Are You Doing Your Kettlebell Swing Incorrectly?

Laura Front of Swing

Tight core and butt at front of kettlebell swing.

The kettlebell swing is the most simple and most important part of creating a solid base for your kettlebell training.

Unfortunately I see it done poorly far too often. Before you head out to the gym and start swinging, take my quick quiz to identify any common mistakes you could be making in your kettlebell swing. Applying my quick fixes will make you a kettlebell swinging expert in no time!

How’s your hip hinge?
Many people feel the need to squat or “sit” in the bottom of the swing, but this is bad for the fluid motion of the kettlebell and doesn’t allow for hamstring engagement. Your hamstrings are very powerful muscles and you want to engage them to create the most powerful swing possible. Think of the swing as a pendulum with the motion coming from your hips. When the kettlebell is between your legs, you want your hips bent and chest facing the ground. Then, when the bell is in front of you during the swing, you want your hips and knees straightened so that your body is in one straight line. Think of it as your hips have the maximum bend and your knees have the minimal bend.

 Do you have a sore lower back?
Your lower back should never hurt from a kettlebell swing. If your back does hurt it means you are not engaging your hamstrings and probably squatting instead of using your hip hinge. Quick Fix: Make sure as the bell goes between your legs that you follow it down with your chest facing the ground. You should end up with your arms between your legs and back parallel to the floor.

Laura Back Swing

Keep a flat back and arm close to the body. Legs are straight using the hips as a hinge not the knees.

Where’s your power coming from?
I see many people swinging their kettlebell without much power from their hamstrings behind it. The best way to do create your power is to squeeze your butt really tightly as the kettbell comes up from between your legs on its way up to the top of the swing. Not only will you give yourself the extra power, but you’ll also be sure to engage those hamstrings and butt muscles.

Are you focused?
To ensure your safety, it is crucial to pay attention to your body
when you execute any movement with weight. Focusing your attention on a certain spot within the room keeps your spine in the correct alignment and helps you pay attention to performing the movement correctly.

Check out Jeff Martone’s youtube videos on kettlebell swings for a visual reference. Practice make perfect so get out and there and start swinging! Need more tips? Follow me on Instagram or Twitter.


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