The Ultimate Primal Exercise: The Kettlebell Swing

The kettlebell swing is a fundamental kettlebell movement. As part of a Paleo workout, this movement shows you how to move with eloquence and grace. It blasts body fat, boosts muscle, strengthens the lower back, and builds your backside, or "kettlebell butt." It's the best exercise in the world.

The kettlebell swing is an explosive movement powered by the hips. Here's how to do it:

  1. Stand about a foot behind a kettlebell, with your feet shoulder-width apart and your toes pointed slightly out.

  2. Hinge at your hips (push your butt back as if you're reaching for the wall behind you).

    Keep your back flat at all times — you want to create a straight line from the back of your head down through your tailbone. At the bottom of the hinge, your hips should be above your knees but below your shoulders. Your knees will be bent, but they shouldn't come forward.

  3. Reach out, grab the kettlebell, and think of trying to bend the handle in half, and then hike it back between your legs to start the backswing.

    At the top of the backswing, you should look like a witch riding a broomstick.

  4. When the kettlebell has reached the top of the backswing, think "jump through your heels," and stand up as quickly as possible, driving your hips forward.

  5. Stand tall at the top of the kettlebell swing, but don't lean back. Allow the kettlebell to float no higher than eye level before throwing it back down into the hips and repeating the movement.

    When you're done, be sure to park the kettlebell safely, just how you picked it up, without rounding your back.

To see a video demonstration of the kettlebell swing and over 20 additional Paleo exercises, visit the Paleo Workouts section of Dummies.com.

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