Kettlebell swings are a great combo exercise that work quads, hamstrings, shoulders, and CORE! Not only that but because of all the big muscles involved, this exercise can be used for HIIT cardio workouts as well.
First, before you start doing the kettlebell swing, its very important that you can nail the back neutral position and keep it firmly there or you will destroy your back. PLEASE do deadlifts for dummies, phase one. I know this is not a deadlift but in phase one you learn two important skills that are applicable to almost every freeweight leg exercise you will do: holding the neutral position and controlling your balance point. Please do deadlifts for dummies, phase one for at least 6 weeks before starting these kettlebell swings.
Before you watch the below video, realize that my form is going to be a bit different than the strength trainers you have seen do these and its because my goals are different. My goal is to teach you how to do kettlebell swings without getting injured. My goal is NOT to teach you how to swing the heaviest kettlebell you possibly can. There is a LOT going on during this exercise and its difficult enough when you just focus on safety. After you have done this for 3 months or so you can start refining your swing so that you can put more power into it.
Form points of kettlebell swing
- feet about shoulder width apart and slightly pointed outward
- knees move in the direction toes are pointed
- your weight is over your arch, not over the ball of your foot
- your back stays in the neutral position
- start with very light weights for a few weeks to get used to the motion before moving up to weights that challenge you
Don’t worry about getting the full range of motion on the first rep as it can take a few swings to get it going. What is very surprising to those who have not done the kettlebell swing is how much core is involved. To swing the weight upward is shoulders and quads. When the kettlebell is coming down however what is not apparent is that you have to stop its motion and that requires a LOT of core and shoulders.