How to perform a kettlebell swing

22 Apr, 2018

Is your kettlebell swing awful or wonderful? I hate bad form on this exercise. It turns a powerful, athletic movement into a horror show. Let me show you how it’s done.
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Video transcript

Hi, Charlie Hart here today to talk to you about kettlebell swings. Kettlebell swings are one of my favourite exercises because it engages all of the core muscles and the glutes. It works on that oh-so-important hip extension that we lack in our everyday life.

Most people suffer from overly tight hip flexors and by engaging those glutes we can help push our body back in to alignment.

So I will show you how they are done. We grab a kettlebell, position it between our legs and we drive our hips in to the kettlebell, swinging it up in front of us. Nice and simple.

Where most people get this wrong, is they do not use their hips at all. They are just using their arms and they are dragging the kettlebell up. If I demonstrate that, it’s actually really tough.

This is what most people do, they are just getting a little bit of help from the hips and they really drive up with the arms. It’s not fun whatsoever, but they are also putting their shoulder under a lot of stress and they are not really engaging the muscles we are trying to work.

The best way to think about it is, is think of kettlebell swings as saving your love life. We’re trying to use the hips to swing forward, really driving through the glutes.

It’s a big precursor to a lot of other moves with kettlebells. As we become more advanced, we can start to use them to come in to clings for example, which we can then press. As we get really advanced we can use them for snatches.

So, kettlebell swings: kettlebell between the legs, chest nice and tall, drive with the hips NOT the arms. Use the momentum of the bell, and most importantly when we finish make sure we don’t drop the kettlebell like most people do! The gym won’t appreciate it, and neither will your back.

Charlie Hart is an experienced personal trainer, having worked with more than 100 clients clients in and around Cambridgeshire.

His interests in fitness, health and how they intersect help his clients to transform their bodies, sleep better and feel better in themselves.

Talk to Charlie today if you'd like help improving your well being.

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