Kettlebell swings can be one of the most beneficial GT12 station. It works on every aspect of training in the optimum performance training model:
- Stabilization endurance,
- Strength endurance,
- Maximal strength and
- Max power.
Kettlebell swings are a predominantly posterior chain exercise, meaning that it trains mostly the muscles in the back of the body from head to heel. In some ways it is very similar to the deadlift in terms of the benefits but with lower weight and it being more ballistic (more speed, power and repetition).
Nowadays most people, due to sedentary lifestyles, are weaker in the musculature along the back of their bodies. Implementing KB swings correctly into your training can help with reversing the negative effects of being seated for extended periods of time.
As stated earlier the KB swing trains mostly the posterior sling of the body. This is mainly the glutes and hamstrings, but also the erector spinae, latisimus dorsi, lower trapezius and rhomboid. Being able to perform a correct hinge at the hips without loss in spinal stability and posture is key to maximizing the benefits of the swing.
It also works the grip strength in simply holding onto the bell during the swing especially when it gets heavy. KB swings are used in athletic training to help improve hip strength and power for athletes. In fact, it is even a very good booty exercise for all the individuals wanting to improve that area of their body.
When done with proper form, the kettlebell is hiked up from the floor (yes, like a football hike) and then explosively thrust forward by extending the hips and standing upright with a neutral spine (no bending or rounding of the spine) while holding onto the handle of the kettlebell. When the bell falls or swings back to the hips like a pendulum the individual hinges again to absorb the inertia of the bell and thrusts it back up at approximately hip to shoulder height.
KB swings can be regressed by reducing the weight or number of continuous swings or progressed by increasing the weight or done with one arm instead of two. Or doing them for time based sets like in GT12 small group training
Common mistakes are squatting while hinging by bending the knees too much, resulting in the hips lowering and the movement becoming more of a squat than a deadlift. Rounding of the spine thus not stabilizing the core to maintain neutral spine. Hinging too low, allowing the head to get lower than the hips.
Hyperextending the lower back. Swinging the bell closer to the ankles vs keeping it close to the groin. All these mistakes can be addressed if professional assistance is sought out to learn how to implement the KB swing into your workouts. Give it a try and let us know how it works for you.
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