Sunday, March 15, 2015

The Power of the Kettlebell Swing

I came across this article yesterday on Breaking Muscle about the "What the Hell?" effect of the kettlebell swing from Craig Marker. It couldn't have come at a better time either.

Due to training at the YMCA for the time being, I've gotten away from using my kettle bells as much as I usually do. Until recently, I did swings and goblet squats every day as part of my warm-up regardless of what I was doing. The swing is a great way to start your workout (or even your day!).

I normally do something like 8-12 swings followed immediately by 3-5 goblet squats with the same bell (usually a 36 or 40kg). I've also done an extended set where I do not put the weight down. For example:

10 Swings + 8 Squats + 8 Swings + 5 Squats + 5 Swings + 3 Squats + 3 Swings + 1 Squat

This warm-up is great for any type of workout:

1. Gets the hips and glutes firing - especially important for squats, deadlifts and cleans.
2. Combats the bad positioning from sitting all day - this goes back to #1, but if you sit a lot during the day, the swing is a great way to enforce the neutral position.
3. Loosens up the whole body - the swing is a full-body movement, and will get the blood flowing really quick
4. Goblet squats open up and reinforce proper positioning for squatting - prying goblet squats allow you to sit in the position, work on getting more upright and pry the hips open. If you're squatting or even deadlifting, this position is important. I've found that my knees tend to cave in much less on heavy weights if I warm up with goblet squats.

Pat Flynn's Swing video:

Hope everyone had a great weekend and is ready to start the week off right!

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