Written by Travis Mattern from Fitness Education Online
The kettlebell swing, is there any other bit of equipment that is so universally known for one movement? Then to add to that, is there any other movement that has been butchered by SO many gym goers and trainers alike? Potentially, but the swing is definitely up there. You only need to google ‘Gillian Michaels kettlebell swing’ and you’ll see one of the leaders in the fitness industry completing BUTCHERING a kettlebells swing!
So what is a kettlebell swing and how can you complete the movement safely? I’m going to share with you a few simple options for learning the movement correctly.
- First thing, is to understand the correct regression to the kettlebell swing. The swing is often confused as a squat based movement, but it is in fact a hip hinge movement. Once of the best regressions is to stand 20-30cms from a wall, then put your hands in you hip crease and push yourself back until your bum touches the wall (without leaning against the wall). This does a couple of things; helps you keep a straight flat back and also hinge properly at the hips.
- This cue continues on from developing a strong hinge and using a squat pattern. It is nice and simple. Simply place another kettlebell, or witches hat or water bottle between the legs (just below knee height). What this does, is if someone over squats and gets too low in the movement, they get the instant feedback by hitting the item between the legs. If they’re hinging correctly they’ll have no issue completing the movement.
- The final key thing to remember it is now an front shoulder raise, it is an explosive movement. Not a slow controlled movement that most people are used to doing in the gym. This can be tough for many to get their heads around. A couple of nice cues I like to use are; “pretend your about to do a standing long jump” and “think that you’re going to be throwing the kettlebell back over your head”. Both of these elicit thoughts of using maximum power, whilst also working to create a good swing pattern.
The above 3 are my best bang for buck coaching cues for getting people swinging the kettlebell correctly. There are obviously plenty more that can be covered and extra finer technique details. If you’re a personal trainer and you’re looking to upskill yourself in kettlebells, at Fitness Education Online we have a wide array of Fitness Australia registered CEC courses – including courses specifically focused on kettlebells!
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