Eyes looking straight ahead; not up or down.[B] Place your hands, palm up, at the crease of your hips and ‘chop’ your hips back as you fold your body forward. Allow your knees to bend slightly but not too much. A swing is not a squat. [C] As you return to standing, clench your buttocks tightly and think of pulling your knees upward. Stand up straight. Do not lean back. Ensure that both feet are completely flat on the floor. Do not allow your toes to lift up at anytime during the swing. The above are a few pointers to help you become more conscious. Never rush a swing and whenever in doubt, feel free to approach the Tribody Team.
Watch this video for a step-by-step demonstration.
Ann-Marie Pereira is a National Academy of Sports Medicine (USA) certified fitness trainer. With over 20 years of experience in the health and fitness industry, Ann-Marie recently co-founded Tribody Fitness, a boutique gym at Joo Chiat. Ann-Marie heads small-group, science-based exercise classes at Tribody Fitness. She specialises in resistance band training and has completed a StrongFirst Kettlebell course. Visit her blog at www.tribody-fitness.com.