The one handed kettlebell swing is the fundamental kettlebell exercise for all ballistic exercises. It strengthens the posterior muscle chain within a dynamic exercise that includes both acceleration and deceleration phases. The swing has a massive carry over to general activity and sports due to the powerful snapping hip extension involved. It is also great for mastering techniques, positions and postures for other exercises. The swing must be completed with competence before progressing to exercises such as kettlebell cleans, high pulls and snatches.

Teaching Points

  1. Start position – grasp the horn of the kettlebell with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart.
  2. In a standing tall position switch on the glutes, but keep the spine neutral.
  3. While keeping the arms long and the shoulders relaxed, look forwards with the chest open.
  4. Lowering phase – start the swing by hiking the kettlebell between the legs.
  5. Drive the hips back, while also flexing the knees.
  6. Continue to flex at the hip – ultimately hiking the kettlebell towards the buttocks.
  7. Upward phase – drive through the heels while moving the hips forward dynamically.
  8. As a result of the powerful dynamic hip thrust the kettlebell will arc upwards.
  9. Keep the arms relaxed as the kettlebell arc is a consequence of the hip thrust – at the top of the arc there will be some ‘hang time’.
  10. Make sure the glutes are squeezed and the core braced.
  11. Begin the downward phase by letting the kettlebell naturally drop between the legs.
  12. Push the hips back letting the kettlebell swing between the legs and keep the chest open.
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