Kettlebell Exercise: 2-Hand Swing
The 2-Hand Kettlebell Swing does more than build muscle; it builds power, explosiveness and cardio vascular endurance. Use this exercise and you’ll be a workhorse in no time.
The 2-Hand Kettlebell Swing is an iconic kettlebell exercise that involves an explosive hip move to drive the kettlebell forward using your entire body.
Step 1: Start with your feet a little more than shoulder-width apart with the kettlebell placed about a foot in front of you. Grab the kettlebell with both hands and tilt the handle towards you. As you’re bending over to grab the kettlebell, make sure to keep your shoulders back and resist rounding your lower back.
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Step 2: Keeping your chest proud and shoulders back, hike the kettlebell between your legs. Your knees should be bent slightly, although the majority of the bending action should occur at your hip joint. This is accomodated by pushing your hips behind your centerline.
Keep your arms straight and make sure your wrists and elbows are in line with your shoulders. As the kettlebell reaches the apex of the swing behind you, prepare to swing it forward.
Step 3: Pop your hips forward, forcefully bringing them to your centerline, driving the kettlebell forward. By the time the kettlebell is directly in front of you (an inch or more in front of your hips), your body should be in line.
Step 4: Allow the kettlebell to travel as high as the power you generated with your hips will allow. Do not attempt to raise the kettlebell higher with your shoulders/arms; your shoulders/arms should simply act as hinges.
Use a hook grip with your hands to create a strong but loose hold of the kettlebell. Your arms should be relaxed at the top of the repetition.
Step 5: Allow the kettlebell fall from the apex of the swing. Do not bend with the kettlebell as it falls, rather, allow the kettlebell to pull you down through the arch of the swing. Maintain a proud chest with your shoulders back as this occurs. When you feel the pull of the kettlebell, hinge at the hips and press them behind you.
Tips and Safety
If the kettlebell is flying up higher than the height of your shoulders, either add weight or decrease the force of your hips. This will decrease the chances of “shrugging” with your shoulders at the top of the repetition. If you do not feel a stretch in your hamstring during the back swing, you are probably bending your knees or back too much.
Keep your chest proud and make sure you bend at the hips rather than the knees. If your forearms or shoulders are getting overly tired, you may be attempting to get the kettlebell to a higher point by using your upper body. Stop doing this and instead concentrate on a more explosive hip movement.
If you aren’t generating enough power to get the ketttlebell in line with your shoulders, lighten up the weight until you’re ready for more.
The tutorial video for this exercise and the full Mega Mad Guide to Unconventional fitness are included in the Awake and Alive membership. Click here to learn more.
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Mark de Grasse
Mark de Grasse is the owner of MegaMad Industries, a website design firm specializing in comprehensive solutions for small businesses. He is also a former executive of Onnit Labs, former founder and editor of My Mad Methods Magazine, and a dedicated father and husband to a growing family. Learn more at www.MarkdeGrasse.com