Learn to Master The Kettlebell Swing

The Kettlebell Swing is one, if not, the most important of all the kettlebell exercises and the one that most people struggle to master. The swing is based on the Deadlift Movement pattern and hits almost every muscle in the body. If you only had time to do one kettlebell exercise then Kettlebell Swings would get you the most “Bang for your Buck”

The Swing should be thought of as a pulling movement. It targets the posterior chain and essentially you are loading and de-loading the back of the body as you accelerate and decelerate the kettlebell. Be warned the eccentric or deceleration part of the swing is what causes muscle soreness so you could be walking like John Wayne for a few days following a good set of swings.

The swing is a dynamic movement. As the kettlebell descends from the top part of the movement gravity takes its toll and the overall weight of the bell increases, so a 16kg kettlebell will feel much heavier at the bottom of the swing. Also at the bottom of the swing you are decelerating its load and forcing the muscles to absorb and then reverse the swings momentum.  It is for this reason that you can get some truly amazing results without having to use a really heavy kettlebell for the Swing.

See my Swing Based 12 Week Essential Kettlebell Program

Teaching Points

  • Hips should reach backwards not down
  • Shoulders should be back and down
  • Project the bell forwards not upwards
  • Snap the hips forwards and stand tall
  • Keep your weight on your heels
  • Keep the back flat at all times
  • Actively sit the hips backwards
  • Breathe rhythmically

You should not perform any of the more advanced exercises like the Clean, High Pulls, or Snatch until you have mastered the swing.

Workouts for the Kettlebell Swing

Workout 1

  • Swing – 20 seconds
  • Rest – 10 seconds
  • Repeat up to 8 times

Workout 2

  • Swing – 20 reps
  • Push Ups – 10 reps
  • Repeat 10 times, reducing the Push Ups by 1 rep each round
  • See The Perfect Pair

Workout 3

  • Swing – 30 seconds
  • Rest – 30 Seconds
  • Repeat 10 rounds

Workout 4

  • Swing – 30 seconds light Kettlebell
  • Slingshot – 30 seconds
  • Swing – 30 seconds heavier Kettlebell
  • Slingshot – 30 seconds
  • Repeat 5 times

Workout 5

  • Swing – 20 reps
  • Burpees – 10 reps
  • Repeat 5 rounds without rest

See my 12 Week Essential Kettlebell Program