- You swing with a rounded back.
This is a problem because you can hurt your back, specifically your lower back.
There are two fixes here:
- Keep your chest up and look proud. Imagine that you have writing or a logo on the front of your tee and that there is someone standing in front of you, they should be able to read your tee as you swing.
- Also, imagine that there is a broomstick on your back from your head to your tailbone, your job is to maintain connectivity with the stick at all times, this will help maintain a neutral spine throughout the entire movement.
A neutral back will ensure that you maintain the maximum amount of efficiency and power generation throughout the movement while maintaining a safe, injury free posture.
- You squat your swing.
At its core the swing is a lot like a deadlift or a broad jump, to generate power through the lower posterior chain (hamstrings, butt & lower back) the butt needs to go back not down.
Imagine creasing at the hips versus bending, this will ensure that the chain is ready for loading and blast off.
- You use your arms too much.
The kettlebell swing is not an arm or shoulder exercise.
All the power to move the kettlebell comes from loading and unloading the lower posterior chain by creasing at the hips and thrusting the hips forward to float the bell up, the arms only guide and control the bell, they’re just along for the ride.
If you’re engaging the arms too much, you may need to go back and refocus more on the loading phase.
- Your heals lift off the ground.
This might be fine if you’re jumping, but with the swing it’s important to maintain as much connectivity or rootedness to the ground as possible throughout the movement.
Here’s the fix…
To help generate as much loading and ballistic energy as possible, imagine that you are jumping through the heals, not the balls of your feet. This will help ensure that your heals are firmly planted throughout the movement at all times.
- Your swing goes too high.
Swinging the kettlebell above your head tends to make you overarch and expose your back, which may unveil hidden inefficiencies in mobility and strength, throughout the shoulder and back area, thus leading to injury and pain.
Like the broad jump, we want to direct the force out, not up, if you want to go up, then consider the snatch (that’s in another article).
The swing is a back and forth movement only.
The goal is to project the force out, let the kettlebell float up to about chin level and then let gravity do its job and send it back down for the next rep.
Once everything is dialed in and the bell is in motion, it will stay in motion.
- In conclusion.
The goal, like with any exercise is to increase both the efficiency and safety of the movement.
Having a rounded back or letting the heals come off the ground are never good things in about 99% of the exercises out there.
When swinging, always use a weight that lets you swing with control but is also heavy enough to practice that hip snap.
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