StrongFirst on The SWING – We’ve been seeing a lot of great kettlebell swings on Instagram lately, and that is awesome. We’ve come a very long way in the past couple years.
Something that must be understood about the swing, however, is that the intent is not to “lift” the kettlebell. Instead, you must forcefully drive your feet (beginners may want to focus especially on the heels) into the ground. Because the ground has nowhere to go, that downward force that is applied (achieved by maximally squeezing your glutes to bring your hips forward and stacked over your feet) will “pop” the bell off your body, and because your fingers are hooked in the handle, the kettlebell will float in front of you. #StrongFirstTechnique
This is why kettlebell swings should be practiced barefoot (optimally), or in shoes with zero cushioning. You don’t want to have to first compress whatever squish is beneath your feet before any force reaches the ground. With cushioned shoes, because you are losing force by having to compress the cushioning, there is less pop of the bell, and you are more likely to compensate by trying to “lift” the bell, which becomes risky for your back and shoulders. No bueno.
Wobbly feet are no good here. A strong/solid connection to solid ground is imperative. #SafetyAndPerformance
So if you have been wearing standard athletic shoes, lose them. Drive your feet into the ground. Attempt to leave footprints. Your swings will be much safer, AND much stronger. Enjoy!
More reading (because we think it’s important) – Closest Thing to a Wonder Drug? Try Exercise from the NY Times. And because we’re all talking about this article on social media. Where yat?
Dynamic Athletic Movement
Hip Mobility Series
10 Down dog Push-ups
10/10 Turkish Getups
200 yd* Sandbag Carry
10 Kettlebell Swings
10 Burpees (hop over sandbag)
L4 – 65/55, 32/24
L3 – 55/45, 28/22
200 yd Medicine Ball Carry
10 Kettlebell Swings
*200 yd – turn around at manhole cover halfway up to Sessions St.
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