Monday, January 21, 2008

Swing Part 1

This will be part one of an ongoing series about the Kettlebell swing, one of the basics of functional strength training.

The first flaw that I see in many new gireviks' form is improper or incomplete use of the hips. Many 'swingers' want to squat the bell up and down or raise it up and down (like an 'anterior raise' of the shoulders in bodybuidling). Unfortunately this is missing out on what is undoubtedly the greatest benefit of the kettlebell swing; Fast, Hard and Heavy loading of the posterior chain, primarily the Hamstrings. Though a kettlebell often only weighs 20-70lbs, you must multiply that mass times its acceleration to have a true appreciation of the forces involved. This is part of the 'what the hell' effect many RKC devotees talk about, such as when an experienced powerlifter increases his deadlift just by doing swings. Well, when you consider the forces placed upon and exerted by the Hamstrings in the swing, it's no wonder. Even the Westside guys will tell you most lifters weak spot is the posterior chain.

What follows is a quick video of what I consider to be the 'standard' two-handed swing. The set starts with a hike, which I consider a quick, easy way to start the set. If you are a total beginner, I suggest that you pick the bell up like a squat or deadlift first, just to be safe.

Please take note of a few things;
-heels on the ground
-shins vertical
-some flexion at the knee
-a lot of flexion at the hip
-no flexion in the back
-straight arms
-shoulders over the heels (they don't move to far ahead of my feet, they don't end up behind)
-crisp snap of the hips forward


Lendo Calrissian said...

Please keep these up!

And also, you've got some great taste in workout music!!

Jason Struck , RKC said...


yes i do.