The Kettlebell Swing

March 14, 2010 at 1:03 pm 4 comments

In one of my last posts, I stated that I would do a series of blogs on each of the six basic kettlebell exercises: Swing, Squat, Snatch, Clean, Military Press and the Turkish Get-up.

Here we go, let’s talk about the Kettbell Swing!

There is a reason I blog first about the Kettlebell Swing. This is because it is the foundation for 4 of the other basic kettlebell exercises. Before getting into why the kettlebell swing, first let me digress and talk about cardio. I have been working out with kettlebells for almost over two years. Previously, I was a gym rat, I was all about “cardio” over “strength”. I thought that cardio was the only way to loose weight and lifting weights would make me “bulky”. Sound familar? That was when loosing weight was my goal. I lived by the number on the scale as my measurment of success. Who would have thought that two years in to working out with kettlebells, I have not stepped one foot on a treadmil, elliptical, not even put on a pair of athletic shoes to work out – to the “norm” in the training world this defies all reason! But, Kettlebells defy all reason. “The goal of an effective cardio session is to establish an elevated heart rate and keep the heart rate elevated for an extended period of time. The goal of a sensible cardio session strikes the elusive balance between duration and intensity. The kettlebell swing seems to be the ideal heart-rate spiking exercise in that it is a perfect combination of muscle activation and sustainable momentum.” My views of exercise and my pardigms of cardio first have been shattered. The Kettlebell Swing is where it all began. No I was not perfect in my first attempt, but I kept practicing and practicing and swinging and swinging. To have recently heard from “Irontamer” Dave Whitley, Master RKC “I am not sure I can find one thing to correct about your Swing.” Wow, that was music to my ears! Now my goals, strength over cardio, perfect practice not just a tough workout, and fat loss over weight loss, and an ultimate goal to strive for optimal health, not just the ultimate “look” or to be skinny!

The kettlebell swing has changed my pardigm of exercise incorporating strength and cardio into one movement. Benefits of the kettlebell swing are simply amazing when performed with proper form and technique. Pavel brought kettlebells to the United States from Russia and is the Chief Instructor for the RKC. Therfore, training RKC is the only option for me. Although many fitness professionals are attempting to teach their clients kettlebells, there is only one safe and effective technique. A kettlebell swing is a movement that should be taught in several progressions leading up to performing a swing with safe technique. A kettlebell swing should never be taught by attempting to swing first. The purpose of using progressions to teach a kettlebell swing is to evaluate a client’s current movement and hip mobility. Athletic people move from their hips and non athletic people move from their knees and lower back. Although your goals may not include becoming a world class athlete, but I am sure they include prevention of injury or reduction of chronic pain. Moving from your knees and lower back are one giant prescription for injury and the development of chronic pain. The kettlebell swing will teach you how to engage your hip flexor muscles, thus providing better movement in your everyday activities. No, you will not be perfect in your first attempt at a proper kettlebell swing. This movement is very foreign to most individuals. When performed with proper technique by engaging the hip flexors and keeping a long neutral spine, the benefits are unmatched. I guarantee you, you will being to move better in your day to day activities, existing pain will subside and all other areas of your general fitness will improve. As always you need to perform movement quality over movement quanity! I promise you that regardless of the # of reps performed your workout will be effective and efficient.

Be Strong & Be Well ~HD

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. shareitfitness  |  March 14, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    Kettlebells are a great full-body conditioner. I use them regularly and hope more people realize all the benefits from them and start incorporating them into their workouts as well!

    Reply
    • 2. Hardstyle Diva  |  July 28, 2010 at 7:30 am

      The world would be a happier place if more people realized the benefits and using the kettlebell as their main form of imporving mobility, stability and strength.
      Thanks for reading my blog… Kristen

      Reply
  • 3. Gareth  |  April 19, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Just realising the benefits of the kettlebell swing myself, I found your page looking these up, I love swinging my kettlebell and it’s really encouraging to read you have replaced “normal” gym activities using the swing as an alternative, gives me a great vision of my future swinging a kettlebell for 45 mins instead of pounding my joints into an early grave on the streets!

    Reply
    • 4. Hardstyle Diva  |  July 28, 2010 at 7:28 am

      keep on swinging….good luck. Please let me kow if you have questions anytime!

      Reply

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