Swing Yourself to Fit
One of the oldest, yet still highly effective movements around; any “old school” weightlifter has worked with kettle bells at some point, but anyone can benefit from this goodie.
The kettle bell swing is a great tool, especially if done properly, to generate force and power from the hips and core. Once mastered, individuals can potentially swing a kettle bell at or above bodyweight. Aaron Weedo, owner of Cross Fit Lakewood Ranch, recommends starting out with something light at first. “Once you can comfortably perform 15-20 reps without any break in form, I would say move on to the next weight!”
- The first step is to pick the bell up; maintain a tight midsection and lower the hips down to the bell. Keep your shoulders back and down with your head and chest upright.
- The next step is to create some momentum with the kettle bell. To do this, pull your hips back while maintain a solid foundation on the floor with your feet. Then, squeeze your abs as tight as you can, thrust your hips forward and then stop as aggressively and controlled as you can at the tall position.
- If done properly, the momentum created will cause the kettle bell to start to rise up in front of you. It is key to sit back through your heels and ensure your hamstrings and back muscles are keeping you upright and not the driving force in “lifting” the kettle bell. This is not a lift; this is a momentum or pendulum-like swing. (If you are new to this movement or have shoulder issues, you would stop at this point and not move on to step 4.)
- The swing finishes with the kettle bell overhead, in line with the shoulders, hips, and ankles. From this position, allow the bell to drop back down between the legs and then re-load for the next repetition.
A common fault we see above is letting the kettle bell pull you forward. This shows a lack of control and one should lower the weight and focus more on getting upright and waiting for the kettle bell. With any core-to-extremity movement the biggest problem most people have is timing. You must be patient when you finish the swing, allowing the bell to almost glide up all by itself.
Aaron Weedo is the owner of CrossFit Lakewood Ranch. He has been active and training his entire life and has been privately training clients for over ten years. Aaron has experience working with athletes of all types, all skills, all ages, and has helped develop a number of the coaches that you see training at many CrossFit gyms in the area. Aaron’s knowledge and experience in the strength and fitness world are highly sought after by not only professional athletes, but also by every day professionals as well. His motto of, “leave your ego at the door and your sweat on the floor,” is applied to all. Aaron can be contacted by email, CrossFitLWR@Gmail.com or by phone, (941) 907-0005.