Best Tip To Improve Your Kettlebell Swing

Written by Gregory Dzemaili

23. February 2022

Editorial

The kettlebell Swing is a powerful exercise. 

But with great power comes great responsibility. 

And with it some common pitfalls that I want you to avoid. 

So here’s the best tip to improve your Kettlebell Swing. 

Mastering the kettlebell swing provides quite the challenge.

The reason for this is simple.

Contrary to other exercises or training modalities, with the kettlebell swing we consciously include a ballistic element.

This ballistic element is highly unpredictable. 

So in order to master the swing you need to fine tune your kinesthetic sense.

Imagine like handling a race car.

The professional fine tuned his handling skills to a level, where he melts with the car in order to control its aggresion. 

The Same goes in our situation: We want to merge the kettlebell into a natural extension of our arm. 

Common Mistake

One of the biggest mistakes that we see beginners make in our studio is they swing the Kettlebell away from them. 

At first glance this might make sense.

Since you’re using force from your glutes – or from your posterior chain to be more exact- and this sends the kettlebell flying.

If we take a closer look however swinging the bell away from you is a grave mistake.

Because if you swing the kettlebell away from you in a horizontal plane,

This ultimately means that you move the weight outside your center of mass with a lot of momentum.

Now granted, even if you do the Kettlebell Swing with perfect form you will still move the weight outside your center of mass.

If we exaggerate this however, then it will always feel like as if the Kettlebell is slipping outside your hands.

And you would probably also get the impression that your upper arm is about to dislocate from your shoulder at any moment.

Use heavier weights and – aside from the strange feeling you get – you might even risk a potential injury.

The Wall Drill

Here’s the solution. 

We have to override our instinct of being handsy creatures – by relaxing our arm.

We accomplish this by doing two things: 

  1. grabbing the kettlebell in the finger grip
  2. Avoid fully extending the arm once the bell reaches its apex position

Here comes the master tip to avoid swinging the kettlebell in the horizontal plane; moving it too far outside our center of mass.

We have to imagine that we are swinging the kettlebell upwards; in a more vertical position.

You can achieve this with the following master tip, that we call the Wall Drill. 

Stand in front of a soft wall. 

You can do this by standing in front of a towel that’s hanging outside to dry. 

In our case we use a green screen. 

You can choose a solid wall or a mirror of course

Yet, as a disclaimer, Lebe Stark is not responsible for any harm done to your stone wall or the mirror in your gym.

Here’s the deal: Before you start swinging, you have to take a few steps back from the wall. 

This includes the triangle; a crucial starting mechanism in kettlebell training.

The distance should make you feel a bit uncomfortable. 

This means, that your initial feeling is to take a few more steps back. 

Don’t do it! Because here lies the magic. 

The distance requires you to swing the kettlebell in a more vertical position, by relaxing your elbow instead of extending it 

The softness of the wall should allow for any mistakes to happen. 

This in turn, will help you correct the trajectory of the kettlebell – and will ultimately improve your Swing technique.

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