The Kettlebell Swing is a great exercise for the hip hinge pattern and for developing lower body power and explosiveness. It is an exercise that is fairly easy and safe to teach, however, if taught or performed incorrectly it could create disaster for your spine!
Below are exercises that should be done to lead up to the kettlebell swing.
- Kettlebell Deadlift
It is important to lock down a hip hinge pattern to ensure that you are able to handle the dynamic stability required for the swing. Make sure you are executing a hip dominant deadlift pattern since that is how you should be swinging the kettlebell. Your spine and hip position at the bottom of your deadlift should look exactly the same to the bottom of your kettlebell swing.
- Kettlebell Hike
Practicing the hike is great for maintaining torso stability during the first rep. Perform a couple sets of 5 reps, hiking the bell back hard while making sure you don’t round your back or lift your hips.
- Single Swing
People often struggle to get a good hip pop on their first repetition. By focusing on one rep at a time it can help you learn how to develop a powerful initial hip drive on your first swing. This exercise also helps the individual on how to set the bell back down correctly.
It is imperative to make sure there is tension at the hamstrings and glutes while performing these exercises; before the movement and during the eccentric portion of the movement.
- Kettlebell Swing
Once we have worked through the progressions above we can start practicing higher repetition repeated swings. It’s important to remember that you may review all of these progressions in one session while initially teaching the swing. It only takes a few minutes and focusing on these details can make a difference between an ugly swing and a great one.