Do The Kettle Ball Swing Russian Style
Today's workout challenge with Jen Widerstrom and we're “Finding Balance” both physically and mentally.
So let's describe how to do a kettle bell swing. Gab a kettle bell that has a weight that you are comfortable with and place it on the floor between your legs. Your feet should be hip width apart, keeping your shoulders, chest and back up high, be proud. Now squat down and grab the kettle ball handle with both hands, palms towards you. Stand up with the ball keeping you shoulders back.
Now bend your knees a little, push your bottom out behind you and move your weight onto your heels as if you’re going to jump up. Then, in an explosive motion, swing the kettlebell up to chest height with arms extended using the power of your legs rather than trying to pull it up with your arms. When you reach that apex, tense your core and clench your behind.
Control the kettlebell as it descends. Put your weight back on the heels and hinge your hips as you allow it to swing between your legs. From here drive forward through heels and hips again for each rep. A set is comprised of 10-15 reps.
Don’t feel the need to show the gym how strong you are by picking up a heavy weight. Go light at first – perhaps a 16kg – to get the technique right.
The version we’ve described here is often known as the Russian kettlebell swing. The American one differs in that you let the weight swing all the way above your head, not shoulder height. Master the Russian one before trying to cross the Atlantic.
Shoulders: Keep your shoulders relaxed to avoid shrugging the kettlebell and ending up with your shoulders around your ears.
Glutes: Activate your glutes by driving your hips through to a neutral position (where you are upright). Aim to keep your forearms attached to your hips until you reach neutral then, as your arms come up, squeeze your glutes to prevent overextending your lower back.
Head: Your head position should be neutral. The gap between your chin and your chest shouldn’t change.
Elbows: Use “soft” elbows throughout the swing. Keep your arms relaxed to take the tension out of your arm muscles and, instead, use the momentum of the kettlebell.
Knees: Your knees shouldn’t bend excessively during the swing – it should be a hip hinge motion. This is a posterior chain movement (the muscles on the back of your body), not a quads exercise.
Fore the many variations on this exercise check out this article.
Grab a kettlebell and follow along with Jen's favorite 10-min kettlebell workout you'll feel from head to toe.
The featured image came from this article.