Strength-Training Exercise: The Kettlebell Swing - dummies

Strength-Training Exercise: The Kettlebell Swing

By Kellyann Petrucci, Patrick Flynn

The kettlebell swing is simply the dead lift performed quickly and consecutively. It’s an explosive hinging movement, where you swing a weight — in this case a kettlebell — between your legs, and then powerfully drive your hips forward to accelerate the bell upward.

Here is how you can do the kettlebell swing:

1Stand a little bit behind a kettlebell (no more than a foot) with your feet shoulder width apart and your toes slightly out.

The kettlebell swing helps to develop explosive power, similar to how a broad jump would, but without all the impact on the joints. Furthermore, high rep kettlebell swings melt fat like raw meat on a hot grill and are one of the best exercises for intense cardiovascular conditioning.

2Hinge at the hips like you would for a dead lift, reach out, and grab the kettlebell.

In this position, you should look like a center about to hike back a football (the kettlebell).

3Swing by hiking the kettlebell back between your legs as you would a football.

Be sure that your back remains flat at all times and that your shoulders don’t dip below your knees.

4As soon as the kettlebell reaches the height of the backswing, explosively drive your hips forward and stand up as quickly as you can.

Allow the kettlebell to float to about chest or eye level, but no higher. Also be sure to keep your butt tight and your belly tight at the top, so you don’t overextend your hips or lean back at the top of the movement. Imagine that you’re trying to jump, but don’t let your heels leave the ground.

5As soon as the kettlebell reaches about chest height, allow the downward motion to drop it back down into the backswing, and repeat the movement.

Don’t try to control the downward motion of the kettlebell. Let gravity work. When the kettlebell reaches the low point, repeat the swing. Be sure that when you’re done with your set of swings you set the kettlebell down safely, and with a flat back.