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Kettlebell Swing Report

Kettlebell Swing Report

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Published by: Timoteo Tumi on Dec 04, 2012
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07/11/2013

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The Kettlebell Swing

How to Rapidly Strip Off Unsightly Body Fat, Build Athletic Power and Iron Lung Capacity, and Forge a Physique Able to Withstand All Odds!

- Pat Flynn RKC and Som Sikdar RKC, ChroniclesOfStrength.com

Why The Kettlebell Swing?
If I had to pick just one exercise to rule them all what would it be? Or, if I were only able perform only one movement for the rest of my life what would it be? And If I had a nickel for every idiot who cuts off their sleeves and bastardizes this movement, how rich would I be? The answer to the first two questions is hands down the kettlebell swing. The answer to the third would involve me writing this report from some sort of yacht… Let me be very clear about something… YES! You absolutely can perform the kettlebell swing wrong! Anybody who tells you that there isn’t a “wrong” way to do something is either completely full of crap or trying to sell you on a bunch of nonsense, and/or just too stupid to understand how the human body works and should be completely ignored. Please allow me to give you my definition of “wrong” – Which is doing anything in a manner that isn’t right! See, I can be funny sometimes… Now let’s define right – which to me means performing a movement in a SAFE and EFFECTIVE, and EFFICIENT manner. Safety. Effectiveness. Efficiency. Those are my three inputs for the function of “right”.

Too many people are jacking up their necks and backs with poor posture and positioning. The point I’m trying to make is that you can have anyone of those elements (safety. effectiveness. Efficiency – Learning how to put in fewer inputs for your desired output. efficiency) without any of the others and still be performing the swing wrong! And if I had to rank those elements in order of importance it would be: 1. but highly ineffective for what that person is trying to achieve. not before it! (note: this is NOT about performing your swings in a lazy manner…) . Safety – Hands down the most important element of a proper swing. I have also seen a lot swings that are efficient in terms of performing them in the most “economical” means possible. Effectiveness – What good is performing a movement if it isn’t going to get you closer to your goals! 3.I see a lot of swings that may be effective for some purposes but wholly unsafe and unsustainable in the long run. 2. This comes after effectiveness.

etc) to do it for us. The ability to reduce force through the eccentric (downward/negative) portion of a movement is a crucial skill for all walks of life – as this skill alone is what can save our backs and knees from our athletic endeavors. ligaments. Learn force production. Your ACL will thank you! 2. or just the daily stresses or life. we get stronger. This movement recruits multiple energy systems and muscle groups which guarantees a massive caloric “after burn” (meaning you burn more calories throughout the day even when you are done swinging)! If you want to lose body fat rapidly – get your nutrition in check and swing more. and we can start to “cheat” movement and get away with poor posture . because the kettlebell swing is all about energy expenditure and maximum calorie burn. Do you know why babies move so well. I don’t care if you are an athlete or not – learning how to produce and reduce force from your hips in an imperative life skill. I wasn’t referring to energy conservation. and why most adults do not? It’s because babies don’t have any other choice! As we age. When I talked about efficiency above. and he used the power of his posterior chain to lift his relatively heavy toy off the ground. his heels were planted. weight lifting routines. and redirection. If we don’t learn how to reduce force properly and actively through certain ranges of motion (especially with our hips – which is exactly what the kettlebell swing will teach us how to do) we can very likely end up in a horribly awkward and often painful position when we rely on our skeleton and passive structures (tendons. Have you ever seen a baby or a toddler pick something up? It’s amazing how well they move. like we’d have you doing in our SuperHero Development Program! 3. reduction. Fantastic Proprioception/Body Awareness. Huge metabolic effect! The kettlebell swing is a hellacious fat torching weapon – of that there is no disputation. especially if you wish to ward off injuries. I just saw a friend of mine’s baby “deadlift” about a month ago and it was one of the most pristine hip hinges I have ever seen! The baby’s spine was neutral.5 Reasons Why I love the Kettlebell Swing 1.

tight. What I then make clear is that it was how they used the kettlebell that jacked their back up. Babies don’t have that strength yet. Great for your back! But only if you do it right! Otherwise the kettlebell swing may very well jack your back up. One way you can learn to move better is to watch a 1 year old. so they have no other choice but to operate from a strong and organized position. and it is quite evidence based that many back problems are related to “gluteal amnesia” or what I like to call “weak asses”. . I will teach you have to reclaim a proper hip hinge and learn how to “pick sh*% up” without wrecking your back. so that your spine can handle those forces. The kettlebell swing is the king of back endurance movements! 5. Great for Your Ass! Pardon my French. and that I find it hard to believe that it suddenly came alive via some sort of freaky voodoo magic solely to sabotage their back. not the kettlebell itself! Now even a “proper” kettlebell swing will have some “shearing” and “compression” forces on the spine. the kettlebell swing is the tool for you. and functional glutes (that turn heads) are a common consequence of high rep kettlebell swings. and you better believe that it’s going to be worked like never before when it comes time to first swing a kettlebell! Firm. It’s amazing how many people come to me and try and convince me that kettlebells messed their back up. If you want a great looking posterior. or knees – a skill many babies know the importance of! 4. Furthermore. studies have indicated that muscle endurance in the back seems to have a profound effect on warding off the likely hood of back problems. Because when done “right” the kettlebell swing will strengthen your glutes. What I aim to do is teach you how to minimize those forces through proper technique. I then explain to them that the kettlebell by itself is an inanimate object. Through the presentation below. neck. but it’s true. Your behind is the primary engine for the kettlebell swing. The other way is to learn the kettlebell swing.and positioning.

But when you DO lift from an organized. Your phasic muscles shift to play a tonic or stabilizing role and are unable to operate at their full potential as prime movers. This goes for any exercise. Phasic muscles are meant to mobilize and are often deemed our “prime movers”. or seen anyone who has? Why do you think that no one can back squat a grand (or any significant weight for that matter) on such an unstable surface? Part of it has to do with balance. centrated position. To a degree. not just the kettlebell swing. It’s not a matter of if. something will eventually break. it’s a matter of when. Tonics muscles are meant to stabilize and are often referred to as our postural muscles. This is why training . so their role as prime movers is inhibited. Think about it this way… Have you ever done a squat on a bosu ball. since they are inherently recruited to help stabilize your poor position. and your phasic muscles are freed up and ready to do their job and move some serious weight. but the majority of it has to do with how much work your phasic muscles have to do to stabilize you on such an unstable surface. this is exactly what is happening when you lift with poor technique. If you constantly operate from a poor position. but proper posture and safe positioning is also where you will be strongest! Allow me to explain… The human body has tonic muscles and phasic muscles.How to Do the Kettlebell Swing (Without Jacking Up Your Neck or Back!) Never ignore the importance of proper posture and/or position. but why would you ever want to take a chance when it comes to your body? Stop hanging off your passive structures when lifting! Just stop it! Not only that. Some folks are certainly “luckier” than others. Now when you lift with poor technique/posture you end up “wasting” your phasic muscle. your tonic muscles can now play their tonic role.

Click below to watch the video on how to perform this drill. and what it feels like to generate power from your hips. Why is it so important to hinge and lift with a neutral spine? Well it’s not if you don’t care about long term back health… But if you do care about the integrity of your spine. neutral spinal alignment. is also the position that will make you strongest! Let’s put this into some context with the kettlebell swing shall we? The Kettlebell Deadlift (learning to walk before we run) Just as a baby earns its right to walk by first learning to crawl.from the position that will make you safest. you must learn your right to swing by first learning to deadlift! The kettlebell deadlift is a precursor to the kettlebell swing because this is where you will learn a proper hip hinge. You will need some sort of broom stick like object… . Let’s get right down in it… The first drill we will use is one of my favorites for teaching how to hinge with a neutral spine. then I highly recommend that you invest your time into this drill.

Trust me when I say that is never an ideal position to lift from. as well as transfer more of the load from your glutes to your spinal erectors (a much weaker. then you know just how traumatizing and crippling that can be! A lot of folks are simply lifting from an overarched (overly extended) or flexed (rounded) position. muscle group!). and primarily postural.I cannot stress the importance of mastering this drill enough before you move onto handing an external load! Your spine is the center of your universe. which is slowly but surely DESTROYING their backs! When you lift with a rounded back. Conversely. And here’s why this isn’t such a great idea either… When you operate from a position of hyperlordosis (overarch in your neck and low back) you crunch your spine together and rely on the bony . what a lot of folks do to prevent this is overcompensate by overarching their backs. If you have ever had a back injury. you are heavily relying on the passive structures of your spine to support the load and suffer an incredible amount of unnecessary shear (tearing forces) on your spine because of that.

the most important piece that I want you to take away from that drill is “how do I maintain the natural lordotic and kyphotic curvature of my spine as I enter deep hip flexion. Do no proceed onto the deadlift until you are confident in your ability to hinge with a neutral spine. pelvic floor. What happens is your body sends a signal to your brain which says “we have support down here from the bony structure of the spine.approximity (disks in your back moving closer together) which in turn inhibits your inner core stabilizers. This is all quite evidence based and was taught to me by genius strength coach Dr. Click Below for the Tutorial Video on the Kettlebell Deadlift! . Once you are proficient with that drill. compression.com The solution. lies somewhere in the middle – which is a neutral spine! This is the position where your inner core stabilizers can play their role and keep your spine safe. we can then begin to apply the movement to the deadlift. diaphragm. your tailbone/sacrum tucking under. and wear and tear on your spine because of this. please visit Charlie’s site at CharlieWeingroff. Don’t ever pick anything up off the ground again without thinking about maintaining a neutral spine. is “how do I keep my back straight as I hinge. so you can go ahead and turn down the inner core stabilizers.” In turn. Charlie Weingroff.” What that means.” You need to watch out for any overarching in the low back and neck. are all being inhibited (not turned off. etc. transverse abdominus. I don’t care if it is a kettlebell or a pencil! So clearly. will help you learn what it should feel like to hinge with a neutral spine. and working ten years from now! This “stick drill” as I call it. If you want to learn more about the nitty gritty scientificals behind this. Do this drill as often as you can. until it becomes second nature to you. all of the muscles that should be working to stabilize the spine such as your multifidus. as it usually does. just not working as much as they should be) and you again end up creating an unnecessary amount of shear. and/or any rounding in your upper back. strong.

Here are some of the key points abbreviated: 1. rather than down toward a curb! 3. Think you are sitting back towards a bench that is just out of reach. Stand on top of a kettlebell with a shoulder width stance and toes pointed slightly out (we want about 20 degrees of external hip rotation – so this may translate to anywhere between a 10 to 30 degree turn out of your toes). The position of your scapula should actually be mildly protracted – HERE is a little drill you can use to find that position. Lat engagement simply locks all of this in. 2. I never liked that cue. Hinge don’t squat! Your shins (tibia) should be vertical throughout the kettlebell deadlift – that means your knees should not translate forward. as it doesn’t put your scapula (shoulder blades) into their centrated position (where the scapula lays flat along the rib cage). Engage your lats and suck your shoulders “into their sockets”. do not pinch your shoulder blades together. However. . and ensures that the kettlebell does not pull your shoulders forward when you deadlift or swing.

squeeze your butt. Push your heels into the ground. while keeping our arms relaxed. Practice this drill. but never lean back! 5. and practice it often before you dive into the swing. Click below for the video! . Stand tall at the top. and drive your hips forward to finish the lift. including your neck! Your eyes may look up as you lift. The goal here is now to learn how to generate power from our hips. Keep your spine neutral throughout.4. but your head may not! Time to Add Some POWER to It! This next drill will take us right up to where we need to be before we start swinging a kettlebell.

The Kettlebell Swing Are YOU ready to have some FUN???? Let’s start swinging some bells already! The first drill we are going to use to learn how to time the kettlebell swing and understand what it feels like when we are being “pulled” into deep hip flexion. CLICK below for the video. Enjoy! . is what we call at RKC the “pendulum swing” .

It’s now time to attempt a full set of kettlebell swings. Click Below for the video! . Below is the final video in the series.Putting It All Together Let’s see what we’ve learned. please watch it as many times as necessary for you to absorb all of the information and complete a most excellent set of kettlebell swings.

 Shin/tibia is vertical at the bottom of the swing (as far as physics will allow…) and the movement is clearly a “hinge” not a “squat”. No shoulder forward position please.  Glutes and abs are braced at the top of the swing and there is no leaning back or overextension. and a sharp exhalation through the mouth on the upward portion of the swing. No rounding or overarching in the back.  Diaphramatic breathing match – a compressed inhalation through the nose on the downward portion of the swing.  Neck is visibly “packed” and cervical spine remains neutral throughout the movement.  Heels are planted firmly on the ground at all times.The Kettlebell Swing Check List Here is a list of what I would look for in a “proper” kettlebell swing:  Neutral spine (“crown to coccyx alignment”) throughout the movement. .  Lats are engaged and shoulders are sucked “into their sockets” throughout the movement.

but includes some of the major and more important elements of a safe and effective kettlebell swing. but do not hyperextension.  Bell floats to about chest height. Hips and knees extend fully at the top.  Handle of the bell does not pass below the knees (this helps to ensure a nice tight hinge) That is by no means an all-inclusive list of everything I covered. .

Last time I checked the cervical spine is still part of the spine. Think broad jump rather than vertical leap. Swinging Overhead.3 Common Kettlebell Swing Mistakes (and what YOU should do about it!) 1. This one is just silly. The squatty swing isn’t necessarily unsafe. First off the projection of force for a kettlebell swing should be out. but I would consider it ineffective (or less effective) when it comes to developing the skill of force production and reduction with the posterior chain. Always have . then a swing with a rounded or overarched back. Cervical extension leads to a destabilized neck – no wonder so many folks suffer neck issues with high volume swings. Cervical Extension. Instead you should focus on pushing your chin back (like you are trying to give yourself an unsightly double chin) and keep your head and neck neutral throughout the swing. What should you do about it? Stop swinging over-head. So if you extend or overextend your cervical spine. not up. the tendency will be to over-extend your lumbar spine (low back). Start packing your neck in now and save yourself from some potentially serious pain/discomfort down the road. particularly for the AC joint. and any breakage in the kinetic chain is sure to affect the entire chain. There are a variety of drills you can use to fix this problem. Secondly. 2. but it comes down to this. this often puts the shoulders if a very poor position. If we want to go up we can just snatch the kettlebell. So by that definition I could therefore classify it as wrong! But ultimately I would rather have someone have a “squatty” swing. 3. There is no truly justifiable marginal benefit to swinging overhead for the marginal costs associated with doing so. Squatty Swings. What I mean is that what happens at your neck will typically trickle down to your low back. And lastly. rarely do I see any nincompoop swinging overhead without severe overarching in their back.

4. Every single rep you should focus on how quickly can I extend my hips and my knees and explode out of the bottom of the swing.yourself and clients swing safely at first. Ten reps of two hand kettlebell swings should be more than enough to have you sucking . Remember. Lack of Effort. then you can work towards swinging optimally. Don’t hold back. Please refer back to the first deadlift video in the series for a drill you can use to pattern deep hip flexion (hinging). the kettlebell swing is about power production.

You may quickly realize that you are unable to complete some of these workouts in their entirety (even though they only last 20 minutes). and that is OK! I’d be surprised if you could with no prior kettlebell experience! Never are you to sacrifice form for more reps or more weight. and watch as your power and endurance drastically amplifies! While you are to train three days a week. you will be alternating between two workouts. There will be workout A. 20 minutes a day. Simple they are indeed. Stick to the program. but easy they are not. and there will be workout B. Please excuse my severe lack of creativity. .Your Kettlebell Swing Workout Primer Three days a week. This program is designed as a primer to gear you up for our SuperHero Development Program and to give you an idea as to how effective kettlebell training truly is for rapid fat loss! Do not be fooled by how “simple” these workouts appear on paper. That is all the time you need to “sacrifice” in order to see a radical change in your body and athleticism over the next 14 days.

Rest one to two minutes between each block.” Meaning you swing for twenty seconds and rest for ten seconds. Continue this cycle until the 20 minutes are up. Tabata intervals are four minute blocks of “20 seconds on” and “10 seconds off. Done. continuing that sequence for an entire four minute period.Workout A is as follows: Put 20 minutes on the clock. Workout B is as follows: You owe me four rounds of Tabata intervals with kettlebell swings. Rest for fifteen seconds. . Swing for fifteen seconds.

I guarantee it. (Note: No one will ever achieve the “perfect” swing. Get your nutrition in check! Seriously. Every swing is to be as crisp. I have no doubt you will find them. and as “perfect” as you can make it. if you make the commitment to this program.F or T. But don’t. Properly mobilize and warm up before and after each workout! CLICK HERE to download my free mobility report and implement it into your routine! 6. If you seek your limits.W. Listen to your body! If you feel that the volume (amount of work) is too much to handle at first.Th.S 2. Cough) .Rules of the Game 1. Train on non-consecutive days – such as M. you WILL see results. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try!) 4. SuperHero Development Program. Never go to failure or push past your current abilities. You can’t out train a bad diet. 5. powerful. then back off! This isn’t a contest. But remember. 3. Structure your routine for the next two weeks as follows: Week 1 Week 2 Day 1 A B Day 2 B A Day 3 A B Could it possibly get any simpler than that? I’m not kidding folks. you have to have your nutrition in check! (Cough. no matter how hard you try! Whether your goal is to lose fat or to maximize your athletic potential – proper nutrition is paramount! Check out our Metabolic Reset eBook or enroll in our SuperHero Development Program and learn how to eat in order to optimize your hormones for maximum fat loss! 7.

consider adding in an extra day of rest and/or mobility work. Hit the foam roller. Easy does it! Remember. I did my first swing workout now I’ so sore I can’t move! Help! A.Frequently Asked Questions Q. be able to differentiate “hurt” from discomfort or soreness. Walk around. If you are VERY sore. It may very well become your new best friend! Q. and be sure to get enough rest. because that is rarely the case! Q. Use good judgment and common sense. stop immediately. Secondly. that’s sort of a hard call! But most men start with a 16kg kettlebell and most women start with an 8kg or 12kg kettlebell. I promise! Q. If something hurts. Soreness and discomfort are often inevitable. but don’t always think that lighter is better. be sure you have full medical clearance before embarking on any sort of weight training program. Relax! This is normal! I remember the first time I did a couple sets of kettlebell swings – I couldn’t get out of bed the next day! Take an extra day off if you need to. and stay as active (lightly active) as possible. figure out what the problem is. Can I add in an extra day of working out? A. what should I do? First off. What size weight should I use? A. especially when first starting out. and what you need to do to fix it. when it comes to exercise you should always strive to do less (believe it or not)! Doing more than the absolute bare minimum will only hinder your recovery time and impede your progress! Stick with three days for now and after your two weeks of training with this . perform some light mobility and flexibility work. Holy crap. Well since I (probably) don’t personally know you (unfortunately!). Hurt is bad. The soreness won’t be that extreme for long. My back hurts from swings.

We have a ton of great resources over at ChroniclesOfStrength. Why Do You Hate Crossfit? A. Best of all. can perform these routines in the comfort of your own home! For more information on the SuperHero Development Program. leaner. then check out our SuperHero Development Program if you truly want to take it to the next level! Q. we love the company! Q. more mobile. What is the SuperHero Development Program? A. but before you really start to dive into the incredibly diverse world of kettlebell training.primer are up.com. Everything! Seriously. What else can you do with Kettlebells? A. I’m so glad you asked! The SuperHero Development Program is a kettlebell strength and conditioning eCourse (meaning it’s an online training course) that is currently comprised of six. and more athletic than ever before. the SuperHero Development Program can make you stronger. and so long as you have a pair of kettlebells. be sure to first establish a solid foundation of proper movement from which you can build upon. please CLICK HERE! Q. you are emailed your workout routines every week. What that means is that no matter what level you are at. 8-week training cycles. Hate is such a strong word… . Please be sure to pay us a visit sometime.

Additional (mostly free!) Resources 7 Ways to “Cook” The Kettlebell Swing The Nincompoops Guide to The Kettlebell Swing “Race Up Swing Mountain” Partner Workout Physique Transformation Bundle Package!!! Who Is Pat Flynn? Pat Flynn is the founder of ChroniclesOfStrength.com one of the most popular strength and conditioning blogs online today. including the immensely popular Birth of a Hero: Metabolic Conditioning training program and the SuperHero Development Program. Pat is the author of over five strength. . conditioning. and kettlebell training books.

Bernard Puppy named Lola! You can add Pat as a friend on Facebook HERE And Follow Pat on Twitter HERE @PatFlynnCOS If you enjoyed this report. unorthodox approach as a strength coach.com Please lift responsibly. and his uncanny ability to breakdown complex learning objectives into simple and easy to understand components.Pat is primarily known for his expertise as a fat loss expert. Pat is a guest lecturer on biomechanics and presenter at West Chester and Millersville University in Pennsylvania and has a St.com . please be sure to pass it along to all of your friends! And if you have any questions. .Pat Flynn Chief Awesomeness Operator (CAO) ChroniclesOfStrength. please contact Pat directly at Hardstylekettlebells@yahoo.

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