The beginner's guide to kettle bell swings:
Most commercial gyms and nearly all private gyms have kettlebells available for the members to use. Kettlebells can be a very effective tool in strengthening and fat burning when used correctly. They offer an efficient way to transition from one movement to another without changing weights or machines. Kettlebells are not for everyone and will take some training to understand the movements and remain injury-free. I will go over this important movement and how to incorporate it into your workout.
The core movement with a kettlebell is the swing (shown below).
Kettlebell swings are a great way to improve conditioning, build hip and core explosiveness, and burn fat. This movement tends to be the most varied in technique due to poor instruction and/or poor hip mobility. I see too many people turning the swing into a “squat and lift”. This was made popular by the crossfit community and is actually a totally different movement than the kettlebell swing. The kettlebell should never travel overhead when doing a swing, instead, it should only raise as high as momentum from the hip thrust takes it. The arms should remain straight and the kettlebell should become an extension of the hands. The swing is more of a “pop” of the hips rather than a squat when the bell travels through the legs. Proper posture is extremely important, keeping the chest out, low back flat, and pushing the hips back. Sets and repetitions will vary based on the individual's conditioning, however, 15 plus reps is ideal for this movement.
Variations of the swing include: single arm swings, single arm with mid-air transition and double kettlebell swings (kettlebell of equal weight in each hand). Each version of the swing can be done as a separate exercise or as part of a superset or circuit. I will cover more kettlebell movements in later articles that can be added to circuits along with the swings.
Here are a few videos to demonstrate the movements.
Keep an eye out on more in depth explanations on how the kettlebell can be a permanent tool to add to each workout session!
See you soon!