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Beginners: See Kettlebell Training Concepts
KB swings are one of the scariest exercises a person can do.
I’ve been teaching KB for about a decade and STILL the greatest way I can coerce a new person to take the class is if I promise them, WE WON’T SWING.
They are right to be scared. It is dangerous and if not executed properly can certainly cause pain, and or injury. Anytime you use large muscles of the hip, you effect the the lower back – be it compression, impact, misalignment, etc.
SWING: A 2-PART ACTION: Hinge + Thrust
- With one or two hands, throw a kettle bell between your legs and behind you. SAY WHAT! (Reaching for your butt with this oddly shaped iron weight & pull in the deep low belly & energetically activate inner thighs, as if you can use them to squeeze the weight between your legs.) Probably not the most natural movement you could imagine – No argument here. However, with this backward (behind you) motion, the posterior muscles of the legs become lengthened. This is called a Hip Hinge.
A Hinge is anytime your hips go behind you and your torso comes forward. This may include a bend in the knee and it may not. [The need for a bend in the knee is directly related to your hamstring flexibility. The tighter the hamstring, the more you will bend.]
- With one or two hands in the same exact grip you used to go behind you, you will thrust your hips forward. Thrusting your hips is a lot like humping the air. OMG! YES! Press the front of your pelvis to the mirror in front of you, make buns of steel, and squeeze your shoulder blades together for a straight spine.
A Thrust is an explosive movement and at the finish, it looks a lot like the perfect ending of a squat, when you are standing upright with great posture.
TRICK: Think of your hamstrings as if they are a rubber band. You lengthen them with the Hinge – and snap them forward with the Thrust.
CONTRAINDICATIONS/ IMPORTANT DETAILS: In order for muscles to be strong, they must be flexible. IF YOU HAVE TIGHT HAMSTRINGS SO MUCH THAT YOU CAN BARELY HINGE WITHOUT DISCOMFORT, THIS MOVEMENT IS NOT FOR YOU.
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